The Progressive


Rage against the machine

The Progressive  |  8 November 2016

The battle to come is not the usual bureaucratic bust-up Anyone with even a little schooling in Marxism-Leninism, which these days means anyone who turns up to a constituency Labour party meeting in an urban area, understands that Marxists see ‘the party’ differently from the rest of us. For democratic socialists, the party is a broad-based localised organisation, designed …

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Freedom is slavery

The cult paradox

The Progressive  |  24 September 2016

Many intelligent, idealistic and self-sacrificing people belong to political cults What is a political cult? How does one work, and what are the signs that someone, perhaps a friend or loved one, has been recruited? We are blessed with a rich literature about cults and how they operate. For example, an important contribution in 2000 by Dennis Tourish and …

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House of Commons bench

Refine your craft

The Progressive  |  7 September 2016

The public don’t hate ‘professional politicians’ – they hate bad professional politicians The summer saw the British public glued to their televisions during August. Not to watch the ‘who is more socialist’ contest of the Labour leadership race, nor to monitor the latest polls showing Labour falling down the charts on an almost daily basis in inverse …

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Brexit means Brexit

The Progressive  |  1 August 2016

Britain cannot avoid living with its consequences Journalists have taken great glee in reporting the views of people who voted to leave the European Union but now suffer from truckloads of buyers’ remorse. If we were still in the EU, you could even call it schadenfreude. It is not just the people who perhaps did …

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Wake up, sheeple!

The Progressive  |  8 June 2016

The era of post-truth politics is now in full swing It must be exhausting. I mean, really exhausting, like running up eight flights of stairs or lifting a sofa above your head. To engage with, and believe even a fraction of, the stupefyingly stupid stuff on social media about the Labour party must be like …

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Iain Duncan Smith

Dancing round the May poll

The Progressive  |  8 April 2016

Iain Duncan Smith was able to make election gains against the government; Labour should be able to expect Jeremy Corbyn to do so The point of playing down your prospects in an election is to make your success seem all the more noteworthy. It also makes political leaders seem humble, taking nothing for granted. No one likes …

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Labour balloon

Spectrum of intimidation

The Progressive  |  18 March 2016

Could the return of hard-left political culture to Labour drive women members away?  The British far left’s problem with women is researched, documented, supported by evidence and has launched a thousand feminist studies theses. Gerry Healy of the Workers’ Revolutionary party was accused of rape and sexual harassment by 26 women party members in 1985. …

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Exit poll 2015

Margin of error

The Progressive  |  28 January 2016

We ignore the polls at our peril The dramatic announcement of the results of the exit poll at 10.01pm on Thursday 7 May 2015 has become one of those ‘Where were you?’ political moments. Anyone in politics can tell you what they were doing. Those at the heart of campaigns can recount the shock, horror, …

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George Orwell

The new Spanish Inquisition

The Progressive  |  18 December 2015

The meaninglessness of terms like ‘neoliberal’ reveals Labour’s deep intellectual fragility Politics is a trade littered with meaningless terms. Ask a roomful of political types to define any of the big political words such as ‘socialist’, ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, ‘capitalism’, ‘the state’, ‘neocon’ or ‘internationalist’, and you may as well ask a kindergarten class to do your tax return. Each …

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David Cameron

Make Labour history

The Progressive  |  28 October 2015

A view from 2020 – how David Cameron and George Osborne systematically destroyed the Labour party It is the year 2020. Five years since the Conservative party’s unexpected victory at the ballot box. Now they sit on a majority of 42. How did they do it? Perhaps the greatest mistake the Labour party ever made was to …

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