Anthony Barnett reveals how new movements on the Left are challenging the political status quo
Interesting piece, though almost all about the US and arguably a bit too dismissive about the UK. Two points: First, what is described as the residual traditional socialist left is much stronger in the UK and in Europe generally than in the US - it is the US which is historically exceptional in that regard, as is well known. In the UK we are all too familiar with 'a resentful, self-righteous hard Left, with a policing mentality, poised to accuse those in the definite Left who are closest to it....of betrayal.' - both inside and outside the Labour Party. Barnett's 'definite left' would certainly qualify as traitors in the eyes of this group, who are a real obstacle to the kind of politics Barnett favours. But second, in his curt dismissal of Starmer as a straightforward Blairite, Barnett himself seems to echo this left 'betrayal' narrative. I myself am not yet totally sold on Starmer, but I think his differences from Blair are worth a closer look.
I am wondering whether Starmer today signalled the kinds of required shift implied in this story. If so then I can get behind him, an issue that has confused me for some time.