The once mighty United Kingdom is displaying all the signs of a rapidly deteriorating and declining power, and its politics are one of the surest indicators of this. In the past year, the country’s reigning Tories have cycled through three leaders—each plagued by scandals and screw-ups of dazzling proportions. That may all be bad enough, but the opposition Labour Party is hardly faring any better. TRNN contributor Jon Greenaway joins Associate Editor Mel Buer to recap the trends in British politics in recent years, and to discuss where this could all be headed.
Studio: Adam Coley
Post-Production: David Hebden
Mel Buer: Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of The Real News Network Podcast. My name is Mel Buer, and I am an associate editor at The Real News. I’m so glad that you’re back with us. The Real News is an independent, viewer-supported, nonprofit media network. We don’t take corporate cash, we don’t have ads, and we don’t put our reporting behind paywalls. To stay up to date on the important stories that we’re covering, sign up to our free newsletter at therealnews.com/sign-up. Follow us on social media, and consider becoming a monthly sustainer therealnews.com/donate.
Today, we’re talking UK politics. Over the last couple of years, and really in the last year alone, there have been a number of wild shake ups in the Conservative government of the United Kingdom. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson stepped down last year in the wake of a truly Tory-level scandal in which he held parties at Number 10 at the height of the COVID lockdowns, and then lied about it, followed quickly by a disastrous and short run by Liz Truss, who was chosen as his successor and did an absolutely horrible job, after which another Conservative, Rishi Sunak, was elected.
The Conservative factions within the UK government have presided over what could reasonably be called catastrophic economic and social conditions in the post-Brexit, post-COVID climate, many of which, if not all, were exacerbated by the party’s policies.
There’s a lot to talk about and contextualize, so let’s just get into it. With us today is writer, podcaster, and Real News contributor Jon Greenaway to discuss. Before we get started, would you like to introduce yourself, Jon?
Jon Greenaway: Yeah, thank you so much for having me to talk about this with you. Yeah. My name is Jon Greenaway. I am a former academic, a writer, and podcaster from the North of England. I write about culture and media and philosophy, but I also write about politics for The Real News Network when something particularly newsworthy is happening here in the UK.
Mel Buer: Great to have you on. Okay. Where to begin? Maybe the best place to start is the continued fallout of the Johnson Partygate scandal. Can you just give us a quick rundown of what happened to start this conversation?
Jon Greenaway: Yeah. Okay. So to condense things down as much as possible and to gloss the timeline a little bit, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, there were very strict political and then later legal requirements for people to be socially distanced, and this extended at every level of society. And there there’s several stories, really high-profile stories of people being heavily fined, charged by the police for breaking these laws during COVID. It was presented as a matter of public safety. Generally, adherence was pretty good, but the aftermath of the most serious bits of lockdown has caused a lot of ill feeling in the general public, and I think that’s true in most places where there were really long, prolonged lockdowns.
And over the last few months or so, increasing numbers of videos have surfaced of high-level members of Boris Johnson’s administration during that time having drinks parties, having social gatherings, having a Christmas party during lockdown when there were people who couldn’t go and see relatives dying in the hospital, people who couldn’t go and see their family during Christmas.
So obviously this caused a phenomenal amount of public outrage on a level which I think it’s hard to overstate how angry this has made an awful lot of people, and generally a lot of people who would’ve been thought of as natural Conservatives in their voting patterns, because it’s a blatant act of hypocrisy. So for about the last year or so, there has been an investigation being organized by what’s called the Commons Privilege Committee. This is a cross-party group of MPs, one of the many committees that make up the day-to-day activity of the House of Commons in Westminster. And the Commons Privileges Committee was investigating the extent to which Boris Johnson, whilst he was prime minister, had deliberately misled Parliament about his own involvement with these parties and social gatherings. It should be pointed out that, actually, there was also a police investigation into these gatherings at Number 10 during the worst of lockdown.
And so the big news is that the Committee, a few weeks back now, we started to get news that the Committee was going to release its report. And the Committee had several options available to it: so it could recommend a suspension of Boris Johnson as an MP if it had found him guilty. A suspension of over 10 days would have resulted in the possibility of his local constituency issuing a recall petition and a potential by-election, which he was widely tipped to lose.
When the committee report came out, the Committee had recommended a suspension of 90 days from Parliament. This would’ve been, I think, the second longest suspension ever given. Johnson tried to bluster his way through it at first, but then effective almost immediately resigned as a member of parliament rather than be forced into a byelection, which he probably doesn’t want to do anyway, he decided to flip over the table and make a break for it.
