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Annihilate Creativity!

Annihilate Creativity!

CULTURAL CAPITAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF CREATIVE BRITAIN

BY ROBERT HEWISON

OUT NOW

“Hewison’s analysis of how a golden age turned to lead is highly authoritative, well argued & conceptually robust.” Guardian

See: http://www.versobooks.com/books/1760-cultural-capital

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Britain began the twenty-first century convinced of its creativity. Throughout the New Labour era, the visual and performing arts, museums and galleries, were ceaselessly promoted as a stimulus to national economic revival, a post-industrial revolution where spending on culture would solve everything, from national decline to crime. Tony Blair heralded it a “golden age.” Yet despite huge investment, the audience for the arts remained a privileged minority. So what went wrong?

In Cultural Capital, leading historian Robert Hewison gives an in-depth account of how creative Britain lost its way. From Cool Britannia and the Millennium Dome to the Olympics and beyond, he shows how culture became a commodity, and how target-obsessed managerialism stifled creativity. In response to the failures of New Labour and the austerity measures of the Coalition government, Hewison argues for a new relationship between politics and the arts.

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ROBERT HEWISON is a historian of contemporary British culture. Beginning in 1939 with Under Siege, his series of books presents a portrait of Britain that runs from the perils of wartime to the counterrevolution of Thatcherism in The Heritage Industry. He is an internationally recognized authority on the work of John Ruskin, and has held chairs at Oxford, Lancaster and City Universities. He is an Associate of the think tank Demos, and has written on the arts for the Sunday Times since 1981. He has been a consultant to the Clore Duffield Foundation, the Gulbenkian Foundation, the Arts Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is on the editorial advisory board of the journal Cultural Trends.

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“A brilliant analysis of the way that the intrinsic value of art was undermined by a Blair-led government’s attempts to control creative production and turn it into an instrument of social engineering. It is a timely warning about the dangers of political interference and a rallying cry for art to both be publicly supported and maintain a hard won independence. Art needs this independence from power in order to show us to ourselves in ways that the media and politics never do and never can.” – Antony Gormley

“Long Britain’s best chronicler of culture and political policy, Robert Hewison turns his unflinching gaze on the New Labour era, a time of targets, access and excellence for all, complete with the National Lottery, Cool Britannia, the Millennium Dome and the 2012 Olympics. It’s not a pretty sight, and his findings of folly, incompetence and vanity will entertain and disturb readers in equal measure. They should also embarrass any politicians and arts administrators who retain a degree of self-awareness.” – Alwyn Turner, author of A Classless Society

“This is essential reading for anyone who has the slightest interest in the funding of the arts in this country.” – Richard Eyre

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PAPERBACK: NOVEMBER 2014 / 288 pages / ISBN: 9781781685914 / £14.99 / $24.95 / $28.95 (Canada)

CULTURAL CAPITAL is available at a 40% discount (paperback) on our website, with free shipping and bundled ebook. Purchasing details here:http://www.versobooks.com/books/1760-cultural-capital

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​First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/cultural-capital-by-robert-hewison-out-now

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

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Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski

SILENCE ON THE WOLVES: WHAT IS ABSENT IN NEW LABOUR’S FIVE YEAR STRATEGY FOR EDUCATION

My paper Silence on the Wolves: What is Absent in New Labour’s Five Year Strategy for Education – is now on Academia.

Although some of the content might seem dated, the business takeover of schools in England goes on apace. This is what the paper is really about; it is not just a narrow ‘education policy’ critique. Furthermore, there is some analysis of human capital theory, labour power and employers’ labour power needs in section 3 of the paper. Those interested in Marxist analyses of education will find the paper of interest over-and-above any education policy concerns.

