Tag Archives: new statesman

Noisy, messy, unconventional, progressive

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A short blog post to share two new reviews of my book Never Again.

Tim Wells has written up one of the book’s launch events in the Morning Star: “RAR,” he writes, “changed the face of a drab, politically festering Britain.”

In the New Statesman, John Harris describes the book as “forensic” and “eloquent” and concludes:

There are obvious lines to be drawn between the Powellite cry of “Send ‘em back” and the Home Office’s current hostile environment doctrine, as shown in the ongoing Windrush scandal. And when Renton describes the League of Empire Loyalists as “a movement of the old rather than the young, and of men with social power”, he shifts the reader’s attention to the present with even more clarity. That description surely fits the politics of Brexit, and the alliance of angry fifty-somethings who now howl their rage on Question Time and Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage – whose delusions and prejudices deserve a cultural response that has so far failed to materialise.

I do not know what a 21st-century version of the Victoria Park carnival would look like, whether any musicians will ever again channel their time as brilliantly as the Clash, or if contemporary popular music could give rise to anything resembling Rock Against Racism. But this book once again put an inescapable thought in my mind: isn’t it time someone at least tried?

The book itself is still available to order – most efficiently and without avoiding union-busters – here. I’ll be doing launch events in the next few weeks in Leicester,  Brixton, Bristol, Melbourne, Dunedin, Wellington, Chicago … – so drop me a line you’d like more details or want to suggest somewhere else that suits you.

Lives; Running in the New Statesman

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From the New Statesman, 30 July – 11 August 2012:

Lives; Running, David Renton, Zero Books, £9.99

“The runner”, writes David Renton, “succeeds or falls by his or her own effort not through the efforts of others.” Renton is a barrister who runs in his spare time. His book is a record of a lifetime of running that began when he was at school. Interleaved with his account of a racing career which peaked when he was barely 15 are Renton’s reflections on the defining athletic rivalry of his childhood in the late 1970s and early 1980s: that between Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe.”