June 2017 updates

Latest Editorial:

Corbyn’s Comeback.  On the eve of the election campaign the Tories held a lead over Labour of around 20 points.  But as Harold Wilson once said, “a week is a long time in politics.”  Within a few weeks the political landscape changed as Labour successfully switched the focus from Brexit to the bread and butter issues of falling living standards, the desperate housing shortage, and the crisis in the NHS and social care.

Three Months Ago:

  • Froggy; French Elections
  • Parliamentary Notes; Article 50
  • Notes on the News;Terrorism: Discards Won’t be Discarded; Why Won’t Scotland Obey England?; 1% of Muscovites Can’t Be Wrong!; Dutch ‘Soft Left’ Slump Disastrously; Martin McGuinness – a Man of Unauthorised Violence; New Deal survived US Republicans; My Carers Don’t Care; Obamacare, Republican Snare?; Happiness is Broad Capitalist?; Right-Wing Populism in India;

From last year, now on-line:

June 2016: Editorial: Corbyn’s Heavy BurdenParliament and WW1: Why Must the War Go On?; Froggy; Zionism; Labour Briefing on Anti-semitism; Notes on News; Letters on EU referendum; Diary of a Corbyn foot soldier (No.2); Parliament Notes; Orecchiette; Poems: Maybe You Can Explain This, Own Goal, Warming Earth Freezing Hearts.  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 268_June_2016


Workers Control Revived: Labour’s Task

Labour: the Unions and Workers on the Board.  November 2016

The election of Jeremy Corbyn has pushed the centre ground of British politics to the left. Teresa May, ever the eagle-eyed opportunist, was quick to spot this and is occupying the space she believes will bring electoral rewards to the Tories. With the latest Tory slogan ‘A country that works for everyone’ and warm words about looking after the working class, she is clearly appealing to UKIP and Labour voters who feel that they were neglected by previous governments, both Labour and Tory.

Thirty nine years ago the Bullock Inquiry on Industrial Democracy published its findings. It proposed a scheme for employee representation on the boards of companies with at least 2,000 employees.

Bullock arose from a need to accommodate the industrial strength of the trade unions in ways that were not merely disruptive. It foundered on the fact that the unions were blind to the consequences of the exercise of untrammelled collective bargaining

Corbyn’s re-election: There will be trouble ahead.  October 2016.

Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Labour leader with an increased majority would in normal times lay the leadership issue to rest. But we don’t live in normal times. Even though Corbyn won a majority of votes in all three categories—full members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters—there are those within the parliamentary party who refuse to accept the result. They have publicly hinted, in spite of Corbyn’s call for unity, that they will continue to make life difficult for the leader. It’s clear therefore that the overriding message of the result is that there is a wide disconnect between ordinary members and supporters and the parliamentary party. Unless this disconnection is unravelled the future for Labour looks exceedingly grim.

Also two past issues.  October 2015, also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 261 October 2015. And November 2015, also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 262-November-2015

New Editorials – Brexit and Corbyn

Divisive PoliticsJuly 2016.

David Cameron made a monumental blunder when he promised a referendum on UK membership of the European Union.  But his decision to resign and force an election for a new Tory leader and Prime Minister in October killed off further criticism of his premiership both within the Tory party and the anti-Cameron press.

Labour on the other hand, has the difficult problem of reconnecting with its supporters who have become alienated and disillusioned. Corbyn’s opponents expect him to deliver quick positive results. He has a long-term project, the core of which is to re-connect with working class Labour voters deserted by a Blairite Labour party. But they are not prepared to go the long haul. They want Corbyn out.

Corbyn’s Heavy BurdenJune 2016.

Since he was elected Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn has been subject to a constant barrage of  biting criticism and negative reporting. He won by a huge majority over his three opponents but this has not been respected by many of his Parliamentary Labour Party colleagues.  [Written in June, well before the ‘Chicken Coup’ rebellion that happened after the Brexit vote.]

Also old magazine issues now available on-line:

July-August 2015: Editorial: Looking For A LeaderParliament And World War One Irish Home Rule, FroggyHuman Rights in the UK , Ukraine and legality, Parliamentary Notes, Notes on the News, Listening to Italy, Poems: Streetwise, Tears Without Boundaries .

June 2015: Editorial: Election MythologyThe Tories won an absolute majority with just 37% of the vote.  Key Constituencies in the South WestParliament and World War One, Froggy, Mondragon Cooperative in Spain (part 2), Notes on the News, Addressing Power Imbalances in the Workplace by Frances O’Grady, Parliamentary Notes, Listening to Italy, Rampant Criminalisation (poem).  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 258 June 2015

April and May 2016 update.

May 2016: Editorial: Steel – A Tale of Two Countries.  Parliament And World War One: Trade Unions and Peace Proposals.  Statement on ‘Labour’s problem with antisemitism’ from the Jewish Socialists’ Group.  Notes on the News.  Froggy.  Hillsborough; They Never Walked Alone.  The European Union Referendum Revisited.  Diary of a Corbyn foot-soldier.   Parliament Notes: Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion.  Carles Clarke accusing Corbyn.  Listening to Italy by Orecchiette.

