Renewal : a Journal of Labour Politics

A quarterly political journal promoting the ideas and policies of the Labour Party in Britain.

Articles from Vol. 16, No. 2, 2008

A British National Culture?
I remember as an undergraduate our history professor telling us the story of an academic visitor to Oxford who was shown around the colleges from Balliol to Magdalen. When asked his opinion, he replied that the colleges were impressive but it would have...
An NHS for All: The Egalitarian Reform Agenda
Gordon Brown may be struggling to convince voters that he has a vision, but during the early months of 2008 the Prime Minister set out a challenging and progressive agenda for the NHS in its 60th anniversary year. The headlines have mostly been about...
Artists, Government, and the Public
When Tony Blair spoke to an audience of invited culturati at Tate Modern in March 2007, he did something entirely original. He became the first British Prime Minister to make a speech about the arts and culture in this country's history. That might not...
Beginning a New Dance: The Artistic Imagination and the Progressive Imagination
1. Society cannot be arranged for the benefits of artists;2. Without artists civilisation perishes.I have never yet seen this dilemma solved (there must be a solution), and it is not often that it is honestly discussed.George Orwell, Tribune, 1944 (quoted...
Creativity as Ideology
'Creativity' has gone viral. It is everywhere. Creative industries. Creative classes. Creative Britain. We have a creative minister now. Cities have creative policies. From Melbourne to Stoke-on-Trent, they pump out fat brochures with shots of canal-side...
Equality and the British Left: A Study in Progressive Political Thought, 1900-64
Equality and the British Left: A study in progressive political thought, 1900-64 Ben Jackson MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2007Reviewed by David CoatesReviewing books is not my favourite occupation, but reviewing this book has been a genuine pleasure....
Leading Us into the Twenty-First Century
Last year, I was involved in commissioning two publications, which separately and together I think start to tell a deep story of the people we already have in the arts. These are twenty-first century people, who demonstrate ways of being that not only...
Media Power in an Era of Cultural Chaos
Reviewing media coverage just after Labour's drubbing in the local and London mayoral elections of May 1st, it was possible to detect some familiar themes in the reaction of liberal and left-ish commentators. Ken Livingstone's defeat was being attributed...
Novelising New Labour
During the 1997 election, the Tory propaganda poster of 'Demon Eyes' Tony Blair caused more mirth than anxiety. It seemed, somehow, inappropriate and desperate; with the supreme irony being that a decade later, the identification of Blair with dark forces...
Poverty and Class in the US Elections
It is a tragic mix-up when the United States spends $500,000 for every enemy soldier killed and only $53 annually on the victims of poverty.Martin Luther King, Jr.One of the most important but underplayed issues in the current presidential race in the...
The Cultural Economy
Old lamps for New Labour?Shortly after taking up his new position of secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham launched the government's latest 'strategy for the creative economy'. Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy...
The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services through Choice and Competition
The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services through Choice and Competition Julian Le Grand PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2007Reviewed by Catherine NeedhamJulian Le Grand is a tireless promoter of choice in public services, doing more than any...
The Pitfalls of State Patronage
Birmingham paid for its first public hospitals through staging benefit concerts; Charles Dickens did public readings from A Christmas Carol to help found the city's first public science institute. Imagine artists doing that today, collaborating off their...