Author page: Harry Whomersley

Rethinking Adam Smith

People tend to have a story about the history of the state. It typically goes that it has grown unevenly, but more or less inexorably, since the end of the Western Roman Empire, only to retreat in recent decades. There is certainly truth to this: High Medieval states were often little more than a series of personal arrangements facilitating warmaking, and the…

Review: People’s Republic of Walmart

In his 2016 book ‘An American Utopia,’ the renowned Marxist theorist and critic Frederic Jameson suggested that Walmart may, counterintuitively, offer a guide for a post-capitalist future. Now, Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski have expanded on this provocation in their new book ‘People’s Republic of Walmart’, which attempts to reexamine the achievements of modern multinational capitalism through a socialist lens. Walmart, with…

Towards Federalism? Part Three

Part One Part Two The Politics of a Federal UK While it’s fun to imagine structural alterations to the UK’s constitutional arrangements, there must of course be a point to this tinkering. Aside from rationalising the present devolution settlement and addressing the problem of inadequate local government accountability and provisioning, these federalising changes could go some way towards calming some of the…

Towards Federalism? Part Two

Scotland is pretty big, isn't it

Part One Part Three A Federal England The most profound line in “Withnail & I” comes when Withnail brandishes the keys to his uncle’s country house and declares ‘free for those who can afford it, very expensive for those who can’t.’ It’s a line which, of course, reveals much about British life and the invisible network that holds together the class system:…

Towards Federalism? Part One

Part Two Part Three The Decline and Fall of Local Government It is commonly observed that the most consequential politicians are not always prime ministers, but most people would perhaps be surprised to learn that arguably the most influential and famous politician in the UK during the mid-1870s was the mayor of Birmingham. During his tenure as mayor from 1873 to 1876,…