Jacob Richardson

Jacob Richardson began his career with Disclaimer and writes on culture, politics and society. Politically he is a democratic socialist and Labour Party supporter. His other interests include cinema, psychoanalysis and professional wrestling.

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Articles by Jacob

Joining EFTA, The Least Worst Brexit, is Also About Being a Rule-Maker

On Brexit, Labour needs to distinguish itself from a governing party in disarray. Tony Blair and David Miliband have called on Labour to join the European Free Trade Area. Contrary to expectations, this would make Britain a rule maker not a rule taker. It would also honour the referendum result.

Labour Needs a Big Idea To End Britain’s Political ‘Stalemate’

The local election results reflected opinion polls: a tie between the two main parties. Another general election would likely produce another hung parliament. On these figures, the best Corbyn could hope for is a minority government dependent on cooperation with other parties. He needs ideas to win.

Contrite and Apologetic, Corbyn Must Lead the Charge Against Antisemitism. Or Quit

Jeremy Corbyn has often been accused of taking antisemitism lightly. The latest revelations of membership of antisemitic groups and defending anti-Jewish art should worry everybody. To stop the rot of antisemitism, he must apologise and lead a genuine effort against the one of the world's oldest hatreds.

I Agree with Vince: On Brexit Will Cable Be Jeremy Corbyn's Sage or Kingmaker?

The polls stubbornly refuse to shift decisively in Labour's favour despite the hash the government is making. It could be that Jeremy Corbyn wins enough seats to dislodge the Tories but not enough to govern. What will his options be and how will an alliance change his "transformational politics"?

The NHS Needs More Money, but it Also Needs a Community Revolution

The 2018 winter crisis has shown an NHS near breaking point. The case for more funding is unanswerable. Yet for a health service fit for new challenges, we need radical reform as revolutionary as its foundation.

​Labour Needs to Bring Corbyn’s “Straight Talking” to its Brexit Policy

Politically Labour is able to harrass the government over the mess of its Brexit policy. However, the party is still not being honest with the public about the choices of Brexit. It is time that Labour - and Corbyn - told some truths. Honest politics on Brexit could ultimately help Labour.

Scottish Labour Shifts Left with Richard Leonard. Jeremy Corbyn Will Count on His Success

In a widely expected result, Yorkshire-born Richard Leonard defeated Anas Sarwar to become Scottish Labour leader. He is tasked with taking on the SNP and reviving Labour in Scotland. To get to Downing Street Jeremy Corbyn might need him.

Harvey Weinstein’s Unmasking is Forcing Cultural Change. It Also Highlights Grave Injustices

As Harvey Weinstein has been unmasked as a sexual predator and then charged, it is time we questioned the culture that allowed him to go unchecked. In addition, America should abolish time limits on crimes that often allow sexual predators like Weinstein and Bill Cosby to get away with it.

The JFK Files Show that Reality Can Be Just as Strange as Conspiracy Theories

President John F. Kennedy has been exhumed back into public consciousness with the publication, heralded by Donald Trump, of the JFK Files. The files might disappoint conspiracy theorists but they do point to evidence of conspiracies.

Labour Needs to Prove It Can Deliver on Housing. Send for David Lammy

Housing will be a key voter concern at the next election. Compared to Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn has set out a bold offer to voters. However, he now needs to convince the country that he knows how to put his plans into action.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Conference Speech: Labour is Now the Mainstream

Serenaded by his party and still confident after his astonishing election result, Corbyn at the Labour Conference 2017 in Brighton was a different creature from past appearance. He claimed the political centre ground as he attacked the Tories on austerity and Brexit.

The Universal Credit is in Crisis. Labour Should Commit to a Universal Basic Income Now

Once again, the government’s flagship welfare reform programme has been critcised for failing those it is meant to help. It is not enough for Labour to oppose the Universal Credit, they must commit to a bold reform of the Welfare State for the 21st Century.

