Cost of Living Panelist: James Bloodworth

James Bloodworth, 31, is editor of the progressive evidence led blog site Left Foot Forward, which was founded by Will Straw. Born in Somerset he studied politics at Nottingham Trent and achieved a masters in journalism from City University in London. He has lived in and (as economic circumstances dictated) around London since 2010.

James has written for the centre left newspapers the Observer and the Independent on Sunday. The Observer modesty conceded that Left Foot Forward is “the place to start the hunt for intelligent views and news about the centre left” and BBC outpost the Financial Times noted it was an “increasingly influential left-leaning blog”.

As well as the conservative paper the Irish Independent, he has experience at bi-monthly magazine Red Pepper who describe themselves as “a socialist publication drawing on feminist, green and libertarian politics” (its life, Jim, but not as we know it). He has also written for magazine Jacobin, who claim to be “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture”, and inevitably for the Huffington Post.

Given that range of writing credits (and there are more) you might have leapt to the conclusion that James is a prototype left-winger. Instead his views seem interestingly nuanced. Topically, he takes a hawkish view of the Islamic State terrorist group and favours intervention against islamofascists. He says he’d like to break bread with his hero Christopher Hitchens (and Che Guevara).

Domestically he said that he “would stop short” of nationalising the Energy companies. He is concerned the Tories will put up VAT (again).  He wants greater union membership so that workers can bid up salaries. He reminds me of the senior Hitchens when I read he has changed his mind on multiculturalism. He says “You have to be careful that you aren’t simply defending monoculturalism and separation”.

Strangely, while he lists liberal fascist George Orwell and communist Karl Marx as a political heroes he said (in the same 2012 profile) that he might have trouble staying in a romantic relationship with a fascist or a Stalinist. Are Marx and Stalin really such strange bedfellows? For James they are, literally.

 

I am delighted that James has agreed to sit on the panel at October’s debate on “The Causes of Cost of Living Crisis“. It is important that libertarians hear and understand the arguments of the left, and a balanced panel is both more rigorous intellectually and more entertaining as an experience.

Tickets for the October event are on sale via EventBrite and the Meetup.

James tweets at @J_Bloodworth

 

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