Take your protein pills and put your helmet on. In this #ACFM Microdose to accompany the gang’s recent Trip into space, Keir is joined by Fred Scharmen, author of Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space. Drawing on his background in architecture and spatial design, Scharmen unpacks the desire to go into space and create new worlds from scratch.
Activist and journalist Julian Brave NoiseCat explains the importance of land rights and sovereignty in the fight against climate breakdown in an extended interview from Planet B: Everything Must Change. Speaking to Harpreet Kaur Paul, NoiseCat explores the long history of Indigenous resistance to land colonialism and argues that the Indigenous experience
One of the most striking statistics in grasping the speed at which we are transforming the planet is how China consumes more concrete every three years than the United States did in the whole of the 20th century.  Alongside the acceleration of how we use resources, this fact highlights the unique role China now plays in climate change. The world’s largest country,
Tensions over the Conservative party’s economic policy have erupted just weeks before chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review,  which will be released on 27 October. This set-piece occasion is meant to outline the government’s spending plans for the next three years, up to the general election in late 2024.  But whilst Sunak has positioned himself
Just after the bombshell revelations about the CIA plot to kidnap and assassinate WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange while he sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the Progressive International comes to London with the first physical Belmarsh Tribunal. The intervention comes ahead of Assange’s extradition proceedings, which
Recover. Reclaim. Reoccupy. How do we make land for living, not for profit? In the second episode of Planet B: Everything Must Change, Harpreet Kaur Paul finds out how the way we’re using land is both accelerating the climate crisis and violating the rights of local communities. Expert insights come from Alex Wijeratna, campaign director at Mighty Earth,
10 years ago, over a bowl of ramen near Times Square, David Graeber gave me a copy of his book Debt: the first 5000 years. Inside, was a typically generous dedication: “For David Wengrow, who has gotten me excited about the past in a way no one has since I can barely remember.” It was the start of a project that would absorb us for the next 10 years, as an
Does a “Green New Deal” make sense outside of America – or even within it? Sarah Jaffe contrasts the demand for green jobs with the growing resistance to work in a extended interview from Planet B: Everything Must Change, a podcast series produced with Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung London. The author of Work Won’t Love You Back talks to Dalia Gebrial
“This isn’t about the undercover police officer who deceived me,” says Kate Wilson, an activist who was duped into an intimate relationship with an officer for two years in the 2000s. “He’s a pawn in the operation; he isn’t the one setting the strategy, or deciding to have the undercover operation in the first place. It has always been about getting the people
Is there such a thing as a good landlord? Britain is being held hostage by a class of people whose only talent is owning stuff, and extracting money from people who don’t. Rents have doubled in the decade following the financial crisis, and the average house price is between 8 and 14 times the average annual wage. Maybe – even if you’re a nice
Can people power face down the fossil fuel lobbies? Jeremy Corbyn lays out his hopes for the global fight against climate breakdown in this bonus episode from the podcast series Planet B: Everything Must Change. The Labour MP talks to host Dalia Gebrial about environmental reparations, a just transition in the North Sea oil sector, the influence of lobbyists
For the second time in six years a British MP has been violently killed while doing their job. We discuss the circumstances of the tragic death of Sir David Amess, and why it seems Britain cannot keep its politicians safe from harm. Also on the show – Dominic Cummings Attacks Keir Starmer as an “Uber dud” – Priti Patel’s new border policy provokes psychopathic
Commute. Pollute. Repeat. What are we working for? In the first episode of Planet B: Everything Must Change, a new six-part series from Novara Media and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung London, host Dalia Gebrial tackles the future of work. As the climate changes, what kinds of work will we find ourselves doing? Which of our jobs will be valued, and which will become
