14 August

'We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.' _ President Roosevelt

August 14, 2009 · 1 min read

In 1935, Francis Townsend petitioned for an Old Age Revolving Pension Plan that would guarantee every person over the age of 60 a $200 monthly pension. The pension was to be paid for by a national sales tax. His petition was signed by over 20 million people and in response the Social Security Act came into law on this day in 1935.

Townsend didn’t think the act went far enough and continued to campaign for a greater pension until his death, forming the National Union of Social Justice, which stood a candidate in the 1936 presidential elections but William Lepke, the candidate won only 882,479 votes compared to Roosevelt’s 27,751,597.


Football’s Race Stain

Racism marred the Manchester derby this weekend. This blemish on the game is an echo of our Prime Minister’s words, says Remi Joseph-Salisbury.

Another World is Possible

Election 2019: The end of neoliberalism in sight?

If elected, the next Labour government can finally depart from the neoliberal consensus and deliver a major shift in wealth and power, argues Adam Peggs

Small change

Simon Hedges shares his famous-on-Twitter analysis of the state of the left today


Scottish Independence and the England problem

The Scottish struggle for independence is one of several issues at the centre of debates over where power in the United Kingdom should be located, writes Isobel Lindsey

Election 2019: Transatlantic socialism rising

As Sanders and Corbyn head to the polls, Peter Gowan describes a new spirit of international collaboration on the left

Jeremy Corbyn and front bench holding copies of the 2019 manifesto

Election 2019: An ambitious, agenda-setting and credible manifesto

The 2017 Labour election manifesto was good but the 2019 version is the document we’ve really been waiting for, argues Mike Phipps


Brian Eno: Why I’m backing Labour in Kensington

In 2017, Labour won Kensington by just 20 votes. Brian Eno explains why he's backing Emma Dent Coad in the seat - and why voting Lib Dem is ‘voting Tory without admitting it’

Cartoonist from 1888 depicting John Bull (England) as the octopus of imperialism, grabbing land on every continent. Public Domain.

Election 2019: Education and Empire

Following Labour’s manifesto pledge to educate the public on the histories of empire, slavery, and migration, Kimberly McIntosh explains the dangers of colonial nostalgia in the national curriculum

Support our election writer’s fund

The stakes could not be higher during this election. Help us cover what's really happening


Review – This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook

Suki Ferguson reviews the XR guide to climate activism