Labour History and the Progressive Alliance

keirLast week Neal Lawson launched two new reports from Compass on the future of the political party in this country. In doing so, he trod the his by now familiar path of painting the Labour Party as a dinosaur, out of touch with the contemporary political milieu. From this, salvation for the becalmed ‘progressive’ left is, as ever, framed as coming from outside of the Labour Party in the form of a guiding ‘progressive alliance’. Consideration of the Labour Party’s history and the culture deriving from it raise questions for his analysis and the tactics he has chosen to gain support for the ‘progressive alliance’. Continue reading “Labour History and the Progressive Alliance”

Strategic Pollution

A wearying, numbing, amount has been written about the US election result.  Sifting through it to find anything of much value seems to me to be a rather miserable and barren enterprise – and the hyperbolic tone of much of this coverage I find actually dangerous, certainly damaging to any attempt to truly understand it.
One comment from the run up to the election, below the line in the Financial Times online, has stuck with me though as it seems genuinely and generally useful and applicable:

The Clinton’s problem is one of strategic pollution. They’ve taken too many decisions with short-term benefits and long-term costs. Typically the benefits were financial or sexual and the costs reputational. End result, they have the financial support required to take the presidency but don’t have the respect needed to use it successfully.[1]

I haven’t come across the term strategic pollution before, and it seems genuinely useful to describe the build-up of damaging tactical outcomes, largely from a reactive tactical focus.  (A Google search also brings up only strategies related to environmental pollution.) Continue reading “Strategic Pollution”

NATO – Jeremy Corbyn and a New Cold War

natoOn demilitarisation Corbyn is dangerously wrong.  Perceived weakening of commitments to collective defence risks instability and war.  Even a ‘new Cold War’ is preferable.  The election of Donald Trump presents an opportunity to re-forge the alliance. Europe should increase its commitments to NATO, Europeanising it in the process. Continue reading “NATO – Jeremy Corbyn and a New Cold War”