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The End of Parliamentary Socialism: From New Left to New Labour

Argues against the assertion that there is no alternative to neo-liberalism.

This trenchant account of the last twenty-five years of the British Labour Party argues that Tony Blair's modernizing tendency was profoundly mistaken in asserting that the only alternative to traditional social democracy and narrow parliamentarianism was an acceptance of neo-liberalism. In blaming the Labour left, rather than the social-democratic right for the party's years in the electoral wilderness, the modernizers rejected the creativity and energy which the party's New Left had mobilized, and without which their own professed aim of democratic renewal was unlikely to be realized. In this new edition, the authors, in collaboration with David Coates, review the debate in light of the Blair government's first three years in office.

With contributions by David Coates

Reviews

  • “Leo Panitch and Colin Leys have written a book whose significance extends far beyond the specific case of the British Labour Party.”
  • “... a brilliant refutation of New Labour's version of history. With an impressive range of evidence, careful analysis and a theoretical framework, [Panitch and Leys] have provided a highly readable and committed book ... recommended for everyone who really wants to understand the politics and recent history of the Labour Party.”
  • “... a rich and immensely enjoyable narrative, full of detail about the trajectory taken by Labour over the last quarter-century.”

Blog

  • Reality is Running

    Corbyn’s accession to the leadership of the Labour Party, and the campaign conducted over the past six weeks, has shifted the space of the politically acceptable: talk of public ownership and common good, once deemed electoral poison, are back on the agenda.  

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  • General Election 2017: Essential Reading



    “Strong and stable!” is Theresa May’s slogan for the upcoming election, empty words for most considering the current Tory landscape of soaring cuts, poverty and inequality.

    Here we present our essential reading: featuring leading voices dealing with issues ranging from privatisation, inequality, capitalism, neo-liberalism, socialism, migration, and more.

    All these books are 50% off until May 15 at midnight (UTC). Click here to activate your discount.

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  • Building a Political Alternative: Stathis Kouvelakis on the French Presidential Election

    Feyzi Ismail's interview with Stathis Kouvelakis — a member of the Greek Popular Unity party and a supporter of La France Insoumise — about Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election and the prospects for the radical left was first published at Counterfire


    France Insoumise International Women's Day demonstration, March 2017. via Flickr.

    What is your assessment of Macron's victory over Le Pen and how did we get to this?


    We shouldn't underestimate the danger of Le Pen's result of 34.5%, even if she wasn't elected. This is a solid performance that makes her appear as a credible alternative for power, which means the slogan we have been hearing that says "Macron in 2017 equals Le Pen in 2022" has the potential to become true. This is one essential reason why against all odds the left should have been supporting a tactical vote for Macron for the second round. Abstention under these conditions was not an option.

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Other books by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch