Just before the general election, a colleague and I met shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth’s team to make the case for scrapping the government’s flagship talking therapy service, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). It would have been a long, hard sell, even to a left Labour government. Politicians, NHS bosses and the media have
Tag: Novara Media
Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani react to the Channel 4 Labour Leadership debate.
Nadia Idle, Jeremy Gilbert and Keir Milburn discuss Acid Urbanism, including, The Right to the City, Communist Follies and Reclaiming the Streets. Edited and produced by Olivia Humphreys, Matt Huxley and Matt Phull. PRS LICENCE NUMBER: LE-0016481 Tracklist: D-Shake – Techno Trance/ The Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer in the City/ David Bowie
The Government’s Inadequate Response to Flooding Is Further Proof It ‘Just Doesn’t Get’ Climate Change
Heavy rain and strong winds are set to hit the UK again this weekend, with Storm Dennis expected to strike just days after Storm Ciara caused severe flooding in Wales and the north of England. Once again thousands of people face waking up to find their homes and businesses underwater. Once again they will have to sift through their waterlogged possessions and
Miners in Georgia Are Staging Wildcat Strikes in a Bid to Survive As Their Working Conditions Worsen
“Just last week, a 26-year-old guy was killed in one of our mines,” says Paata Samkharadze, sitting behind the desk of his cramped union office. “I just got off the phone with a couple of colleagues heading to his funeral.” Samkharadze has silver hair, faded tattoos on his forearms, and heads the Trade Union of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Industry
Aaron Bastani and Michael Walker are joined by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey to discuss his new book ‘Why You Should Be a Trade Unionist’.
“One reason we lost the election was that Labour’s campaign lacked a coherent narrative… [because] Labour’s Green New Deal… was tragically undersold… It should have been a core part of our offer,” argues Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey. But what would it take for the GND to actually provide a strong framework for leftwing politics
Michael and Aaron talk over the results of the New Hampshire primary, the government’s rushed deportation to Jamaica, and preview the first televised Labour leadership debate.
‘If Anything Is Worth Stopping, This Is’: Activists Say They Will Fight Harder, As Johnson Backs HS2
In the middle of January a young man climbed a tree in the Colne Valley, just outside Uxbridge, in a bid to stop the corporation developing HS2 from cutting it down. After three days spent livestreaming the experience he was removed by a team of specialist police officers and taken to hospital with hypothermia. Boris Johnson officially gave HS2, the high speed
The Green Anti-Capitalist Front (GAF) have occupied the abandoned high security police station at Paddington Green, London. The successful occupation, which started on 7 February, is supported by squatters and other activists and has ambitions for creating a lasting impact in the local community. Best known as a place where those suspected of terrorist
Despite unprecedented public outrage, a deportation flight to Jamaica left at dawn on Tuesday morning with 17 people onboard. A last minute court order meant another 25 people who had been threatened with removal remained in the UK. At Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), where I am research and policy coordinator, we have spent several weeks working
There are not many national or global issues where rightwing and leftwing views appear to converge, but the immediacy of a burgeoning infectious disease outbreak is one of them. There is no time to quibble about ideological hypotheticals in a situation that is happening right now, when we have only the resources and structures that exist already to deal with
Labour Party Deputy Leadership Candidate Richard Burgon joins Michael Walker to discuss his peace pledge, party reform and why he thinks he deserves Labour members’ votes.
Workers at St Mungo’s have voted for strike action by an overwhelming margin. The issues at stake include a reduction in annual leave entitlement and the charity’s sickness and disciplinary policies. But homelessness workers are also up in arms about the charity’s history of sharing rough sleepers’ personal information with the Home Office without
In the aftermath of the general election, some commentators have labelled the push for a four-day working week as emblematic of the flaws in the Labour party’s campaign. Critics slammed the policy as being part of a “cornucopia of promises” in a manifesto that read like a shopping list of “seemingly bottomless generosity”. But abandoning demands for shorter
In a snap general election, called by premier Leo Varadker looking to capitalise on his handling of the Brexit negotiations, left-wing party Sinn Féin has made huge gains that surpassed even its own expectations. After a late campaign surge propelled the party to first place in a number of opinion polls just days before the ballot, counts today indicate that
The very definition of a democracy is regular and free elections. While you can talk about a range of other things, from the unaccountable power of the billionaire owned press to lobbyists and PR, all of them abide in countries which are formally democratic. If you care about the direction of your society, elections are particularly important. For socialists
Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial discuss Iain Dale’s GMB walkout, and why centrists can only play politics on easy mode; Richard’s Burgon’s “Peace Pledge”; and the upcoming elections in Ireland with Sinn Fein Senator Paul Gavan.
With Sinn Féin storming ahead in the Irish electoral race, the Irish progressive movement for the first time can envisage a social democratic government, while the probability of a unification referendum on the island’s future has just become near inevitable. In a series of polls that have been making Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil strategists increasingly queasy,
James Butler is joined by Owen Jones to take stock as the Left faces 2020. What will five years of Boris Johnson bring? Are the far right emboldened – and can they be defeated? And is it right to complain about the British press?
Why do the British media seem to have such a hard time identifying people who share the same skin tone? Ash Sarkar takes a look at the phenomenon known as ‘cross-race effect’.
In November 2018, a wave of popular anger was unleashed in France by the gilets jaunes (yellow jackets) movement. Largely composed of rural and small town private sector workers, the gilets jaunes eventually forced the Macron government into raising the minimum wage and abandoning its proposed fuel tax hike. Just over a year later a second wave of popular
The war on drugs has failed, but at what cost? And what are the possible solutions from Colombia to Britain? Aaron Bastani is joined by Antony Loewenstein – author of Pills, Powder and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs.
Last week, as news of Coronavirus spread, third-party accounts selling offensive and racially-charged items were quick to turn tragedy into profit. The account Do What Now Tees advertised a T-shirt with a gasmask design and the slogan “Not Today Kung Flu”. Another seller, Viral Trends, sold a long-sleeve shirt in a choice of five colours featuring
Back in September, a remarkable thing happened; around 5000 people marched through Merthyr Tydfil – a historic Labour safe seat – calling for Welsh independence. With the appetite for sovereignty growing across the country, the way the party and the wider left choose to engage with the issue will determine their place in Welsh politics. Aside
Aaron Bastani is joined by investigative journalist Phil Miller to discuss his new book, Keenie Meenie, and how British mercenaries got away with war crimes.
In the West Midlands the Labour party is currently in the process of selecting its candidate for metro mayor. Viewed by some as a fight for the soul of the party in the region, the mayoral selection is high noon for the Labour right – for whom the West Midlands has been a stronghold for more than three decades. The left’s candidate is anti-war activist Salma Yaqoob,
Labour Party Leadership Candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey joins Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani to discuss her vision for Labour, and why she thinks she deserves members’ votes.
Boris Johnson’s approval of Huawei for use in (parts of) the UK’s developing 5G network is a more decisive moment in our post-Brexit future than is perhaps realised. But it also points towards the increasingly large role for the state in the digital economy as neoliberalism slowly expires. For a number of years, the US has alleged that Huawei (owned, in a complicated
On the evening of the Iowa caucus Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani ask what Bernie Sanders and his supporters can learn from the experience of Britain’s Labour party in recent years.
The UN’s Top Court Has Offered Myanmar’s Rohingya a Glimmer of Hope, but Justice Is Still a Distant Prospect
The International Court of Justice issued an emergency injunction against Myanmar last month in a grossly delayed move by the international community to protect the country’s Rohingya minority against further brutality from the Burmese military. But while the unanimous verdict from the principal judicial organ of the United Nations is significant,
On 22 January, in celebration of Bolivia’s Day of the Plurinational State, exiled former president Evo Morales addressed a packed-out stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, affirming his commitment to the struggle for social liberation in Bolivia. His speech came as Bolivia is embroiled in a devastating crisis of democracy after a military-civic coup in October
After another tumultuous year in which we saw increasingly severe weather events and natural disasters, there’s only one thing we can be certain of; it’s going to get worse. In Australia fires stretch the near entirety of the coastline, tens of metres toward the sky; the most severe the country’s ever seen. The scale is unprecedented, the impact unimaginable.
