Progressive reviews

Redressing the gender balance

Joyce Gould  |  6 December 2016

There has, until recently, been a dearth of books about Labour’s women parliamentarians. Alice in Westminster, a new book by Labour member of parliament Rachel Reeves, redresses that imbalance and shines a new light on the life story and achievements of her subject. Alice Bacon made her introduction into politics at the age of 16 …

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This House: The honour in political machinery

Richard Angell  |  1 December 2016

James Graham’s play, This House, exploring the working-class heroes in the whips’ office –  who fought the Tories and hard left to keep a Labour government in office – feels more poignant now than when it first opened in 2012. Reopening at the Garrick Theatre, Graham’s masterpiece shows the use of tactics, corralling the ‘odds …

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Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics

Roger Liddle  |  10 November 2016

Ed Balls’ Speaking Out will be regarded as one of best written and readable political autobiographies of his generation. It is not in the class of Denis Healey’s The Time of My Life, though there are some interesting parallels between Balls and Healey – serious intellectuals with brilliant minds, both bruisers in build and temperament, …

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The Brexit Club

Melanie Onn MP  |  8 November 2016

The Inside Story of the Leave Campaign’s Shock Victory Do you want to know what drives such haters of the European Union to spend millions of pounds and years planning a campaign to pull the United Kingdom out of Europe? If you do, don’t read this book. While the egos of the likes of Arron Banks and Matthew Elliott …

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Improving Children’s Life Chances

Sally Keeble  |  18 October 2016

Britain’s children pay a heavy price for Labour’s fall from power. ‘Improving Children’s Life Chances’, a new book from Child Poverty Action Group, sets out the scale of the crisis, and some policy solutions. We Brits have a terrible record in our treatment of children. Our infant mortality rate is 21st out of a list …

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Inventing the Future

Matthew Turmaine  |  10 October 2016

When the personal computer revolution started in the early 1980s, Sinclair User magazine ran a cartoon featuring an astronaut, reclining in full space suit regalia, observing a (CRT) computer screen emblazoned with the words, ‘WORK, four letter word, no longer in polite use.’ The themes of technological advancement and the future of work are central …

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Zac Versus Sadiq: The Fight to Become London Mayor

Karen Buck MP  |  10 October 2016

Autumn began with a bang for Sadiq Khan. Londoner of the Year in the Evening Standard annual 1,000 top Londoners awards, GQ magazine’s politician of the year, the successful rollout of ‘hopper’ bus tickets. It all looks and sounds as though the result was preordained. But Dave Hill’s highly readable and well-informed account of the …

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Called to Account

Niamh Ni Mhaoileoin  |  4 October 2016

When she was elected chair of the public accounts committee, Margaret Hodge did not expect her work to be especially exciting. And when I began her book about that work, I was not expecting a thrill a minute either. Thankfully, we were both pleasantly surprised. As the crusading chair of the powerful PAC, Hodge led …

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Riding the wave

Charlie Samuda  |  16 September 2016

Up till now it seemed as if Conquest’s third law of politics – that the simplest way to explain the behaviour of any organisation is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies – applied most readily to the Trump campaign. Surely only a Democratic sleeper agent buried deep inside the …

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Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion

Peter Hain  |  12 September 2016

Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, which had a profound impact upon the history of the modern world, inspiring great revolutions against feudal or colonial dictatorships in Russia, China and Latin America, and influencing European politics even to this day. Although current convulsions in the Labour party …

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