The recent Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities report in the UK stirred a storm of controversy in what many saw as the dismissal of institutional racism. The report itself was guilty of something we all are when we approach data hoping it confirms our biases. Whether racism exists at the level many minorities assume depends on one’s interpretation of racism, and that can be a broad bracket or a narrow definition.

An interesting aspect of the report, and one that is part of a growing trend underpinning the political right’s confidence, is the highlighting of class as a powerful…

It’s been a year since the General Election in 2019, as surreal as it is to comprehend that. The pandemic has simultaneously flown time through the sheer overflow of stories and events and made 2020 feel as though it had flowed as slowly as honey. A lot has happened, a lot has been endured, and tragically, we have all suffered and lost things this year — jobs, mental health and sometimes, loved ones.

A lot has happened with the Labour Party too, as much as it sometimes feels like the party isn’t doing a lot other than trying to maintain…

St George’s Day parade in Nottinghamshire, 2019

Every year when it’s St George’s Day, familiar tweets are recycled.

“St George’s was a Syrian immigrant.”

“The English identity is inherently imperialistic.”

“Constructing socialism around a national identity is bad.”

I imagine there are other takes that I have forgotten, but it is usually condensed into these three tweets. Still, every year we get the familiar discourse about Englishness, the virtues — or — vices of civic nationalism and whether a leftist can be a patriot. …

In the spitting rain, they gathered and told UK and London to wake up. A large assembly of Kurdish families, activists and non-Kurdish allies arrived in central London; a tide of humanity trudging its way up through to Parliament Square. There, they stood outside the gates of power and called for action.

In the week that Donald Trump announced — via Twitter — that he was pulling back US troops out of northern Syria, panic built up amongst the now abandoned and betrayed Kurdish forces who had been fighting ISIS for years and creating victories against Jihadist groups. In the…

What good is 70 years of Communist rule when it comes with the brutal oppression of the very people leftists should want to defend?

In Hong Kong, riot police take to the streets. | Credit: SOPA (Getty)

Last week, China celebrated 70 years of Communist Party rule—a reign which has come at the cost of freedoms most Westerners take for granted, not to mention millions of lives.

Today, two separate struggles define the modern oppressive nature of China’s state apparatuses. One is Hong Kong’s organic pro-democracy movement — a network that has refused to evaporate in the face of intense police brutality. The other is the bone-chilling internment of at least a million Muslims in mainland China.

As a UK-based leftist, I’m curious about the Western left’s posture toward these victims of the Chinese state. …

Brexit is tearing Britain apart and Remainers have not learned from 2016

A Brexit protester’s pro-EU balloon in front of the Palace of Westminster in London, England | Credit: Sam Mellish (Getty)

The ceaseless, exhausting wrangling over Brexit that has plagued Britain for the last few years shows little signs of subsiding. Instead Boris Johnson, the third UK prime minister in about as many years, has managed to generate more outrage and confusion with his cliff-edge strategy and suspending of Parliament. Facing defections and efforts to prevent a No Deal Brexit among his own ranks, he expelled no less than 21 rebel Conservative members of Parliament (MPs) this week, sparking more controversy, disbelief, and amusement. …

I wear my socialism on my sleeves and will never shy away from that. Every Political Compass test has me basically nailed down as a ‘hard left’ person. The things I believe in, radical to some, sensible to others define my sense of socialism: fair wages, fair taxes, strong public sector, social housing and a compassionate welfare system. My socialism comes from my experiences and values, in growing up in east London and seeing a community fall victim to poverty and gentrification.

In an age where compromise is needed to move forward, I won’t apologise for that. But I will…

Rabbil Sikdar

Writer, researcher, leftie: focus on Islamophobia, social cohesion and Asia

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store