On a #BrexitDay edition of #TyskySour, Michael is joined by Grace Blakeley and Mike Galsworthy to assess the last three years of political wrangling, and debate life for the UK outside of the EU.
James Butler is joined by James Schneider, until recently Jeremy Corbyn’s Head of Strategic Communications, to discuss the aftermath of Labour’s defeat, the Corbyn period, and the next steps for the left.
One of the most striking things about periods of profound political upheaval is the inconsistency. The Corbyn moment, which has (for the moment at least) transformed both Labour and the political perspectives of the left as a whole, is no different. In the spring of 2015, I was writing articles talking about the impending need for the Labour left to split. Here
Errol Graham was just four and a half stone when his emaciated body was found by bailiffs. The 57 year old had starved to death in a flat with no electricity or gas supply. The only food in his cupboards were two tins of fish, four years out of date. His benefits had been stopped by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) only months before. As a vulnerable claimant
As Trump announces his plan to carve up Palestine, we speak to Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, on why resistance is now more urgent than ever.
The Save Latin Village campaign has put out urgent messages on social media, calling on grassroots activists to take part in one of north London’s most important gentrification battles. A protest has been organised for Wednesday 29 January from 6:30pm at Haringey’s Labour office on Highcross Street. Last Friday morning at 8:55am, bailiffs posted eviction
A commemorative 50 pence piece is low on my list of things to get angry about. Life has a habit of dishing out enough bad news as it is, whether it’s the ill-health of a family member or a missed professional opportunity. What’s more, the world has much to put right: our media is broken, our economy is kleptocratic and the sinews of our political system feel
Labour Party Deputy Leadership Candidate Dawn Butler joins Michael Walker to discuss her vision for Labour, and why she thinks she deserves members’ votes.
In the time of the First Temple, in the world of the Hebrew Bible, the ancient Israelites brought sacrifices to the cultic centre in Jerusalem. One of these was the korban o’la – an offering of burnt animal fat. Every part of the sacrificed animal was burnt on the altar, except for its skin. The Hebrew word o’la, meaning rising up, referred to
In 1996, the Australian Holocaust survivor Therese Ungar sat down for a biographical interview for the Shoah Foundation. Born in 1923 in Vienna, in 1942 she and her family were deported to Theresienstadt ghetto, before being transferred to Auschwitz in 1944. There she saw two fellow prisoners being intimate with each other – girls hugging and kissing.
With Spain’s new left-wing coalition taking office earlier this month, deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias declared its ambition “to convert the country into a European and global reference point for social justice, combatting climate change and for feminist policies.” Though lacking the more transformative measures of the Corbyn project, the programme
It’s time that the Labour party had a female leader. We are the party of progressive policies for women, with real commitment to closing the gender pay gap, introducing flexible working hours and a menopause workplace policy, and tackling sexual harassment. The Conservative party, which is committed to none of these things and has overseen the decimation
Clare Gallagher’s ultramarathon career is a story of pure grit. In 2017, she ran her first ever 100-mile race, the Leadville 100 – a race that is as mountainous as it is prestigious. She came in first place. The following year she ran the 63-mile CCC (Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix) race which part-circumnavigates the highest peak in the Alps, Mont Blanc.
Shortly before declaring her candidature for the Labour leadership, Rebecca Long-Bailey called for a revival of what she termed “progressive patriotism” to restore the party’s fortunes in working class communities. Conservative critics predictably read her pledge as a feeble apology for the current Labour leadership’s seemingly deep-seated
On this episode of #TyskySour, Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar discuss Laurence Fox and the culture wars, plus the latest on the Labour leadership.