Silence on the Wolves is available at: https://www.academia.edu/9150947/Silence_on_the_Wolves_What_is_Absent_in_New_Labours_Five_Year_Strategy_for_Education

 

Reference:

Rikowski, G. (2005) Silence on the Wolves: What is Absent in New Labour’s Five Year Strategy for Education, University of Brighton, Education Research Centre, Occasional Paper, May 2005, online at: https://www.academia.edu/9150947/Silence_on_the_Wolves_What_is_Absent_in_New_Labours_Five_Year_Strategy_for_Education

 

Glenn Rikowski at Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Strength in Numbers

TO FIGHT AUSTERITY WE NEED A UNITED LEFT

By Simon Hardy, Anticapitalist Initiative (Britain)

October 9, 2012 –  Submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

The urgent need for unity on the radical left is something that has been eloquently put forward by Dan Hind on the Al-Jazeera website. Asking a very pertinent question as to whether there can be a SYRIZA-type organisation in Britain, Hind draws out some of the most important lessons of the Greek struggle and poses a challenge to the British left — can we break out of the ghetto as well?[1]

To plot a possible trajectory we have to be clear of the political alignment that has emerged for the left under the Conservative Party-Liberal Democrat coalition government. While Ed Miliband’s Labour Party might be surging ahead in the polls, the possibility of a Labour left revival is simply not on the cards. The Labour Party is hollowed out and bureaucratically controlled and all the best intentions and actions of Labour left activists will not change that. The Labour left is reduced to the old argument that there is nothing credible outside the Labour Party. They mockingly point to all the twisted contortions of the far left in Britain in the last decade (Socialist Alliance, Scottish Socialist Party, Respect, Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, Left list, Respect renewal, etc.) to forge a new unity and conclude that the Labour Party is the only show in town.

But this is not an argument made from the Labour Party left’s strength, it is an argument about the radical left’s weakness. They cannot point to any meaningful gains made by the Labour left in recent years because there hasn’t been any. Even the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), the only significant bastion of the socialist left in the party, has failed to grow. On the crucial issue of the coalition government’s spending cuts they couldn’t even get any commitment from their municipal councillors to vote against cuts to local government budgets. Some have claimed that the Labour Party could act as a dented shield against the coalition onslaught, but the truth is that the Labour Party is no shield at all.

The most significant recent press offensive by the Labour Party has been to force the government to re-examine the west-coast mainline rail franchise deal, not to re-nationalise it but to try and keep Richard Branson’s Virgin Trains on the line. Yet barely a peep about the privatisation of the National Health Service, including privatising the pharmacies, some of which are also being taken over by Branson’s Virgin company.

The Labour left is generally principled on issues like privatisation and fighting austerity, but they are drowned out by the party apparatus, which is overwhelmingly neoliberal and anti-socialist. John McDonnell’s failure to even get on the leadership ballot in 2010 speaks volumes. As does the obvious non-growth of the labour left activist base. The magazine Labour Briefing, which recently became the official organ of the LRC, probably has a readership of around 500-600 people, smaller than some of the revolutionary left newspapers.

This is not to say that the Labour left has no role to play – far from it – they should just face reality squarely in the face and realise that reclaiming the Labour Party is a dead-end project.

But there is some truth in their criticism of the revolutionary left. Even where we have built new organisations that looked like they were about to achieve lift off (Respect, SSP), they collapsed in ignominy, usually caused by ego clashes and ridiculous control freakery by various organisations. While some of us criticised the political basis of these projects, the reality is that the political weaknesses barely even had time to come to the surface – the inveterate problems of the far left ran these initiatives into the ground long before they even had a chance to be put to the test of any kind of political power.

So a Labour left that can’t get anywhere and a revolutionary left that can’t get anywhere.

What lessons can we draw from these ”realities”? Certainly pessimism, although understandable, would be the wrong conclusion. The lesson of SYRIZA shows what can be done if the left gets its act together, puts aside its own empire-building projects and tries to do something that might actually make a difference. We have to start from the objective situation and work backwards – the reality of the cuts and a potential lost decade to austerity needs to sharpen our minds and our resolve. Starting from the necessity of a united, credible left we can work backwards to imagine the steps that we can take to get there.

I would go so far as to say that anyone at the present time who opposes attempts towards greater unity is, perhaps unconsciously, holding back the movement. The crisis is so acute and the tasks of the hour so urgent that we have no time for people who spend their hours constructing excuses for fragmentation, isolation and weakness. They are the past, and we desperately need a future.

