1 June 2024Feature

Responses from different parts of the activist movements

Someone pointed out that the last British general election held in July was in 1945, which sent us scrambling for the archives. On 15 June 1945, the PN editorial responded to the calling of the election by noticing that there were two strands within British pacifism: those ‘who seek to work in the political sphere’ of party politics and those who ‘believe that their proper activity as pacifists lies outside the political sphere altogether’. (PN 470)

You can either…

1 April 2024News

No more Gaza lies from Labour or the Conservatives

As PN goes to press, Israel’s war of destruction in Gaza continues, with 32,000 reported deaths, half the people of Gaza on the edge of famine, and a third of the buildings in Gaza destroyed or damaged by the Israeli war machine, according to a UN expert analysis of satellite images.

While the Israeli government continues to threaten an all-out assault on Rafah in the south of Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians have been driven by the Israeli attack, there are signs that…

1 June 2023News

'Morally unacceptable' bill looks set to become law

A so-called ‘Illegal Migration Bill’ was being pushed through its last stages in the House of Lords as PN went to press.

This law would prevent people who had travelled in small boats across the Channel to arrive in the UK from being considered for asylum. They would be detained and removed ‘as soon as reasonably practical’ to Rwanda or to another ‘safe third country’. There are also plans to ban those removed from returning to the UK.

The United Nations high…

1 October 2022Comment

A failing Prime Minister may be tempted to rally support around a military crusade

‘I did not come into politics to be a member of the Kamikaze Pilots’ Association.’

Yes, that is a Tory MP responding to the disastrous political impact of an unpopular and destabilising budget announcement from a Conservative government.

No, it’s not from September 2022.

It’s from March 1981.

Those are the words of liberal Conservative MP Cyril Townsend, making clear his opposition to chancellor Geoffrey Howe’s economy-shrinking, austerity budget. Inflation was…

8 December 2020Feature

PN and friends reflect on the UK's December 2019 general election

On 12 December, the Conservative party won a landslide victory in the general election in Britain, turning Boris Johnson’s minority government into one enjoying an 80-seat majority. It is widely believed that two of the biggest factors were the public’s desire to ‘Get Brexit done’ (the Conservative slogan) and its distrust of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (after years of lies and smears directed at him).

The parties most in favour of nuclear disarmament did quite well.


1 December 2019Feature

Eight campaigners share their views

Peace News contacted folk around Britain to ask their opinions on the 12 December general election – people who’ve contributed to PN or helped organise Peace News Summer Camp. These are the eight campaigners who managed to meet our very tight deadline, giving their varied views on tactical voting, the Trident nuclear weapon system, climate, the arms trade and much else. (Unusually, we don’t have someone urging people not to vote, which has been a theme in past election…

1 June 2019Letter

At a time when the status quo has failed producing war, refugees, starvation, pollution and persecution globally and failing living standards and increasing violence here, we urgently need to consider new ways.

Please will you consider the underlying role of our first-past-the-post voting in producing destructive policies. In our system, it is normal for the ‘winner’, even if by just one vote, to take all.

Members of the opposing party are seen as ‘enemies’ not colleagues. Co-…

1 February 2019Feature

In a new book, two Labour left-wingers draw on post-1945 European history to prepare radical movements to make a Corbyn government a radical success

The biggest danger facing the left today is no longer a shortage of ideas or a lack of positive vision.

The biggest danger is lack of preparedness – that we are not yet ready for the hard work of turning that vision into reality. If the left has been unused to being propositional, it has been even less used to holding and wielding power.

If we are serious about fundamentally transforming our economy, we must rapidly build our understanding of the scale of the challenge…

11 October 2017Blog

Ian Sinclair talks to George Lakey, Matt Kennard and Alex Nunns

Ian Sinclair writes: My new Peace News article ‘The biggest fight of our lives’ includes comments from George Lakey, Matt Kennard and Alex Nunns. Due to space considerations I could only include a small portion of the commentary each of them sent me in the article itself. Below are their full comments.

Why is Jeremy Corbyn seen as such a threat to the British establishment?

Matt Kennard, author of…

1 October 2017Feature

For many people in the peace movement (but not everyone), the central question now is how the movement can help Jeremy Corbyn become the most radical British prime minister in decades – and stay radical

An ‘epic fight’ between the broad left and the forces of the establishment has begun (see PN 2586–2587). The prize couldn’t be bigger. The British left, for the first time in decades, has a very real opportunity to implement significant progressive change on the epoch-altering scale of the 1945 and 1979 elections. As Novara Media’s Aaron Bastani tweeted: ‘If we win, and survive, and enact a major program of economic and political change, the whole world will watch. The UK really…

1 June 2017Comment

We can't win radical change just by electing "the right people", argues Milan Rai

Peace News is here to encourage grassroots movements for justice and peace, and to champion revolutionary nonviolence. In the face of all the turmoil in the world, what does the title of PN Summer Camp 2017 really mean? ‘Surviving Politics – self-care, skill-sharing and community-building when nothing seems to make sense.’

Nuclear boundaries

British governments have always rejected unilateral disarmament in favour of multilateral disarmament. Now that…

1 February 2017Review

OR Books, 2016; 406pp; £15

Though there have now been a number of books published about Jeremy Corbyn’s election as the leader of the Labour Party, including Richard Seymour’s impressive Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics (reviewed in PN 2596-2597), The Candidate is arguably the definitive account of those exciting days.

As the political correspondent of Red Pepper magazine, Alex Nunns is perfectly placed to chart Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign, writing a detailed,…

1 October 2016Comment

What lies behind the rise of the outsider politician?

By Gage Skidmore - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_5…, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48635435

What, if anything, links Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate in the US, and Jeremy Corbyn, just re-elected Labour party leader here in the UK?…

1 October 2015Feature

Peace activists should mobilise in support of Corbyn, argues Ian Sinclair

As the Guardian noted, Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide victory on 12 September in the Labour leadership contest was ‘one of the most stunning electoral upsets of postwar politics.’ Billed at 200-1 by bookmakers when he entered the race in June, the Islington North MP won 59 percent of the vote, giving him ‘the biggest party mandate for any political leader in UK political history’, according to the Guardian’s chief political correspondent.

What makes Corbyn’s victory so…

1 June 2015Feature

Network for Peace co-ordinator Claire Poyner reflects on the likely impact of the election on anti-nuclear campaigning

The overall majority gained by the Conservatives took a lot of us by surprise. Many were expecting a minority Labour win, with some support from the Scottish National Party. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats had the worst election night since their formation.

There’ve been many attempts to analyse Labour’s failure to win the election – were they too left or too right? Is he ‘Red Ed’ and a ‘class war zealot’ or middle-of-the-road ‘austerity-lite’? Was it the media that ‘won it’? It…