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A distinctive politics?
Author: Richard Taylor

English radicalism has been a deep-rooted but minority tradition in the political culture since at least the seventeenth century. The central aim of this book is to examine, in historical and political context, a range of key events and individuals that exemplify English radicalism in the twentieth century. This analysis is preceded by defining precisely what has constituted this tradition; and by the main outline of the development of the tradition from the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Three of the main currents of English radicalism in the twentieth century have been the labour movement, the women’s movement and the peace movement. These are discussed in some detail, as a framework for the detailed consideration of ten key representative figures of the tradition in the twentieth century: Bertrand Russell, Sylvia Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Michael Foot, Joan Maynard, Stuart Hall, Tony Benn and Nicolas Walter. The question of ‘agency’ – of how to bring about radical change in a predominantly conservative society and culture – has been a fundamental issue for English radicals. It is argued that, in the twentieth century, many of the important achievements in progressive politics have taken place in and through extra-parliamentary movements, as well as through formal political parties and organisations – the Labour Party and other socialist organisations – and on occasion, through libertarian and anarchist politics. The final chapter considers the continuing relevance of this political tradition in the early twenty-first century, and reviews its challenges and prospects.

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Celia Hughes

socialist men were bound together by a shared identity of class, enthusiasm for newly discovered Marxist ideas, political debate, activity and 9780719091940_4_002.indd 91 11/12/14 2:28 PM 92 Young lives on the Left cultural tastes. The process of being collectively active and learning how to be activists fostered the bonds of comradeship. In the run-up to the 1964 general election Alan Watts attended a meeting at Finsbury town hall where he and his friends clashed with far-right supporters: I thought whatever happens I’m going to go in. So we got into this meeting

in Young lives on the Left
Shaun McDaid and Catherine McGlynn

interaction with groups that are looking to recruit the disaffected and coax or cajole them towards violent acts. For UK policymakers this general academic approach has been tailored into a model known as Extremism Risk Guidance 22+ (ERG22+), which identifies twenty-two risk factors, including the need for excitement, comradeship and adventure, over-identification with a group or cause, dehumanising the enemy, and relevant skills and access to criminal networks. At the heart of ERG22+ is the idea that people, or perhaps more accurately certain people or groups, are

in The free speech wars
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Critical Theorist of Revolutionary Decolonisation
Reiland Rabaka

people”. 25 He believed that culture must be politically analysed in the new nation that is being forged on the battlefields of the national liberation struggle, where the ghosts of “tribalism” are eventually exorcised and the sectarianism of the past gives way to the principled Pan-Africanism, democratic socialism and revolutionary humanism of the nation’s foreseeable future. This new humanity and new identity are a consequence of the armed struggle and the spirit of comradeship it cultivated among the people-in-arms. 26 Recalling Fanon

in The Pan-African Pantheon
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Richard Taylor

The Road to Wigan Pier and reviews written at that time prove. But he did not ‘really believe’: it had been an intellectual matter and a moral compassion for other people’s sufferings. In Catalonia he experienced it for himself. He was no longer condescending, he was engulfed in comradeship.21 Seriously injured in Spain, and already suffering from the lung disease which was to kill him (exacerbated by his lifelong smoking habit), he was deemed unfit for service in the Second World War. He joined the Home Guard from 1940 to 1943, and worked for the BBC as a Talks

in English radicalism in the twentieth century
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Paul Kelemen

Zionist labour movement and the Labour Party. The two labour organisations’ brand of social democracy had much in common and there developed between them, through frequent contact, a sense of comradeship. In 1946, following the British army’s arrest of 2,000 Jerusalem-based officials of various Zionist organisations, including the executive of the Jewish Agency, Michael Foot pleaded: ‘the people who are accused by the Government of instituting violence against law and order are men we know well, men who have come to our Socialist conferences, and who are colleagues of

in The British left and Zionism
Celia Hughes

sort of development of my identity, but for me it wasn’t like a conversion; it didn’t feel like a rupture.38 Moments of self-awareness could feel profoundly revelatory as well as heightening bonds of comradeship which members sensed growing between them. The clarity of Martin’s memory signalled the moment’s significance as a staging-post in his political and intellectual life; inside the Society he was reframing his Christian morality within a humanistic Marxism and re-evaluating the sort of political actions he thought appropriate to achieving change. He rejected

in Young lives on the Left
Peter Dorey

. Although Wigham commenced his book by readily acknowledging many positive characteristics and qualities of Britain’s trade unions, he then proceeded to delineate the sundry ways in which they had not only become increasingly powerful in an era of full employment, but had displayed a growing tendency to exercise their enhanced power in a destructive and negative manner, with damaging repercussions for the British economy and wider British society. He lamented that what had once been virtues had become vices, such as: when comradeship becomes conspiracy for selfish gain

in Comrades in conflict
Valerie Bryson

supports it. Any reduction in poverty would disproportionately benefit women; the poorest groups of women, who include many trans and migrant women, would benefit most. Most strands of socialist theory and practice involve some kind of collective thinking that goes beyond individuals and their families to look at shared social needs and class interests; this often involves an emphasis on comradeship and working-class unity. Feminists too are thinking collectively whenever they identify gendered inequalities in power and economic rewards or, as in the #MeToo movement

in The futures of feminism
Humanitarian diplomacy and the cultures of appeasement in Britain
Rebecca Gill

-operative endeavours, carried on in the spirit of comradeship, are a wish of humanity that is old and ever new … The success of the Red Cross in its international work is undoubtedly due to the wise and steadfast resoluteness with which it has, from the very beginning of its existence, based its work upon the respect and the power of national endeavours. 50 In 1936 the DRK had come under direct control of the Nazi Party. By May 1936, Saxe-Coburg could announce that the ‘transformation of the German Red Cross according to National-Socialist principles has been carried out

in The Red Cross Movement