Darling of the Blairite right, Louise Mensch, made several remarkable public outbursts in her strange political career. One such moment was famously documented on ‘Have I Got News For You’. Whilst discussing Occupy London, Mensch lamented the hypocrisy of the Occupants for buying Starbucks coffee. “You can’t say ‘capitalism is crisis’, and then enjoy everything that capitalism offers”. Her opinion was rightly laughed at for its utter emptiness, since you can clearly hate capitalism and like coffee at the same time, and not be a hypocrite. Or, as another panelist put it, someone on death row can enjoy their last meal. Mensch does, nonetheless, raise an interesting topic: how can an anti-capitalist live ethically?
by Eamon Rooke
Early this morning, it was announced that George Galloway won the Bradford West by-election. Its not unusual for by-elections to produce random victories for independents, small parties, or underdogs. It is unusual for those victories to be won by a swing of more than 36%.
Bradford West happens to also be one of the single safest Labour seats one could imagine. It’s a checklist of all the attributes Labour planners could hope for: Northern, post-industrial, vulnerable to spikes in unemployment, and, crucially, populated with a large ethnic minority community.
by Eamon Rooke
There is a silent afterword to the Cameroon slogan ‘We’re all in this together’. It should read: ‘we’re all in this together, except for ‘them’’. Silent rejoinders like this are the substance of ideology in practice, here I’ll talk briefly about that logic in relation to populism.
Ernesto Laclau’s recent On Populist Reason (2005) expands on the notions of political strategy in advanced capitalist democracy, picking up where Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (1985) left off.