This last week, there was a vote by the House of Commons on whether or not it would ratify and uphold the findings of the report and censure Boris Johnson. And so one of the things that came out of that vote – Which was voted for overwhelmingly by all members of parliament, I think only seven MPs voted against this, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of members of parliament – One of the things that was revoked is that former members of parliament, and particularly prime ministers, get an awful lot of privileges when you leave office, and one of them is basically unlimited access to Westminster. You get given a special card, it’s a kind of access to all areas pass. Johnson has had his revoked. So this is big news. It caused a huge fallout within the Tory Party, and is yet another public example of the various antagonisms and contradictions within British conservatism playing out on the national stage.
Mel Buer: The news that I was reading about this was that, even leading into the debates and the receiving of the report, that many Conservative MPs were concerned about voting in one direction or another because they were trying to avoid what would be an all-out internal civil war between the various factions within the Conservative government. And I know that Sunek’s stance was to take a back seat to the proceedings and let it play out as it should, and he ran on this platform of accountability in the government, if I remember correctly. And so this was a moment for him to step back and see how it came forward. Do you still see, in your assessment, do you still see these internal divisions worsening within the Tory government? Or is this something where they finally fell into lockstep with each other and you don’t see much fallout from it?
Jon Greenaway: Yeah, generally British Conservatives are very good at falling in line. Historically, the history of British politics is the history of Conservative infighting. But when everyone’s back is to the wall, British Tories generally tend to fall in behind the leader. They’re very good at doing this. The last few years have been wildly unstable in the Conservative Party because one of the big schisms in British conservatism is about the country’s relationship to Europe.
Now, this is what the Brexit referendum back in 2016 was supposed to solve. Britain left the EU, left the European Union, but the consequences of it have been economically hugely problematic at best and outright disastrous in some ways. And so it didn’t solve the problem. And so all of the various factions within the Conservative Party now are trying to wrest control over the direction of, essentially, a political project which has run out of ideas.
So when the first news about the report was breaking, Johnson was scathing about this. He tried to bluster his way through it, accused it of being a kangaroo court, said the opposition politicians were out to get him, that this was an affront, a miscarriage of justice. And there were quite a few other MPs who thought that, who at first came out and said that this was a very dangerous precedent to set.
I think the opposite argument is to say that Johnson’s response is very much seen as an attack on the impartiality of Parliament itself, of the House of Commons. It’s a cross-party committee, it’s not just one side out to get the other. And so lots of senior Tory politicians then came out and said, actually, we should probably support the report. It sets too bad a precedent not to.
Sunak, I think, has taken the coward’s way out. So it’s not that he didn’t vote, he didn’t vote for the report, he didn’t vote against it, he just made sure that he wasn’t there when the vote was happening. And so it, it’s an attempt to diffuse the situation. And quite a few other Tory MPs just weren’t present because that way you avoid being drawn in.
So I think this has cooled things down a little bit in one particular way. But as we get closer to the next general election, I think these deep-seated fractures within the Conservative Party as a Parliamentary party and as a wider kind of political ideology are really going to come to the fore.
Mel Buer: For our members of the audience who are unfamiliar with the ways in which you schedule elections, when is the next general election scheduled?
Jon Greenaway: So there is a piece of legislation called the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, which is that general elections have to happen on a five-year interval. You can call a general election earlier than that if you think you can win. But there’s a legislative mandate which means an election will kick in at a certain date based on when the last one was held.
So the last one was at the end of 2019. So by law, the very next election has to happen, at the latest, the very beginning of 2025. So probably, my suspicion is it’ll probably be sooner than that. We’re probably within about, I would say, probably 15 months or so, there’ll be another general election in the UK. But there has to be another one, I think it is January 2025 that the next one has to happen.
Mel Buer: Great. So you’ve written a great explainer on the Labour Party for, I should say, on the current leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, and the various ideological underpinnings of what their strategy seems to be in countering the Conservative government. I want to highlight that here as really a good primer for those of us, those in our audience who are unfamiliar with British politics and the political maneuvering that happens within Parliament.
To expand upon this, though, let’s talk about Labour’s response to the fiasco to the Johnson scandal and the ongoing crisis that’s been happening in the UK. This inflation crisis is getting worse, which is creating an even more stark crisis of legitimacy for Sunak’s government. Labour are poised to take advantage of this instability. Can you give us a sense of what the economic and social conditions have been like in the last year or so, and what Labour is doing to position itself for what I assume they’re hoping or planning on being a success in the next election in terms of Parliamentary majority and what’s coming next?
