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Pre-release title. On Special. Firm Sale. Internationally Sourced. In your basket. Large Print. Moreover, what it said was not academic and abstract, but vivid and urgent. These were convulsive times. After austerity and recession, the Falklands war came in , ensuring another Thatcher election win a year later.
British coal miners began a year-long strike in and were defeated in ; the printworkers who took on Rupert Murdoch began a similarly doomed struggle in In came the most seismic change of all: European Communism breathed its last , and the free-market politics championed by Thatcher and Reagan was proclaimed triumphant.
Blair’s Educational Legacy - Thirteen Years of New Labour | A. Green | Palgrave Macmillan
Such were the birth pangs of a new order, as an innovative kind of accelerated capitalism spread across the planet. In the everyday world, this transformation took the form of a turbocharged consumerism, so that as old certainties collapsed, the world was suddenly painted in deep and dazzling colours. As Britain and the wider world were transformed, the magazine set out on a journey based on three big ideas. One, the work of the renowned historian and lifelong Communist Eric Hobsbawm, was a clear diagnosis of the crisis that had confronted Labour and the trade unions.
Another was a prescient analysis of Thatcherism, a term invented by the Jamaican-British thinker Stuart Hall , and used to describe not just a political project, but its embedding in millions of ordinary lives in the form of basic ideas about common sense and everyday life. By the s, the British Communist party was almost irrelevant as an electoral force, but its senior members included high-ranking trade unionists, and its organisation was partly built around a national network of shop stewards.
Its offices in Covent Garden were bugged by MI5; its daily paper, the Morning Star, came out each day, buoyed by a Soviet subsidy in the form of up to 15, copies bought each day, and flown out to the USSR. I met Jacques, now 69, in his mansion-block apartment nudging Hampstead Heath, where we sat in his kitchen, talking over the endless gurgle of a fishtank and drinking green tea. He was preparing for one of his regular trips to China, the global power he analysed and explained in his bestselling book When China Rules the World , but he happily cast his mind back to the passions that had driven him nearly 50 years ago, when his life was changed by the student militancy that spread across Europe in In Manchester, he and other students were embracing the more political aspects of the s counterculture — but his perspectives were decisively shifted when he spent a week in and around Prague, two months before the Russians arrived.
I can remember it vividly. Jacques recalled how his new job initially worked. There was Minnie Bowles, who was my part-time secretary. She was a very sexy woman of She just had something about her. And there was Margaret Smith, who would put in a day or half-day every week, and she was Effectively, I was on my own. And that was the beginning of a new start.
New Labour’s Domestic Policies: Neoliberal, Social Democratic or a Unique Blend?
In three months spread across and , Marxism Today published the two essays that started to set out a new mission for the British left. The Forward March of Labour Halted? There had been a superficial increase in union militancy in the s, but most of it had been about increasing wages rather than heightening class consciousness.
Written in the somewhat chewy language of cultural and political theory, it was an analysis of what had been quietly happening to politics — and Britain at large — since the s, and which was now being taken to a new level by Thatcher, despite the fact that she was still keeping her brand of zealously free-market economics somewhat hidden.
But in some Communist circles — and beyond, in left-wing academia, the Labour party and the trade unions — the pieces they wrote provoked the same controversy. And it never really has been able to think, of its own accord. A fiercely clever, ideas-hungry Cumbrian and another child of Communist parents, she had come to London to live in a commune, and met and married a musician and journalist called Bobby Campbell. He was a folk violinist and boxing correspondent for the Morning Star, and he encouraged his wife to work for the paper, first as a subeditor and then a reporter.
Being in a room full of women, which was unprecedented … the allure was awesome. Campbell was recruited as a writer by Jacques, and eventually given her own column, titled Bea-Line for which, after some negotiation, she was paid.
And she was shameless. So there was this funny convergence: we were writing about that, and the way that British Labourism produced a politics dedicated to inequalities, at the same time as Hobsbawm delivered The Forward March of Labour Halted? From a different direction, we were addressing the same problem. I was terribly proud to be involved in it. It was so engaged, and restless. And thinking, thinking, thinking. Throughout the s, Jacques and his writers carried on unsettling the left, in often delicate circumstances.
Jacques believes the stink was kicked up at the behest of the Russians.
Blair’s Educational Legacy
And for me, that was the beginning of the end. Amid these factional battles, Jacques managed to remain focused on the magazine to which he was devoting most of his waking hours. That was what I felt like.
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It was like camping. No money, working all the hours god sends. I got ill on several occasions. ME-type illness. I was in a state of total exhaustion. And then there were all these incessant attacks.
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At the core of it all, there was this total devotion to creating a great magazine, and getting the best writers, and getting the most interesting ideas. That was my life. There were about a dozen people permanently there, but that would expand to many more when we needed envelopes to be stuffed, or the magazine to be sent out, or whatever. Particularly now as the […]. Such an epic, diverse story will take a director with real depth to achieve a masterpiece in movie terms. However, Miliband has to work at captivating an audience of real folk — those who he maintains he understands and supports.
Thus, with all his words of wisdom, why is he still failing to connect with the diverse Voices of those who desperately seek change.
Thirteen Years of New Labour
And, why, instead does he continue to do what is easy by ONLY sitting before a specially chosen audience to make his life easy when others are confronting what is difficult? Click here to cancel reply. Experts analyse and debate recent developments across UK government, politics and policy. Facebook Facebook. The New Labour project effectively and profoundly changed the Labour Party. Previous post Next post. IAS November 14, at am - Reply. Leave A Comment. Get our latest articles in your inbox daily.