Though there is fierce disagreement about the extent of any Marxist revolutionary incursion into Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour there is less dispute – for both his supporters and opponents – that it is bad news. For most, it seems, Trotskyists are simply beyond the pale, distinguished by an unmistakeable whiff of sulphur. But why, exactly?
A review of a fine new book by three young writers that offers a much needed razor-sharp critique of Scotland’s emerging political monoculture.
There is no hard evidence that UK benefits attract migrant workers. Daniel Clegg reveals flaws in both Remain and Leave arguments and concludes that welfare changes may inflict considerable hardship but will save very little money.
Immigration has become the most sensitive issue of the EU referendum. But Polish immigration is already on the decline. Christina Boswell weighs up arguments for and against the free movement of labour and asks if the focus on EU membership is misplaced? She certainly thinks so.
In Richard Seymour the Corbyn phenomenon has found its ideal commentator: this is a powerful analysis that will frustrate both the new Labour leader’s opponents and supporters.
In the second of an occasional series looking at the lively contemporary ‘postcapitalism’ debate about possibilities for a viable alternative to the current economic order, Justin Reynolds reviews a book charting the continued influence of a bold, brief-lived experiment that took place 145 years in the heart of a major European city.
It’s now some seven years since the notorious ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ sign appeared. Owen Hatherley’s The Ministry of Nostalgia is a witty, exasperated and ferociously well-read exploration of the ‘Austerity Nostalgia’ phenomenon and its politicisation, with parties of both left and right drawing upon competing mythologies of wartime Britain to support their respective positions towards today’s austerity.
It wisnae us? Historian Stephen Mullen demolish myths and redirects attention to more uncomfortable truths about Scotland’s involvement in the Caribbean slave trade.
‘Losing the heid’ is the title of an STV documentary on foreign takers of Scottish companies made by the author 25 years ago. Here he returns to the topic, finds more and more ‘crown jewels’ are no longer in Scottish hands, with Holyrood powerless to stop the process, and lists those that have gone recently.
What is hope? What would it mean to wish that 2016 will be any better than 2015? As we enter the New Year the latest book by the prolific Terry Eagleton, Hope Without Optimism, offers a brief but wide-ranging meditation on the meaning of a seemingly simple concept that escapes easy definition.