political publications


political publications
   Daily newspapers are often associated with general political standpoints, which can be manifested, particularly at election times, in more specific party views. Election day in 1992 was notable for the Sun’s denunciation of Neil Kinnock’s Labour Party. Interestingly, the Sun, which claimed that it had won that election for John Major, switched its alliance to the Labour Party in 1997. More specifically, there are a number of weekly and monthly political publications, some of which are independent of party politics but which may have a broad perspective, and others that are more closely aligned to a party or a narrower political view. A good example of the former is Socialist Worker, a well-produced weekly paper (also available as a monthly review) linked directly to the Socialist Workers Party and generally sold directly by party members and activists. Similarly, there is the glossy Living Marxism, the product of another far left group. The fragmentation of the Left in the 1960s allowed for a plethora of these types of publications (of varying quality) to appear, with some militant groups with as few as fifty members preparing and producing their own publication to sell at rallies, events and street corners. Also, there are a number of more broadly based political publications such as, on the Left, New Statesman and Society and Red Pepper, and on the centre right, the Spectator. While some of these are broadly based and others espouse a particular ideological line, some have broadened their ambit to cover more cultural issues in an attempt to capture more of the burgeoning publishing market and as a response to the changing political environment.
   A prominent and influential publication, Marxism Today emerged from the divisions within the Communist Party and represented an attempt to reposition a more traditional Marxist analysis within a contemporary society. At its heart was an acknowledgement that newer generations of political philosophers were becoming increasingly influential, for example, Antonio Gramsci’s writings on the function of areas of society (such as culture) within the political process. Marxism Today was an indication of not only the past history of the Left and the splits surrounding the legitimacy of the Soviet Union but also the changing political analysis which sought to embrace new elements of civil society such as popular culture.
   See also: fringe parties; Marxism
   GUY OSBORN
   STEVE GREENFIELD

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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