Dan Hind is right and his voice joins a growing chorus of others who see the need for unity on the left. Does this mean every sect and group can just get together? No, of course real differences emerge. But there is so much that unites us in the current political context that it is criminal – absolutely criminal – that none of the larger groups are seriously talking about launching a new united organisation. The three-way division of the anti-cuts movement is the bitter fruit of this backward attitude on the British left — a situation that should deservedly make us a laughing stock in other countries.

If the success of SYRIZA raises the benchmark for what the left can achieve then the natural next question is, “How could we create an organisation like SYRIZA in Britain?“ I think this question should dominate the discussions on the left in the coming months. But let’s be clear – I am not saying we should just transplant SYRIZA’s program and constitution and graft it onto the British left. Such an attempt would be artificial. An organisation like SYRIZA means a coalition of the radical left, united against austerity, united against privatisation, united in action and united in fighting social oppression. The kind of program that any new initiative adopts is largely the result of who is involved in it, certainly it should have an anti-capitalist basis, though it can leave some of the bigger questions unresolved, at least initially.

Let’s focus on the goals that Hind identifies: “campaign for an end to the country’s predatory foreign policy, for the dismantling of the offshore network, for democratic control of the central banks, urgent action to address the threat of catastrophic climate change, and reform of the national media regimes.”

Each constituency does not need to dissolve itself, we just need to ensure checks and balances to prevent “swamping” of meetings. Each local unit of the organisation would retain certain autonomy while a national committee was permitted to adopt political lines, within the remits established at a conference. If an organisation or individual does not like any of the policies then they should have full freedom to speak their mind about it, while accepting that there is unity in the campaigns and actions the organisations agrees to pursue.

Everyone has to accept that they might be minoritised at some point. But they also have to understand that abandoning the organisation over a constitutional dispute or over this or that policy means abandoning the vital struggle for building a credible radical left in this country. Do people want us to live in glorious isolation for another decade or more, as people’s living standards plummet?

We also have to overcome the very real difference in size between constituent parts on the left. The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) for instance is still the largest group on the radical left in Britain, although it is much smaller than it was when I joined the left in 2001. Members of the SWP argue that launching a new party is not practical because, as they will numerically “dominate it”, it would cause problems (as it has in the past). But there are a number of ways to overcome this, if there is a political will to make it happen. Changing the culture on the left also means changing how we “intervene” into campaigns or broad organisations, and taking a more open approach, transforming sects into networks and “giving of yourself” for the greater need of the new organisation, these can all be thoroughly healthy steps to take.

Possible alternatives, definite pitfalls

The danger is that the left attempts some kind of united initiative, but limits it to an electoral coalition – replicating the Socialist Alliance (1999-2004) but without the enthusiasm. While a genuine socialist alliance would be a step forward from the current situation, it will suffer the same crisis as the last version, where all the left groups did their campaigning work under their own banners but stood together only in the election.

Let’s put it bluntly, British people generally don’t vote for electoral coalitions. They are here today and gone tomorrow, people respect the concept of a party or at least something more tangible that looks like it is going to last beyond the next internal spat. The Scottish Socialist Party was credible because it was united and forced the smaller groups involved to campaign as SSP activists first and foremost. Putting party before sect is essential to the success of any project, just as it was in the early days of the Labour Party or any of the Communist parties internationally.

The Respect débâcle shows the danger of personality politics (the “great man” view of politics, when the entire project is hung around one person’s neck). But its fragmentation also shows what happens when large constituent groups (in this case the SWP) act like control freaks and treat a coalition like their personal property. Although they blamed the disastrous outcome on John Rees, the fact is that the entire party was complicit in the mistakes that were made, both opportunism in political terms and bad practice in the organisational centre of the party. It was a feeling of loss of control when Galloway started to criticise the SWP’s handling of Respect that led the SWP leadership to “go nuclear” in the words of one protagonist.[2] While we can be critical of the conduct of Galloway and some of his positions, the complaint about organisational manoeuvres and people swamping meetings is one that many on the left will be sadly familiar with. This kind of practice must stop.

