Chris Ratcliffe

346 Flips | 4 Magazines | 2 Following | 78 Followers | @chrisofhb | Publishing and web development at www.penninepens.co.uk

Remembering Tom Hayden

A week before he died, I went to say farewell to Tom Hayden. I’d known him ever since we met in Berkeley in 1969 during the tumult of People’s Park, …

Veteran MP Dennis Skinner says Corbyn surge has saved Labour's finances and he could win an election

Labour's conference is a tale of two tribes - with rebel MPs rallying in a pub while Jeremy Corbyn mulls another leadership victory.<p>So here's one man …

I fought the hard left in the 1980s. Now I’m backing Corbyn

The impending Labour conference in Liverpool evokes a sense of deja vu all over again. Once more we will have a Labour leader confronting a clique that is seeking to seize the party machinery.<p>Jeremy Corbyn: is he really unelectable as prime minister?<p>Read more<p>Three decades ago, it was Neil Kinnock …

Bill Clinton

No grammar schools, lots of play: the secrets of Europe’s top education system

In Finland children don’t start school until they are seven, but what happens before that is even more important<p>It’s a warm September afternoon in the Kallio district of Helsinki. Out in the Franzenia daycare centre playground, groups of four- and five-year-olds roam contentedly. “Would you like an …

Education

Paul Mason, Fleet Street's Rebel With A Cause, On BBC Anti-Corbyn Bias, Brexit And The Media

'I don’t really care what the sort of Twitter-o-sphere of the kind of elite, 1%, think of me'.<p>“They already didn’t like me,” says Paul Mason, when I …

Jeremy Corbyn: ‘People say I should be tougher. But it’s not my style’

Halfway through my interview with Jeremy Corbyn, Laura Alvarez, his wife, turns up with a pot of homemade blackberry and apple jam for one of his assistants. “It’s from the allotment,” Corbyn says proudly. “It’s important to have a balance in life. I know my office gets quite irritated because I …

Great Britain

Jeremy Corbyn has been on the right side of history for 30 years. That’s real leadership

What makes a leader, and what is leadership? We are told every day that Jeremy Corbyn is not a leader, from Hilary Benn’s “He’s a good and decent man, but he’s not a leader” to the Daily Mail saying Corbyn “is the worst Labour leader in history”. But in spite of the relentless Corbyn-bashing, …

Tony Blair

Jeremy Corbyn didn’t radicalise me – Nick Clegg did

Ahead of the release of his book next week, former leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg has stepped back into the limelight in a brazen attempt …

Nick Clegg

The Corbyn crowd, and its signal

What is really going on in Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party? An open-air meeting and the changes in a ward branch give some clues. "Most MPs opposed to …

Emily Thornberry: Why I'm sticking with Jeremy Corbyn

Labour's shadow foreign secretary has explained to her local party why she will vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election.<p>I hope you are all …

Did a Solar-Powered Autonomous Boat Just Cross the Pacific Ocean?

I struggle to descend the stairs leading to the sandy beach at Half Moon Bay, California, awkwardly hefting the 60-pound solar-powered boat SeaCharger atop my shoulder. Amid the numerous “what-the-heck-is-that?!” stares of the beachgoers, I perform some last-minute checks of the boat’s propeller …

Solar Panels

Britain’s economy needs a radical transformation – Jeremy Corbyn is the man to deliver this

It is my strong and long-held belief that what holds back Britain’s economy is a lack of investment, both public and private, which is now running at …

United Kingdom

So, I went to an Owen Smith event…

Yesterday, I went to Owen Smith’s event (I can’t really call it a rally as I’m not sure 100 people sitting in a room constitutes that…). As I’m sure …

United Kingdom

Islamic extremist's trial over Timbuktu cultural destruction to open at The Hague

An Islamic extremist accused of destroying religious monuments in the ancient city of Timbuktu will be tried for war crimes in a groundbreaking case at the international criminal court this week.<p>Ahmad al-Mahdi, a former junior civil servant in Mali’s department of education, joins the ranks of the …

Africa

Neoliberalism has had its day. So what happens next?

