Soundings

Articles from No. 47, January

Crisis in the Eurozone: Many of the Most Serious Errors in EU Economic Policy Stem from a Basic Failure to Understand How Market Economies Function
Well before the Maastricht Treaty and the introduction to the euro, the economic analysis of monetary unions had reached widely accepted conclusions. The advantages of using one money instead of two or more always have the same character - a reduction...
From National Rites to Privatised Rights - Sport since 1999: Has the Relationship between Sport and National Identity Gone for Ever?
The South Africa 2010 World Cup was for most of its participants, as Mark Perryman affirmed in his article in Soundings 46, an enjoyable and enlightening experience. But for the England players, staff, and fans at home, it was no such thing; and while...
Green Shoots Down Under: The Greens Are Showing the Way for Left Progress in Australia
History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time in Australia. George Molnar ca1960 This jibe reflects the experience of the Australian Labor Party's Blair-lite rule under first Kevin Rudd and then his successor, current...
How the Campaign to Stop the Third Runway Was Won: How to Win Change through Persistent Campaigning
When we set out on our historic campaign to stop Heathrow expansion nearly a decade ago a victory party would have seemed like a dream. But our triumph was no fluke. It wasn't a question of luck. It was the result of a clear strategy, a radical approach,...
Leadership, Democracy and Organising: Rethinking Political Leadership Will Play a Crucial Role in Rebuilding the Labour Party
The Labour Party is not comfortable with leadership. Of all the leaders of the Labour Party who have gone on to be prime minister, only one is even close to being universally well remembered by the broader party - Clement Attlee - and by all accounts...
Markets and Migrants in the Care Economy: Caring in the Rich Parts of the World Is Now an Industry - and One That Is Heavily Dependent on Low-Paid Workers from the Global South
Only two decades ago nannies, domestic servants and elder care companions were considered the remnants of high bourgeois life in many countries of Europe. But by the 1990s the demand for domestic cleaners had begun to increase, and by the turn of the...
Poor Law Britain
After the second world war and for many years afterwards it was widely agreed that the best way for society to care for its elderly, children, sick and poor was through the welfare state. But since the 1970s this idea has come under attack from all...
Speaking to Power: How to Make Public Services More Humane, Effective and Accountable
Some readers will recall the last time we marched under our union banners to protest against widespread cuts in the public services - teachers, nurses, social workers, local government officers and others, chanting 'What do we want? The right to work!',...
The Future Is Conservative: Labour Must Embrace a Conservatism That Values What Is Shared in Common, Rather Than a Liberalism That Promotes Individual Distinction and Difference
Labour is riding high in the polls, but let us be wary of false downs and recognize the historical predicament Labour is in. What has Labour lost? It has lost five million voters and an election that fell just short of a catastrophe. It has lost touch...
The Misuse of Evidence in Incapacity Benefit Reform: The Use and Misuse of Evidence in the Benefits Debate
The idea that there are over a million people in Britain receiving Incapacity Benefit who are not entitled to it has driven a major strand of welfare reform for more than fifteen years, and was a cornerstone of the New Labour project. Yet this proposition...
The Possibilities of Democracy
Hilary Wainwright, Reclaim the State: Experiments in Popular Democracy, Seagull Press 1910 Neoliberalism is in crisis, and this not only affects its discourses and slogans, but also undermines the social and political 'fixes' through which politicians...
Where Next for Social Liberals? Is It Ideology, Rather Than Necessity, That Is Driving the Liberal Democrat Leadership?
Much has now been written about the formation of the coalition government, and the competing analyses have a great relevance to how we understand the way the coalition has been operating. Indeed, if anybody is to form a view of where the coalition...
Who Benefits from the Crisis in Ireland? the Future Incomes and Savings of Irish Citizens Have Been Handed over to an EU/IMF Debt-Collection Agency Acting on Behalf of Europe's Banks
Denial is one of the phases of response to trauma. And the denial that has been a leading component of the traumatic economic crises across Europe has taken the peculiar form of non-identification. So, the Dublin government asserted that it wasn't...
Workfare and the Precariat: Workfare Is the Wrong Policy Response to the Insecurities and Inequalities of a Flexible Market Economy
It has become an article of the creed of modern morality that all labour is good in itself - a convenient belief to those who live on the labour of others. William Morris The essence of workfare is that the unemployed (as well as some others)...
'Worthy of All Praises': Muhammad Ali and the Politics of Identity: How a Battling Muslim Achieved Global Appeal
The complex figure of Muhammad Ali offers an interesting way into thinking about the relationships between rebel heroes and those who identify with them. Ali was an iconic figure in the struggle for black civil rights in the 1960s, while simultaneously...
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