The political problem with Respect was not so much its “liberal” program, at the end of the day it was largely old Labour social democratic in much of what it said, the unstable core at the heart of it was the drive for electoral success with people who had no real interests in extra-parliamentary movements and struggles. A temporary alliance with careerists can come back to bite you, as it did for Respect in the east end of London, where Respect councillors jumped ship, first to the Tories and Liberal Democrats and then to Labour.

Again this points up the importance of political movements on the streets and in the workplaces as being paramount, with elections as a subordinate part of that strategy. Moreover, it means a much more democratic and accountable relationship between any elected representatives and the rank and file members, one where they are subordinated to the wider organisation and struggle, and not seen as its “leaders” merely because they have been elected to a position within the capitalist state. This is a point that SYRIZA will also have to debate out in the coming months.

Today the remains of the cycle of left unity initiatives exists in the form of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), an electoral alliance between the SWP and the Socialist Party (CWI), as well as a handful of independents. But again the TUSC only exists for elections and has no activist base. It seems to be doubtful that the TUSC can be transformed into something better; rather it appears to be a marriage of convenience for the two bigger Trotskyist groups. Its last conference had less than 60 people at it, despite the fact that the combined membership of the constituent groups must be over 1000 – real decisions are of course taken by the SWP and SP party leaderships.

While the past should not be forgotten, it can be forgiven, if people can prove their earnest support for a new initiative. Otherwise we are locked in a vicious circle with no way out.

Differences with SYRIZA

Regardless of the subjective problems of the British left’s sect-building ethos, there are two objective problems if we consider ourselves in relation to what the Greek left has achieved. The first is that SYRIZA’s success is clearly the result of a country in complete meltdown. Wage cuts of 40% and closure of important services is at a qualitatively higher level than anything we have in Britain… so far. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that only around 10% of the cuts have gone through, so worse is to come.

Second, Syriza was launched in 2004 and has had the best part of a decade to build up its support in elections before the explosion in 2012. In most elections they received around 5% of the vote, which to the British left would be nothing short of a breakthrough. Patience and a long-term view of politics is essential to make such a project work. But then, maybe the British “explosion” will happen sooner since any new organisation built will be involved in tenacious struggle against austerity from day one.

We also could not limit ourselves to electoral politics as SYRIZA seems to have an inclination to do. While some of the more radical elements within the coalition are organising forums and initiatives outside of the parliamentary process, it is essential as part of our strategy to see elections as a subordinate part of the wider struggle, not the primary focus. If SYRIZA imagines that it can really reverse the austerity measures and revive Greece only through governing the capitalist state they will be in for a rude shock. When it comes to Greece’s political and economic future, the European Central Bank and the leaders of France and Germany, not to mention the Greek capitalist class, are all in a far more powerful position than the parliament in Athens; removing their support and control mechanisms would be a crucial task for any radical government.

Campaigning for a united, radical left formation in Britain should be an essential part of the Anticapitalist Initiative’s (ACI) work in the coming months and years. Even more so, 2013 should be the year that serious steps are made to bring together a re-alignment on the left. We have had our fingers burnt in the past, but we cannot let past failures haunt us. If we fail to rise to the challenge, then we will deserve the defeats inflicted on us by the ruling class.

But the working class and the poor do not deserve them. It is not their fault the left is so weak – it’s ours. Now we have to get our house in order so that we can create a movement that can fight austerity and challenge capitalism.

Simon Hardy is a member of the new Anticapitalist Initiative (ACI), which, according to its website, seeks “to search out avenues for unity and co-operation that presents radical and socialist ideas in a way that is more appealing to new layers of activists. We will promote activity and struggle that aims to overcome division and sectarianism and points the way to a new type of society without exploitation and oppression.”

 

Notes

[1] Read Dan Hind’s article here http://aje.me/U5lUOj. It subsequently drew a critically examination from Socialist Workers Party member Richard Seymour at his Lenin’s Tomb blog http://www.leninology.com/2012/08/the-problem-of-left-unity.html.

[2] See http://www.socialistunity.com/galloway-on-respect/ and also http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Car-crash-on-the-left.

