Against the Law – out in July

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I wanted to let readers of my blog know about this book of mine which is coming out in July.

Understanding the main political projects of our times, and their plans to expand or shrink the law, is the first step towards achieving greater equality and averting climate disaster. Since 2016, Britain has been ruled by populists, who promise to expand democracy and shrink the law by taking back power from the European Union. Yet what these populists have actually done in power is institute a vast increase in new laws, made by ministers and not Parliament, regulating every aspect of our lives. This move of promising less law while actually expanding it, has been characteristic of our lives for forty years, ever since the neoliberal counter-revolution. Every year, new criminal offences are created; new regulations are introduced.

Renton’s book dares us to imagine a world in which workers are winning, and ecocide treated with the urgency that it deserves. These changes can only come about, he argues, if the movements of the oppressed choose to disengage from the law.

Owen Hatherley: “Renton is one of the most consistently interesting and imaginative political writers in Britain today, and this eloquent attack on the repressive legalism common to populists and neoliberals alike is one of his best yet.”

Liz Davies: “Renton’s experience as a barrister and historian shines through in a learned, and eminently readable, account of the structure of law and the daily business of the Courts.”

Grietje Baars: “Meticulously researched and convincingly argued, Renton urges us to quit seeking liberation through legislation, instead wield our collective power for change.”

Paul O’Connell: “A cogent, compelling argument that the pursuit of justice requires breaking with the hegemony of law.”

Shanice McBean: “All police and prison abolitionists should read this book… it is a timely and sharp intervention, reminding us that laws are not only oppressively enforced but are themselves be a tool of control.”

Copies can be ordered from Amazon, Hive, or from the publishers.

If readers would like a taster, I’ve published pieces reflecting the themes of the book with Open Democracy, the Ecologist and Labour Hub – with more to follow

If you’d like me to speak at your tenants’ union or union branch, just ask.

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