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Autumn 2020

Table of Contents

Marcus Barnett

Building from the Ruins

2020 brought political defeat for the Left just as the pandemic caused a profound social crisis. In 2021, we must rebuild.

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Editorial

Tom Blackburn

Corbyn’s Suspension and the Lessons for the Left

The battles of recent weeks aren’t really about Jeremy Corbyn — they are about purging the Labour Party of the socialist politics he represents.

Jess Barnard

Young Labour’s Socialist Future

The newly-elected chair of Young Labour writes about her vision for a campaigning organisation that fights for the radical policies young people demand.

Jon Trickett

The State Against Democracy

The structures of the British state are designed to suffocate movements that aim for real democratic change. If we want to see it in our lifetimes, they will have to be transformed.

An Interview with Carlos Ramirez-Rosa

The US Left in the Biden Era

DSA’s Carlos Ramirez-Rosa speaks to Tribune about the future of the socialist movement in the United States after the defeat of Donald Trump.

Building from the Ruins

Zarah Sultana

How Money Shapes Our Politics

Capitalism’s greatest myth is that it is a democratic system, but real democracy cannot survive in a society run by and for the rich.

Dan Carden

The Scouse Exception

As many post-industrial heartlands drifted rightward, Liverpool remained red. The reason is clear: working-class community organising.

Grace Blakeley

Where Next for the Green New Deal?

The resurgence of the political centre has one benefit for the Left: it will prove definitively that there are no moderate solutions to the climate crisis.

Jason Okundaye

After Trump, Black Lives Still Matter

This year’s Black Lives Matter protests produced a tenuous alliance between street radicals and multinational corporations. The defeat of Donald Trump marked the end of that road.

Dan Smith

Care Workers Versus Covid

The Tory government failed frontline workers from the beginning of the pandemic — but in the North West, thousands of them organised to fight back.

Emma Dowling

The Care Crisis

The commodification and marketisation of care in Britain — and its unloading onto the underpaid and unpaid — has been brutally exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tamara Kamatović

The Enduring Lessons of Red Vienna

For almost two decades at the start of the 20th century, Austria’s Social Democrats pursued a radical agenda in the country’s capital — even as dark clouds gathered around it.

Owen Hatherley

Home Rule for London

In the interwar years, the Labour Party under Herbert Morrison used London as an example to the country of what a socialist government could provide.

Rivkah Brown

The Literature of Landlordism

An anonymously published ‘secret diary’ provides a rare glimpse into the spiteful, self-pitying psyche of Britain’s landlords.

History

Ronan Burtenshaw

The Man Who Made a Million Socialists

Robert Tressell, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, was born 150 years ago. His writing left an indelible mark on the socialist movement — but the man himself was almost forgotten by history.

Tony Collins

Rugby’s Class War

125 years ago, rugby league was formed in a split with union. The dividing lines were based on class and shaped both codes for decades to come.

Rebecca Tamás

The Diggers’ Green Roots

Almost 400 years ago, a band of English Civil War radicals set out to imagine a world turned upside down — but until recently their ecological politics were largely ignored.

Culture

Julian Sayarer

Letter from Palestine

While the pandemic complicates the lives of Palestinians living under brutal occupation even further, world leaders look the other way.

Rhian E. Jones

Left to Our Own Devices

As the government regards the cultural industries — and cultural workers — with open contempt, the importance of local centres and activist cultures may be the only way for cultural spaces to survive after the pandemic.

Huw Lemmey

The Woman with the Twitter Account

A book of the famous Soviet Visuals Twitter account reveals how social media turns even the most loaded political imagery into vacuous fluff — but in turn, produces a nostalgia for the era when images had meaning.

Robert Barry

Noisy Listening

Composers and politicians both have often seen ‘listening’ as a passive activity — but there’s a way of listening democratically, where the public is active rather than quiet.

Juliet Jacques

We Can’t All Be Max Bygraves

Trevor Griffiths’ play Comedians, shown on the BBC in 1979, took a serious look at what makes us laugh, and why. What can we learn from it in a political era where comedians, journalists, and politicians are often the same people?

Charlotte Lydia Riley

Charley Says

At its creation, the virtues of the new National Health Service were promoted via public information films; witty and clever examples of progressive propaganda that still repay viewing today.

Douglas Murphy

In Their Miserable Hearts

Patrick Keiller’s classic 1994 film of English queer socialist melancholia, London, has just been published as an illustrated book. How has it withstood the test of time?

Owen Hatherley

The Problem of Britain

Britain is a country coming down from its trip. Four new books try to work out why such a gulf emerged between the country’s self-image, and its shabby, privatised and shrill reality.