Mainstream politics

1 April 2024News in Brief

On 2 March, a ‘No Ceasefire No Vote’ conference in London brought together former Labour party members and other solidarity campaigners, ‘determined to create mass pressure for every candidate to call for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Gaza’.

The gathering was supported by independent socialist councillors from Blackburn, Bolton, Bristol, Burnley, Gedling, Hastings, Kirklees, Liverpool, London (Haringey, Kensington & Chelsea, Merton, and Newham), Newcastle, Norwich,…

1 February 2024News

Marc Morgan examines Emmanuel Macron's capitulation to the far-right

Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France in 2017 promising to break the mould of French politics with its see-saw left-right swings. He claimed this was the best strategy for countering the rise of Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, the Rassemblement National (‘National Rally’), formerly known as the Front National (‘National Front’).

The result has been a progressive drift towards the right, and a slow capitulation to authoritarian and nationalist policies. The…

5 April 2023Blog

On 15 February, Nicola Sturgeon announced that she was resigning as the leader of the Scottish National Party – and therefore as the leader of Scotland's government (in coalition with the Scottish Greens). Humza Yousaf was elected leader of the SNP on 27 March and then, on 28 March, he was elected to the position of first minister (FM) by members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs). The new FM has a track record of strong support for nuclear disarmament – and for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in particular.

When Nicola Sturgeon resigned from her position as first minister (FM) of Scotland, many people from in Scotland – and from outside – were aware of her unwavering support for Scotland's commitment and action for nuclear disarmament, her rock-solid commitment to  the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (which is supported by an overwhelming majority of UN member states), her actions in sending messages to the TPNW negotiating conference in 2017, and exchanging very public letters…

1 August 2022News

How Johnson and Truss have helped to undermine diplomacy and prolong the war in Ukraine

As Noam Chomsky has repeatedly pointed out since February: ‘our prime concern should be to think through carefully what we can do to bring the criminal Russian invasion to a quick end and to save the Ukrainian victims from more horrors’ (PN 2660).

This must mean an immediate ceasefire and a quick peace agreement along the lines nearly agreed at the end of March.

The reality is that this brutal and dangerous war will end in one of three ways: the two sides will…

1 June 2022Feature

Marc Morgan analyses the political scene across the Channel for PN  

The French peace movement is diverse, but its divisions are nowhere near as bitter or as marked as the conflicts between the three main political blocs which emerged in the presidential elections in April, and which reflect three very different broad outlooks prevalent in French society.

In French presidential elections, if no one wins an over 50 percent in the first round, the top two candidates go into a second and final vote two weeks later. The winner this spring was Emmanuel…

1 August 2018Review

OR Books, rev ed 2018; 388 pp; £10.99; ebook £7. Purchase online here

Alex Nunn’s engaging style makes Corbyn’s journey from jam-making backbencher to leader of the opposition seem both exciting and totally rational.

Last year, The Candidate won the Bread and Roses award for radical publishing. That first edition traced Corbyn’s rise up to the attempted coup by right-wing Labour MPs in mid-2016.

This new edition includes a 100-page(!) chapter covering last June’s snap general election and the incredible surge of support for…

15 April 2015Blog

Musing on the manifesto....

Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, said yesterday: 'Austerity has failed and we need a peaceful political revolution to get rid of it.' Pippa Bartolotti, the leader of the Wales Green Party, said: 'We can have a peaceful revolution in the UK and still reduce…

16 October 2012News

In an independent Scotland, nuclear weapons will be ruled illegal by the constitution!

Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond (of the Scottish Nationalist Party, SNP) has announced that if Scots vote for independence in the 2014 referendum, the nation's new constitution would explicitly outlaw nuclear weapons.

The proposal was announced on 7 October, a day after the pro-independence Scottish Green…

27 April 2012News

Prominent anti-war activist George Galloway won a sensational byelection victory in Bradford West on 29 March, receiving 56% of the vote on a Respect ticket.

Describing the result as ‘a Bradford Spring’ moment, ‘a kind of uprising, a peaceful democratic uprising of especially young people’, Galloway pointed out that: ‘No party to the left of Labour has ever taken a Labour seat in a period when Labour has been in opposition.’

Guardian political editor Patrick Wintour cited Galloway’s allegedly ‘fundamentalist’ call for an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan and his…

24 January 2012News

Is Plaid Cymru about to elect "the Caroline Lucas of Wales" as its leader?

On 15 March, Plaid Cymru will elect a new leader. Known by environmentalists as ‘Ieuan Air’ on account of his practice of flying from his constituency in Ynys Mon (Anglesey) to Cardiff, Ieuan Wyn Jones is standing down.

Four candidates have declared their intention to stand in the election: Elin Jones, Lord Elis Thomas, Simon Thomas and Leanne Wood. Progressive MEP Jill Evans told PN: “This is a critical time in Welsh politics and a very exciting one. We have to have a real and honest…

1 October 2011Comment

The inability of the Labour Party to come together round a genuinely progressive vision of the world, especially over issues of peace and war, has a long pedigree.  

In listening to ... the Chairman of the Labour Party, one gets the impression that there is no more important goal in politics today than achieving unity in the Labour Party. The answers to the questions that are dividing members of the party are really of secondary importance so long as they can agree to give the same answer...

There is a great deal more discussion around the kind of policies that must be adopted to ensure electoral victory than there is about the most suitable way…

1 May 2011News

Four years ago the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), in coalition with the Greens, formed a minority Scottish government. Its manifesto and campaign literature had prominently declared opposition to the Trident nuclear weapon system.

After the Westminster government authorised design work for the replacement of Trident submarines, the Scottish parliament answered with a resolution calling upon the UK government not to replace Trident.

Then, in October 2007, the Scottish…

28 March 2011Blog

Jill Gibbon at the 2011 Lib Dem Conference


The Lib Dem Spring conference was the focus of anti-cuts protests in Sheffield this weekend. Hidden behind two million pounds of security fencing and applauded by the party faithful, Nick Clegg seemed oblivious. He was just elated to ‘have the reins of power’.

Image Image Image Image Image…

1 April 2010News

On 13 March, Edinburgh appeared to host two manifestations of popular nationalist sentiment on the same Saturday, one considerably larger than the other. At Murrayfield, the Scottish rugby team met England in the Calcutta Cup (a 15-15 draw, by the way), while down in the Grassmarket, Scottish CND mobilised a relatively small gathering in opposition to the Trident nuclear weapons programme.

While the former was open about its flag-waving, kilt- and chain-mail-clad patriotism (yes,…

3 June 2009Comment


Two years ago, we helped to initiate a letter to the Guardian signed by, among others, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Caroline Lucas, John Pilger, Mairead Corrigan Maguire (Nobel Peace Prize Winner) and Hans von Sponeck (former UN Assistant Secretary-General).

The letter said that humanity faced a massive global threat from pandemic influenza, which might kill over 60 million people – 96% of them in the global South, and called for an end to corporate patents that…