Left-Wing Equivalents to the Alt-Right Lie within the Poison of Antisemitism

More British Jews fear antisemitism from the left than the right. Manifestation of left-wing antisemitism is subtle and obscured, often tied in with ideas on global capitalism and media bias. Anyone who claims to stand for progressive or socialist values must recognise it and oppose it.

Moggmentum Signals the Tory Party’s Retreat to the Reactionary Right

The rise of Moggmentum is a sign that the Tory party is retreating to its base. Their leader, Jacob Rees-Mogg, is a traditional Tory but his adherents show similar signs to American alt-right supporters of Donald Trump. There may be similarities with Jeremy Corbyn, but the phenomenon can only help Labour into government.

Charismatic Villains Turn Fargo’s Dark Comedy into an Epic TV Saga

Beginning life as an Oscar-winning Coen Brothers' film, Fargo was adapted for television by FX and Noah Hawley. Starring Martin Freeman, David Thewlis, and Kirsten Dunst, the darker TV series has shown television to be an artistic medium on par with cinema.

Trexit May Be Inevitable But That Does Not Mean Trump is Finished

As Robert Mueller convenes a grand jury, it is clear that the Russia investigation is serious: Donald Trump is in serious danger of being forced from the presidency. But if he has been an unconventional president, he might be an equally unconventional former president. Democrats and Republicans need to defeat Trumpism not just President Trump.

The Rock is an Unlikely President, but Could he do a Worse Job than Donald Trump?

There is one man who is being promoted as an unlikely challenger to Trump (or another Republican nominee) in 2020. Like Reagan he is a Hollywood star and like Trump he would be a political outsider with experience in the wrestling world. Dwayne Johnson, known to wrestling fans as The Rock, would make an unlikely president but he has a rags-to-riches backstory and could not be any worse than Trump.

The Politics of Age and Idealism: Young Voters Are Changing Democracy

If, as expected, Vince Cable becomes leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain's three main party leaders will be the oldest in generations. Jeremy Corbyn may become one of the oldest first time prime ministers but it will be because of his appeal to young voters. Politics is changing and young people are leading that change.

No Longer Hidden, Mr Babadook Becomes an LGBT Icon and a Mental Health Mascot

The Babadook, a top-hatted demon from the 2014 film directed by Jennifer Kent, has become an unlikely gay icon, but there could be echoes of more serious Jungian psychology behind this light-hearted adoption of a figure who threatens the narrow minds of the prejudiced.

Opposing May’s Coalition of Crankery, Corbyn Can Show He is a Prime Minister-in-Waiting

Even if Theresa May clings onto power, she leads a weakened government with a wafer thin Commons majority dependent on the DUP. Jeremy Corbyn must take the initiative not just to stand up to May as a vindicated opposition leader, but to prove himself as a prime minister-in-waiting.

Once Unthinkable, Prime Minister Corbyn No Longer Seems Impossible

The Tory campaign has unraveled while Jeremy Corbyn has campaigned enthusiastically. The momentum is with him. Corbyn now needs to solidify his support amongst young people to make what was once unthinkable a real possibility.

If Labour is Serious About Winning, It Needs to be Honest About a Progressive Alliance

Never has there been a greater need for progressives to put aside tribalism and work together to oppose the Tories. The mutual stealing of policies is not an insult but flattery. Labour needs to start being honest: it cannot win alone and needs to prove that an alliance will provide decent government.

With May’s Negotiations in Chaos, Labour Offers Strong and Stable Brexit Leadership

Theresa May was supposed to be the “safe pair of hands” who would lead the country through Brexit. Instead she offers chaos and division, a Brexit for UKIP and the hard right. Recently it has been Labour that is offering a rational and humane leadership on Brexit.

Leaving Her Debate Podium Empty, Theresa May Chickens Out of Democracy

Theresa May has been labelled #ChickenMay for avoiding election debates. TV debates provide leaders an opportunity to get their message across unvarnished rather than spun, while being scrutinised by each other, by the press and - most importantly - by the people. Time to step up, Prime Minister.

