Archive for the ‘Christopher Harvie’ Category

Michael Davenport’s interesting and comprehensive review of Christopher Harvie‘s Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown for the London Grip:

Harvie, now a nationalist member of the Scottish Parliament and professor at the University of Tϋbingen in Germany, is clearly an unreformed socially-conscious and caring Scots leftie and a firm admirer of Germany’s effective social market. If only Gordon too had remained a tartan socialist!” …

Harvie’s book is full of life, amusing and wide-ranging. It sets economic concepts and policy-making into a wide social and cultural context.

Read the full article here.


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Indeed. Cheerio.

Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown by Chris Harvie.

Good Riddance to New Labour by Tony Wood.

The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq by Patrick Cockburn.

Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed by Paul Mason.

The Liberal Defence of Murder by Richard Seymour.

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce by Slavoj Zizek.

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For the Times Higher Education, the scholar-reviewer Professor A.W. Purdue is reading Christopher Harvie’s Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown – A “breathless but provocative book”.

Read the full article here.

Christopher Harvie is Member of the Scottish Parliament for Mid Scotland and Fife. Harvie is visiting professor at Strathclyde and Aberystwyth universities and serves on the board of the European Centre for Federalism Studies, Tübingen, Germany. His many books include Scotland and Nationalism and Fool’s Gold: The Story of North Sea Oil.

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See below some key Verso writers on understanding the issues around (and beyond – or against!) the general election.

Tony Wood: Good Riddance to New Labour – from NLR 62 Mar/Apr 2010

As the British general election approaches, a balance-sheet of New Labour’s thirteen years in office. The record of Blair and Brown—imperial wars abroad, subservience to the City at home—as so many reasons to cheer their downfall. Tony Wood is the author of Chechnya: The Case for Independence.

Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown – Chris Harvie – Paperback Original – 9781844674398 –£8.99 – 2010 (March)

An essential anatomy of New Labour’s bankrupt policies and a caustic portrait of a decade that went from boom to bust. All you need to know about Gordon Brown’s rule.

Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed – Paul Mason – Paperback Original – 9781844673964 – £7.99 –


The issue that will dominate the election and the reason for all those cuts – why did it happen?

“What people need is a reliable guide to the financial crisis … Meltdown is the book they are looking for.” — John Gray, New Statesman

A page turning account … Mason is refreshingly clear-eyed — and angry. — Will Hutton, Guardian

NHS Plc: The Privatisation of Our Health Care – Allyson Pollock –

Paperback – 9781844675395 – £9.99 – 2005

Another key election issue – what is the future of the NHS? Will we see more privatisation after the election?

“A rallying point for those against public-private partnerships, Pollock plays a powerful role as one of the few people to provide academic evidence to make the case for little or no private sector involvement in the public realm. Pollock is a fearsome critic of foundation hospitals, which she says will kill the NHS. Expect to hear lots more from her.” — Guardian

The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition – Marx & Engels, with an intro by Eric Hobsbawm – Hardback (gift format and size) – 9781859848982 – £9

Forget the party manifestoes – this is still the only one that counts!

“Every paragraph breaks over us like a wave that leaves us shaking from the impact and wet with thought. This prose evokes breathless momentum, plunging ahead without guides or maps, breaking all boundaries, precarious piling and layering of things, ideas and experiences.”— Marshall Berman, The Nation

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce – Slavoj Zizek – Paperback Original – 9781844674282 – £7.99 – 2009 (Autumn)

Slavoj Zizek writes a caustic epitaph for neoliberalism and speculates on the possibilites for a new communuism.

“Characteristically enjoyable development of his recent journalistic commentary … , which digs joyfully into the ideological cracks of the financial crisis.” — Steven Poole, Guardian

Hatred of Democracy – Jacques Ranciere – New in Paperback – 9781844673865 – £8.99 – 2009 (Autumn)

Ranciere reminds us of the power of the democratic idea and tears strips off those who seek to give it limits.

“This tastily sardonic essay is partly a scholarly sprint through the history of political philosophy, and partly a very enjoyable stream of insults drected to rival penseurs.” – Steven Poole, Guardian

The Left Alternative – Roberto Mangabeira Unger – Paperback – 9781844673704 – £7.99 – 2009 (Autumn)

Which way for the Left? Unger sets out a powerful manifesto.

“This book has influenced how I think and what I do. It sets out the principles for a future Left and crucially challenges us to think not just about how we spend revenues but how we might create them.” — Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass

The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat – Steven Lukes – New in Paperback – 9781844673698 – £7.99 – 2009 i(Autumn)

A wonderful Swiftian satire of the key political ideas of our age.

