Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Book Review:

'Socialism with a Northern Accent:
Radical traditions for modern times'
Paul Salveson
Paul Salveson's new book will probably irritate quite a lot of people who like to think of themselves as forming the political left; 'old' Labour because he states bluntly that what he calls the 'Morrisonian' model of state ownership was long past its sell by date when Blair rejected it, 'new' Labour because he equally bluntly says that Blair was profoundly wrong to accept that the private sector was the only alternative and the libertarian left because he still sees an important role for the state.

His basic thesis is that in the north of England socialism (with a small 's') developed a distinct regional identity which owed very little to the Fabians or to Karl Marx and much more to that sadly overworked word 'community'. This he calls 'ethical' socialism which found its embodiment in the Independent Labour Party (ILP). But he also notes that around this were many peripheral groups which co-operated on local issues and often had shared membership.

Building on this history of diversity he maps out a possible future direction for socialism in the north which will take many Labour party members well outside their comfort zone.

Paul Salveson has agreed to be interviewed and this should appear in the next edition of Northern Voices.

Les May

'Socialism with a Northern Accent: Radical traditions for modern times' is available from Amazon at £14.24 post free.
The printed version of NORTHERN VOICES 13, may be obtained as follows:
Postal subscription: £5 for two issues (post included)
Cheques payable to 'Northern Voices' at
c/o 52, Todmorden Road,
Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
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