History and Strategy

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…

LEFTA: A Credible Leave Option

Alberto Smith & William Sorenson for LEFTA Cameron gambled, lost, and now we are all paying off his debts.  The past three years have been squandered due to political manoeuvring in all the major parties. And instead of bridging the expectations gap and having an internal debate over what could heal the divides that have been laid bare by the EU referendum,…

How the Labour Party should approach EU participation

The Labour Party’s divisions over Europe have always existed, although Brexit has brought them to unprecedented prominence. Instinctively, any strategist (armchair or otherwise) looking to unite the party on this issue is going to want to find a compromise position that combines a clear-eyed view of the necessity of at least avoiding No Deal, with the appearance of a streetwise aloofness towards…

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…

The Social Preview: Brecon and Radnorshire by-election

It was meant to be a relatively quiet year in Welsh politics, with the Labour – Liberal Democrat coalition in Cardiff Bay trundling on after the election of new First Minister Mark Drakeford. Meanwhile Plaid Cymru’s new leader Adam Price planned to take the time to find his feet and modernise the party, starting a ‘root-and-branch’ review of its internal machinery. With…

Labour and Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism has always shaped how the Labour Party has approached social policy. The New Labour years were defined by ‘tough’ Home Secretaries choosing their next target to deride as anathema to British society; be it professors telling uncomfortable truths about drugs, or asylum seekers having the temerity to exist within our borders. Tony Blair even went so far as to describe Labour’s…