In praise of Trenton Oldfield

I awoke today to the news that Royal Marines had been mustered to protect a particular inter-university sports day, commonly known as the “Oxford Cambridge Boat Race”. Such news further entrenched my feeling that the disrupter of last year’s race might have been on to something. For me, the most enjoyable outcome of Trenton’s action […]

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Lord Ahmed blamed the “jews”, because “Urdu has no word for Zionists”. This tells us a lot, and not just about Lord Ahmed.

There is something rather telling about the interview between Medhi Hassan and Lord Ahmed, published today in the Huffington Post. Ahmed took the opportunity to offer an unreserved apology for an appearance on Pakistani television wherein he blamed a conspiracy of Jews – particularly Jewish media owners – for the prison sentence that he received some years […]

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The struggle against sexism does not justify this bosses’ clampdown on infantile toilet humour (which is fundamentally awesome and win).

The annual conference of Python software developers does not usually make news beyond the world of computer geekery. This year’s conference, however has has given rise to a snowballing controversy  surrounding female tech-professional and conference attendee Adria Richards. Depending on who you read, Richards is either a tenacious advocate of women’s empowerment in a male-dominated […]

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Cyprus, Ireland and the stench of German hypocrisy

Since the crisis in the Cypriot banking system became apparent, the position of the German government has been clear: those who have deposited money into the Cypriot banking system – mainly  Cypriots and Russians – must be prepared to meet the cost of bailing it out.  “Anyone having their money in Cypriot banks must contribute […]

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Neither progressive taxation, nor an end to austerity, will be enough to build a stronger, fairer economy

Under the coalition, budget day has become quite a ritual. The precise details of Osborne’s budget are yet to be revealed. Nonetheless, it is already easy to predict what budget day will sound like. The telegraphistas will complain that the Cameroons are not cutting fast enough. The Tory leadership, for their part, will say something about Labour’s […]

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The left must put aside obscure ideological differences and unite on what matters

The SWP – one of the most successful organising forces on the British left over the last few decades – is close to death, its good work sacrificed on the altar of the cult a flawed model of democratic centralism created. I will spend no time mourning for there is no time to mourn. The […]

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Firebox is a great space for progressive politics. Help it do even more.

Click here to donate to the Firebox Kickstarter Campaign. Back in the summer of 2012 I got involved with launching Firebox, a progressive cafe and events space in South Camden. In the months since Tony Benn cut the ribbon at the official launch, Firebox  has evolved into something quite significant, as a place in which […]

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Just because it sounds nice doesn’t mean it actually makes sense

As is the way of these things, a particularly stupid and irritating Facebook meme seems to have resurrected itself recently. The meme in question is this letter to the Guardian from ex-Labour minister Michael Meacher (or Michael “was September 11 an inside job?” Meacher, to give him his full title), which originally appeared in print […]

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Post-imperial play-acting: The bizarre spectacle of the commonwealth charter

Ever since our imperial possessions broke away from us, we Brits have been coming up with different ideological coping mechanisms to deal with our historic butthurt. The latest delivery of prozac came today, with the unveiling of the commonwealth charter. In short the queen stood up in her palace to explain how the 53 other […]

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The Iraq war really was a disaster, no matter what Nick Cohen might want to believe

For those who missed it, Nick Cohen was in typically bullish form in last Sunday’s Observer, looking back on (nearly) ten years since the start of the Iraq war: …I would not restore the Ba’ath if I had the power to rewind history. To do so would be to betray people who wanted something better […]

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