Progressive reviews

How to Lose a Referendum

Roger Liddle  |  21 July 2017

Jason Farrell and Paul Goldsmith take a healthy long-lens view of the referendum, writes Roger Liddle ‘A device of dictators and demagogues.’ Clement Attlee’s curt dismissal of the referendum as a legitimate constitutional device had rather fallen out of fashion in recent decades. Yet the result of last year’s referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of …

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How we got to the post-truth stage

Matthew Laza  |  20 July 2017

Politicians learning the wrong lessons from tight message discipline have created a vacuum in which fake news is able to flourish, writes Matthew Laza I suspect everyone does what I did when first picking up Newsnight anchor Evan Davis’ entertaining and timely new book. As soon as you start to read his initial definition of …

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Limehouse – A review

Matthew Doyle  |  7 April 2017

Matthew Doyle is (mostly) impressed by Steve Waters’ compelling drama Politics and theatre have long fed off one another and the attempt to ‘break the mould’ of Britain’s two dominant parties has been turned into a rewarding tale at the Donmar Warehouse by Steve Waters. Inevtiably the parallels with today will be the focus, but …

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Limehouse – A review

Richard Angell  |  21 March 2017

Steve Waters’ new play about the ‘gang of four’ is a reminder that Labour has looked over the precipice before – and recovered, writes Progress director Richard Angell ‘Labour’s f*cked’, pronounces David Owen at the start of Steve Waters’ new play at the Donmar theatre. Limehouse condenses weeks of high emotional drama about Labour’s predicament …

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Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister

Christabel Cooper  |  9 March 2017

Rosa Prince’s uncritical biography does little to uncover the real prime minister, finds Christabel Cooper ‘The Enigmatic Prime Minister’ is a highly appropriate subtitle for this new biography of Theresa May. Huge contradictions continue to surround her: between the party chairman who declared in 2002 that the Tories had to stop being seen as the …

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Everywoman: A review

Bex Bailey  |  1 March 2017

Bex Bailey finds encouragement from Jess Phillips’ feminist volume ‘You will never be popular’, starts Jess Phillips – words spoken to her by Harriet Harman when she first began speaking out for women in parliament. Women who speak out tend to receive a barrage of abuse – especially, ironically, when they are talking about the abuses …

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What We Do Now

William Bain  |  15 February 2017

William Bain finds this collection of essays shows many US progressives ignoring the roots of their defeat Watching Donald Trump take the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States and listening to his dystopian vision of America in his inaugural speech proved the sting of defeat has not lessened for progressives …

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A Woman’s Work

Niamh Ni Mhaoileoin  |  2 February 2017

Harriet Harman’s book is an exhaustive account of the women’s movement in parliament since 1982, writes Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin When Harriet Harman caused controversy by bringing her baby to a parliamentary vote soon after being elected, she received a call from the serjeant-at-arms. ‘Only members are allowed in the division lobby,’ he explained. ‘And babies are not members.’ …

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Victor Grayson: The Man and the Mystery

Dianne Hayter  |  17 January 2017

David Clark charts the career of Victor Grayson, an idealist ill-suited to tolerating others, writes Dianne Hayter At just 25, Victor Grayson was elected in 1907, a socialist, firebrand, handsome, bisexual, often drunk, always charismatic. Yet he disappeared – literally – 13 years later, never to be seen again. He had such promise, his byelection triumph …

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Britain’s Best
 Political Cartoons 2016

Alex White  |  15 December 2016

Gordon Brown and David Cameron both complained about the way political cartoonists depicted them (they said they were drawn too fat). But after a tumultuous year in British politics, it is Winston Churchill’s take on political cartoons which remains the most sound: the time for politicians to be concerned about cartoons is when they stop …

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