Originally at LINKS: International Journal of Socialist Renewal: http://links.org.au/node/3054

**END**

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Blair's Educational Legacy

BLAIR’S EDUCATIONAL LEGACY: THIRTEEN YEARS OF NEW LABOUR

Edited by Anthony Green

Palgrave Macmillan (December 2010)

ISBN: 978-0-230-62176-3, ISBN10: 0-230-62176-7, 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches, 244 pages

Providing an overview and Marxist assessment of Tony Blair and New Labour’sU.K.education policies, structures, and processes, the contributors in this exciting new collection discuss specific aspects of education policy and practices. This examination is set against the changing political and economic contexts of the British state’s responses to global and neo-liberal pressures.

Central themes include: New Labour and the education market state; New Labour, education, and ideology; and totality and open Marxism. 

Green’s work marks a timely contribution to Marxist analysis and Left critical assessment and is the first such collection addressing New Labour education policy.

Anthony Green is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London. He co-convenes Marxism and Education Renewing Dialogues (MERD), and is Series Editor for the Palgrave Macmillan Marxism and Education Series.

CONTENTS:

Introduction: Anthony Green * All the Wrong Answers: Labour’s Corporate-Centred Education Initiatives–Kevin Farnsworth * The Knowledge-based Economy and the Transformation of Higher Education: Issues concerning enclosing and protecting the intellectual commons–Molly Bellamy * The Professional Imagination: Further Education Professionalism in and beyond a Neo-liberal Context–Denis Gleeson * The Privatisation of Education Phase II: Perspectives on state schools the private sector and ten years of a Labour government–Thakir Hafid * Management and Governance of the School System–Richard Hatcher * City: Academies, Alienation, Economism and Contending Forces for Change–Philip Woods * Curriculum Change in the Blair Years–Terry Wrigley * Education still make you sick under Gordon Brown, Innit?–Martin Allen & Patrick Ainley * Ten Years of Education Policy and ‘Race’ Inequality: Whiteness or Neo-liberal Practice?–Alpesh Maisuria * Gendered Practices in Education–Rosalyn George & John Wadsworth

Blair’s Educational Legacy (at Palgrave Macmillan): http://us.macmillan.com/blairseducationallegacy

Palgrave Macmillan Marxism and Education Series: http://www.palgrave.com/products/series.aspx?s=ME

Blair’s Educational Legacy (at Amazon.co.uk): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blairs-Educational-Legacy-Thirteen-Education/dp/0230621767/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304672910&sr=1-13

Blair’s Educational Legacy (at Amazon.com): http://www.amazon.com/Blairs-Educational-Legacy-Thirteen-Education/dp/0230621767/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304673063&sr=1-10

‘I Read Some Marx (And I Liked It)’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wyqJ9wxZ9L0 

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Socialism and Hope

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM JOURNAL ISSUE 129

http://www.isj.org.uk/

CONTENTS:

Analysis
The student revolt and the crisis

Mad as hatters? The Tea Party movement in the US
Megan Trudell

Police killings and the law
Simon Behrman

Labourism and socialism: Ralph Miliband’s Marxism
Paul Blackledge

True crime stories: some New Labour memoirs
John Newsinger

Marxism and disability
Roddy Slorach

Decoding capitalism
Joseph Choonara

What’s wrong with school history?
Andrew Stone

Why we should be sceptical of climate sceptics
Suzanne Jeffery

Tony Cliff’s Lenin and the Russian Revolution
John Rose

Feedback

Sex work: a rejoinder
Gareth Dale and Xanthe Whittaker

Discussing the alternatives
Grace Lally

Book reviews

A tangled tale
Yuri Prasad

Revolution rewritten
Jack Farmer

Analysing honour
Mark Harvey

Globalising Gramsci
Adrian Budd

Intellectual weapons
Alex Callinicos

Pick of the quarter

This quarter’s selection

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Lost

SOCIAL IMMOBILITY

Patrick Ainley and Martin Allen

The chatter about social mobility from a Coalition kicking away welfare services that have kept millions from poverty disguises the fact that there has been no real upward social mobility in Britain for the past 30 years and that nowadays the only social mobility is down.

