Soundings

Articles from No. 44, Spring

After Copenhagen
It will take strong political will to overcome the sources of resistance to meaningful action on climate change.The debacle of the Copenhagen conference is only the beginning of a protracted period of international negotiations which, at least at the...
Ethical Socialism
A re-engagement with the traditions of ethical socialism offers valuable insights for the renewal of the centre left.We still live under the long shadow of Margaret Thatcher's avowal to abolish socialism. For a decade New Labour banished the word. Exponents...
Everything to Play For
The shadows of the 1970s still hang over the Labour Party - which has not since 1979 been able to put together a winning coalition that includes the aspirations of its core supporters. Once the left alternative to the cumulative problems of the postwar...
Filling the Void: Burnley and the Everyday Politics of the BNP
What are the reasons for recent BNP electoral gains?In the 2002 local elections in Burnley, the BNP received almost 10,000 votes, securing its first elected representatives since 1993. By the following summer the party had eight local councillors, briefly...
Global Crisis and the Developing World
The slump - unlike the preceding boom - is only too inclusive.Developing countries have never been immune to the storms that rage in financial markets in industrial countries, or to the impact of recession in the core of capitalism, but the recent period...
How Soaring Inequality Contributed to the Crash
Inequality is a cause, as well as an effect, of the crash.Despite a series of 'stop-go' crises between the Second World War and the early 1970s, the UK experienced only one very shallow and short-lived recession in this period - in 1961. In that year...
Interpreting the Crisis
Doreen Massey and Stuart Hall discuss ways of understanding the current crisis.Doreen There are many different ways of thinking about the current crisis, but certainly one useful way is to think about the present as a conjuncture - this way of analysing...
Making Banks Fit for Purpose
Banking reform must be based on an alternative vision of their role in society - and a better understanding of their recent disfunctioning.The December 2009 Pre-Budget Report announced that banks paying bonuses of more than £25,000 would be levied with...
Media Prospects
Georgina Henry, Simon Bucks and Julian Petley talk to Joy Johnson about what the future holds for the media.What kind of political changes do you think are on the horizon?Julian One major problem is the threat that a future Conservative government will...
Pensions: Time to Vote with Our Money
The vast pool of 'workers' capital' tied up in pension funds represents a potential source of leverage for the securing of more responsible corporate behaviour.The size and power of workers' pension funds has grown astonishingly in recent decades. In...
Talking of Mothers
Maternity is returning as a central subject of discussion: what effects does this have on our wider thinking?I come here as wife, I also come here as a mother; that is my primary title, mom in chief. My girls are the first thing I think about when I...
The Broken Society versus the Social Recession
How should we approach the social problems of a post-crash Britain?Politics is about the defining of crises. If everything is just fine, people have no interest in changing anything, or in trying out something new and potentially risky. But if convinced...
The Future of Roads
We need a better road politics, to help us explore more imaginative possibilities for getting people out of their cars.You can learn much about recent British history and politics just from driving along a single stretch of road. Our collective hopes...
The Labourist Tradition
A return to labourism - not the same thing as the Labour Party - may now be our best hope.The main progressive political party in Britain for a hundred years has been Labour, which is distinguished from European socialist parties by its close and organic...
The Return to Elitism in Education
A society's attitudes to innate intelligence are closely correlated with its levels of inequality.As inequality becomes ever more deeply entrenched into contemporary everyday life, there has been a creeping return to the idea of innate ability. At the...
Transforming Welfare: New Economics, New Labour and the New Tories
We need a transformation in welfare provision, but even more important are measures to tackle the underlying causes of inequality.Over sixty years we have grown accustomed to benefits and services provided by the welfare state. AU the while, the volume...
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