Mainstream politics

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 entry

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 entry

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

Anti-virals

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…

3 March 2009News

Plaid Cymru environmental and justice campaigner Jill Evans was re-elected to Brussels, while Labour slumped in the vote, losing their second seat to UKIP. It was a good night for the Tories in Wales too, topping the poll for the first time since 1859, a time before universal suffrage for men or a secret ballot.

Labour’s vote in Wales is fragmenting, doubtlessly aided by courting free-market policies that alienated the traditional “working class” vote – as evidenced in…