00) What’s New & Main Menu

What’s New

27th July – Just published, Problems 29.  And Problems 25 now on-line.

Problems 29: Jews as ‘Collateral Damage’ in the Fall of the British Empire. Part One: Britain’s Exterminating Sea Empire (summary only)

Problems 25China: Blue Ants and Dangerous Reds

  • Writing in 1950s, a French writer has no doubt that Mao’s new China is efficient, clean and orderly.  He dislikes the loss of what he sees as the romance of Old China, while not denying the suffering.
  • He also says “”China has therefore been Westernised for a second time, more completely than the first.  China is no longer Asiatic.  At most she will be Eurasian”.
  • The article next studies what the same writer had said earlier.  And then a bizarre US science fiction novel that shows the ignorance and prejudice about China at the time.
  • Finally it looks at the Yangtze Incident of 1949, and how it ended a century of Western intrusion into China’s rivers.

16th June – Newsnotes for April now on-line

24th May

Awed by the Amazing Twentieth?  Is it unreasonable to ask people getting more than £80,000 a year to pay more tax?

5th May

Newsnotes for March 2017.

25th April

7th February

  • Degraded Globalisation.  How the 1980s saw increasing inequality in the West.  But also a fast rise by China, which resisted Neo-Liberal ideas.
  • Newsnotes for November available.

14th January 2017

Added full on-line text of Problems 24 – China 1949: Fixing a Broken Society.

  • The West’s false understanding of ‘Normal Politics’.
  • How the Kuomintang failed to develop anything much during their period of rule. How they failed to confront Global Imperialism, and then were very slow to resist Japan’s expansion into Chinese territory.
  • An interesting account of the first years after 1949, by a Christian missionary who stayed in China when most Westerners left or were expelled.
  • How Edgar Snow was well aware of the crisis after the Great Leap Forward, but noted the unusual weather and did not class it as a famine.

6th November

Did a big catch-up for Newsnotes.  October to December 2015, and March to September 2016.  Brexit, Corbyn and the British Labour Party, Tory policies, Turkish coup and much else covered.

13th October – Newly Available On-Line:

Problems 23 – China: Nurturing Red Stars

  • Why it become the job of the Chinese Communist Party to complete the necessary nationalist revolution that the Kuomintang had backed away from in 1927.
  • The unexpected role of Madam Sun (Soong Ching-ling) in publicising and strengthening Mao Zedong via Edgar Snow’s Red Star Over China.
  • Full article, available online.
  • Also available as aPDF, Problems 23 – Nurturing Red Stars

Newly published, only available in print:

Problems 27China: Agnes Smedley’s Battle Hymn Against Japan

  • Smedley as Stranger In Her Own Land
  • Chinese Trotskyism
  • The little-known Trotskyist influence on Khrushchev
  • Witness at Xian – and Loose Cannon at Xian
  • A Failed Sexual Revolution at Yenan
  • Singing a Battle Hymn of China
  • Persecution by the Ignorant and Powerful
  • Death and Unjust Neglect

19th September, new on-line

Labour’s Next Leader?.  September 2016.

Jeremy Corbyn’s PLP critics claim that under his leadership Labour is unelectable. Some of these critics are the same people who were responsible for Labour losing the last two general elections. But rather than rally round Corbyn they have placed their faith in Owen Smith, a man with little more than six years experience as a member of parliament. Their aim, they say, is a Labour government. So what guarantees can they offer that, should Smith defeat Corbyn in the leadership election currently being held, Labour will win the next general election?

  • Also Parliament And World War One: :Labour and the War;
  • Froggy; 
  • Notes on the News;
  • Votes on Iraq;
  • Welfare Reform;
  • Diary of a Corbyn Foot Soldier (No.4);
  • Whatever Happened to the Parliamentary Labour Party;
  • Parliamentary Notes;
  • Listening to Italy;
  • Poems: A Murder Of Crows; The Haven; When Uncle Sam Comes To Visit.  (
  • (To be posted on-line when 12 months old.)

From September 2015

9th August – still available on-line:

Problems 22China’s Blue Republic, 1912-49 . Also Stalin: Paradoxes of Power.
China’s ‘Blue Republic’ lasted from 1912 to 1949, and achieved nothing.  It achieved nothing because it was trying to erect a copy of the complex political structures of the USA or Western Europe on top of a society that had very different value. And doing it with a false understanding of the intricate political processes that had occurred there.
Also available as a PDF, Problems 22_China’s Blue Republic

Also newly published, available for now as print-only:

Problems 26 – Smedley: an American Woman Who Loved China’s Red Army

How Agnes Smedley found a life’s purpose in China
Her connection with super-spy Richard Sorge
Her account of the little-known Red Areas in South China
The surprising neglect of her work by later writers
How she told a genuinely unknown and potentially damaging story about Mao
The cowboy scholarship of ‘Wild Swan’ Chang and ‘Doc’ Halliday.
Her account of the ‘A.B. Group’, an early split within the Red Army
The Chinese Social Democrats’ efforts to created a functional Third Force

22nd July

Why Labour needs Jeremy Corbyn

  • The Labour Party grows from the Left. It shrivels when it settles down at the Centre.If the Labour Party is not a protest movement it is nothing.For long periods it has failed to win elections. When it has won an election with the spirit of protest still strong in it, and harnessed it to the task of governing, it has achieved something.Winning elections is often a matter of luck. If the Centre Ground PLP, which has boycotted Corbyn, was lucky and won an Election, it is a virtual certainty that it would just serve its term in Office in a way that was indistinguishable from Tory government, except to the people who have Government jobs for a few years.

Posted as a web page and also available as a PDF, Labour Needs Corbyn

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One thought on “00) What’s New & Main Menu

  1. The current list of articles on Tibet did not deal much of Bon, the shamanistic “religion” that was dominant before Princess Wenchang came along. And more importantly, the voodoo like assimilation of Bon deities/demons (wraithful deities aka demons) into what would become known as Tibetan Buddhism. Your list of topics is also lacking coverage of sexual practices among the Lamas and how once when they were dominant during the late Mongol period, they would go around deflowering brides on the first time of marriage…

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