SATURDAY 29 AUGUST 2020 Are you going or nah? Cause I really don’t know lol I really am undecided It just doesn’t feel right to be ayying on insta story right now . . . If I go it’ll be last minute. Within a few hours of these WhatsApp exchanges, my best friend, Jere Agbaje, and I were indeed ‘ayying’ on our Instagram stories, in attendance of a Black gay housewarming
In the electric summer of 2014, I took a clifftop heritage railway from Douglas to the top of Snaefell. In the café there, I had cream tea and Irn-Bru. On a clear day, which of course it wasn’t, I’d also have had vistas over Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was the most British thing I’ve ever done. But I wasn’t in the UK. I was on the Isle of Man. A week
It was never meant to be as close-run as it was. Scottish independence had historically been a marginal cause, and the Scottish National party a fringe – even mocked – nationalist party. Even as David Cameron in 2012 signed the Edinburgh Agreement, which cemented a legally binding referendum for 2014, support for independence was hovering around the mid-20s
When Tom Nairn was assembling his book The Break-Up of Britain in 1977, the publishers were keen to add a question mark. After all, Marxists had been embarrassed by prophecy before. Nairn resisted, successfully: his point was not just that the British state seemed to be on the verge of territorial disintegration, but that the mirage of national unity which underpinned
As the curtain fell on the twentieth century, the United Kingdom was one of the most stable countries on Earth. A member of the European Union since 1973, it had seemingly emerged from its colonial era, concurrent with the very invention of Britain, as a society capable of cyclical renewal. The partition of Ireland endured – though even here a breakthrough came
Wrth i’r llen ddisgyn ar yr ugeinfed ganrif, roedd y Deyrnas Unedig yn un o’r gwledydd mwyaf sefydlog ar y Ddaear. Yn aelod o’r Undeb Ewropeaidd ers 1973, edrychai fel petai ei bod wedi codi o’i chyfnod gwladychol ar yr un pryd y crëwyd y DU fel cymdeithas a oedd yn medru adnewyddu ei hun tro ar ôl tro. Roedd Iwerddon dal wedi’i rhannu – hyd yn oed os daeth
In May, Wales went to the polls for the 2021 Senedd election. Notably, although the official position of Welsh Labour – the largest political party in Wales – is that Wales should remain part of the UK, in this election the party selected three candidates who openly support Welsh independence.  Indeed, the question of independence is being discussed in ways
If neoliberalism really is over then what comes after? And could this new political and economic moment, where a larger state is embraced, see a turn right rather than left? Aaron Bastani speaks to sociologist Paolo Gerbaudo about his new book, ‘The Great Recoil’, examining how ideas of protection, control and state intervention are replacing
For years, Uber has fought tooth and nail to deny drivers like me many of the basic rights that no person should have to work without. Up until February this year, the company forced us to sign up on contracts that bogusly defined us as self-employed, which meant we didn’t receive a minimum wage or holiday pay. However, following a lengthy legal battle waged against
It’s May Day and Trafalgar Square is slowly filling with protesters, though from their banners – “resist mass eviction”, “decriminalise sex work”, “queer solidarity always”, “cops aren’t kosher” – it isn’t clear that they’re here together. Things start to fall into place when a pickup truck pulls on to the square carrying a sound system,
On 26 September, Berliners voted in a historic referendum to expropriate residential property owned by major corporate landlords. The referendum, which passed with more than 56% of votes in favour and 39% against, is the culmination of more than three years of work by a campaign called Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co – Deutsche Wohnen is the name
Congratulations! You made it through a pandemic, survived Gavin Williamson messing up your grades and now you’re going to university. Since almost 361,000 students rent accommodation from their university, and over 175,000 from private companies like Unite Students, this likely means you’ll spend a year living in university halls. And it most probably
A strange prospect has reared its head in recent months, its arrival so unlikely that even the most dogged of Starmer-sceptics could never have predicted it.  Over the weekend, as Labour’s annual conference got underway, this previously faint suspicion suddenly came through in high definition: Keir Starmer – a man who constantly appeals to decency
A rule change to rig future elections for Labour party leader was passed by a narrow margin after multiple delegates were suspended. Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar discuss Starmer’s contempt for democracy and other conference news.