In the early 1980s the author was one of the first to herald the emerging dominance of neoliberalism in the west. Here he argues that this doctrine is now faltering. But what happens next?<p>The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were …

Globalization

The sound of Blairite silence

Owen Smith has become the willing dupe of the Labour right<p>No matter how hard you listen it’s impossible to hear the Blairite wing of Labour. They …

Jeremy Corbyn and the People Versus the Media: The End of Manufactured Consent?

In future history classrooms, students will likely be told the tale of the tag-team assault on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by the mainstream media and MPs. It will be taught as a harbinger of what is erupting into the most pivotal crisis facing Western politics in half a century: the chasm between …

Jeremy Corbyn secures backing of 84% of local Labour parties in leadership contest

Jeremy Corbyn has won the support of the vast majority of the local Labour parties who backed a candidate in the leadership contest.<p>The incumbent …

Labour Party

John Prescott: Critics must accept Jeremy Corbyn has created largest political party in Europe - and work with him

Two weeks ago, before I went on holiday, I said so much had happened in politics in the previous month, I didn’t know what Britain would be like when …

Natural Gas

Does Labour have a chance of victory under Jeremy Corbyn?

<b>Dear Jess</b><p>My name is Emma and I am a national organiser for Momentum. Until last year, I was a primary school teacher in your constituency in Yardley, Birmingham. The children in my class were fantastic – full of potential, charisma and creativity. But, as you know, it is an area of high social …

Labour Party

Tom and the Trotsky twist

Tom Watson is scaremongering about Trotskyists, but he may have bitten off more than he can chew, says John Rees

51 Of The Most Powerful Pieces Of Advice From Books

"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." —John Steinbeck<p>2. "Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs."<p>—<i>Jane Eyre</i>, Charlotte Brontë"<p>Suggested by khlaw1993<p>3. "Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your …

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour opponents should accept that their failures created him

Unless there is a dramatic and unlikely political upset, Jeremy Corbyn will again win the Labour leadership contest. It will be a victory gifted by his opponents. Last year, his triumph was dismissed as a combination of madness, petulance and zealotry. But many commentators lack any understanding …

Great Britain

Corbyn supporters are not delusional Leninists but ordinary, fed-up voters

Lock up your children, for there is a sinister force taking root in modern Britain. It is a cult, with followers like those of mass murderer Charles Manson, shrouded in a cloud of spite and acrimony. The worst thing about this terrifying insurgency? My mum is part of it.<p>'We're not cult members': …

Foreign Policy

US

Gunning for Corbyn, not the Conservatives, is Labour’s tragedy

Give the grown-ups back control of the Labour party. Wasn’t that supposed to be the idea? Yet with each fresh turn of events, the coup against Jeremy Corbyn looks less like an adult intervention, and more like a slapstick farce.<p>Labour to appeal against high court leadership ballot decision<p>Read …

Foreign Policy

So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen writes to muse just before her death

Cohen’s letter to Marianne Ihlen said ‘our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon’<p>Leonard Cohen penned a poignant final letter to his dying muse Marianne Ihlen, a longtime friend of hers revealed on Canadian radio.<p>Ihlen, whom Cohen wrote about in So Long, Marianne and Bird …

Literature

Same old, same old. How the hipster aesthetic is taking over the world

Industrial furniture, stripped floors and Edison bulbs: why must we aspire to such bland monotony?<p>Go to Shoreditch Grind, near a roundabout in the middle of London’s hipster district. It’s a coffee shop with rough-hewn wooden tables, plentiful sunlight from wide windows, and austere pendant …

Harvard Business School

15 Times Jeremy Corbyn Was on the Right Side of History

Jeremy Corbyn has a long history of opposing the British state and imperialism. Here are 15 times Jeremy Corbyn was on the right side of history:<p><b>1.</b> …

Michael Morpurgo: 'Europe is in terrible trouble - you shouldn't desert your friends in their hour of need'

Michael Morpurgo is a shameless snapper-up of unconsidered trifles. All it takes is a conversation here, a chance meeting there, a crumb dropped from history’s table and his imagination starts to work like yeast. People tell him stuff. Things happen to him. He gets lucky – and then he gets busy. …