The Westminster Hour: The Euston Manifesto

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British history resounds with the titles of great and stirring statements of political belief — from Magna Carta to the Tamworth Manifesto to the People’s Charter to the Euston Manifesto.

The Euston Manifesto?

Well, the authors of that last document at least hope that it too will be remembered for many years to come. The Euston manifesto is so-called because it was conceived in a pub on the Euston Road nearby the London railway station of the same name.

The three thousand word manifesto is an attempt by some writers and thinkers on the Left to develop a set of unifying principles for the Left for the 21st century. What they’ve actually done is re-expose a lot of the divisions on the Left — especially over the Iraq war. Most of the authors of this manifesto supported the invasion to remove Saddam Hussein. They argue that the Left shouldn’t define itself by anti-Americanism, but by a commitment to campaigning for global equality and championing human rights against tyranny.

They’ve certainly succeed in sparking a lively debate — especially on the internet where a lot of inflamed language is flowing between the manifesto’s supporters and its detractors.

David Wilby now explores how this manifesto has highlighted the struggle for the soul of the Left.

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