April 2016: Editorial: The Nationalisation and Privatisation of English Education.  Editorial 2: Beware The IDS Of March.  Parliament And World War One: the Allies and Greece.  Froggy.  Social Cleansing (poem).  Industrial Democracy and Social Partnership by Mark Langhammer.  Notes on the News.  Letter about the Ghurkhas.  Parliament Notes – Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation.  Gone West (poem).  Listening to Italy by Orecchiette.


Now available on-line:

May 2015: Editorial, Is this the Beginning of the End for the British State?  Cameron has won an election but lost the basis of the Union.   Parliament and World War One, Poem on the latest Royal Birth, Froggy, Mondragon Cooperative in Spain (part 1), Letter & Reply on Liberalism, Workplace Learning, Tweedledum (poem), Notes on the News, Unemployment (poem), Listening to Italy, Pensions.  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 257 – May 2015

April 2015: Editorial,  Will this be the Last British Election?  The Scottish Nationalist are offering mild social-democracy of the sort the British Labour Party has abandoned.  Parliament and World War One: British Policy on the Balkans, Froggy, Listening to Italy, Notes on the News, Parliamentary Notes: British Military Aid for Ukraine, Six Spoofs in Woodrow Wilson’s famous Fourteen Points, Fascists and Anti-Fascists (poem), Sleepy Hollow (poem), Jihad’s Other God (poem).  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 256 – April 2015

New Issue, February 2016

Open Letter to Hilary Benn on the Syrian Bombing

The Western powers sowed the wind in 1991, by needless violence against Iraq. Sowed the wind with a double dose by the total destruction of Iraq’s only viable secular authorities in 2003. Then gave the Middle East a triple whammy by encouraging Syrian protestors to make the impossible demand that President Assad resign before any multi-party election, when he seemed ready to compromise. (And might plausibly have won such elections without trickery, which the West decided was much more than he deserved.)

Also Parliament And World War One: ‘Defence of the Realm‘ against Betrand Russell; Corbyn’s Voring Record, MP’s Letters About the Syrian Bombing; ADS Annual Dinner: Aerospace, defnece, securty, making friends with MPs; Rail, Rents and Housing (Part 1); Froggy;  Welfare and Work Reform Bill: Interview with Paul Morrison; Parliamentary Notes; Listening to Italy. Guernica Still Burns (poem). No Hounding Socialism (poem). Prime Minister’s Question Time (poem)

Now Available On-Line

February 2015: Editorial, Britain Needs Good Jobs.  Looking back at a page of job advertisements from the Oldham Chronicle for 1979,  jobs of the sort that were wiped out by Thatcherism.

Parliament and World War One: Compulsory Military Service, Froggy, Notes on the News, Liberty Equality Fraternity (Poem), Letter on Small Business, Parliamentary Notes: Rail Franchising, Ukraine, TTIP Trade Agreement, Listening to Italy, Plastered of Paris (poem).

November 2015 magazine

November 2015: Editorial: Not So Comic Cuts. The attempted cutting of Tax Credits discredit the Government’s claim to be on the side of hard working families.  And Corbyn scored a great victory on an issue where Harriet Harman, acting Labour leader.

Also Parliament And World War One, Nuclear Deterrence, First Let It Be Human (poem), Who Started World War Two, Parliament Notes: Tax Credits, Froggy,  Notes on the News, Left, right or centre: Where should Corbyn and Labour be?, It Wasn’t Me, Mister (poem), Parliamentary Notes: Charter for Budget Responsibility, Consumerism and Inequality, Listening to Italy

Now available on-line:

November 2014: Editorial: Five-To-One: a New Incomes Policy, Parliament And World War One, FroggyTories and Human Rights, Notes on the News, Parliamentary Notes, Listening to Italy.

October 2015 magazine

Editorial: All Shook Up?

Corbyn has resurrected Labour as the Party of the people, reaching out to those who had given up on it as their natural party. He has rejuvenated Labour, attracting thousands of young voters alienated by the politics of Blair’s New Labour and Cameron’s rich Bullingdon Club aristocrats.

Also: Parliament And World War One Winston Churchill on planning the War, Jeremy Corbyn and the leaving of NATO, Notes on the News, Froggy,  The Chartered Institute for Personnel Development, Press releases on industrial relations by Whitehall and Edinburgh, Parliamentary Notes, Listening to Italy, Normal Service Will Be Resumed As Soon As Possible (poem) Strident (poem), What Is Sauce (poem)

And now available on-line

October 2014: Editorial: The Scottish ReferendumThe West Lothian Question, Parliament And World War One, In Situ (poem), Froggy, Notes on the News, Listening to Italy, Parliamentary Notes, It’s a Fact. Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 251 – October 2014