Jon Greenaway: I think it’s really important to emphasize the economic fragility in the UK at the moment. As a country, its economy is very heavily weighted towards financial markets and towards the city of London. And what this means is that huge amounts of the economy are very dependent upon fluctuations in the wider global market. A really big problem that’s coming down the line very quickly is that inflation is very high and has been running at somewhere between, depending on the charts you look at, has been running somewhere between 7% and 10%, which means purchasing power goes down. And the whole point is about tightening the money supply at the moment.
The real problem that’s going to hit is one of the big areas that underpins the British economy, and that was hit enormously hard during the 2008 financial crisis, is the mortgage market, just as in the States. It’s perhaps even bigger in the UK. Households are now looking at when mortgage rates increase and when fixed term deals come to an end, there are going to be millions of people who are going to be spending probably an extra 20% to 25% of their income just on housing costs. And that’s going to happen within a year.
And that is a scary proposition at a time when British workers have been looking at basically around 12 to 14 years of flat wages – Wages have not kept up with the cost of living and wages have not kept up with inflation – And a housing market which is increasingly dominated by landlords and exorbitant rents. So that’s one big problem.
Basically, the Conservative response is – Again, I’ve said it before but I think I’ll say it a lot – As a party seems to have run out of ideas. The aftermath of COVID was pretty brutal. Britain’s economic recovery has been, I think, the weakest in Europe, getting over the pandemic. And there are no real ideas or willingness to try and tackle things. Liz Trust, who you mentioned right at the top, was prime minister for an embarrassingly short amount of time, but managed to do huge amounts of economic damage simply because she had this very right libertarian approach to economic policy. It spooked the financial markets, it drove the cost of government borrowing through the roof, mortgage rates spiked, and the cost of living knock-on it was a very real thing.
So you would think that for the Labour Party this is a kind of colossal opportunity. And in so many ways it is, but I think if you count yourself as leftist or a progressive internationally, you should be looking at UK politics with some concern. The strategy from the Labour Party basically seems to be to just… The phrase that gets used a lot is they want to appear as the government-in-waiting. They want just to be the safe pair of hands that can pick up the pieces.
But as I mentioned a little bit in the primer that you mentioned that I wrote for The Real News, a lot of the policy suggestions and the priorities that have come out of Starmer and Starmer’s handpicked front bench politicians don’t really seek to address any of these deep, systemic problems within the British economy. It isn’t going to make life easier for a lot of working people. A lot of his stuff is very reticent to be seen.
So the big attack line that Conservatives have used against Labour is that Labour spends too much money. And so we’ve had 13 years of chronic underinvestment, 13 years of depressed wages, 13 years of massive cuts to public services. Local government spending has been cut by about half in a decade, which has this colossal knock-on effect on the social fabric of an entire country – In fact, of an entire generation of people.
All of Labour’s policy announcements have been, of all the things that they’re not willing to do, they’ve talked very about very strict fiscal rules for themselves. They’ve even talked, an announcement that came out a few weeks ago, which is genuinely jaw-dropping when you stop and think about it, was that they would cut the number of free childcare hours that people were entitled to. If you have a generation who are just about maybe going to be able to buy a house, might want to have kids one day, how can you do that? How can you do that if you can’t afford the childcare costs that are now going to be put upon you?
So I think what we’re looking at is probably as a small or relatively slim Labour majority in the next election, but a Labour government that is, in so many ways, going to continue the chronic underinvestment, the hangover of austerity which has dominated British politics, and the genuinely systemic change that could address some of these structural issues just isn’t going to happen. It’s not a surprise that you’ll see lots of high-ranking Tory politicians go, we can live with Keir Starmer, we can live with Keir Starmer as prime minister. And it’s like, it’s very telling that right-wing politicians look at the leader of the Labour Party, the representative of the British left in the mainstream and go, yeah, we can live with this.
Mel Buer: You bring up good points, that if the factions of the Conservative government that you don’t want to be agreeing with if you exist in any sort of space on the left, just saying, we can hack it with this particular party leader. That’s very concerning. And you talked about this in your primer on the Labour Party, that a lot of the policy points that Starmer ran on when he wanted to be elected the party leader, those positions, he’s walked back either quietly or not so quietly very quickly in the last, what, six months or so. And so it definitely doesn’t bode well for a Labour majority for any tangible solutions to an ongoing crisis.
