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Cover art by Rob Pybus

Summer 2021

Table of Contents

Ronan Burtenshaw

Class Politics, or Class Dealignment

Recent evidence makes clear that the Left is losing its historic base in working-class communities — either we rebuild class politics or accept that socialism is off the table.

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Olivia Blake

Nature for the People

The spoiling of our fields and waters for private profit is leading to ecological chaos. While the Tories ignore it, Labour is demanding action to reverse Britain’s environmental crisis.

Kate Hudson

NATO: Myth and Reality

Recent attempts to rebrand NATO and soften its image can’t disguise the truth — it is a war machine designed to project US power across the world.

Francesca Newton

Commemorating the Avoidable

The proper way to respect Britain’s pandemic dead would be to end the corruption, overcrowding, and privatisation that caused thousands of unnecessary deaths in the first place.

Beauty Dhlamini

The World’s Vaccine Apartheid

The Global North’s stockpile of Covid-19 vaccines won’t eradicate the virus, but it does expose the reality of capitalism’s deep international inequalities.

Chris McLaughlin

As I Please: Starmer’s Malaise

Under Starmer’s leadership, Labour lacks any coherent vision and is floundering in the polls — but the path forward for the Left remains unclear.

Taj Ali

The Battle for Brixton

In Brixton, the local community are fighting a Texan millionaire’s attempt to build a vanity tower block that would tear the soul out of the iconic market and turbo-charge gentrification.

Tom Blackburn

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.

Colin Leys

Old NHS, New Corporate Characteristics

The government’s much-vaunted NHS reforms have been praised for ditching aspects of the 2012 Lansley Act — but they fail to reverse the trends towards privatisation and corporate management in our public health system.

Ronan Burtenshaw

Tribune’s Debt to the International Brigades

Earlier this summer, Tribune’s editor spoke at the annual International Brigades Memorial Trust commemoration about this publication’s roots in the struggle against fascism in Spain.

Renewing the Left

Joe Guinan

A Left for a Time of Crisis

The Left’s recent defeats have set the movement for system change back at exactly the moment it is most needed — we must rebuild, and quickly.

Grace Blakeley

Public Spending Isn’t Socialism

The pandemic has seen capitalist governments pivot towards more spending as a response to economic malaise – but unless it empowers workers, there’s nothing socialist about state intervention.

Aneesa Akbar

We Still Need the Party

For anyone serious about socialist politics or building community power, the Labour Party remains a vital field of struggle – whether we like it or not.

René Rojas

Against Privilege

The Left’s embrace of a paper-thin representation politics has now been turned against us, as figures from the Centre and even the Right learn how to co-opt activist rhetoric. If we want to build a movement that can really challenge the establishment, we’ll need to do more than criticise privilege.

Marcus Barnett

Opening New Worlds for Workers

A century ago, trade unionists founded the Workers Travel Association, which organised cheap, luxurious holidays in the belief that discovery and adventure should be for the masses, not just the wealthy.

Paolo Gerbaudo

Moulding the New Nye Bevans

Today’s labour movement struggles to create leaders with the politics or influence needed to take us forward — to change that, we need to rejuvenate the workplace and community institutions which shaped yesterday’s fighters.

Ronan Burtenshaw

Building the Workers’ Republics

If the Left is to recover from its defeats, it will need a presence in workers’ daily lives — and examples of how a socialist society can provide a better future.

An Interview with Nancy Fraser

‘A Feminism Aimed at Liberating All Women Must Be Anti-Capitalist’

An interview by Olimpia Malatesta.

History

Seán byers

Northern Ireland’s Unhappy Centenary

One hundred years ago, the partition of Ireland deepened sectarian divisions and laid the foundation for decades of conflict — but as the future of Northern Ireland comes into question, is there a possibility that something better can be built in its place?

Kim Johnson

The L8 Uprising at 40

In 1981, a working-class community in Toxteth, Liverpool rose up against police racism, unemployment, and Thatcher’s neglect.

Jack Taylor

Attlee’s Labour Against Iranian Workers

While the post-war Labour government empowered workers at home, it played a disturbing role in suppressing Iran’s labour movement for the benefit of oil companies.

Tess Pinto

An Old Town for a New Society

The conservation of the historic centre of Bologna was seen by its Communist administration as a collective expression of its shared history, which was actively made and remade by the people who lived within it.

Culture

Owen Hatherley

Red Library: Socialist Yugoslavia

Charlotte Lydia Riley

Slum Diets

The pandemic has led to sudden changes in how we eat, from stockpiling to ordering from (or working for) Deliveroo — but it also showed the survival of a Victorian contempt for the ‘undeserving poor’.

Carl Neville

A Good, Hard-working Girl

Anime series Aggretsuko plays with cutesy imagery as a means of forcing through a remorseless critique of contemporary work.

Rhian E. Jones

Still Shafted

Two new books on the Miners’ Strike reveal the solidarities that existed across the divides of today’s ‘culture war’ — and the ongoing effects of the defeat on the communities at the heart of it.

Hannah Proctor

Economies without Libidos

Keti Chukhrov’s book Practising the Good argues that the Soviet Union really did build socialism, and that westerners have been blinded to this because they can’t imagine a society without ‘desire’. How seriously should this be taken?

Juliet Jacques

New Fronts, Old Wars

The history of the British trans community is usually told through non-fiction, as a way of convincing people it has a right to even exist. Juliet Jacques’ Variations tries to move beyond the Right’s culture-war turf.

Huw Lemmey

The Hounds of Love

A new book on the pioneering but deeply eccentric socialist psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich is full of lessons on the links between the body, trauma, and politics.

Joel Anderson

A Letter from Santiago

In central Santiago, the ‘social explosion’ of 2019 has had consequences ranging from a Communist mayor to an overwhelming vote for a new constitution to replace that of General Pinochet — and red scare tactics aren’t working.