Category Archives: Interventions

Assessing the ‘Social Value’ of Occupations

When reading Owen Jones’ Chavs a while back I made a mental note of a reference he made to an attempt to assess the ‘value to society’ of a range of different occupations. Belatedly I’ve followed up. The reference was to a document produced in 2009 by the New Economics Foundation (NEF). In this blog… Read More »

A Third Open Letter to my CLP Secretary

Dear Colleague, I appreciate that you, our local CLP secretary, will not welcome a third open letter from me, but on the other hand: (a) you do not respond to my emails; (b) despite being a fully paid up member I have had no communication whatsoever from you in 2017; and (c) nothing has changed… Read More »

Badiou on the World’s Destitute

In his latest offering, Our Wound is not so Recent, Badiou rightly insists that there is a salient, explanatory history to ‘terrorist attacks’ such as that in Paris on 13 November 2015. He writes: ‘… there are some fundamental figures that everyone should know, that everyone should have at hand, figures that underlie what we… Read More »

Facing up to Obstacles to Social Mobility

This is (most of) the concluding paragraph of Geoff Payne’s The New Social Mobility, and it warrants drawing to people’s attention: The problem is that policies that would work quickly and powerfully are politically unpalatable. Resistance to reforms aiming to improve gender equality in pay and employment, especially in the higher reaches of companies, provides… Read More »

Paul Mason: A Postcapitalist Future?

While working on my book – Health Inequalities in a Fractured Society: a Critical Realist Account (Routledge, Forthcoming) – I found it helpful to refer to Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, published in 2015. He offers an account of how his analysis might be translated into a ‘project’ for a postcapitalist society,… Read More »

If I was Corbyn, I might say …

A speech I might give if I was in Jeremy Corbyn’s position … I want to take this opportunity to clarify what I and the Labour Party I lead stand for in what has become a tumultuous era for us all. First, I will spell out a set of pledges to which we are already… Read More »

Twitter, Blogs: 200th Blog. What!

As I approached retirement, my daughter Rebecca suggested I give thought to tweeting and blogging. I did, and they seemed infinitely better options than growing and entering shapely vegetables in the village show. My first blog, actually a year in advance of my leaving UCL, was on 30th October 2012. It was on what was… Read More »

A Second Open Letter to Iain McNicol

Second Open Letter to Iain McNicol 10 November 2016 Dear Iain McNicol, I was if you recall suspended from the Labour Party, in the process having my vote for Jeremy Corbyn as leader cancelled. This suspension was lifted recently but I was left with an indefinite warning on my ‘file’ with regard to my future… Read More »

My Letter to Iain McNicol Today

4 November 2016 Ref: XXXXXXXXXX Dear Mr McNicol, I received today your letter stating that my ‘administrative suspension’ from the Labour Party has been lifted and that I am ‘free to resume active membership’. You say that I was suspended following posts I ‘allegedly wrote’ on twitter, which ‘may cause offence to some Party members’.… Read More »

A Second Open Letter to My CLP Secretary

Dear Colleague, I found my first open letter to you a difficult but necessary one to write. It effectively challenged the way you are running our CLP. Well, things have moved on haven’t they? As you know I am currently suspended from the Labour Party for ‘naughty tweets’: my best judgement is that my offence… Read More »