‘Marine A’ Was a War Criminal But Alexander Blackman Can Show His Contrition

Alexander Blackman’s supporters were jubilant when the Court of Appeal downgraded his murder conviction to manslaughter. Blackman was a distinguished serviceman, but is still a war criminal. As he is released he can put his chauvinist supporters behind him and show contrition.

Theresa May and Brexit Britain’s Axis of Authoritarianism

With its reactionary politics of the Tory right, Brexit has surpassed the worst fears of the Remain camp. Theresa May’s foreign policy seeks to strengthen ties with nations that vastly deviate from liberal democratic Europe. Brexit is turning out to be a national, and international, humiliation.

J’accuse...! Paul Dacre and the Right-Wing, Europhobic Press

As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Jacob Richardson accuses Paul Dacre and the europhobic press.

A Prophetic Cry Against Rampant Materialism - R.H. Benson’s Lord of the World

Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World is unique among dystopian novels in being endorsed as prophetic, in the literal theological sense, by the world’s highest religious authority - with Pope Francis believing that his nightmarish vision was divinely inspired. At its heart it is a cry against rampant materialism.

Ditching Corbyn Does Not Mean Ditching Corbynism

Labour under Jeremy Corbyn cannot win a general election. His polls ratings are bad and the loss of the Copeland by-election was devastating. His legacy can either be a surging mass movement or a humiliating election defeat to Theresa May's Tories.

Flat Taxes and a Privatised NHS: Ruthlessly Right-Wing UKIP Doesn’t Care About the Poor

Their policies would hurt the most vulnerable but UKIP is now positioning itself as the challenger to Labour in its heartlands. Paul Nuttall is standing in the Stoke-on-Trent by-election and he might pull of a victory. Labour needs to fight them off to secure any future in Brexit Britain.

Trump’s Cuban Freeze Will Strengthen Castro’s Legacy, Good and Bad

Arguing that freeing travel and trade would loosen the grip of authoritarianism in Cuba, Barack Obama reached out to Raul Castro. Now Donald Trump's review will strengthen socialist aspects of the revolution. But it also risks reviving the murky spirit of Fidel Castro.

Lessons from Orwell: Fake News and Alternative Facts Threaten Free Society

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a masterpiece in political satire and science fiction. Since Donald Trump's inauguration the book has seen a 9,500 percent rise in sales. It might be cliché to label Orwell prophetic, but 1984 does seem eerily prescient in the era of fake news.

The Tories’ Approach to the NHS is Austerity by Stealth

Red Cross jeeps pulling up at hospitals where patients are dying on trolleys in corridors and being treated in the makeshift surgeries of tents and staff rooms, as understaffing is so chronic, is unworthy of a developed nation and major economy. Who, or what, is to blame for this systemic collapse?

The Anachronism of Monarchy Obscures Britain’s Radical Tradition

The monarchy embodies millennia of cultural and political history, with the monarch merely being a symbolic, impartial figurehead. But there is also a radical history which has guided the evolution of the monarchy towards its politically diluted status.

May and Hammond Are Still Scapegoating the Most Vulnerable

Little will change under a strategy defined by inaction, and on other key issues, Hammond’s silence was deafening. This Autumn Statement indicates that the Tories, entrenching inequality with economic stagnation and socially-divisive policies, remain resolved about scapegoating the poor and most vulnerable to compensate for their own failure.

While May Offers Platitudes, Merkel Becomes the New Leader of the Trump Resistance

In contrast to Theresa May, when it came to welcoming Trump’s election, Angela Merkel was unequivocal in setting out Germany’s terms for cooperation. But the platform of principles from which Merkel criticises Trump are not just those of Germany but Europe.

Donald Trump Can’t Win? Look to the ‘Rustbelt Brexit’ States

The self-described socialist and progressive filmmaker Michael Moore is one of the most influential leftist political commentators in the United States. So Moore’s prediction, that Donald Trump will win the presidential election, does not make pleasant listening for most of his viewers.

