Monday, 24 December 2012

A dozen picks from 2012

In general I have blogged far less this year than in the previous three years (I started this blog in March 2009). This year I've published 65 posts to date, compared to 330 in 2011. Correspondingly, I've also spent far less time reading the left-wing blogosphere than before.
My attentions have largely been elsewhere: social media, helping run the Counterfire website and, most importantly, activism across a number of groups - Stop the War, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Coalition of Resistance and recently also Save Newcastle Libraries - in Tyneside. Since September I've been back in full-time teaching and there's no doubt that full-time work is the enemy of frequent blogging! My long commute is good for tweeting and emailing, but engaging in proper writing while travelling is a bridge too far for me.  
But I like to think there's still a decent end-of-year selection here. It's a very diverse bunch in terms of content - I've never settled on a distinctive niche as a blogger (which may be a weakness) - though of course commitment to revolutionary socialist politics runs through it all. Austerity, imperialism and the left are the closest you will get to unifying themes.
A number of these pieces were originally written for Counterfire then I re-posted them here; a few were the other way around; a few appeared only at Luna17. The more sharply polemical items - like those responding to Norman Finkelstein (on BDS), Mehdi Hasan (on issues arising from Galloway's Bradford West victory) and Derek Wall (on left-wing sectarianism) - haven't been published elsewhere.
Finally - and on a sobering note - I think only one of my blog posts this year can be regarded as having significantly influenced a specific debate. My reply to Mehdi Hasan did the rounds in the twittersphere and notched up vastly more hits than almost anything else I posted this year. There was a tangible sense of it shifting the terms of online debate around Hasan's original argument. Otherwise, however, it's a case of 'having no illusions but not being disillusioned' (to steal a phrase from Sam Gindin, writing about the US trade union movement in Socialist Register 2013, which I will shortly be reviewing).

So, here is my selection from Luna17 in 2012. Click on the title to read more:


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