Renewal

Articles from Vol. 18, No. 3-4, Autumn-Winter

After 'New Britain'
The question that hovers above the Iraq inquiry is--since the evidence on Saddam Hussein's weaponry was so flaky and the post-war planning so atrocious--why on earth Tony Blair did it. One theory, albeit not the one likely to be offered by Mr ...
A Radical Agenda for Local Government
When Labour came to power in 1997, there were 10,608 Labour councillors. Notwithstanding some gains in May 2010, by that date there were only 4,808 (House of Commons, 2010). Councillors are important for British party politics in several ways:...
A View from the Liberal Democrats
Coalition politics has proved surprisingly surprising. It is not new to the UK: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and numerous councils have long been familiar with parties collaborating. True, there has not been a Westminster coalition for sixty-five...
Britain's War on Poverty
Jane Waldfogel RUSSELL SAGE FOUNDATION, 2010 Britain's War on Poverty is an authoritative chronicle of Labour's achievements in attempting to end child poverty by 2020. The book is a salutary reminder of the depth of commitment shown by the previous...
Envisioning Real Utopias
Erik Olin Wright VERSO, 2010 The new consensus amongst political elites in Britain is that we have been over-reliant on both the market and the state. Senior Labour figures, such as Ed Miliband and James Purnell, have used the opportunity of...
Fairness and Future Generations
One of the most shocking aspects of the new Coalition's first Budget was the sheer scale of the cuts affecting the young. Much has rightly been made of the impact of the budget on women, but children and young people were also amongst the big losers....
Financial Reform: A Keynesian Agenda
As the various candidates for the Labour leadership begin to dissect the record of the previous government, the time is ripe for a reconsideration of economic policy. One area that is surely in need of reconsideration, after the crisis of 2008-09,...
Foreign Policy: Developing a Progressive Alternative
The Labour Party has always been part of an international movement. Our irreducible core of internationalism should frame the way we apply our values of solidarity, social justice, and responsibility to protect. Our recent experience in government--in...
Immigration and the Election
The 2010 general election was the most unpredictable and enthralling in recent history. This article delves into the election through the prism of immigration. How did immigration play in the election and in the actual campaigns? What was the salience...
Left Liberalism: Principles and Prospects
What has just happened is so startling that even now, it is hard to take in. A Liberal-Conservative alliance with an agreed long-term programme for government, Lib Dem ministers, and shared liberal values light years away from the centralising...
London Citizens and the Labour Tradition
One of the very few highlights of the 2010 general election campaign was Gordon Brown's speech to the Citizens UK Assembly in London three days before the vote. This speech was widely heralded as Brown's most impressive moment, perhaps the only time...
London Citizens-A Response
How might we understand the extraordinary attention paid to London Citizens by the left and by leading Labour politicians? Both Ed Miliband and David Miliband incorporated community organising into their leadership campaigns. Speeches, commentary and...
Origins of Lib-Lab Division
The formation of a Conservative-Liberal Coalition government in Britain has been seen as a remarkable development, for all kinds of reasons. Long-forgotten Prime Ministers have been hauled in to give evidence one way or another on what its exponents...
Parties and People: England 1914-1951
Ross McKibbin OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2010 This is the published version of McKibbin's Ford Lectures, delivered at Oxford in 2008. The lectures themselves arose from his Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 (Oxford University Press, 1998)...
Progressive Dilemmas after the Election
With the fraught relationship between Labour and the Liberal Democrats now at the centre of British political debate, few are better placed to comment on the present conjuncture than David Marquand. Marquand's career has spanned the worlds of political...
The Challenges of Opposition
There is a classic paradox in the study of political parties: when they are defeated, they act in ways which prevent them from regaining power. The Labour Party of 1983, and the Conservative Party of 2001, appeared to confirm this view. Both parties...
The Lessons of Power
Why has Labour's leadership contest proved so unsatisfying? The case for the extended timetable that is reaching its final stage as this issue of Renewal goes to press was that it would allow a thorough, maybe cathartic, but most importantly self-educative...
The Politics of the Deficit
Since its formation in May, the Coalition government has made the reduction of the budget deficit a key priority. It started in June by taking a ?6bn axe to programmes including the Future Jobs Fund, Regional Development Agencies, the loan to Sheffield...
The Progressive Potential of Online Organising
No matter where you lie on the political spectrum, it's increasingly hard to find anyone willing to suggest that UK progressives have anything other than a very difficult few years ahead of them. For those who reached political maturity around the...
Wanted: A New Theory of the State
The last election was a battle for theory as well as seats. Much to the dismay of some of their own PPCs, the Tory high command fought on a platform that made explicit reference to a 'post-bureaucratic age' and a 'big society'. One leading Conservative...