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?
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
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
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
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
My personal take on the Ralph and Ed Miliband saga. A version has also been published on openDemocracy. It is ironic as well as objectionable that the Daily Mail’s notorious piece on the late Ralph Miliband, which has so rebounded on the paper, should have brought into question his British identity. Not only did Ralph,… Continue reading A Very British Marxist – And His Son
The background to and consequences of David Cameron's fateful break with Europe: a new article for openDemocracy.net At the European Union summit in Brussels on 8-9 December 2011, Britain's Conservative prime minister David Cameron refused to agree to a full EU treaty to support new governance for the eurozone. He was alone among representatives of… Continue reading Welcome to Little Tory England
An edited version of this post appeared on openDemocracy, 7 December 2010 ‘The relationship to violence is also much better, as shown by the spontaneous revulsion of the demonstrators against throwing the fire extinguisher at Millbank. There is an understanding of the need for no willed violence against people. Doubtless provocateurs will try and spoil… Continue reading Street politics, violence, media
Congratulations to Caroline Lucas, elected for Brighton Pavilion as Britain's first Green member of parliament, in the general election on May 6 - a small but significant development in the context of the otherwise indecisive results (on which I will comment further once the outcome of coalition negotiations is clear). All I want to say… Continue reading Brighton’s Green MP
This blog does not usually deal with local politics, but I happen to live in the Brighton Pavilion parliamentary constituency, widely hyped as likely to elect Britain's first Green Party Member of Parliament, Caroline Lucas, at the General Election due to be held by June this year. In an election dominated by the uninspiring choice… Continue reading Brighton Pavilion’s dilemma – Britain’s first Green MP?