May 2010

Helena Kennedy

29 May 2010 picks the eight books she'd take to the ends of the Earth with her

The agroecological activist

29 May 2010 Alex Kawakami is an agronomist and activist with Brazil's Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST). James O'Nions spoke to him about how the MST organises and its vision of 'agroecology'

Are we too many?

29 May 2010 Andy Lockhart is concerned by the returning spectre of 'overpopulation' in arguments about climate change

Reclaiming the revolution

29 May 2010 It is right to celebrate the re-emergence of feminism, says Laurie Penny, but we need to build a broad movement that has a clear analysis of the economic basis of women's oppression

Trouble at the sausage factory

29 May 2010 Leeds students Andre Pusey and Leon Sealey-Huggins report on the fight against higher education cuts and its connection to the wider battle against the current neoliberal role and form of universities

‘Sin Patron’ in Dundee?

29 May 2010 The Prisme packaging factory in Dundee was perhaps the first in the country to be occupied and to successfully take production under workers control. David Whyte visits the factory a year after the occupation

The Lib Dems and the left

29 May 2010 With the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, debates within the Lib Dems take on a new importance for the wider left. How do the social liberals see the prospects for collaboration between the liberal left and the socialist left? James Graham from the Social Liberal Forum gives his view

A Brighton shade of Green

29 May 2010 What is the wider significance of the Greens' success in Brighton and how can they build on it? Hilary Wainwright caught up with the party's new MP Caroline Lucas as she set up office in Westminster

Not about us

29 May 2010 Jim Jepps surveys the largely disappointing results for the left in an unpredictable election

Distorted voices

24 May 2010 Feminism Seduced: how global elites use women's labour and ideas to exploit the world Hester Eisenstein Paradigm Publishers

Spirits of rebellion

24 May 2010 Voices Against War: A Century of Protest by Lyn Smith and The English Rebel by David Horspool There is a deep-seated myth about the English that insists on a national character that is rarely roused from Wyndham Lewis’s notion of an ideal Englishman: ‘straightforward, tolerant, peaceable, humane, unassuming, patient’. We don’t do rebellion or revolution […]

A brick of a book

24 May 2010 Commonwealth by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri Scathingly described by the Wall Street Journal as ‘a witches’ brew of contemporary radicalism’, Hardt and Negri’s most recent book Commonwealth is a timely contribution to our understanding of contemporary capitalist relations and the potential revolutionary conditions they create. Michael Hardt is a professor of literature at Duke […]

Picturing energy

24 May 2010 Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration by Amelia Gregory Amelia’s House Anyone who has argued with climate change deniers knows that explaining the science is hard work. Its complexity can be baffling, and scientific experts have an unfortunate tendency to misunderstand the importance of communicating their ideas, believing that their data and their authority are sufficient to […]

Skipping steps

24 May 2010 The Coming Insurrection by The Invisible Committee As an anonymous 130-page tract, part social criticism and part exit strategy from contemporary capitalism, originally published in France in 2007, The Coming Insurrection was an unlikely book to start making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. But with the arrest of its purported author in 2008 […]

Ursula Owen

24 May 2010 picks the eight books she'd take to the ends of the Earth with her

The loss of philosophy

14 May 2010 Jeremy Glbert on the implications of the closure of Middlesex Philosophy and the campaign to save it

Rage against the machine

7 May 2010 The selection of candidates for the next election has been more tightly controlled than ever by the party hierarchies. Thomas Rainsborough looks at how the Labour Party's fixers have been imposing their will

Signposting new electoral paths

7 May 2010 The first-past-the-post voting system has under-represented but not suppressed huge shifts in voting behaviour, writes Alex Nunns. Smaller alternatives to the major parties are attracting increasing support

Change we can’t believe in

7 May 2010 When Labour won the 1997 election, Jeremy Hardy got 'joyously drunk'. But the years that followed were pretty sobering, in terms of both foreign and domestic policy, and he just can't summon up any enthusiasm about this one

Everything a career politician is not

7 May 2010 Red Pepper meets a radical candidate

Oh yes, I’ve seen you on Question Time

7 May 2010 In a handful of seats, there is a real chance that left and green candidates could be elected as MPs. Andrea D'Cruz went to Birmingham to check up on Salma Yaqoob's campaign for Respect, and to Brighton and Lewisham to assess the Green Party's prospects

Seismic shifts in Scotland

7 May 2010 Big changes are brewing beneath the surface of Scottish politics, says Roz Paterson. And the various forces that combined to get six unreservedly socialist MSPs and seven Greens into the Scottish parliament in 2003 could do much to furnish an alternative vision

Making poverty matter

7 May 2010 The Tories have seized on Labour's record to argue that it proves that 'big government' is no longer a solution to poverty and is now a cause of it. Ruth Lister argues that, on the contrary, the state needs to do much more - and the left needs to defend it

The left lacuna

7 May 2010 Before even a vote is cast, the left's failure in the coming election is an established fact. Elections aren't everything, but they do matter and we should start working now to ensure that there is a meaningful left alternative at the one after next, writes Mike Marqusee

Breaking the taboo

7 May 2010 Bands of merry men and women are making a big noise about the Robin Hood Tax, a tiny tax on bankers that would make a huge difference to the budget deficit and poverty. Gail Cartmail explains why we need to put progressive taxation back on the political agenda

The migrant balance sheet

7 May 2010 Immigration controls don't work. Rahila Gupta puts the economic case for a new approach: open borders

The Billy-no-mates service

7 May 2010 It's tricky defending a public service in these straitened times when it sounds like a charity appeal for lawyers. Instead of legal aid, let's talk about 'access to justice', says Jon Robins, and ensure that people get it

Ending the UK’s nuclear addiction

7 May 2010 One of the clearest examples of the gulf between voters and politicians is the main parties' commitment to nuclear weapons and the replacement of Trident. It should be an election issue, says Rebecca Johnson. But since parliamentary democracy has so far ignored the view of the majority, civil disobedience is necessary to force the issue, argue Cynthia Cockburn and Sian Jones, who report from the blockade of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston.

Let’s work to live, not live to work

7 May 2010 Anna Coote puts the case for a 21-hour week

Mending the Pacha

7 May 2010 Climate change has wreaked havoc in Peru, but harmony is being restored as people rediscover traditional agriculture, writes Anna Lau

The future of money

7 May 2010 The financial crisis has shattered the neoliberal illusion that a globalised banking and monetary system can operate independently of traditional state support and regulation. But the reforms that have so far been proposed, as bankers rush to return to the pre-crisis bonus culture, do not go nearly far enough, argues Mary Mellor. If the people have to prop up the system when it fails, why should they not also have control over the supply of money in the first place?

The erosion of the universal franchise

7 May 2010 It took a long, hard struggle to secure the principle of 'one person, one vote'. It will require another hard struggle to get people to use that right to vote in the election, writes Stuart Wilks-Heeg

The new politics of community action

7 May 2010 Bob Colenutt assesses the Tory conversion to community politics and finds echoes of New Labour's early espousal of communitarianism against the state. What has happened to the radicalism of community politics? Here he urges a critical return to the ideas of radical thinkers and activists such as Saul Alinsky and Paolo Freire, who were clear that power had to be fought for and taken