Culture

Politics and Dreams

I really have trouble understanding people who think of politics as a dry topic, or who view it as all wonkery and triangulation. Politics is completely insane and weirdly emotional (did you know Peter Mandelson once phoned Gordon Brown to tell him, “I love you, but I can destroy you”?) and it leaches into the lives of activists on all fronts. It’s…

Faith and the Left in the 21st Century

    A few months ago, I found myself debating with some politically like-minded friends whether or not religion could be ‘compatible’ with socialism.  The broad consensus went something like this: individual religious belief is fine, provided it’s confined to the private sphere, some of the great socialists of history were also people of deep faith, but ‘Organised Religion’ –– like, say,…

A Better Broadcasting Corporation

In Max Brooks’ popular zombie novel ‘World War Z’, there is a class of zombie-like creatures called ‘Quislings’. Quislings (who presumably take their name from the Nazi-installed wartime Prime Minister of Norway) look and act like the undead, but are actually entirely human. The shock of the dead rising and the fracturing of society’s norms simply broke them, and now they act…

The Social Review Podcast Episode 24: Capitalist Superheroes with Dan Hassler-Forest

Have you ever thought that superheroes are a bit capitalist? That the movies you go and see all have weird political undertones? This week, Jasper sits down with Dr Dan Hassler-Forest, an academic whose work focuses on the overlap between politics and pop culture to talk Disney, balancing being a fan with being a critic and the uneven ideologies of Batman movies.…

The End of a Long Road

For a lot of people, there is one particular issue that hooks them into politics. Something that they care about enough to spend their weekends at rallies, and then after a while their weekday evenings at dull meetings, until they find themselves booking rooms and printing posters and agreeing to go leafleting at odd hours and then suddenly, they have become political,…

Labour members asserted themselves at conference, but we need a more democratic party

This year’s Labour Party conference in Brighton was probably the most significant since Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Leader in 2015. We saw, arguably for the first time, a significant portion of the pro-Corbyn membership asserting themselves and promoting radical positions that made the leadership uncomfortable.  These are the early signs of a Corbynism that is able to act without first looking to…