Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Abbott

The victory of Cameron’s Conservatives in Britain was surprising and a challenge to opinion pollsters. One recent analysis of the post-election British Election Survey has these findings on the Conservative victory:   Polls had almost without exception shown that 2010 Lib Dems voters that had switched to one of the two larger parties had overwhelmingly […]

British lessons for Labor

Some interesting observations from The Independent’s Steve Richards on British Labour’s excessive caution and centralisation of leadership.  that seem very relevant to the ALP. First referring to hopeful suggestions from the new British government about prison reform as part of a general evaluation of New Labour’s  ‘reformism’:

Niall Ferguson

Niall  Ferguson according to the Guardian is to work ‘is to work with the Conservatives to overhaul history in schools.’ It is not exactly clear what is proposed here however, but that hasn’t stopped a Facebook page opposing him and a vehement ongoing debate about his views on imperialism. The only work of Ferguson’s I have […]

British Labour’s Australian road?

Will British Labour spend less time in opposition than Australian Labor did after its last federal defeat in 1996? The signs are not encouraging,  it may be that British Labour will follow in the footsteps of Australian Labor after 1996. Australian Labor rallied behind Kim Beazley after its 1996 defeat. Beazley was popular and unifying […]

Nick Clegg vs the Greens

The current British political landscape of looming fiscal austerity and Alternative Voting actually now favours the Conservatives and to a lesser extent their new Liberal Democrat coalition partners both against Labour but also against minor party challenges from the Green left and the populist right. 

The end of British Labour?

Not going well for British Labour as it desperately evokes the memory of past achievements.  There are other examples recently of once major political parties collapsing to third (or less) party status: Israeli Labour or the Polish social democrats are examples. Is the problem with British Labour that its institutions and practices reflect a past […]

Religious conservatism and religious freedom

Recently in Australia we have seen Christian conservatives (they claim support for those of other faiths but little evidence of this) argue that extension of anti discrimination laws to cover employment decisions is a threat to religious freedom. Worth remembering that this is for employment in organizations such as schools and welfare services very largely […]

Leszek Kolakowski and the fate of Marxism


Leszek Kolakowski the Polish philosopher died a few days ago. He began a zealous young Marxist in postwar Poland, was then a leading intellectual reform Communist in the 1950s and early 1960s who sought to revive an allegedly pure Leninist Communism shed of Stalinist corruptions and then finally renounced Marxism altogether. His major work on […]

1.5 cheers for New Labour


  British Labour is certainly in dire electoral trouble and there will be many on the left pleased exercise a posthumous revenge on Tony Blair. Yet the Blair-brown administration despite its flaw was a labour government even if of a strongly right-wing stamp. It was to a degree inevitable that there would be a reaction […]