Category Archives: Interventions

Theory and ( Seriously) Confronting Health Inequalities

I have always regarded ‘theory’ as an inescapable component of writing about the world we inhabit. To say how the world is, in however modest a fashion, is after all to sign up to a family of ontological, epistemological and moral premises: that is to say, to sign up to a degree of commitment to… Read More »

Post-Colonialism and Disability Politics

Having just completed a blog on feminism’s putative four waves, I continue here with a companion piece on ‘postcolonialism’ and ‘disability politics’. I do justice to neither, but my intent is limited: to present an ongoing quandry. Can sociology reconnect with the likes of feminism, postcolonialism and disability politics, or has it shot its bolt? My… Read More »

Politics and Narratives

In the aftermath of the 2015 general election I made the point that Ed Miliband’s Labour had – and the polls confirmed it – popular policies, but that it lacked a narrative that bound them together and exercised a broad and deep enough appeal to the electorate. Its plot, such as it was, certainly did… Read More »

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 »