The essential conservatism of ‘Big Society’ rhetoric stems from its willingness to talk about social reform without talking about radical market reform – to treat the promotion of ‘good works’ and ‘good work’ as discrete challenges
Editorial // Ben Jackson, Martin McIvor
Labour’s opposition is hobbled by its mixed record and unresolved divisions, but it may make more headway on issues that will rise up the country’s agenda between now and the next election.
Rediscovering Labour’s soul
Feature // Josh Booth, Will Brett
A new programmatic politics of the left could wrap a manifesto for both changing a malfunctioning state and reforming an iniquitous market around an optimistic conception of human potential.
Making sense of Maurice Glasman
Feature // Alan Finlayson
‘Blue Labour’ has created a framework within and against which Labour’s internal debate has been energised. If only for that reason it is worth taking time to work out what Glasman is all about.
Feature // Matt Griffith
We need to think seriously about whether it is a sensible idea to allow housing – a central part of the identity of people and communities – to become another global asset class.
Comprehensives and social mobility
Feature // Vikki Boliver, Adam Swift
Whatever you may have read in the newspapers, the comprehensive school system was as good for social mobility as the selective system it replaced.
Localism and the left
Feature // Phil Parvin
In as much as localists present a substantive alternative vision of politics to centralism, it would exacerbate and entrench inequalities and social injustices rather than resolve them.
Commentary // Gerry Hassan
Just as Labour and the left had to analyse and even empathise with Thatcherism post-1983, so Labour and unionists are faced with a similar set of challenges in Scotland today.
Commentary // Colin Leys, Stewart Player
Britain’s most famous post-war social achievement was unravelled through a series of step-by-step ‘reforms’, always presented as mere improvements to the NHS as a public service.
Community organising in Germany
Notebook // Leo Penta
How do models developed by the Industrial Areas Foundation and Citizens UK translate into a German context? Can German civil society become an independent and politically active partner?
Eric Hobsbawm: How to change the world
Review // David Leopold
A focus on Marxism’s historical and political dimensions neglects its conception of the good life.
Review // Hopi Sen
Would ‘Brownism without the flaws of Brown’ really have succeeded as a political strategy?