Soundings

Articles from No. 50, January

A Beautifying Lie? Culture and Kitsch @ London2012: Whose Story Will Be Told in the Isle of Wonders Fable?
As London struts its stuff for the Olympics and calls to the world to attend its show, what kind of account of who we are, who we were and who we want to be will it celebrate? Danny Boyle's dramatisation for the opening ceremony is planned as a spectacular...
From 'Vulnerable' to Vanguard: Challenging the Coalition: One of the Main Challenges to the Government Will Come from the Disabled People's and Service User Movements
There can now be little question that the Coalition government's intention is to take us even further along the neoliberal road - to radical regressive redistribution, the residualisation of state support services and greatly increased social and political...
How to Combat Social Erosion
David Lammy, Out of the Ashes: Britain after the riots, Guardian Books 2011 With much of Labour preoccupied by efforts to defend either the Blairite or Brownite record, Blue Labour has represented the only real fresh thinking since the party lost...
Learning from Latin America: Instead of Expending Our Energy on Constant Critique, We Should Be Learning from the Progressive Changes in Latin America
This article is born in part out of exasperation. I am fed up with having to defend the so-called pink tide in Latin America when in fact there is so much that we 'over here' could be learning from the experiments that those progressive countries are...
Look for the Cracks: Don't Throw Yourself against the Wall
Neal: I was out with my thirteen-year-old stepdaughter in a mad last rush Xmas shop. We had to find a particular present for her Mum (GHDs if you must know, hair straighteners - it stands for 'Good Hair Day' apparently), and it was proving to be a...
Red, White and Blue Labour: What Would a Flag-Waving English Left Look Like?
'Fuck off you racist, gypo cunts.' Bulgaria vs England, 2 September 2011 It's around the seventieth minute in England's well-deserved three-nil victory over Bulgaria at Sofia's Vasil Levski stadium. Tiresomely and predictably, a bunch of the local...
Reflecting on the Student Movement
Jeremy: At the risk of sounding like a grumpy middle-aged activist who's seen it all before, I want to list a number of problems with the recent anti-tuition fees campaign - but with the aim not of dismissing it but of engaging and thinking constructively...
The De-Industrial Revolution: Communities Thrive Better in a Mixed Economy
Let's start with a question: if I asked you to think of a place that sums up what's wrong with Britain, where would you choose? For some people, it's the City of London: all those bankers who broke the economy just a few years ago and are now back...
The Euro Crisis, European Neoliberalism and the Need for a European Welfare State: The Current European Crisis Was Not Caused by Excess Public Spending and It Will Not Therefore Be Solved by Further Downward Pressure on Living Standards
Europe is in crisis. In the aftermath of a financial crisis that originated in the USA a severe recession has hit Europe. Not only is unemployment rising, but several European states are on the verge of bankruptcy as financial markets refuse to roll...
The Story of the Blues
Rowenna Davis, Tangled up in Blue: Blue Labour and the Struggle for Labour's Soul, Ruskin Publishing 2011 Tangled Up in Blue is the tale of the Baron Glasman, a detailed and lively narrative of how the set of ideas that came to be assembled under...
Wanted - a New Strategy for the Centre Left: A Convincing Strategy for the Centre Left Requires a More Radical Rethink Than We Have So Far Seen from Labour
The future of British social democracy is inextricably intertwined with the fate and prospects of the Labour Party. The relationship between the two has never been entirely straightforward, with the party only rarely espousing the kind of social-democratic...
What Happened to Democratic Leadership? Recent Debates on Democracy Can Benefit from an Exploration of Democratic Organisation in a Broader Context, Especially in the Field of Work
In this article we trace the development of ideas about democratic leadership, beginning in the late 1930s, and giving particular attention to the contribution made by the human relations tradition. The policy high watermark for ideas about industrial...
Where's Labour?
The Coalition government are currently pursuing some of the most rightwing policies of any government in Europe. Their cuts are affecting the poorest members of society. They have done nothing to restrain the banks. The ideologically driven nature...
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