Britain

From taxing tech firms to pay the license fee to creating a new British Digital Corporation (BDC), the Alternative MacTaggart Lecture by British Labour’s socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn  in August  unveiled an array of potential new Labour  digital policies, writes Nick Webb.

These proposals are not yet official party policy, but they give a good sense of where Labour’s leadership is headed as it develops its offering ahead of a potential Brexit-related snap election.

The British Labour Party took a radical, anti-austerity manifesto to last year’s general elections and, despite polls and media commentators expecting an unprecedented disaster, came close to winning, denying the ruling Conservatives a majority. Despite this success, attempts to attack and sabotage Labour’s socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the ranks that support his vision, have continued. Michael Calderbank takes a look at what took place and what it means for the party’s future.

Tory-supporting media have been portraying Britain’s socialist Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as a Soviet fellow-traveller. Meanwhile, Hilary Wainwright notes, Labour’s shadow chancellor and close Corbyn ally sets out a vision that breaks with the old bureaucratic state model.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell can usually barely breathe a word about nationalisation without setting off a media frenzy, so it’s strange that his most interesting comments yet on the subject passed with so little comment.

Canada’s historic vote in June to legalise cannabis is yet another nail in the coffin of the so-called War on Drugs, conceived in the 1970s by then US-president Richard Nixon, writes Natalie Sharples.

“So called” because it was deliberately conceived to obscure what it really was: not a war on substances at all, but on Black people and the anti-war left.

People are “justifiably angry” that Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) decided to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, Jewish Socialists’ Group’s Julia Bard said after the NEC voted to do so on September 4.

Jewish Socialists’ Group activist David Rosenberg said it was “no doubt a significant setback” for Jeremy Corbyn’s allies but, despite the adoption of the definition and all its 11 examples, pro-Israel MPs and groups are hesitant to call it a victory.

The British Labour Party’s national executive council (NEC) voted on September 4 to adopt the controversial the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. Supporters of Palestinian liberation, including Jewish groups, have criticised the definition.

In Northern Ireland, made up of the six Irish counties still claimed by Britain, a majority voted to remain in the European Union in Britain’s 2016 referendum. But “Brexit” is threatening to take it out of the EU regardless — threatening progress in a statelet historically wracked by discrimination, inequality and violence.

Brexit is a threat to Northern Ireland in several ways. Key aspects of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which formally ended decades of armed conflict, underpinned by European law and funds.

Populism Now! The Case for Progressive Populism
David McKnight
New South, 2018
177 pages, rrp $29.99

David McKnight’s Populism Now! catches a wave of discussion about the chances for a progressive “populism”, writes Jonathan Strauss.

Also in the spray, for example, is a June Quarterly Essay piece by the Australia Institute’s Richard Denniss “Dead Right: how neoliberalism ate itself and what comes next” and the previously post-whatever Chantal Mouffe’s musings on “left populism”.

Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May is in dire trouble and likely to be voted out of office by her own MPs when parliament returns in September, writes English socialist Phil Hearse.

Donald Trump is the rallying symbol for the new nationalist hard right globally. Andy Stowe writes that his visit to England and Scotland on the weekend of July 13and 14 was an opportunity to gauge just how much he is loathed.

It was a test of strength between the left and neo-fascist right in Scotland as well as several English town and cities. It was a big victory for the left.

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