One Nation Labour and the abandonment of politics

Like many others, I’ve found the concept of One Nation Labour elusive.  The term is deployed in almost every utterance from senior Labour politicians, but its meaning remains obscure.  Like everyone who has studied nineteenth-history politics, I’m familiar with the origin of the phrase One Nation in reference to Tory politics and Disraeli, and it […]

The money trick revisited

Today marks the centenary of the death of Robert Tressell, whose book The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists has for decades been an inspiration for the Left.  One of the very few authentic working-class voices from an era that is now more likely to be associated with costume dramas and the perceived opulence of the pre-war wealthy, […]

A royal engagement and a narrative of national failure

I’ve been fascinated by the spectacle surrounding the announcement of the engagement of William Windsor and Kate Middleton – much of it of course following an entirely predictable pattern. For a start, there is the endless overage on the rolling news outlets, vox-pops and helicopters flying over London to produce the aerial shots over which […]

It’s not about fees, it’s about democracy

Now that things are settling down after this week’s massive student demonstration in London – and the events at the Conservative HQ building that followed it, it’s worth reflecting a little on what was really happened, and what it tells us about the temper of Con Dem Britain. The media reactions have been predictable. It’s […]

Cruelty, ignorance and George Osborne’s useful idiots

There’s plenty of virtual ink being used across the blogosphere to describe the enormity of what the Coalition announced in yesterday’s Spending Review, and I’m a bit loath to add to it. None of it is likely to match the eloquence of this superb piece by Johann Hari in the Independent. He gets to the […]

Consumerism – bad for somebody else’s health

A sobering piece by Johann Hari in today’s Independent, exposing the cost of consumerism at the sharp end. It exposes the horrific conditions under which Chinese workers labour to produce the mechanical toys that Western consumers enjoy – an environment in which it is estimated that 600,000 people per year die of overwork.  Hari points […]