tom-blackburn

38 Articles by:

Tom Blackburn

Tom Blackburn is a Tribune columnist. He is a founding editor of New Socialist and lives in Greater Manchester.

2021: A View from the Left

2021 saw setbacks for the Left across much of the West, but victories in Latin America are a reminder that socialist policies continue to offer an alternative to a system in crisis.

The Regeneration of the Labour Right

Three stalwarts of the Labour right – Margaret Hodge, Barry Sheerman, and Harriet Harman – are stepping down at the next election. But we should be just as worried about who might turn up in their place.

In Search of Victor Grayson

A new book explores the legend surrounding the disappearance of one-time socialist MP Victor Grayson – and offers a stark lesson in the political trajectories of those who leave the Left.

Politics on the Cheap

Labour’s financial crisis was made inevitable by Keir Starmer sacrificing loyal supporters and socialist policies to impress millionaire backers. Unfortunately for Labour’s leader, the super-rich already have a party that serves their interests.

The ‘Kinnock Moment’ Myth

In the run-up to party conference, Labour right-wingers are salivating at the prospect of another public war on the Left – but Neil Kinnock’s actual record as leader demonstrates why that is a dead end.

Keir Starmer’s Patsy Pipeline

Keir Starmer’s Future Candidates Programme promises to bring ‘normal’ people into politics – but in reality, it is designed to produce handpicked MPs with no sense of connection to the party membership.

Labour’s Self-Flagellation Tour

The Labour leadership’s ‘listening tour’ will do little to rebuild relationships with postindustrial communities – but it will provide plenty of opportunities to repeat right-wing attacks on the party’s progressive base.

Starmer’s Blairite Bunch

Keir Starmer’s reshuffle of his top staff is an attempt to shift the blame for the party’s ongoing poor performance – but bringing in more Blair-era right-wingers will only make Labour’s problems worse.

Starmer’s Latest Lurch to the Right

Starmer’s response to last week’s election disaster has been to push further rightwards in messaging and personnel – a move that will make it even harder for Labour to articulate a progressive alternative.

The Dark Prince Returns

The Labour leadership’s decision to lean on Peter Mandelson in Hartlepool is just the latest sign that it is running out of ideas – and instead turning to discredited establishment hacks to bail it out.

Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition

The Labour leadership’s efforts to appear more Royalist than the Tories is a symptom of their sycophantic politics – if you won’t utter a critical word about the royal family, you’re not serious about challenging power.

How Labour Is Failing Liverpool

Allegations of corruption in the Caller Report are grim, but Labour’s failure to oppose the takeover of Liverpool by an equally corrupt Tory government threatens to plunge a left-wing heartland into years of right-wing policies.

The Last Neoliberal

Elected on a promise to modernise France, Emmanuel Macron has revealed what the political centre looks like in practice – a war on workers, authoritarian demagogy and a further emboldening of the far-right.

Capital’s Safe Pair of Hands

Labour’s opposition to tax increases for major corporations isn’t popular or even good economics – but it is a signal that the days when the party challenged big business interests are over.