September 2008

My friends on the left

30 September 2008 Barack Obama is unique among recent Democratic presidential candidates in terms of the support he has mobilised and his relationship to his base. Win or lose, his supporters will need to stick around and organise, argues Gary Younge, as he analyses their dynamic and their role in determining Obama's prospects

William Westmoreland

30 September 2008 ‘Without censorship things can get terribly confused in the public mind.’ US general William Westmoreland, during the Vietnam war

Crisis of a gilded age

29 September 2008 Deregulated capitalism may have come to a crunch, says Doug Henwood, but there's nothing new on the horizon

Virginia Woolf

29 September 2008 ‘If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.’ Virginia Woolf

Harold Wilson

28 September 2008 ‘The main essentials of a prime minister are sleep and a sense of history.’ Former British prime minister Harold Wilson

Aung San Suu Kyi

27 September 2008 ‘The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.’ Aung San Suu Kyi

Victor Hugo

26 September 2008 ‘Every time you build a prison, you close a school.’ Victor Hugo

Henry George

25 September 2008 ‘Wealth, in itself, is a good, not an evil; but wealth concentrated in the hands of a few corrupts on one side and degrades on the other.’ US political economist and land tax campaigner Henry George

Question time for the left

24 September 2008 And it finally seems like we've figured out what the questions are

Jeannette Rankin

24 September 2008 ‘You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake’ Jeannette Rankin, the first woman member of the US House of Representatives

A way to win

23 September 2008 Looking outside Britain can restore your faith in the left's chances

Robert Owen

23 September 2008 All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer. Cooperative pioneer Robert Owen (attributed)

Climate change: any answers?

22 September 2008 We all know we need to do something, but nobody knows what

What’s this place?

22 September 2008 In towns and cities across the country, activists are reaching out to local communities with a new style of 'rooted' politics. Paul Chatterton reports on the UK's 'autonomous social centres'

Rosa Luxemburg

22 September 2008 ‘Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.’ Rosa Luxemburg

Just a talking shop?

21 September 2008 Do socialists' meetings have a structure problem?

Enough of elections already!

21 September 2008 Some are keen to launch yet another unity party out of the convention. They're missing a much better idea

Emma Goldman

21 September 2008 ‘If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus.’ Emma Goldman

First impressions

20 September 2008 There's potential here - but will it go anywhere?

Paul Mason’s Booktopia

20 September 2008 Paul Mason picks the eight books he'd take to the ends of the earth with him

A colourful revolution

20 September 2008 The People's Republic of Stokes Croft, a public art project in a rundown district of Bristol, is attempting to harness the creativity of local graffiti artists to transform the area for local residents. Does it offer an alternative to the usual business-led model of urban regeneration? David Matthews investigates

Grist to the radical Mill

20 September 2008 John Stuart Mill: Victorian firebrand by Richard Reeves (Atlantic Books), reviewed by Anthony Arblaster

Shouting at Labour

20 September 2008 Screaming at Labour's conference centre might feel futile, but better that than trying to get inside.

Editorial: A place for the left

20 September 2008 Hilary Wainwright says that the pull of national and local identities away from Westminster is a vital clue to understanding and preparing for the unravelling of New Labour

2014: A Tory dystopia

20 September 2008 David Cameron's apple-pie promises and feel-good rhetoric might sweep him to power in 2010, but there's a yawning gap between the vagueness of his words and the likely consequences of his policies. Alex Nunns takes us on a trip into the future to see how Britain might look after four years of Tory rule

After the party

20 September 2008 In 2004 the Fire Brigades Union disaffiliated from the Labour Party. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack explains what it has meant for the union politically

Radical renewal

20 September 2008 If Labour is to stand any chance of resisting a long-term Tory hegemony, it is going to have to build a new progressive alliance with the Lib Dems, Greens and other smaller parties, argues Patrick Dunleavy. As a first step, it will have to move quickly to renew democratic legitimacy through constitutional and electoral reform

Steve Biko

20 September 2008 ‘The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.’ Steve Biko

Burying the hatchet

19 September 2008 The Convention of the Left couldn't be happening at a better time - but can the left really work together?

Mahatma Gandhi

19 September 2008 ‘First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Mahatma Gandhi

Guerrilla guides: making the news

18 September 2008 Want to get your campaign noticed? Symon Hill provides a ten-step guide to media-friendly activism

The irresponsibility of the rich

18 September 2008 Inequality has widened: the child poverty figures are up by 100,000 for the second year running and pensioner poverty is once again on the rise. Faced with these shocking figures, Ruth Lister argues for a radical shift in the terms of the debate

Both feet not in the grave

18 September 2008 Dear Auntie, Having reached 50, I've become invisible. It's the only explanation of why people look right through me. I'm ignored in shops and at bus stops; and getting served at the bar is an endurance test, as men and younger women always take priority. I have a lifetime of experience as an activist, but these days there's always a 'Darren' or 'Ryan' whose opinion matters more. I'd go as far as saying they don't even hear me speak! It seems white hair and wrinkles are taken as an early indication of Alzheimer's. But I'm not ready to go gently into the night and as Auntie looks of a similar age, does she have any advice? The invisible woman, London

George Orwell

18 September 2008 ‘All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. ‘ George Orwell

George Sand

17 September 2008 ‘No one makes a revolution by himself; and there are some revolutions which humanity accomplishes without quite knowing how, because it is everybody who takes them in hand. ‘ George Sand

Carroll in wonderland: how the Guardian misrepresents Venezuela

16 September 2008 Samuel Grove takes apart the pro-US, anti-Chavez bias of the Guardian's Latin American correspondent Rory Carroll

C. S. Lewis

16 September 2008 Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. C. S. Lewis

Noam Chomsky

15 September 2008 ‘Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S media.’ Noam Chomsky

Virginia Woolf

14 September 2008 ‘If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or ‘our’ country, let it be understood soberly and rationally between us that you are fighting to gratify a sex instinct which I cannot share; to procure benefits where I have not shared and probably will not share. ‘ Virginia Woolf

George Eliot

13 September 2008 ‘All meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation.’ George Eliot

George Orwell

12 September 2008 ‘A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion. ‘ George Orwell

Hunter S. Thompson

11 September 2008 ‘The Edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. ‘ Hunter S. Thompson

Joseph Joubert

10 September 2008 ‘A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.’ Joseph Joubert

Andre Maurois

9 September 2008 ‘Conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words: I do not know.’ Andre Maurois

Convention of the left: statement of intent

8 September 2008 Convention of the left We explicitly challenge Labour’s programme of warmongering, neoliberal privatisation and failure to tackle environmental destruction. We believe that there is an alternative. The wealth exists in the world to abolish famine and poverty and to pay for our essential needs; the debt-fuelled culture of conspicuous consumption does not produce a fairer […]


8 September 2008 ‘All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.’ Stendhal

Simone de Beauvoir

7 September 2008 ‘In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation. ‘ Simone de Beauvoir

Milan Kundera

6 September 2008 ‘All great novels, all true novels, are bisexual. ‘ Milan Kundera


5 September 2008 ‘Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.’ Voltaire

Jesse Jackson

4 September 2008 ‘Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change.’ Jesse Jackson

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