Over the past two months, the Australian subconscious has been subsumed by images from the Bureau of Meteorology: topographic maps depicting the spread of uncontrollable bushfires across residential areas, or the spread of freak thunderstorms that leave mounds of hail in their wake. As the smoke from the bushfires on the northern coast of New South Wales
Britain’s press has been partisan since the arrival of mass democracy. Inevitably this has benefited conservative politics, with one historian noting how the press barons were happy to use their papers as “instruments of political warfare” ahead of the 1945 general election. Indeed, this was so obvious as to be openly admitted by the proprietors
With Andrew Fisher and Sienna Rodgers
First the Amazon was on fire. Then the Arctic. Now Australia. In the UK, as elsewhere, 2019 was the year that climate exploded onto the agenda, following the IPCC’s dire 12-year warning and the emergence of a new climate movement, from Extinction Rebellion to young climate strikers. Over the course of last year, much of the radical left coalesced around an answer:
One month after Labour’s catastrophic defeat, James Butler is joined by Richard Seymour to dig into attempts to understand the loss, and how the left moves on from it.
Earlier this month the United States assassinated senior Iranian General Qassem Suleimani – but do America and its allies really care about democracy in the Middle East?
If 20th century artist Edward Hopper had been alive today it’s likely the solitary figures in his realist oil paintings would have been lit by the LED light of their smartphone screens. Pop in a few laptops and his most famous piece, Nighthawks, could be a scene from a modern metropolis almost anywhere in the world. After all, cities have long been synonymous with
Keir Starmer promised to “end factionalism” in the Labour party at the launch of his leadership bid on 11 January. Starmer presumably believes this pitch will be popular given the fatigue felt by both Labour’s membership and the wider public at the party’s very public infighting. However, the former director of public prosecutions is yet to spell out what ending
On this episode of #TyskySour Aaron Bastani and Michael Walker discuss the recent debate between the leading candidates for the Democrat nomination and why Bernie Sanders is different to Jeremy Corbyn.
Australia is on fire. So why do so many of it’s politicians seem intent on denying the cause?
The UK is now in the middle of two great divorces: Britain leaving the EU; Harry and Meghan leaving the ‘senior’ Royal Family. Were both caused by racism? How long will the transition period be? And what about the future relationship? With Ash Sarkar and Anand Menon.
For over a month, swathes of workers across France have taken to the streets in response to Emmanuel Macron’s proposed welfare reforms. The wide-ranging measures include raising the full pension age from 62 to 64, introducing a universal pension system by consolidating 42 different plans with varying benefits and privileges for workers across sectors,
The gig economy has begun the new decade with yet another death. On Friday 3 January, an Uber Eats and Deliveroo rider was stabbed after an altercation with a car driver in what has become an all too familiar scenario over the last few years. Colleagues of the rider have since come forward as victims of similar attacks, and only last May, an Uber Eats driver was
If a Royal Couple Can’t Challenge Britain’s Sick Press, What Hope Does a Progressive Politician Have?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced last week that they would be stepping back from their senior duties with the Royal Family. At the same time they published what they called a revised media approach befitting their lesser status. Within days Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, returned to Canada. The response from the press was as swift as it was deranged.
Nominations are about to close for Labour Leader and Deputy Leader candidates – who’ll get through to the next round? Plus, Carlos Delclos about Spain’s new progressive government. With Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani.
In light of Labour’s devastating defeat, it’s right to demand strategic change that makes the party capable of winning the next general election. But we must resist those who seek to use ‘electability’ as a mask to uphold the socio-economic status quo. December’s election was meant to be a turning point. It was meant to be the beginning
While the left focuses on Labour’s leadership, the Tories have been laying out their plans for the economy. Is Johnson serious about Northern Investment? And will new infrastructure keep the ‘Red Wall’ blue?
The #ACFM crew take stock in the wake of Labour’s defeat and the dawning of a new year.
On this episode of #TyskySour Aaron Bastani is joined by Joe Glenton as they discuss recent events in the Middle East. Is the assassination of Qassem Suleimani the beginning of the end for the United States in the region?
