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Agnès Maillot

It’s a good time to be a left Republican. (Ó Broin, interview, August 2020 ) Sinn Féin presents itself as a progressive, left-wing party. In the words of Dublin Mid-West TD Eoin Ó Broin: if you look at the broad party platform, whether that is on housing, health, childcare, pensions, community developments, there is a very clear and strong and positive radical left programme in terms of the wealth distribution, universal health

in Rebels in government
Some observations regarding ideological apostasy and the discourse of proletarian resistance
Mark Hayes

12 Red Action – left-wing political pariah Some observations regarding ideological apostasy and the discourse of proletarian resistance Mark Hayes Ideological apostasy and proletarian resistance It would be very easy to dismiss Red Action (RA) as a political irrelevance, especially since ‘revolutionary’ activism on the far left of the ideological spectrum in Britain has been characterised by an abundance of apparently similar, short-lived sectarian micro-groups. Red Action might easily be portrayed as a minuscule manifestation of the same genus – just another

in Against the grain
Editors: and

The financial crisis that erupted on both sides of the Atlantic in 2007–8 initially seemed to offer new political and economic opportunities to the left. As financial institutions collapsed, traditional left-wing issues were apparently back on the agenda. There was the prospect of a return to a more regulated economy, there was widespread state intervention to try to salvage failing banks, and it led to increased scrutiny of the wages and bonuses at the upper end of the scale. However, instead of being a trigger for a resurgence of the left, and despite a surge of support for new parties like SYRIZA and Podemos, in many European countries left-wing parties have suffered electoral defeat. At the same time, the crisis has led to austerity programmes being implemented across Europe, causing further erosion of the welfare state and pushing many into poverty. This timely book examines this crucial period for the left in Europe from a number of perspectives and addresses key questions including: How did political parties from the left respond to the crisis both programmatically and politically? What does the crisis mean for the relationship between the left and European integration? What does the crisis mean for socialism as an economic, political and social project? This collection focuses on a comparison between ten EU member states, and considers a range of different party families of the left, from social democracy through green left to radical left.

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The British left and the rise of fascism, 1919–39

In the years between the two world wars, fascism triumphed in Italy, Germany, Spain and elsewhere, coming to power after intense struggles with the labour movements of those countries. This book analyses the way in which the British left responded to this new challenge. How did socialists and communists in Britain explain what fascism was? What did they do to oppose it, and how successful were they? In examining the theories and actions of the Labour Party, the TUC, the Communist Party and other, smaller, left-wing groups, the book explains their different approaches, while at the same time highlighting the common thread that ran through all their interpretations of fascism. The author argues that the British left has largely been overlooked in the few specific studies of anti-fascism which exist, with the focus being disproportionately applied to its European counterparts. He also takes issue with recent developments in the study of fascism, and argues that the views of the left, often derided by modern historians, are still relevant today.

Jewish Filmmakers, Social Commentary and the Postwar Cycle of Boxing Films
Peter Stanfield

This essay considers how the boxing story enabled some filmmakers to politicise and individualise a popular film cycle. These mostly left-wing Jewish filmmakers understood that the boxing story offered a particularly viable vehicle for broad social commentary, a vehicle that could also be personalised by evoking a nostalgic vision of a ghetto community.

Film Studies
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From Francis Bacon To Oz Magazine
David Hopkins

This article discusses how we might formulate an account of William Blake’s avant-garde reception. Having dealt with Peter Bürger’s theorisation of the notion of ‘avant-garde’, it concentrates on a series of portraits, made from Blake’s life mask, by Francis Bacon in 1955. This ‘high art’ response to the Romantic poet is then contrasted with a series of ‘subcultural’ responses made from within the British counterculture of the 1960s. Case studies are presented from the alternative magazine production of the period (notably an illustration from Oz magazine in which Blake’s imagery is conflated with that of Max Ernst). An article by David Widgery in Oz on Adrian Mitchell’s play Tyger (1971) is also discussed to show how the scholarly literature on Blake of the period (mainly David Erdman) was called on by the counterculture to comment on political issues (e.g. Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech). The final section of the article shows how the ‘avant-gardism’ of Oz’s utilisation of Blake might be counterposed to the more activist left-wing approach to the poet in small magazines such as King Mob with their links to French situationism. In terms of the classic avant-garde call for a reintegration of art and life-praxis, such gestures testify to a moment in the 1960s when Blake may be considered fully ‘avant-garde’.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Europe, nationalism and left politics
Andy Storey

the same is not true of left-wing voters nor of the parties (the ones here defined as radical) to the left of social democracy. 1 How then have these latter voters and parties responded to growing – if often diffuse and volatile – popular criticism of the ‘European project’? And how might they respond in the future? This chapter seeks to answer these questions by, first, locating left-wing criticism of European integration within a historical context – there is a particular tradition of left

in The European left and the financial crisis
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Steve Hanson

for the city, or the people who live in it’. His hawkish comments are still noted in Manchester left-wing circles. Anna Baum has provided an overview of the context for the Manchester homeless camps. She explains that ‘the town hall cut homelessness funding, including to the city’s flagship Booth Centre project, by £2m in 2015’. The city’s case for clearing the camps was that ‘the continued occupation of these sites’ might ‘present a health and safety risk’, in the context of ‘the proximity of the camp to the public highway and the lack of facilities available

in Manchester
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Gregor Gall

This study provides the first extensive examination of Strummer's politics and their influence, using a socialist realist framework. Following Street ( 1986, 2012 ), it has been premised on the notion musicians can not only exert political influence, but those who display left-wing views can influence others to become or stay left wing. Strummer's political significance stems from using music as a means to communicate radical ideals which were shown in this study to have had influence, varying from an influence, to a key influence to the key

in The punk rock politics of Joe Strummer
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New histories of Labour and the left in the 1980s
Jonathan Davis
Rohan McWilliam

left-wing mass newspaper, the News on Sunday, failed miserably, while Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper, the Sun, would go on to claim that it won the 1992 election for John Major. At a global level, the socialist world was collapsing, a transformation marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall 2 Labour and the left in the 1980s in 1989 and the Gorbachev reforms in the country that soon ceased to be the Soviet Union. The Communist Party of Great Britain actually wound itself up in 1991. Tony Benn argued that the challenge for the left was to win the argument for socialism. By

in Labour and the left in the 1980s