Profile: “The Punisher” Rodrigo Duterte Personifies the Dangers of Populism

We may find the bombast of demagogues farcical, but as Duterte proves, there is nothing amusing about those with single-minded strategy for gaining power that turns out successful. We are learning this the hard way in a Europe with a resurgence of chauvinistic nationalism and, in America, Donald Trump

Louis Theroux on Jimmy Savile: A Monster Empowered by Complicity

Louis Theroux befriended Savile for his When Louis Met… series. But to Theroux, there was something about Savile that instinctively disturbed him. The documentary maker deserves credit for getting closest to unmasking Savile in his lifetime, his new documentary explores his own sense of guilt and our complicity.

Re-elected Jeremy Corbyn Must Deliver Unity and Credibility

Corbyn may have reinforced his mandate, but his re-election will not win a general election. His first test is to reunify the party to properly oppose the Tories. To seem like a PM-in-waiting and reverse his dire polling numbers, Corbyn must also develop a credible manifesto on issues that matter to the public.

Room 237: Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining Illuminates Living Evil

The Shining is perhaps the most mysterious and experimental of all of Kubrick’s works, so no wonder it has been subject to decades of fervent speculation by fans and professional critics alike, at worst manifesting in absurdity like the Moon landing theory.

Breturn: How the UK Could Re-join the European Union

What if Britain misses out on the economic, diplomatic, scientific and cultural benefits of an EU that overcomes its tribulations and thrives as a dynamic transnational entity? Then how appealing will rejoining be as an alternative to handling Clarkson’s proverbial excrement?

William F. Buckley Jr. versus Gore Vidal: A Rivalry That Helped Define America

2015 documentary Best of Enemies focuses on the rivalry between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr as they debated during the 1968 presidential election. Intellectual equals but polar opposites, they influenced and predicted the evolution of American society in all of its complexity.

Save Our Souls magazine: a mirror of turmoil, tragedy and complexity

Readers of Private Eye will be familiar with illustrator David Ziggy Greene’s comic strips. Save Our Souls, founded and edited by Greene, combines journalism and artwork to become a mirror that forces us to reflect on our common humanity.

The UK is Guilty of Dehumanising Disabled People

Channel 4, is promoting the Paralympic Games with the tagline “We’re the superhumans". But the ugly truth cannot be ignored: disabled people face not only the obstacles caused directly by their disabilities, but also those caused by the hostility and apathy towards them as people.

Taxi Driver at 40: Travis Bickle and the New Age of Vigilantism

The New York City of the 21st century is vastly removed from the often romanticised one of the 70s, which gave birth to punk. Today it is a far more sanitised, gentrified, tourist-friendly metropolis: but still one of the epicentres of American and global society. Therefore it has served as a venue for nationwide, and international, political unrest.

clive lewis for labour leader: a democratic socialist who can take charge

Corbyn is a poorly polling leader and there is overwhelming antagonism against him from the PLP. How many Labour MPs would be more sympathetic to the policies and values he stands for, if they were represented by a more convincing figurehead? Clive Lewis could seize the torch of the Corbyn movement.

Harris Wofford's Same-Sex Marriage and the Diversity of Romance

Romance and sexuality are much more complex and variable experiences than any one-dimensional label. This is just as relevant to a 90-year-old widow marrying his male companion and indigenous peoples restoring their cultural identities, as it is to any Western genderfluid or pansexual millennial.

Technology Is Vital for Culture. Oversharing Isn’t

We have all the tools to build and engage in culture more interesting and accessible than ever before, which is indisputably positive. Artists should continue uploading, streaming, experimenting, cutting-up and parodying enthusiastically.

From ‘The Donald’ to ‘The Demagogue’ – How Trump Employs the Pro-Wrestling Playbook

One of the key aspects of pro wrestling is gimmicks, the term for pro-wrestlers’ characters, used to project a façade to audiences. We generally describe something as gimmicky. Gimmicky also refers to the disingenuous and devious, however. Like Donald Trump.

Truth Stranger Than Fiction: The Postmodern Satire of The X-Files

The tenth series of The X-Files,released this year, has received somewhat mixed reviews from critics. This is perhaps because it would always struggle to live up to the acclaim of the original series. Returning to the story fourteen years later, the X-Files unit reforms and the roles of the double act have switched.