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Cover art by Cristina Daura

Spring 2021

Table of Contents

Ronan Burtenshaw & Marcus Barnett

The Reinvention of the Right

Faced with growing anti-elite sentiment, the Tories have adopted a more populist approach — but reinvention is nothing new for the party of the establishment.

Latest

Liam Baker

Stan Newens (1930–2021)

Veteran Labour Left MP and Tribunite Stan Newens passed away earlier this year aged 91. We remember his contributions to socialism.

Rebecca Long-Bailey

How to Outlaw Fire and Rehire

Fire and rehire tactics are sweeping across the British economy, with 1 in 10 workers under threat — but they could be outlawed very easily. Here’s how.

Len McCluskey

Capital’s Latest Trick

Workers are facing an attack on pay and conditions, backed by the threat of the sack. Trade union action is our best hope to bring the assault to an end.

Jess Barnard

Why Young People Need to Organise

From work to housing and public services, the emerging generation is screwed by today’s economy — and the only answer is to organise collectively to fight for better.

Solomon Hughes

Behind GB News

Insurgent TV station GB News is just the latest way that wealthy right-wingers will look to shape Britain’s media environment in their interests.

Francesca Newton

Some Very British Violence

The scenes at Clapham Common earlier this year prompted shocked realisations about police brutality — but state violence is a defining feature of our isolated, individualised world.

Bethany Rielly

The Refugees’ Union Behind Barbed Wire

After being placed in the run-down Penally barracks, refugees organised to demand dignity and improved conditions. Their struggle forced the government to commit to closing their camp — and sparked resistance in other detention centres.

Against the Right

Ronan Burtenshaw

The Property Cult

At its essence, right-wing politics is a centuries-long defence of property and the propertied.

John-Baptiste Oduor

Capitalism Is not Natural

Right-wingers defend capitalism as a system necessitated by human nature — but the market isn’t hardwired into our species, it emerged out of specific historic conditions.

Grace Blakeley

How Capitalism Concentrates Power

For decades, we were sold a myth that capitalism would give working people more power over their lives. In fact, it has concentrated power into fewer and fewer hands.

Vivek Chibber

Their Tradition and Ours

The Right claims to defend tradition, but what they actually defend is historical injustice — it’s the Left’s job to sustain the working-class tradition of fighting back.

Richard Johnson

The Two Englands

The Conservatives like to portray themselves as the natural party of England. But there is another England — one with a centuries-old tradition of radicalism and dissent against the established order.

Zarah Sultana

The Free Press Fantasy

We often hear that the media’s job is to hold power to account — but in reality, its function is to project the views of the powerful across society.

Shami Chakrabarti

The Rise of a New Authoritarianism

Emboldened by its victories and confident in its far-reaching control, the government is now waging legislative war on dissent.

History

Laura C. Forster

When the Commune Came to Britain

After their defeat in Paris in 1871, exiled Communards arrived on British shores. Their time here forged connections between struggles across the Channel, and left an imprint on British radicalism in the years to come.

Jelena Đureinović

Partisans on the Pitch

In the former Yugoslavia, football has a radical history — with the game playing an integral role in the workers’ movement, the struggle against fascism, and even the construction of a socialist state.

Culture

Calvin Chua

A Letter from Singapore

Singapore’s complex combination of land nationalisation, mass public housing, and capitalism were exemplified in the Golden Mile Complex, a 1970s megastructure that has just been saved from demolition.

Huw Lemmey

Northumbrian Psycho

Eliza Clark’s shlock horror novel Boy Parts is an unreliably-narrated account of violence and ambition, which doubles as a portrait of national dysfunction.

Douglas Murphy

Art School Confidential

New research on Vkhutemas, the Moscow school of art and design often dubbed ‘the Soviet Bauhaus’, reveals the sheer scale of revolutionary ambitions — but also a mismatch between mundane tasks and extravagant dreams.

Robert Barry

A Shared World

The German-French duo Stereo Total, whose member Françoise Cactus died in February, made charming, cheap, and democratic music out of the wreckage of post-Wall Berlin.

Carl Neville

Together in Electric Dreams

A documentary film about the science fiction motif of ‘the world as a hallucination’ reveals something quite different — the tragedy of the means people use to cope with reality.

Hannah Proctor

Unbreak Our Hearts

A new history of depression poses the question of where politics ends and illness begins.

Rhian E. Jones

Late to the Party

In his new book, Ed Miliband’s speechwriter calls for a new politics of equality and community. Where has he been for the past five years?

Owen Hatherley

Red Library: Edward Said

A new anthology and three studies remind us of the towering significance of the Palestinian intellectual Edward Said — now more than ever.