In 1911, chancellor David Lloyd George announced a brand new scheme: a system of “national insurance” against sickness and unemployment. Lloyd George’s idea was simple: employers, workers and the state would each contribute to an insurance fund that would pay for medical care and unemployment benefits in times of need. It was highly controversial at the
We are in a moment of epochal transition; a time when times basic assumptions about the direction of society shared across the political mainstream, are radically undermined, forcing all actors to reposition themselves. Neoliberalism, and the long-held bipartisan consensus about the power of self-regulating markets have lost credibility and appeal
For five years socialists in Britain united under the project of electing a Labour government with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister. Since that project failed, Labour has been taken over by a new leader who has stripped the party of ideology and is rigging the rules so that the left will never have influence again.
This summer was a sobering reminder of the desperate need to mitigate climate change. With temperatures reaching levels ‘beyond human tolerance’ and the oceans set ablaze, the United Nations secretary-general declared a “code red for humanity”. This age of climate extremes, while obviously unsettling, isn’t unavoidable if we act decisively. Governments
The last two years of Boris Johnson’s leadership have been defined by a heady mix of disaster and triumph: Brexit, a landslide election victory, a catastrophic pandemic, by-election wins and one surprising loss. What makes Johnsonism different from the Conservatism of yesteryear, and what’s coming next?
It is easy to become immune to the hypocrisy of politicians. From millionaire Tory MPs calling for austerity to Boris Johnson, our serial adulterer-prime minister with an unverified number of children, warning against family breakdown, ‘do as I say not as I do’ has become a default motto for our ruling class. Yet during the fallout of the Taliban’s recapture
I am tired. I am tired and I want to switch my brain off, it’s turning into mush anyway. I don’t know whether that’s a side effect from a year and a half of social withdrawal or if it is merely a sign of advancing age. Indeed, I wonder if that’s what happened to those women that kept disappearing from the left when they hit 30. I remember P – a
“Liberalism isn’t good enough for us,” wrote radical lesbian activist and writer Martha Shelly in 1969, “and we are just beginning to discover it. Your friendly smile of acceptance—from the safe position of heterosexuality—isn’t enough. As long as you cherish that secret belief that you are a little bit better because you sleep with the opposite sex, you
As soon as I was hired for my last job, a minimum-wage retail assistant role, I was added to the work WhatsApp. I quickly saw that my boss would bombard the chat at all hours, asking staff to locate customer orders, or explain emails they’d sent weeks ago. Once, when none of us replied to a Saturday late-night message, she demanded to know what we could possibly –
Leadership elections in the Green party used to be a quiet affair. Well, not anymore. Following the sudden resignation of co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry, the Greens are holding a snap leadership election just 13 months after their last. The field of candidates is the largest ever, and they’re promising big changes. Previous election campaigns
Anyone unfortunately even vaguely acquainted with the attack lines of Britain’s small but virulent transphobic movement will recognise that proclaiming you’re being ‘silenced’ is one of their favoured tactics. From the likes of writer Suzanne Moore asserting they are being censored in multiple op-eds for the Guardian, to the Times columnist Janice Turner
Jeremy Gilbert, Nadia Idle and Keir Milburn go boldly into an episode on the politics of space. What even is space – and why does it so often seem to be the domain of the political right? How does the built environment have the power to discipline or liberate us? And why do all the billionaires want to get off the planet and into outer space? With reference to Reclaim
As with so much in Britain, from housing to high streets, adult social care is at breaking point – and things are set to get even worse.  The principal reason for this is simple: we are getting older. While disability accounts for a significant proportion of adult social care spending, more than half goes on people over 65. In the coming decades, as people
What can our towns and cities become after the pandemic? Ahead of the next #ACFM on space, Nadia Idle goes down to street level to discuss spatial equality with architect and planner Pooja Agrawal. As the co-founder of Public Practice, a social enterprise bringing good design into local government, Agrawal spends a lot time thinking about how public space is
From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban held power over roughly three-quarters of Afghanistan and enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic, law. During that period, they oversaw the oppression of women, banning them from public life and subjecting them to violence. But this time they claim their rule will be different. Taliban spokesmen have insisted
Perhaps fittingly, I heard that David Graeber had passed away while I was chairing a panel discussion at the Anarchist Studies Network conference. The conference was being held online and I was passed a virtual note. I made the announcement to those present – many of whom had known him personally, all of whom were inspired by him politically and intellectually