Strategy

The Social Review Podcast Episode 64: Vernacular Social Democracy

Historian Jon Lawrence (author of ‘Me, Me, Me? The Search for Community in Post-War England’) sits down with Jasper to discuss his article on ‘Vernacular Social Democracy’ in the latest issue of Renewal. They dissect what the concept means, the intersection of liberal individualism with communitarianism, how Keir Starmer is doing so far, the weirdness of 2017, and much more. iTunes Link…

Vernacular social democracy and the politics of Labour

This article was originally published in Renewal. Social democracy has put down deep roots in British popular culture; this is why Johnson’s government has instinctively favoured social democratic responses to the Covid-19 crisis. This vernacular social democracy is a potent resource which Labour can use to proclaim its vision of the good society. Last year I published a history of post-war England focused…

Review: Red Metropolis: Socialism and the Government of London by Owen Hatherley

Red Metropolis is a strange book, largely because, somewhat by its own admission, it’s not really a book at all: it’s somewhere between an overgrown essay and a coping mechanism. This is not to say that it is bad (quite the contrary: it is good) but to say that it is somewhat hard to pin down, accordingly, somewhat hard to write about.…

People Like Us: Our Leaders and the Politics of Ordinariness

In contemporary Britain, political leaders are sewn into our cultural fabric and their attempts to don a guise of demotic accessibility seem commonplace and expected. Perhaps most explicitly, and contradictorily, Boris Johnson has used this strategy of appearing as ‘one of us’ to gain the trust of large swathes of his electorate, claiming to represent the apathetic sentiment of anti-Establishment politics which…

The Social Review Podcast Episode 62: Left Out of This Land

Joe, Lines and Julia meet to discuss two big new books about Corbyn’s Labour Party: ‘This Land: The Story of a Movement’ by Owen Jones, and ‘Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn’ by Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire. The team discuss the book’s different conclusions, whether it casts new light on Corbyn’s Labour or not, the importance of interpersonal…

Removing Richard Leonard Won’t Solve Scottish Labour’s Woes

Photo Credit: Kevin Walsh As night follows day and as summer ebbs away into autumn, one facet of human existence  remains unaffected by the challenges of the novel Coronavirus. I am speaking, of course, about Scottish Labour’s ability to mire itself in yet another leadership crisis.  James Kelly kicked off proceedings by resigning as a justice spokesperson on the evening of the…

Starmerscepticism: An Unsentimental Approach

Photo Credit Keir Starmer’s election reflected the age we live in; a low key acceptance speech a day before Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care. This was not an atmosphere conducive to dramatic gestures by his internal opponents. Starmerscepticism has been born nonetheless, on Twitter, on Facebook and on the pages of mostly online outlets previously notable for their loyal support…