Riots 2011, Election 2015

There were many issues excluded from the elections. The major issues were social and domestic policy: austerity, immigration, the NHS. Foreign policy was almost completely absent. Yet the issues were presented as if they do reside in a vacuum. The context surrounding UKIP’s rise was lost to 24 hour news. The same can be said for the SNP and the Greens. The difference is that the rise of UKIP fits into the overall shifts of politics in recent years. It’s not just that the Conservatives forged a right-wing opening in 2010. The prevailing current has been rightwards since 2008. At … Continue reading

Class struggle is the name of the game

class_struggle

You can tell when you’ve encountered something rare. It feels dangerously impermanent. It’s as though it is about to crumble and slip through your fingers. It may well be lost at any instance. It’s fair to say the first Marxist board game, Class Struggle, falls into this category. Its box features a picture of two men arm wrestling. One of them is Karl Marx; the other is Nelson Rockefeller. Naturally Marx is winning against the liberal Republican. Not long ago, I sat down with some leftie friends to see where the roll of the dice would lead us. It was my … Continue reading

Self-service is a disservice

The predominance of so-called ‘self-service’ machines in supermarkets should worry those concerned by the depredations of the market. The ‘self-service’ machines turn us into unpaid employees for a Tesco, or a Morrison’s, or a Sainsbury’s, and even a wholesome Waitrose. The fact of the matter is that it is a service to Tesco, not ourselves, for the most part, to man the till in the place of a paid worker. It is another way in which the rinsing of people, as workers and consumers, to amass huge profits – and it means worse and worse working conditions and job prospects … Continue reading