Grand announcements – like Clegg’s £5 billion premium for the most educationally disadvantaged school pupils that seeks to compensate for the LibDems’ tuition fees capitulation – have repeatedly failed to create social mobility. Even in the post-war period when substantial numbers of young people moved into occupations paying more than those of their parents, there was little ‘relative’ mobility, ie. down as well as up. Rather than challenging the inequalities of the occupational order, the upward mobility that occurred merely meant there was some more room in the middle. Via selective grammar schooling it allowed limited working-class access to expanding professional and managerial occupations sustained by full male employment and the growing welfare state.

The development of comprehensive schools and more higher education contributed to widening aspirations. But this growth was as much a consequence as a cause of limited upward mobility. This was confirmed when a decline in mobility coincided with the partial abolition of grammar schools from 1965 on. (That this was coincidental can be seen in the USA when the same period of expansion of opportunities also ended despite all-through high schools since the war).

Hopes that an expanded middle afforded opportunities to educate the working class out of existence did not materialise. At best, there was an illusion of social mobility as the formerly manually working class shrank and many occupations were redefined as ‘professional’ and therefore requiring so-called ‘skills’ attested by educational qualifications. As a result, more people – especially women – now work in expanded office and service sectors but conditions of employment for this new non-manual working middle are increasingly insecure.

Blair and Brown put their faith in the globalised economy to provide new openings for those with qualifications at the expense of those without. New Labour’s campaign to raise ‘standards’ measured by qualifications led to unprecedented exam pass rates. Consequent allegations of ‘dumbing down’ came not only from traditionalists but also from some teachers, bullied by a  growing class of ‘managers’ (the new name for deputy and assistant head teachers) to meet targets that were raised as soon as they were achieved.

The main problem with New Labour’s ‘standards agenda’ however, was not the crushing of professional autonomy as lessons were delivered from templates so that what was taught became less important than how it could be assessed. It was far more fundamental. Whereas in the past, education was unfairly accused of failing the economy by not producing workplace skills when employers didn’t want them, now the economy has definitively failed education.

Rather than globalisation resulting in endless opportunities, employment prospects for most young people are in decline. This does not mean that there are no new professional and managerial vacancies but rather that, as ICT  sweeps through offices and work is outsourced if not exported, the term ‘white-collar employment’ is becoming meaningless. The main alternative to what are reduced to para-professions at best is a life in ‘customer services’. So it isn’t surprising that McDonalds report huge increases in applications from ‘qualified’ young people.

In a situation that we refer to as ‘education without jobs’, young people have to work harder and harder simply to maintain their place in the jobs queue. Gove’s announcement of a review of ‘vocational education’ will predictably relegate the majority to apprenticeships without jobs that will replay the Youth Training Schemes of the 1980s whilst privileging academic cramming for a minority.

Education has become like running up a down-escalator where you have to run faster and faster just to stand still as the former class pyramid has gone pear-shaped. The recent ‘social mobility’ rhetoric from politicians of all Parties disguises the fact that it is fear of downward social mobility that fuels the hysteria over educational competition for academic success.

The recession has made the situation of young people worse but it is not the cause of their problems. Likewise, we cannot ‘educate ourselves out of recession’ as even some teacher union and student leaders seem to think. Of course levels of educational provision should be defended but we also need to promote employment policies. As aspiring students face mortgaging their futures in hopes of eventual ‘graduate employment’, the promise of social mobility is exposed as a sham. Education faces its own credibility crunch and rising fees could finally burst the bubble. The main argument against them is – what else are school leavers expected to do?

Patrick Ainley and Martin Allen are the authors of Lost Generation? New strategies for youth and education, (Continuum, 2010)

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A World To Win

SOUNDINGS 45

Soundings 45 is now out

Although the cuts are coming, there has been an eerie political calm and sense of inevitability about all that is in store for us (carefully nurtured by the Coalition and their allies in the media). But the storm will break – people are going to start seriously suffering and we need to ensure that there is a political battle against the assault planned by the government. Can Labour lead this battle?

