We are in the middle of an explosion of industrial unrest and resistance to Tory rule – and knowing what we should do now means understanding the recent past. The 2010s were a decade of foodbanks, riots, and the rebirth of political alternatives. Looking to escape a future of rising debt, falling living standards and climate meltdown, a set of movements were born across the globe, led by students, workers and the tent cities of Occupy.
A new wave of optimistic, radical young people were building mass movements outside the political bubble, rejecting the neo-liberal consensus and the enrichment of the 1%, and laying the foundations of a new left. Eight years later, Bernie Sanders was favorite to clinch the Democratic Party nomination, and Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum had taken over the Labour Party in Britain, promising ‘a new kind of politics’.
But as the new left poured into Labour, it was overwhelmed by older, institutional forces on both left and right. Four years after Corbyn became leader, after bitter-infighting and a Brexit-fuelled strategic crisis, it all fell apart.
This is the inside story of how the left came back to life in the 2010s, from a man who found himself at the centre of events – featuring unparalleled access and a range of interviews with key left-wing figures. Michael Chessum explains how this movement was built, why it failed, and what it needs to do now.
Come and join Michael for discussion about the growth of a revitalised Left in the UK, which eventually contributed to the birth of Corbynism, and lets reflect on where we are going now. Tickets include a glass of wine or a soft drink and £2 off the book.