Jon Greenaway: I think the point is there are two ways. There are two strategies on how you build political legitimacy. So firstly, there’s the strategies that were undertaken by people like Bernie Sanders in the States, Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, where you try and actually bypass the mainstream political discourse and you try and do this through on-the-ground work and movement building. And the brutal reality is, in 2019, Jeremy Corbyn was annihilated, lost heavily. And in so many ways, the problem for the left or the left that was energized by that strategy is that it becomes a problem that you have to think through.
Maybe we should stop talking about Corbynism, but really it was a moment of possibility, and yet it lost so heavily and in such a demoralizing way. But the brutal reality of UK electoral politics is that it also came very, very close to winning. And that line that divides a very close victory to an absolutely annihilating defeat is razor thin in places.
The other strategy is the strategy of mainstream political legitimacy where you seed the ground that you think you might be weakest on in context of your ideological opponents. You aim at competence above everything, or at least the theater of competence. You want to be seen as the government-in-waiting without actually having to make any of the difficult decisions that would involve taking on things like vested power interests.
Starmer has very much been courting big business. The Labour Party conference under Jeremy Corbyn was very much an activist-led celebration, I suppose, and a real place of intellectual curiosity. But the Labour Party conference in the last couple of years has been dominated by talks from Amazon and Google on harnessing the power of big data in the National Health Service.
So that’s been the strategy. The point is not to worry the business world, not to worry the financial sector, not to worry the, frankly, hyperbolically awful British media, and to, above all else, pursue the strategy of the appearance of legitimacy. And because the kind of dark shadow of that strategy is who else are people going to vote for? Where else are you going to go? What else are you going to do?
And I think if you are, for people who were inspired and given some hope by Corbyn, it’s the same problem that people who were introduced to politics by the Sanders movement in the US have to face, which is, well, what comes next? And really that’s something that I got into at the end of that article, which is probably some hard theoretical work of actually trying to work out, is the kind of politics that you want to see in the world possible within the Labour Party? And if not, what does that mean about a left relationship to the Labour Party? And as a result, what kind of politics, what kind of governmental politics are we probably going to get from this version of the Labour Party?
Mel Buer: The question that comes to mind when you’re talking about this, particularly about this government-in-waiting, the non-committal action of making promises to the corporations and really having not much to throw in terms of scraps at a voter base of working people. Are you worried that this government gets into power and begins making decisions, if someone just pulls one of those threads and this government doesn’t really have the strength to be able to maintain itself, is that just going to come crashing down as quickly as this last year’s worth of Conservative policies? This doesn’t feel like a suitable alternative at all. Middle-of-the-road type answers aren’t going to do much for a populace that’s already severely affected by the economic and social conditions that have come out of these policies.
Jon Greenaway: And I think it leaves the door open for some truly reactionary politics to find really full expression. I say this to my American friends all the time, which is the British media, when it comes to its treatment of trans people, for example, is worse than the American media by a factor of many. Anyone who reads British media of my friends from the States are shocked at the stuff that will happen in it. And there is a very vicious transphobic and often racist and xenophobic culture war that bubbles under the surface. And I think there is no real attempt to address that in a way that’s going to quash it or push it out of public discourse, and I think that’s going to be a real problem. That’s going to be a real problem – It already is a real problem. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Mel Buer: No, I agree. You know, and I have talked at length about the decay of the neoliberal project in the Western world. We’ve talked about, you and I have been in each other’s circles for many years, we’ve really talked about how late capitalism has wreaked havoc on the lives of working people all over the globe. We’re both seeing this. There are parallels to draw between the economic and social conditions in the UK and the US, I think they’re closely related. And this neoliberal rot tends to manifest itself in the various reactionary responses to what you and I see as heightening contradictions within a rotting capitalist system.
And what we’re seeing now and have been seeing for many years is this hard pivot to far-right cultural extremism and extreme aggression towards LGBTQ people, as you have mentioned, racist and discriminatory policies and backlashes getting worse, and the extreme xenophobia that is presenting itself in your country, in you using the migrant refugee crisis that has continued since the ’10s, really, as a flashpoint for continuing and creating more aggressive border policies, particularly in a post-Brexit society that’s got to be harsh, to put it as softly as possible.
So you have some really good thoughts about this reactionary turn, and maybe we can puzzle through a little bit in this conversation, and then hopefully we can end this on positive responses, maybe reactions that we’re both seeing in our respective countries that are combating this and end on something hopeful. But let’s keep talking about this a little bit deeper.
