Realities

Liberalism and Social Democracy

Political history doesn’t start in 1945. Most accounts of the post-war consensus pay tribute to the liberal influences of Keynes and Beveridge, and increasingly to the role of national and imperial sentiment in the myth of “Old Labour”. But more should be made of the UK’s largely forgotten first social democratic government; a government that united liberals and social democrats in finding,…

The Spectator and Media Transphobia

The next time you hear transphobes claiming that their bigotry is born from a desire to “stand up for women”, simply point to their allies. It’s hard to imagine, say, Black Lives Matter running a joint event with UKIP, or Stonewall being bankrolled by the Coalition for Marriage. And yet so-called “feminists” are happy to join forces with those who actively work…

The very real limits of Chris Leslie’s non-ideological ideology

If we’re to move entirely past the rather ideologically bankrupt centre-left consensus that emerged in the aftermath of 2008, we need to get into what the defining issues of that consensus are — its main tenets and its main flaws. A good case study of this is a pamphlet authored by former Shadow Chancellor and notable opponent of the hard left, whoever they are,…

Left Monarchism?

As parliament returns from recess and the regular news cycle finally trickles back towards to normality, we have been given a welcome reprieve from one element of the discourse which gripped the political classes over Christmas. Namely, the seemingly perennial and exhausting argument over whether the Left should make the abolition of the monarchy a priority as an incoming government. I’m no…

Trans Rights and Public Opinion

Polling organisation YouGov has just published the results of a survey conducted between the 16th and 17th December, concerning the public’s opinions on transgender people and trans rights. Some of the results are unsurprising. Labour voters, Lib Dems, Remainers and young people tend to support trans rights; Conservatives, Leavers and older people tend to oppose them. On the initial question – whether…

Our Times

Mark Fisher’s Ghosts of My Life is an exceptional collection of cultural criticism. As I read it over the Christmas period, I couldn’t think of another writer better able to synthesise so many disparate sources into an overarching argument about our times. The whole book, with its theme of hauntology, had me thinking about ways in which the left interacts with time,…

Trans rights are human rights

“The Work Outing”, possibly one of the best-known episodes of late-2000s sitcom The IT Crowd, holds a special place in the hearts of my housemates and me for two reasons. The first is Roy’s famous “I’m disabled!” line after he is found using the disabled toilets, which those of us with disabilities are often fond of quoting, and the second is the various excerpts from the fictional…