John Newsinger

Hostile Environment

Issue section: 

This is an important book, remorselessly chronicling how “the UK’s immigration politics” have “devastated” the lives of hundreds of thousands of people over the years. Maya Goodfellow starts off with the then home secretary Theresa May’s proudly proclaimed “hostile environment” policy, which ministers boasted was intended to be “cruel”. And, for once, they were true to their word. The “Windrush scandal” was “an almost inevitable consequence of the impossible system” that May put in place.

Johnson's useful idiot

Issue section: 

Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, regularly makes reference to his father having been a bus driver, and inevitably this has figured in half-hearted attempts to proclaim the Tories as the new champions of the British working class.

Of course, his father was only briefly a bus driver before opening a shop, but regardless of that Javid can much more accurately be described as an ultra-Thatcherite multi-millionaire international banker. He is reportedly worth £8 million — hardly a man of the people!

Navigating the Zeitgeist

Issue section: 

One important point to make about Helena Sheehan’s political odyssey — from a conservative Catholic upbringing through the radicalism of the US left in the 1960s and early 70s, on to Official Sinn Fein and the Communist Party of Ireland, and then into the Irish Labour Party — is that it demonstrates with crystal clarity the importance of the theory of state capitalism for revolutionary politics.

On Labour and Zionism

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The Labour Party has a long history of support for the state of Israel. It’s the shifting of opinion towards Palestinian rights that has prompted the current antisemitism claims, writes John Newsinger.

Far from being “institutionally antisemitic”, a much better case can be made that the Labour Party has throughout most of its history been “institutionally Zionist”.

The Labour Party embraced the notion of creating a Jewish state in the Middle East even before the Balfour Declaration, and thereafter regularly reaffirmed this commitment. This was a commitment shared by both the left and the right in the Party, although for different reasons.

Fascism and the Daily Mail

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The Daily Mail has a long history of siding with the far right. John Newsinger reveals the key period of the 1920s and 1930s, when the paper’s proprietor Lord Rothermere actively backed fascist movements.

The Daily Mail has always been a viciously reactionary newspaper, prepared to slander and malign anyone perceived to be a threat to the interests of its proprietor Viscount Rothermere and his class.

It most famously published the forged Zinoviev Letter in order to damage the Labour Party in 1924, but also went after Stanley Baldwin, the Tory leader, for being a crypto-socialist in 1931.

The Alt-Right: What Everyone Needs to Know

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The alt-right has attracted a lot of attention over the last couple of years, propelled into prominence by the Trump phenomenon in the US. It is best seen as part of the general resurgence of the far right in the US, across Europe, Brazil and elsewhere, but whereas much that has crawled out into the light of day is familiar, the alt-right is apparently something new.

Still sticking with Trump

Issue section: 

John Newsinger brings his analysis of the Christian right in the US up to the present day, with a look at why they have backed Donald Trump’s administration to the hilt and will likely continue to do so.

In August 2017 white supremacists and neo-Nazis paraded in Charlottesville, killing one protester, Heather Heyer, and seriously injuring a number of others in the process. When Trump refused to condemn them, his various business advisory boards collapsed as the CEOs of leading companies resigned in protest.

There were no resignations from his spiritual advisory board. The leaders of the Christian right, Trump’s evangelical courtiers, stuck by the man they played such an important part in installing in the White House.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Strange Rebirth of Labour England

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Once upon a time there was an enchanted land called Labour England which had “at its heart the idea of social, public and cooperative ownership as part of a mixed economy”.

This Wonderland had been created by a great wizard, Clement Attlee, who had “changed the world”. He had introduced the NHS, a massive house-building programme, nationalised the mines, brought the troops back from Europe and the Far East “and struck at the very heart of British Imperialism by giving independence to India”.

God, greed, and homophobia

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The Christian right in the US has been a bulwark of reaction for decades. John Newsinger discusses its integration in the New Conservative agenda championed by former president Ronald Reagan.

In the late 1940s and the 1950s, the Christian right in the US had been content to act as cheerleaders for US capitalism against atheistic Communism abroad. This began to change in the 1960s and 1970s when social and political change threatened all they held dear.

The first great challenge was the Civil Rights Movement. It is ironic that the Christian right condemned the involvement of the likes of Martin Luther King in political campaigning on the grounds that the clergy should keep out of politics.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - John Newsinger