In December, Novara Media revealed that a leading figure in the Kier Starmer campaign had extensive links to Owen Smith’s failed leadership bid in 2016. When asked if others from the Smith campaign were also involved in Starmer’s leadership tilt, the Westminster office of the Holborn and St Pancras MP did not respond. Politically, links between
George is sitting across from me on top of a wooden crate smoking a poorly-rolled cigarette. He closes his eyes in a futile attempt to get some rest for the day ahead. It’s cold outside and he certainly feels it, wearing nothing save for a creased shirt, black trousers and a damp apron. George is undertaking the ‘workhouse shift’ in a marquee at Goodwood
Last night, Iran’s top general was killed in a drone strike ordered by President Trump. Has the assassination of Qassem Soleimani put the US and Iran on a path to war? With Eskandar Sadeghi and David Wearing.
On this episode of #TyskySour Aaron Bastani is joined by writer and academic Tom Mills to examine the BBC’s coverage of the recent general election. Was it always this bad?
As the Labour party gears up to choose its next leader, members will make up their minds on who to support based on different criteria and priorities related to policy, personality and ideas for running the party. There’s one thing that should concern everyone with a stake in the leadership election though: the candidates’ attitude to climate change.
“In this day and age, these community groups are going to get well important,” Santa tells Novara Media, raising his voice slightly to be heard above the din of dozens of excitable children. “Everyone needs to pull together and do their little bit, whether it’s for the kids or the old people or the single parents. Everyone needs to do
Immediately following Labour’s general election defeat Jeremy Corbyn announced he would step down as party leader. Since then both Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis have come forward as potential successors, with others – including Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey – expected to announce their entry shortly. Those four, alongside Jess
In the last #TyskySour of 2019, Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani discuss who’ll be Labour’s next leader, and how Boris Johnson will govern with his newly won majority.
As of right now the frontrunners for the Labour leadership are two women who serve in the shadow cabinet. Both are from Greater Manchester and, by the standards of elite-level politics, both are young. Importantly from the perspective of the party’s left-leaning membership, both were committed to Labour’s two manifestos under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
With the potential for divisions among the Labour left, Momentum must empower its members by letting them democratically decide who it endorses as the next Labour leader. With all wings of Labour already looking to the upcoming leadership contest, Momentum now begins the process of deciding who to endorse as the next leader of the party. With its considerable
On this episode of #TyskySour Aaron Bastani is joined by Paul Mason as they discuss Labour’s election results. Did the commitment to a ‘people’s vote’ destroy any chance of winning?
Dear Readers, Last week the Conservatives achieved a major electoral victory, and they will now set about remaking the country in their image once more. It is an unquestionable blow for the left, which has expended much energy resisting the devastating effects of a decade of Tory rule whilst trying to bring about a new political settlement which raises the prospects
The 2019 general election has already led to much soul-searching on the left. In particular, the loss of many seats in the so-called ‘red wall’ of historically safe seats in Wales, the midlands and the north is claimed to demonstrate the social distance between the party’s left-wing cosmopolitan London activists and its traditional working-class base. Why
There’s no false consolation here: the result was bad, it could have been worse, and if we think about what might happen in the next few years, there is at least the possibility that it will get worse at the next election. The left in Britain will need a clear-sighted and politically viable plan to prevent that happening and to rebuild; but looking at the very wide
Thursday Ian Lavery watched as the “Red Wall” collapsed around him. He joins Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar to discuss the cost of a Second Referendum, and what next for Labour.
In moments like this, everyone has to have a take. The unrelenting tempo of social media feeds won’t allow otherwise. Of course, people are more than entitled to air their reflections and opinions about what went wrong, how we got here, and how the disparity between hope and reality got so wide. But it is galling to see people who were sideswiped by the result –
Despite the heroic efforts of tens of thousands of activists knocking on doors, Labour were thoroughly routed in last week’s general election. What went wrong, and what now for Labour? With Aaron Bastani and Huda Elmi.