“A delightfully edifying comedy.” — Guardian

“This book is a box of delights, often wonderfully funny and always deliciously clever, a contemporary political satire to set among the best.” — New Statesman and Society

Putney Debates – The Levellers – introduced by Geoffrey Robertson – Paperback Original – 9781844671755 – £7.99 – 2007

Renowned human-rights lawyer and author Geoffrey Robertson makes a passionate argument for the relevance of the Levellers’ stand today, showing how they were the first Western radical democrats.

Storytelling: Bewitching the Modern Mind – Christian Salmon – Hardback – 9781844673919 – £14.99 – 2010 (March)

An essential guide to the spin doctors’ plans and how electoral campaigns become attempts to market political life as if it was an attractive narrative. An essential manual for seeing through the nonsense.

The New Old World – Perry Anderson – Hardback – 9781844673124 – £24.99 – 2010 (January)

Perry Anderson on the history of the European Union and discusses the possibilities for its future.

“This is a hugely ambitious and panoramic political book, of a sort rarely attempted in our era of quick leader biographies and reheated histories of the second world war.” — Andy Beckett, Guardian

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Illtyd Harrington, former deputy chairman of the Greater London Council, reviews Christopher Harvie’s Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown for the Camden New Journal:

In Broonland, Christopher Harvie, a  political associate of Brown’s in 1970s Glasgow, raves and rants like John Knox – scandalising the sinful Mary Queen of Scots.  But it is all spiced up with fly wit and mischievous irony, not hiding accurate and palatable financial truths… Broonland is a devastating indictment of Blair and Brown’s inheritance and how they continued to sell off the family silver.

Read the full article here.

Christopher Harvie is Member of the Scottish Parliament for Mid Scotland and Fife. Harvie is visiting professor at Strathclyde and Aberystwyth universities and serves on the board of the European Centre for Federalism Studies, Tübingen, Germany. His many books include Scotland and Nationalism and Fool’s Gold: The Story of North Sea Oil.

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Jonathan Derbyshire interviews Christopher Harvie about Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown for the New Statesman:

Your book Broonland traces the political trajectory of Gordon Brown. You first met him in the mid-1970s, didn’t you?
He worked part-time for the Open University and I worked in the history department. But I really got to know him in autumn 1978, when I moved to the Institute for Advanced Studies at Edinburgh University. Brown and I came together when we were running the Lothian Labour campaign for a Yes vote in the 1979 referendum on the Scotland Act. He emerged from that campaign with very great credit, whereas the rest of the Labour Party was nowhere. I suspect that out of that came a degree of disillusionment on his part with the party. The guys who worked hardest were the Communists – the NUM vice-president Mick McGahey, people like that. The Communists were dogmatic, but they were honest! These are the people that Lawrence Daly [the Scottish miners’ leader at whose funeral last year Brown read the eulogy] came from. And don’t forget that quite a few contributions to The Red Paper on Scotland, edited by Brown, came from the Communist Party. Brown had a degree of trust in these guys that he didn’t have either in the machine politicians of west central Scotland or in the Trots.

Talking of Trots, what was Brown’s relationship with the various Trotskyist entryist groups in the Labour Party in the early 1980s?
He always seemed to me to be rather detached from all that. I think Alistair Darling was more involved in the hard left in Edinburgh, strange though it may seem. Instead, Brown assembled around him a group of people who weren’t exactly apolitical – people like Wilf Stevenson and Alastair Moffat – but who had experience of business and cultural politics. They were people he could relax with and who were also quite successful professionally, not utterly obsessed with politics.

Read the full interview here.

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Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown –by Christopher Harvie

The author discusses – with Michael Fry, Gerry Hassan and others – his scathing and witty indictment of Gordon Brown, the architect of New Labour, and how he came to preside over a bankrupt country on the brink of economic and political breakdown.Taking us on a tour of Britain over the last decade, Chris Harvie explores the ever-widening disparity between rich and poor, and how manufacturing was replaced by “retail, entertainment and recreation” — otherwise known as shopping, gambling and drinking.

“He obviously believes that the horrors we have seen along the way are enough to convince us of the need to exit forthwith the whole enterprise” – Gerry Hassan

“[Harvie] is out for serious trouble with the UKL establishment, and provides a definitive depiction of broken-up Britain” – Tom Nairn, London Review of Books

“A capacious critique of this most complex of modern British politicians – whose “last days” may not, even yet, be near” – Pat Kane, Independent

“An impish romp through the New Labour era … If you like writing stuffed with fascinating ideas, to the point that the sentences burst like a badly wrapped present from an enthusiastic friend, then dip in.” – George Kerevan, Scotsman

Christopher Harvie is a Member of the Scottish Parliament and visiting professor at Strathclyde and Aberystwyth universities. His many books include Scotland and Nationalism and Fool’s Gold: The Story of North Sea Oil.

Thursday 29th April, 7PM



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