Left parties


How progressive is the ‘progressive alliance’?

21 March 2017 We need an anti-austerity alliance, not a vaguely progressive alliance, argues Michael Calderbank

We need popular participation, not populism

27 February 2017 Hilary Wainwright argues against reclaiming populism for the left and for a leadership that supports people’s capacity for self-government

In Pictures: The World Transformed

24 January 2017 Photos from The World Transformed festival in Liverpool, by David Walters

With Spain’s election looming, can Podemos do it?

17 December 2015 In the run-up to Spain’s general election, David Ferreira looks at the factors behind Podemos’ failure to sustain its initial surge of support

Rebel cities: the citizen platforms in power

17 December 2015 Kate Shea Baird reports on the successes, limitations and possibilities of citizen platforms after their first months in power in cities across Spain

Few heroes, one zero: the election and the left

8 June 2015 James O'Nions scours the election results in search of succour for the left

Jeremy Hardy thinks… about voting

19 December 2013 'The thing that surprises me is not that Westminster politics are found to be boring, but rather that so many journalists find them so interesting'

A party to dream of

25 September 2013 When the left alternative goes unvoiced, the real choices unposed, democracy is drained of content, writes Mike Marqusee. That's why we need a new party of the left

Sexism and the left: Fight the (invisible) power

26 April 2013 Recent controversies over allegations of sexual abuse and violence raise urgent questions about the dynamics of power and authority in our own organisations, argues Zoe Stavri

Facing reality – after the crisis in the SWP

22 January 2013 John Palmer looks at some of the roots of the party's problems, and asks where the left can go from here

Bradford’s revolt: Why I left Labour to back Respect

22 August 2012 Bradford community activist Naweed Hussein had been a member of the Labour Party since his teens – until he left to join George Galloway’s victorious by-election campaign. Here he speaks to Jenny Pearce

Why I resigned from the Green Party

12 April 2012 Joseph Healy, a founder member of the Green Left, explains why he left the Green Party of England and Wales

Leanne Wood: Why I’m standing for the Plaid Cymru leadership

30 January 2012 Leanne Wood AM sets out a socialist vision for Wales.

A revolutionary without a revolution

9 October 2011 John Palmer on lessons learned from the life of socialist Tony Cliff

A Scottish tragedy

28 August 2011 Liz Davies finds Alan McCombes’ account of Tommy Sheridan’s downfall painful but necessary

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

A way to win

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

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

First impressions

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

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

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?

Car crash on the left

2 December 2007 The increasingly bitter division of Respect into two conflicting factions looks set to destroy the most effective electoral challenge to the left of Labour in many years. Alex Nunns spoke to the main protagonists on either side of the split

Any Respect left?

18 November 2007 With the implosion of Respect, Hilary Wainwright asks can anything be learnt for the future or is it a moment simply of despair?

Breaking up Britain

1 November 2007 With Labour in danger of losing control at Holyrood, Roz Patterson looks at the politics of the SNP, the debates over independence, the tactics of the Greens and the frustrations and hopes of the Scottish Socialist Party of which she is a member

Fresh Spice: Red Pepper old and new

1 August 2007 In October 2007 Red Pepper moves to a bigger, new-look bi-monthly format, at the same time as greatly expanding its web presence. Here co-editor Hilary Wainwright reviews its role in providing a platform and a voice for all those whose hopes of change in 1997 have been deflated by the Blatcherism that followed, but who still share a real sense of possibility for the future

Politics outside the box

1 May 2007 Red Pepper's first issue came out 13 years ago this month, shortly before Tony Blair became Labour leader. As we celebrate outlasting him, and prepare for a new phase in our development (more of which later), Hilary Wainwright sets the wider scene for the independent left.

Busy being reborn

1 December 2006 The Scottish Socialist Party has picked itself up after the 'Tommygate' shenanigans, says Roz Paterson, and is trying out new ways of building a socialist party

Solidarity forever

1 October 2006 Tommy Sheridan says he wants to build a different kind of organisation, not continue to fight internal battles in the SSP

A tale of two meetings

1 October 2006 At the beginning of September two rallies took place in Glasgow - one for the renewal of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and one for Tommy Sheridan's breakaway grouping, Solidarity. Jim Jepps was present at both

No more heroes

1 October 2006 The Scottish Socialist Party, one of the most successful political initiatives of the British left in decades, has been torn apart by its former convenor Tommy Sheridan's libel action over sex allegations in the News of the World. Here, Roz Paterson tells the story from the perspective of those who have remained with the SSP.

Is the party over?

1 April 2006 The 2007 Scottish elections are being billed as ‘make or break’ for the Scottish Socialist Party, which has struggled to build on its electoral breakthrough in 2003. Gregor Gall argues that its success is crucial to the left both north and south of the border

Who will speak for us?

1 March 2006 There is a deepening crisis of political representation in the UK. As the main parties narrow the electoral contest to a diminishing patch of ‘centre-ground’, who will give voice to those whose views are unrepresented? Hilary Wainwright considers the political challenge facing the left

Respect where it’s due?

1 April 2005 Is George Galloway's 'unity coalition' the model of how a new party can break into a closed political system, or just a single-issue organisation with no prospects beyond the East End of London? Natasha Grzincic reports

There is no way forward for a coalition

1 August 2004 The Greens are a small party, with no mega sponsors and no state funding. We have to work quite hard for each vote we get, but that effort means a great deal to the people who give us their votes.

Respect is diverse, transparent and open to all

1 August 2004 The success of Respect and the Greens in June shows there's a constituency out there that will vote for an alternative left, anti-war space. Had the left vote been unified, its message to the general public would have been more credible. A big left vote could have encouraged the trade unions to break open more political funds, and could have also galvanised the left inside Labour.

Losses and gains of June elections

1 July 2004 Over the past two years the anti-war movement has successfully challenged the manufactured consensus of the powerful. To find out what is being done in their name, people have sought out and opened up numerous paths to the truth. Websites, for example, are giving voice to the opposition in Iraq, and to whistleblowers in the US, UK and UN. We are piecing together information that was previously in the public domain only as fragments.

Scotland’s brave new world

1 May 2004 Roz Paterson celebrates the plurality and electoral success of the Scottish Socialist Party

Unity coalition to take on Labour in euro poll

1 December 2003 George Galloway has announced plans for an anti-war coalition to stand in next year's European elections. Galloway has also declared that he had no intention of seeking readmission to the Labour Party.

On the streets AND on the doorsteps

1 November 2003 Politically, more and more people today are drawing the conclusion that protest is not enough. The time has come to provide genuine, proactive alternatives.