The grotesque chaos of Claire Kober’s Haringey

by David Osland.

The resignation of a council leader would normally be no biggie. I mean, I’m guessing entirely here, but presumably that happens in towns or cities across Britain several times a year, for one reason or another. These things usually merit a run of front pages in the local press, and perhaps a short mention or […]

Time to move on from the 1980s, Lord Hattersley

by David Osland.

If I were official keeper of the Croslandite flame, easily the most renowned contemporary advocate of that standpoint, I’d be humble enough to ponder why my preferred brand of politics carried such little traction in Britain in 2017. As a serious partisan of social democracy, I would ask why ideas of the stripe that until […]

Once he’s through with Venezuela, Corbyn must denounce your mum, continental breakfasts and boring rock bands

by David Osland.

Demands for political opponents to undertake humiliating self-criticism before a mass audience seemingly fell out of favour roughly about the time the Chinese Communist Party wound up the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. But fashions are always cyclical. Since 2015, a wonderfully nostalgic Labour right has gleefully nicked this page from the Maoist playbook, in the […]

How the gods destroy Tory governments

by David Osland.

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. And when the fancy takes them, they sadistically subject Tory governments visibly on the skids to cunningly-designed symbolic torment, calibrated perfectly to maximise exposure of the unwilling victims’ manifold ethical shortcomings. In their ways, the Profumo scandal, cash for questions and Grenfell Tower are all modern-day […]

The theological significance of Corbyn the Messiah

by David Osland.

It is no small thing for jocular comparisons between the leader of the Labour Party and Jesus Christ to become a staple of Twitter diatribe and broadsheet political commentary alike. Yet the notion that Jeremy Corbyn is heralded by his supporters as ‘the Messiah’ is well on its way to hardened cliche status. Google it up. […]

Cohen versus Corbyn: The fucking praise of fucking folly

by David Osland.

It has been a while since I last read How to Win Friends and Influence People, but I do not recollect Dale Carnegie advising Sunday newspaper columnists to win over readers by branding them “fucking fools” who need to change their “fucking minds”. But such is now the level of debate in the Observer, which yesterday carried […]

Jeremy Corbyn isn’t perfect – but he’s the leader we need right now

by David Osland.

As the new old proverb has it, you can gift the British left its best opportunities in a generation, but you can’t make it take advantage of them. The hugely-publicised recent bust-ups in Momentum, complemented by Peter Tatchell’s spiteful and vindictive self-promotion stunt over the weekend, highlight an almost palpable death wish that seems to […]

The defective anti-elitism of the Blairite elite

by David Osland.

For the second time in my life, I am watching firsthand the arrival of a new political dispensation. After growing up under the post-war social democratic consensus, and spending most of my adult years contesting various shades of neoliberalism, it looks increasingly as if populism will see me through to collecting my bus pass. Britain […]

Look and learn from across the Atlantic – the Third Way is over

by David Osland.

Look and learn, not from across the Irish Sea as George Osborne once famously enjoined, but from over the Atlantic. Let even atheists among us pray that Hillary Clinton will secure a narrow victory over Donald Trump in the US presidential race this week. But that proposition looks far from certain; she may yet, God […]

The paranoid style of Corbyn’s critics

by David Osland.

The psychiatric wards of Brezhnev’s USSR were littered with dissidents held to be suffering from serious psychotic disorders, simply because their political opinions were not in line with those of the regime. We British are far too genteel to do that kind of thing. Our preferred modus operandi is media insinuation, as witnessed in Alastair […]

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