Corbyn’s Brexit failure, Labour’s crisis

Labour's crisis has become existential. Jeremy Corbyn's election last year galvanised an expanded membership to participate in the party's affairs, but has had only a very modest wider impact. Although the sabotage of some on Labour's right is partly to blame, Corbyn has not responded well to the huge challenges of leading the party. I see this… Continue reading Corbyn’s Brexit failure, Labour’s crisis

BREXIT: The R is for Racism

My latest post on openDemocracy:  If the B in Brexit stands for Boris and his overweening ambition, the R is for Racism, the method through which Vote Leave aims to achieve the political upset of the century. In ITV’s two-hour debate, Johnson waffled on about democracy and an ‘Australian-style points system’, his latest migration-management wheeze… Continue reading BREXIT: The R is for Racism

What will happen after the referendum?

My article on openDemocracy two days ago. Boris Johnson has achieved the remarkable feat of making David Cameron (‘PR Dave’) look principled. While Johnson’s ‘agonising’ Brexit choice - apparently after drafting two opposing articles for the Daily Telegraph - was transparently opportunist, Cameron’s ‘Remain’ looks like a strategic decision. Unlike Johnson’s, the prime minister’s deceitful hype… Continue reading What will happen after the referendum?

The making of an open and democratic Europe: reading Brexit through E.P. Thompson

It is said that the Brexiteers have the identity side of the debate sown up. The British, or at least the English, do not feel European. We have our history as a proud, island people - they, on the Continent, have very different traditions. It is remarkable how this myth has taken root, although the English, Scots,… Continue reading The making of an open and democratic Europe: reading Brexit through E.P. Thompson

Corbyn will need to go beyond his – and Labour’s – comfort zones

If he is elected Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn will need to seek broader alliances and promote constitutional reform to overcome his and the party's 'electability' dilemmas. This post first appeared on openDemocracy. It will now be a major upset if Jeremy Corbyn is not elected leader of the Labour Party on 12 September,… Continue reading Corbyn will need to go beyond his – and Labour’s – comfort zones

How the SNP-Tory dynamics shifted the 2015 election

My interpretation of the British General Election of 2015 just published on openDemocracy: much of the post-election discussion is in denial about what happened. The report of the Cabinet Office enquiry into the memorandum about Nicola Sturgeon’s conversation with the French Ambassador has exposed the role of the former Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael, in… Continue reading How the SNP-Tory dynamics shifted the 2015 election

Development resistance threatens election upset in Devon

My surprising local angle on Britain's 2015 General Election. At the last election, in 2010, I was in Brighton, and my comment on the battle between Caroline Lucas' Greens and Labour was much-read. This time I'm in East Devon, where local campaigns against property development and hospital closures, and for local democracy, are having an impact which… Continue reading Development resistance threatens election upset in Devon