John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

Some arguments about the UK government's welfare reform programme - Sources


Roughly chronological by subject:

Poverty and Policy in Tudor and Stuart England, Paul Slack, 1988 - standard work on the early Engish Poor Law

The Invention of Capitalism, Michael Perelman, 2000 - contains a useful account of the Game Laws

Legacy to Labourers, William Cobbett, 1834 - Cobbett’s furious lament for the old Poor Law

State-Building and Poverty: The Poor Law Report of 1834, Colin Barker, 1988. Fascinating, detailed, treatment of the famous Royal Commission on the Poor Law and its role in reconstructing the capitalist state - available on Scribd

The Rise of the Welfare State, English Social Policy 1601 - 1971 ed. M Bruce, 1973 -collection of original documents

The Bitter Cry of Outcast London - an Enquiry into the Condition of the Abject Poor, Rev.Anthony Mearns, 1883 - an influential and vivid tract, predating Seebohm and Rowntree

English Poor Law Policy, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, 1907 - voluminous, dull, but still essential for detail on the 19th century

Poor Law Regulating the Social: the Welfare State and Local Politics in Imperial Germany, George Steinmetz 1993 - models of provision in the first welfare state up to WW1

From Poor Law to Welfare State - a History of Social Welfare in America, Walter Trattner, 2007 (sixth edition) - standard history

Unemployed Struggles 1919-1936, Wal Hannington, 1936 - history of the NUWM by its CP leader

The Welfare State: An Historical Approach, John Saville, 1957 - rare Marxist account of the UK welfare state

Regulating the Poor - the Functions of Public Welfare, Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, 1971 and 1993 - the most important existing radical account of welfare, from a largely US perspective

The Failed Welfare Revolution - America’s Struggle over Guaranteed Income Policy, Brian Steensland, 2008 - UBI and NIT in 1960’s policymaking

Missing Women: The Forgotten Struggles of Single Mothers for Basic Income (2010) and UNA SOLA MOLTITUDINE: Struggles For Basic Income - Italy, the U.K., and Japan (2003) - two pieces by Toru Yamamori on the radical history of the Basic Income demand

Dole autonomy versus the re-imposition of work: analysis of the current tendency to workfare in the UK (1998) and The renewed imposition of work in the era of austerity: prospects for resistance (2011) two essential (UK) articles from libertarian communist journal Aufheben

Let’s Scrap the DWP, Simon Duffy and John Dalrymple, 2014. Recent sample of arguments from the Centre for Welfare Reform - with which I don’t always agree but which always have valuable statistical analyses.

The two major new sources used are:

Welfare Weekly - a mainstream UK news aggregator (formerly Welfare News Service)

Rightsnet - a professional welfare rights site - news items are subscription only.