Within Westminster

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…

The Social Review Podcast Episode 55: Weight of the Nation

To discuss the government’s new anti-obesity campaign, Jasper talks to TSR writer Liam Stewart about his essay on the measures for the website. They unpick their personal histories with food and weight, the socio-economic complexity of obesity, how bodies are socially judged, the internal tensions on the left between individual and collective responsibility of weight, and much more (CN: food, eating, eating…

Boris Johnson should shape up, gastric bands and calorie labels in restaurants are not going to solve obesity in the UK

Photo Credit: IJClark My relationship with food has always been a bit toxic. When I was a child I was a fussy eater. As a teen I binge ate. Happily, things today are much better, but I still have days where I binge eat, or get anxious around drinking alcohol or eating certain foods. I was about eight when other children In…

The Social Review Podcast Episode 54: Not the end of ideology

Jasper meets Dr Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite (Lecturer in 20th Century British History at UCL and Co-Editor of Renewal: A Journal for Social Democracy) to chat about how old ideologies and orthodoxies continue to shape the Conservative Party, continued narratives of the undeserving poor, who gets to define what is political and what is not, the increasing complexity of class strata and much more.…

Not the end of ideology

Photo Credit This article was originally published in Renewal. The government response to the coronavirus crisis involves an unprecedented level of intervention in the peacetime British economy. But the rhetorical and ideological underpinnings of these new policies reveal that little has really changed in Conservative thinking. On 17 March, Rishi Sunak told Parliament that the ‘national effort’ against Covid-19 would be ‘underpinned…

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…