CONTENTS

The political struggle ahead
Doreen Massey

Labour in a time of coalition
Sally Davison, Stuart Hall, Michael Rustin, Jonathan Rutherford

What comes after New Labour?
Gerry Hassan

The SNP and the ‘new politics’
Richard Thompson

Rebuilding social democracy
George Irvin

Greek myths
Duncan Weldon

Money manager capitalism and the global financial crisis
L. Randall Wray

Carbon trading: how it works and why it fails
Oscar Reyes and Tamra Gilbertson

Why I am a socialist
Ruth Levitas

Smile till it hurts
Laurie Penny

Lives on the line
Vron Ware

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FORUM FOR PROMOTING 3-19 COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION: VOLUME 52 NUMBER 1 2010

Now available online:
http://www.wwwords.co.uk/forum/content/pdfs/52/issue52_2.asp

FORUM: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education
Volume 52 Number 2 2010     ISSN 0963-8253
SPECIAL ISSUE

How Did We Get Here and What Does the Future Hold?

Clyde Chitty. Editorial. Education plc

Derek Gillard. Hobson’s Choice: education policies in the 2010 General Election

Patrick Yarker. Representative Refusals: what comprehensives keep out, and what ministers keep to themselves

Michael Armstrong. The Cambridge Primary Review: a reply to R.J.Campbell

Stewart Ranson. Returning Education to Layering Horizons?

John Wadsworth. The Simple View of Education or Education Policy for Dummies

Colin Richards. Education Policy and Practice ‘under’ New Labour: an epistolary critique

Clive Griggs. Education and the Private Finance Initiative

Warwick Mansell. Has New Labour’s Numbers Drive Done Lasting Damage to State Education?

Trevor Fisher. The Death of Meritocracy: exams and university admissions in crisis

Peter Flack. Another School is Possible: developing positive alternatives to academies

Jeff Serf. Bringing Them Together: what children think about the world in which they live and how it could be improved

Clyde Chitty. Brian Simon and FORUM

BOOK REVIEWS

The Death of the Comprehensive High School? Historical, Contemporary and Comparative Perspectives (Barry M. Franklin & Gary McCulloch, Eds), reviewed by Clyde Chitty

Home is Where One Starts From: one woman’s memoir (Barbara Tizard), reviewed by Michael Armstrong
Education and Social Integration: comprehensive schooling in Europe (Susanne Wiborg), reviewed by Clyde Chitty

Access to the full texts of articles is restricted to those who have a Personal subscription, or those whose institution has a Library subscription. However, all articles become free-to-view 18 months after first publication.

PERSONAL SUBSCRIPTION. Subscription to the 2010 issues (this includes access to all available past issues) is available to private individuals at a cost of US$70.00 (approximately £45.00). If you wish to subscribe you may do so immediately at www.wwwords.co.uk/subscribeFORUM.asp

LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION (campus-wide access). If you are working within an institution that maintains a library, please urge your Librarian to take out a Library subscription so we can provide full access throughout your institution. Detailed information for libraries can be found at www.symposium-journals.co.uk/prices.html

For all editorial matters, including articles offered for publication, please contact the Editor, Professor Clyde Chitty, 19 Beaconsfield Road, Bickley, Bromley BR1 2BL, United Kingdom (clydechitty379@btinternet.com).

In the event of problems concerning a subscription, or difficulty in gaining access to the journal articles on the website, please contact the publishers at support@symposium-books.co.uk

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The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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Books

LEFT OUT

LEFT OUT: ALTERNATIVE POLICIES FOR A LEFT OPPOSITION TODAY
http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/ebooks/leftout.html
Doug Bain, Peter Lawrence, Andy Pearmain, Michael Prior and Willie Thompson

Thoughts from a different perspective on the left after the election – an attempt to understand where and why the left has gone wrong, including a more critical stance on New Labour.

