2013: my year in writing
Here is a selection of 12 articles I have written this year. You might call it a veritable smorgasbord of polemical delights and tasty political morsels for the discerning connoisseur of radical-left blogging. Or you might not. I’ll leave that one to you.
1) Why is the revolutionary left not growing? (Luna17, January)
Published on the weekend of what turned out to be a highly-charged SWP Conference, this is a lengthy reflection on the decline of the revolutionary left – and what can be done to reverse it.
2) North East ‘bounce back’ is not all good news (Comment is Free, February)
I was asked to write about claims of a jobs recovery in my native north-east England for the Guardian website.
3) We need to end the legacy of Thatcherism (Counterfire, April)
I finished writing this, and sent it to the Counterfire editorial team, just 2 hours after the announcement of Margaret Thatcher’s death. Luckily the ‘sad’ news fell during a holiday, so I was able to knock out a rapid response. I don’t think I would change anything if I had more time.
4) Say What? Language and the Left (Scottish Left Review, May)
The Scots kindly commissioned me to write this, despite my location south of the border, after spotting an earlier blog post of mine about left-wing langauge.
5) The People’s Assembly: we need unity to beat austerity (Counterfire, May)
This detailed argument for why the People’s Assembly is essential for the left was written in the run up to June’s big national launch event.
6) The Question of Strategy part 1 (Counterfire, June)
Part 1 of my wide-ranging discussion of social movements, left-wing strategy and organisation…
7) The Question of Strategy part 2 (Counterfire, June)
… and here is part 2.
8) What is the real IS tradition? (Luna17, August)
This post involved rediscovering Tony Cliff and his ideas and political method.
9) Gentrification, class and the Left (Luna17, August)
My polemical response to an article on New Left Project about ‘gentrification’ and the Left.
10) Revolutionaries, movements and class (Luna17, October)
My longest article of the year, this is both an interrogation of what’s gone wrong in the SWP and a broader discussion of social and political changes.
11) Ten points on revolutionary organisation and democracy (Luna17, November)
A brief guide to some important aspects of building socialist organisation today.
12) What to do with a tin of beans? Food banks, the left and the movement (Luna17, December)
A contribution to debate about how socialists ought to relate to the rapid rise of food banks.