From 9:30pm til 5am Novara Media stayed with you for the GE2019 election results.
This is our defeat, and we have to own it. As if we have a choice. And we know what this means. The body count from austerity and the hostile environment will multiply. An already fairly awful society is going to get brutally worse. And it is difficult to see how this won’t feed into yet more violent racism and hatred of foreigners predicated on zero-sum ethnic competition.
In a monumental turn of events, the 2017 general election saw Canterbury elect Labour’s Rosie Duffield as its MP with a majority of 187, ending almost two centuries of Conservative and Conservative-allied rule. The campaign to hold the seat in 2019 has been built on the appeal of Duffield’s pro-Remain stance to a constituency that voted to stay in the EU at 54
This Election Campaign Showed the Left’s Power. Win or Lose We Must Continue to Build a Socialist Future
This election campaign has seen an astonishing display of the power of the resurgent British left. Thousands of activists have gone out on the doorstep, mobilised by Momentum and joined by parliamentarians, outriders and even some celebrities in an immensely impressive ground game. If the campaign was just a few weeks longer, we would end it with a double-digit
In a world of competing narratives serving competing interests, there’s always a temptation to gravitate to the political centre ground, the would-be midpoint between two apparent extremes, with its aura of moderation, reasonableness and realism. After all, isn’t the truth supposed to be ‘somewhere in the middle’, a composite of competing claims?
On this episode of #TyskySour Aaron Bastani is joined by Bhaskar Sunkara and Ellie Mae O’hagan to discuss the days events with one sleep before #GE2019 polling day.
A Conservative party candidate is facing questions over whether she sought to profit from Britain’s hunger crisis with an app that charged food banks hundreds of pounds to promote lists of items they need from donors. Miriam Cates, who is standing in the marginal Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency in South Yorkshire, launched the Foodbank app in 2014
For the past several years, Scotland has been stuck in a constitutional quagmire over the question of independence. 2014’s referendum pitted an optimistic ‘yes’ campaign in favour of independence against a ‘no’ campaign dubbed “Project Fear”. It is little wonder that young people by-and-large got behind the “yes”
“Are you here for the quilting group or the election?” asks an elderly lady on the gate of a church in a West Sussex seaside town. So begins my bizarre night at the only political event being held in the constituency of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton. I’m here to see each of the six parliamentary candidates answer questions from voters in this safe Tory seat which
As we approach the election endgame, a new right-wing movement has emerged in Britain. The NHS truthers. With Grace Blakeley and Bell Ribeiro-Addy
In the closing days of the election campaign, Labour’s anxieties have switched from remain-leaning Liberal Democrat marginals to ordinarily safe seats in the midlands and north, so many of which voted to leave the EU – often overwhelmingly so. These seats supposedly constitute Labour’s English ‘heartland’, as the cliché goes. It’s an association that isn’t
“Not everyone is born equal though, are they?” In the wake of Labour’s radical commitment to educational equality, I anticipated I’d have easier gigs than representing the party at a hustings in a private school. To be fair, most of the audience was eager to hear what all the candidates had to say. But some, like the student who I’ve quoted above,
Labour’s vision for the UK features a dramatic shift of power away from a corporate elite who, at present, seem to have more power than our own government. Jeremy Corbyn has railed against corporations that play by their own rules, and Labour hopes to finance a large percentage of its spending commitments by tackling the problem of corporate tax avoidance. Tax
It’s midday outside a taxi office in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, and a man who is still out from the night before is talking about politics. The temperature hovers around five degrees and he’s wearing a grey t-shirt and washed out jeans. He looks jaded. “I’m not fucking voting, there’s no point.” The man, who doesn’t want to be named, is expressing in stark
Boris Johnson says that if you give him and his Conservative party a majority at the general election he’ll be able to ‘get Brexit done’. But is that actually true?
This is it. We’re in the final straight of #GE2019. On this episode of #TyskySour, Michael is joined by Aaron Bastani and NEF director Miatta Fahnbulleh to discuss the state of the race.