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

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

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).

December 2015 Magazine

Also covering January 2016: next issue out in February.

A Thinking Labour Party.  By opposing Cameron’s futile notion of bombing Syria, Jeremy Corbyn is forcing Labour to think about what it’s there for.

Osborne’s Sleight Of Hand.  He’s now found 27 billion, removing the immediate need for cuts.  But is still obsessed with shrinking the state.

Also Corbyn, An Honest Englishman; Existing State Of Things (poem); National Dementia (poem); Letter on Assisted Dying; Parliament And World War One – Redmond on the Easter Rising; Froggy;  Notes on the News; Parliamentary Notes – Debate on Bombing Syria; The Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Syria.

Now available on-line:

December 2014 – January 2015.  Editorial: Politics In Flux; Parliament And World War One; Listening to Italy; Notes on the News; FroggyDumb Insolence (poem); Parliamentary Notes.

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

September 2015 magazine

What is a Real Opposition?  The Blairites thought that the two party system was just about alternance between two very similar parties and that the dominant ideology of England was Tory.  We thought otherwise: Labour is a serious alternative or it is nothing.

Parliament And World War One Irish Adminstration, Froggy,  Parliamentary Notes, Notes on the News, Listening to Italy

And now available on-line

September 2014: Editorial: The TUC and Social PartnershipInterview With Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary: The TUC and Industrial DemocracyFroggyNotes on the News, Listening to Italy, Parliamentary Notes, It’s a Fact.  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 250 – September 2014

The Real Causes of the Tory Triumph in the British General Election

Election Mythology.  The Tories won an absolute majority with just 37% of the vote.  The key event was a collapse in votes for their coalition partners from 2010 to 2015, the Liberal-Democrats.

Also Key Constituencies in the South West, a detailed analysis of the seats.  Tory gains were small, but the first-past-the-post electoral system gave them a lot more seats.

Extra, 9th JuneArticles from June 2914 now on-line.