Monday, October 20, 2014

Can Labour recreate its election success of 40 years ago?

My new politics column for Voice of Russia UK.

......In the previously safe Labour seat of Heywood and Middleton, UKIP came within 600 odd votes of beating Labour. It was very poor result from a Labour perspective- and ironically came on the 40th anniversary of one of the party's most impressive victories- in the October 1974 general election. As Labour licked its wounds in Greater Manchester, BBC Parliament was showing a replay of the election night coverage from forty years ago. I hope Ed Miliband was watching- as there’s lots that Labour could learn from the stance his party took in 1974.

You can read the whole piece here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Very vicious circle: UK govt hypes terror threat its policies create

My new piece for OpEdge.

If the UK government really sought to keep the nation safe from terrorism, it would stop meddling in the internal affairs of Mideast states instead of hyping the Islamic terror threat, and at the same time, doing everything for it to be in place.
Exactly 70 years ago this autumn, British civilians faced a very real terror threat - in the shape of Nazi Germany’s V-2 rockets. While exactly 40 years ago, an IRA bombing campaign brought ‘The Troubles’ of Northern Ireland to the British mainland.
What is interesting about the events of 1944 and 1974 is that the government downplayed the threat to citizens, even though the threat of being killed or injured in the violence was greater than it is now. A V-2 rocket attack, for instance, killed 160 shoppers on one occasion.
Today though, with Islamic terrorism, the opposite has happened.

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Public Ownership: The Big Issue that could swing it come May 2015

My latest Public Ownership column for the Morning Star.

It’s one of the most popular policies that no major party will support – and Labour could win the election by backing nationalisation, says Neil Clark

It’s general election night. Labour are on course for victory, with a small majority. The Labour leader is asked by the BBC interviewer if the size of the majority will hinder his party’s legislative programme. 
“We shall carry out our programme — our manifesto,” the Labour leader replies. “We shall give priority of course to putting on the statute book all those things that we have said, like the public ownership of land…”
That exchange took place exactly 40 years ago after the election of October 10 1974. Public ownership was a topic that cropped up a lot in that election, but fast forward to 2014 and it’s a very different story.

You can read the whole piece here. 

Friday, October 03, 2014

The world’s wildlife is in peril and it’s time for urgent action

My new piece for OpEdge

While global attention is focused on IS, the so-called “terrorist threat,” and the US's latest military action in the Middle East, there was a news story this week which really should have been the lead story everywhere in the world.
The new Living Planet Report paints an alarming picture of the way the earth's wonderful wildlife is disappearing.
Populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by a staggering 52 percent in the last forty years. 

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Are British politicans too posh?- and does it matter?

Interview on this topic with me here on the Mike Parr show on BBC Tees.
Item starts at 10 minutes.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Why we need a new anti-war coalition of the left and right

My latest piece for OpEdge.

World War 1 began with an attack on Serbia by Austro-Hungary in 1914. Today’s ongoing World War 3 – of which the current US-led air strikes on Iraq and Syria are only the latest instalment – began with NATO’s attack on Serbia/Yugoslavia in 1999.
The subject of World War 1, its legacy and the new series of US-led wars of aggression which have marked the era of turbo-globalization, was discussed in depth at the International Science and Public Conference “The Great War and the Beginning of a New World: An up-to-date agenda for Humankind,”which was held in Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia, where World War I started 100 years ago.

You can read the whole article here.