Jon Greenaway: Yeah. So one of the big fault lines in British politics for a long time has been immigration. And this has been something that has been alternately pandered to – Often by the Labour Party, to what should be its deep shame – And exploited by the Conservative Party, and, actually, even further far-right figures. Brexit was fought on the basis of controlling immigration, which is a very vile little euphemism that gets tossed around on the political right, and I can’t help but think of the former politician, Jo Cox, who was a Labour member of parliament for the North of England, for a constituency in the North of England, who was assassinated by a far right political activist primarily because of her work with refugees. And this was in the lead up to the Brexit referendum. And Nigel Farage, an odious figure in British politics, was on television boasting about how it was a revolution where no guns had been fired, and there was a politician dead in the street.
And she was someone who talked very passionately about the importance of integrated communities and the value and the importance and dignity of asylum seekers and refugees. But those kinds of voices in the mainstream don’t really have a chance to be heard. I think the Conservative government has basically become far more carceral in its approach towards immigration and asylum seekers. I’m sure people might be familiar with the absolutely outrageous plan of sending asylum seekers out of Britain to Rwanda as a place where they could be processed. There are infamous stories of asylum seekers being essentially locked up in military barracks, subject to the most appalling conditions. So not just that, but the sheer indignity of being treated as this criminal object, something that has to be policed or out of the state. And pretty much the rhetoric on that has been ramping up markedly.
And I think the desire for this, there’s a kind of very nasty desire for purity in a lot of the media discourse that you’ll see around asylum seekers and immigration. Probably the most famous one is the absolutely disgusting column from Katie Hopkins referring to migrants as cockroaches, which is just the tip of the iceberg, really. So there are now two very right-wing cable news-style channels in the UK, and a lot of their panicking is around the absolute dangers of open borders, a very kind of typical rhetoric of what you hear in the States.
But without, of course, without actually questioning, why is social integration so much more difficult when local government has so many of its funds taken away from it, when communities are placed in opposition to one another, and when people are under the impression, deliberately created, that resources are scarce, and that for somebody else to get something, it means it’s been taken away from you? That’s a deliberate narrative that goes through a lot of the discussion around immigration and asylum seekers in this country.
There are analogies to the situation in the US, but it is newcomers to the country and LGBT people particularly, those are two groups that have been the focus of prolonged, sustained media attention in a way that is deeply concerning. And actually, as a point of principle, any politician on the left should be willing and able to take a very clear stand against that, against the kind of cultural fear mongering of people who are our friends, our neighbors, our family, our comrades, and defend them, because otherwise what are they for? What good is it to have a left government if the people who most need the protections of the state are never afforded them?
So those two issues, I think, are not going away anytime soon. And there has to be a contestation of that ground if bigger political problems are going to be solved as well. Anyone who’s come across TERF [Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminist] talking points will know quickly that it spirals outwards from trans people to include just being gay in public life, and then the enforcement of heteronormative gender roles, and then suddenly their political project spirals out much, much quicker than just being concerned about their one issue. And if you give ground on that issue, you’re giving up ground on all of these other things as well.
So there’s incredible work by groups on the ground and activist groups, organizers trying to fight back against this. There’s multiple, multiple incredible stories of local anti-fascist and local LGBT groups turning up when Patriot Alternative try to picket drag queens reading stories at the local library. This is the ground upon which there is actually some good news. But I don’t think the Starmerite Labour Party has any real answer for this sort of populist, vicious, reactionary politics.
Mel Buer: You’re speaking to the choir here. We’ve been dealing with essentially the exact same conditions in the United States. And in the United States, the Democratic Party puts out their statements and their thoughts and prayers and whatever else you want to call it, these hollow comments and commentary that do nothing to actually secure the protections and the rights of the people who are under assault from very dangerous and very scary factions of the right, the conservative factions, the conservative Christian factions in this country.
And I think we talk a lot about these reactions to the economic… Well, I don’t want to reduce this to just economic conditions because it’s a far more complex talk topic than that. But I think it’s important to end this conversation with a good chunk of time spent on… I don’t even necessarily want to call it a reaction in another direction, but I do want to highlight the ways in which there are certain cultural and political movements happening in both of our respective countries that is cause for hope and optimism in the face of such extreme conditions.
I know in the UK what this looks like is a renewed labor movement and labor actions that have had impact on working communities all across the UK in the last year. Also, this increasing influence of labor unions in the wider political project. And hopefully this means that they can be a group that can continue to have an impact in policy making, and at the very least be a group of individuals, working people in general who can’t be ignored by any government. Do you want to just give us a little…
Jon Greenaway: Yeah, there’s a couple of things… There’s a couple of things I think are really important to mention right at the top: there’s an increasingly active anti-raids network in the UK. So one of the things that the home office will do in terms of chasing immigrants is do what they call “raids” on a neighborhood where they’ll turn up, they’ll arrest everybody, they’ll demand to see papers, if you don’t have papers, you get taken away. And so it started in London, it’s appeared in lots of other cities now, this anti-raids network where people will turn up, will blockade doors, will get people out of their homes, will keep them safe.
I think maybe a really good example of this is it happened in Glasgow, and honestly it’s a really moving story, if you look it up there. A few guys were held in an immigration van and essentially the entire community, hundreds of people came out. People laid under the wheels of the van to keep the people who live in their neighborhood in their neighborhood. And I think it’s a beautiful example of, if we keep each other safe, the motto of the story. So the anti-raids network I think is a great thing, and I think that’s going to continue to grow.
I think increasingly there are problems within it and potential issues that could come up, but I think the increasing militancy of trade unions is an unequivocally good thing because it’s an empowering thing for working people to see that they can exercise their own political agency. Political agency doesn’t have to be deferred to an identitarian label of which party do you vote for? And political agency can be something more than just something that happens every five years when the state tells you you’re allowed to vote now. So the wave of strikes has had some notable successes, it’s had points at which contradictions have heightened, and there needs to be more trade union militancy to bring that to a point. So I think those are two really important movements that have to be nurtured.
The third thing that I want to mention is, and this is maybe a job for people who write and think about politics and count themselves on the left, is the importance of capturing and retelling a history of British radicalism. So I do want to mention a really great book that just came out recently by Alex Niven called The North Will Rise Again, and it’s about the counter histories and cultural histories, specifically of the North of England, and the ways in which they expose the fractures of England as a unified political project.
So the thing that I would really love to see more of in the next few years is serious talk about the structure of the United Kingdom. I think devolution is not going to go away, and it is an opportunity to think about how do we create a country that is not so economically skewed towards the South, and that doesn’t necessarily have to subscribe to this project that’s been knitted together over centuries of violence and domination?
So those are three things that I think have to be fostered and encouraged. The first two are about rediscovering a sense of political agency in the moment, and that third point is about the importance of recuperating a sense of historical possibility. If you look back at the radical history of the country, you see the moment when things could have been otherwise. And if we’re concerned about trying to create a potential better future, then we have to nurture that hope as well, that militant hope, that optimism, that is both the pessimism and optimism that goes together with being a leftist. We have to have this belief that, actually, in the past there were these moments of possibility that maybe they failed, but they were never extinguished entirely. And so what that means is that there is the potential to make a better future.
There’s a great Welsh historian called Gwyn Williams who said that he wrote a book called When Was Wales? He said Wales is always being made, and it’s made by the people who live there, if they choose to do it. And the point is like, well, what is Britain? What is English politics? And it’s like, well, it’s made by the people. And so I think those are three things that I think are really important to hang on to. The first two are very practical involved in on the ground organizing and actually trying to build some sense of class consciousness in the moment. But that third one is about looking back to the possibilities of maybe even very recent history and actually using those as catalytic for understanding the possibility of the future.
Mel Buer: That, I think, is a great end point that we can get to with this conversation. That is all the time that we have today. Thank you again, Jon, for joining us. It’s always a joy, and I always come away from our conversations feeling 50 times smarter. So thank you for joining us, and we want you back on this program, anytime you want to join to talk about anything, not just UK politics, but whatever writing you’ve got going on. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today. Can you just let folks know where to find you, your podcast, your other writing…? Take it away, drop some links.
Jon Greenaway: Yeah, you can find me on social media @thelitcritguy. I have a couple of books coming out next year which I’m working on at the moment, and people can get sneak peeks of those over on patreon.com/thelitcritguy. I am the co-host of a podcast about media analysis, horror movies, and radical politics. So if you like that, please do check out Horror Vanguard wherever you get your podcasts from. And yeah, thank you so, so much for having me on the show.
Mel Buer: That’s it for us here at The Real News Network podcast. Once again, I’m Mel Buer, associate editor at The Real News. Feel free to follow us on your favorite social media as we continue to bring you independent, ad-free journalism. Until next time.