British democracy would be weaker outside the EU

Left Foot Forward logoThe fact that we are using a referendum to decide this in the first place tells you all you need to know about how important ‘democracy’ is to the people who are asking us to decide the UK’s future in Europe.

I’ve written a piece for Left Foot Forward saying more-or-less this in more detail. You can read it here

The bitterness that will linger for Labour

I’ve written a four-part short essay with a personal view on why Labour got itself into its current difficulties, how it could have avoided it, and why this is a big issue either way (because this is very bad time to be complacent about democracy). They essay finishes with a look at what the opportunity is for Labour along with a contrast between the success of Bernie Sanders and the backward-steps of Corbynism

Comments welcome, as always.

Labour, Syria and the problem with mandates…

I posted this over on Slugger O’Toole earlier.

Here’s a pull-quote:

When some of us, back in August, said “putting Corbyn in charge of the Labour Party is like filling an ‘unleaded’ car with diesel”, this is what we meant. It actually won’t work. We weren’t trying to talk those voters out of something sensible. We were saying “this is bound to end in tears.”

Labour’s choice of its enemies

labour logoI wrote this over at Slugger a few days ago. On reflection, its too long, but without a lot of editing, I don’t know what to leave out.

It’s about how political parties are largely defined by what constrains them. I don’t think this is understood widely enough.

In Labour’s case, we have the handicap of being a fairly democratic party that has, as a main rival, a party that is more capable of opportunism and pragmatism (i.e. The Conservatives).

The post repeats a lot of themes that run through recent posts here – that good democratic collective action is a great deal harder than most people think.

To defeat the Conservatives, it’s a massive hill to climb, and it gets bigger when you factor in the problems caused by its openness towards the hard left.

‘Democracy’ is not the same thing as ‘politics’ – a digression

Because this is the early part of an experiment with long-form writing broken down into blog-posts, at the end of the last post, I thought I needed to digress a bit into the question of how politics and democracy isn’t the same thing. I’ve tried out Medium.com for this and here are the posts.

  1. Democracy rather than politics?
  2. If you can’t beat ’em, should you join ’em?
  3. Challenging ‘political’ rule – why now?

I hope they’re worth a look – I don’t want to break the flow (!) here…..