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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Juncture 22.2: Autumn 2015


In 1978, Eric Hobsbawm penned his famous lecture, ‘The forward march of labour halted?’ In it, he documented the reasons why the organised working class was no longer marching forward as the collective agent of historical transformation. The Keynesian era was coming to an end, and the Labour movement could not prevent it happening. The following year Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister and the Labour party began its own long march into the wilderness.

Jeremy Corbyn’s improbable election as the leader of the Labour party has brought the arguments as well as the iconography of that era back into public view. Where it failed to get its own standard-bearer elected to the party leadership back in the tumult of the late 1970s and ’80s, the Bennite left of the Labour has now triumphed, sweeping through the membership, registered supporters and trade union levy-payers of the party to secure an overwhelming victory for Corbyn. He held up a mirror to the party, showing how hollowed out, technocratic and uninspiring it had become – and the mirror shattered.

The Corbyn surge was so rapid, and unexpected, that the Labour party didn’t stop for breath to analyse why it had suffered a second successive – and devastating – election defeat. In a series of careful dissections of the evidence, this edition of Juncture seeks to answer that question.

Read more: Editorial: The long march of labour halted – again?


  • Editorial / Mathew Lawrence, Guy Lodge and Nick Pearce
  • Parsing populism: Who is and who is not a populist these days? / Jan-Werner Müller
  • The Osborne supremacy: Observing the new conservative political hegemony / Ken Spours
  • Juncture interview: Adair Turner
  • Stability in the storm: Is China the perpetrator of global volatility, or a victim? / Ann Pettifor
  • Exclusive! How Labour left its supporters behind, and lost / Jon Cruddas, Nick Pecorelli and Jonathan Rutherford
  • Whither Labour? Seeking reinvention and a realistic radicalism / Tony Wright
  • Learning the right lessons from Labour’s 2015 defeat / Jane Green and Chris Prosser
  • The unideological electorate: Why leadership not leftishness is crucial to Labour’s rejuvenation / John Curtice
  • No maps, no manuals: Retrieving radical republicanism, restoring popular sovereignty / Karma Nabulsi
  • Achieving radical change: Social movements and the partisan promise / Daniel Schlozman
  • Containing tensions: Psychoanalysis and modern policymaking / Andrew Cooper
  • Two degrees of separation: What would a successful Paris summit mean for the battle against climate change? / Joss Garman
  • Review / Jonathan Derbyshire on Paul Mason