WORKING CLASS BOOKFAIR
Saturday 21 August, 11-5pm, Museum Vaults, 33 Silksworth Row, Sunderland
Books, barbecue, drinks
For details and a stall call 07931301901
http://workingclassbookfair.vpweb.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Lost

LABOUR’S FUTURE

Labour’s Future
Edited by Jonathan Rutherford and Alan Lockey
© Soundings 2010

CONTRIBUTORS: Philip Collins, Sally Davison, Jeremy Gilbert, Stuart Hall, David Lammy, Neal Lawson, Doreen Massey, Anthony Painter, James Purnell, Michael Rustin, Jonathan Rutherford, Marc Stears, Allegra Stratton, Heather Wakefield, Stuart White

http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/ebooks/laboursfuture.html

In May, Soundings and the Open Left project at Demos organised a seminar with Jon Cruddas and David Miliband. The aim was to explore both differences and common ground, and the prospects for cross-party political renewal.

This e-book offers a series of short essays from participants that we hope broadly reflects the debate, and offers some of the groundwork for developing a wider discussion about Labour’s future.

Published jointly by Soundings and Open Left at Demos

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

 

David Cameron

‘THE MEANING OF DAVID CAMERON’ – WITH RICHARD SEYMOUR

Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Location: Housmans Bookshop
Street: 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross
Town/City: London, United Kingdom

Description:
Richard Seymour, blogger of ‘Lenin’s Tomb’ fame, and author of ‘The Liberal Defence of Murder’ will be in store discussing his latest publication, ‘The Meaning of David Cameron’.

The Tories are posing as a ‘progressive’ and ‘radical’ alternative to New Labour. Drawing from George W Bush’s ‘compassionate conservatism’, they maintain that the ‘Big Society’ can do what ‘Big Government’ cannot – produce a cohesive, mutually supportive, happy society. Cameron’s court intellectual, Philip Blond, maintains that this if David Cameron’, which is a viable alternative to the failures of the egalitarian left and the excessively pro-market right. But is this more than campaign mood music? And are the conservative traditions that they draw on – from the bucolic, pseudo-medievalism of G K Chesterton to the anti-statism of Friedrich Hayek – really a bulwark of progress and radicalism?

Richard Seymour argues that such ideas can only seem ‘progressive’ in light of New Labour’s acquiescence to Thatcherism. To understand the Cameronites, it is necessary to understand how the social landscape and corresponding political language was transformed by the collapse of post-war social democracy and its more radical competitors. To resist the Cameronites, he argues, it is necessary to attack the neoliberal consensus on which all major parties found their programme.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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Uncertain Times

BEYOND RESISTANCE: THE COMMUNE SUMMER SCHOOL

A day of communist discussion and debate

From 11am-6pm on Saturday 19th June

At 96-100 Clifton Street, London EC2

To purchase tickets and download leaflets see: http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/19th-june-summer-school/

The last few years have seen a series of crises for our rulers. Millions of us are angry at the ongoing economic crisis, the scandalous behaviour of ‘our’ MPs and the endless wars in the Middle East.

All of these crises are part and parcel of capitalist rule, but rarely is this system itself challenged. We are constantly told there is no alternative to capitalism. Every day at work and in our communities we live out the same capitalist order, the same hierarchies, the same alienation.

But the spectre of communism has not gone away. The idea of a society fit for human beings lives on. It is an idea raised every time workers demand the living standards we need, not what our rulers are prepared to give us; whenever we reject the state’s oppression and interference in our lives; and whenever we stand up to sexism, homophobia and anti-immigrant hysteria.

We need to build on these acts of resistance. But that is not enough. Our movement needs ideas. We need a clear vision of a communist alternative to the capitalist order, and how we can make it happen.

That is why The Commune is hosting a summer school on Saturday 19th June to discuss what we should be fighting for and how we should fight for it. Join the debate.

Proposed sessions:

Britain after the general election;

What is capitalism?

Why capitalism is in crisis;

The changed shape of the working class;

Alienation and the critique of everyday life;

How migrant workers fight back;

Tenants’ struggles and community organisation;

Socialist feminist approach to organisation;

Breaking up the UK state;

Communism or representative democracy?

Recomposition of the communist movement.

Full agenda shortly

Please get in touch at uncaptiveminds@gmail.com if you have any questions about the event or have special requirements.

http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/19th-june-summer-school/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

All that is Solid for Glenn Rikowski: https://rikowski.wordpress.com

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski