Look Left – Look back at the year

Shamik Das presents Left Foot Forward’s progressive of the year, regressive of the year, and our 10 most read stories of the year 2011.


Many thanks to everyone who voted in our poll for progressive and regressive of the year 2011, and for completing our readers’ survey to find out more about who reads the site.

This enables us to attract advertisers – the only reason why, along with the donations we receive, we can continue to run the blog. By completing the survey you are helping us immensely. Thanks again!

Right, to the results…

Progressive of the year:

Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green party. Caroline, in addition to her party’s primary mission on the environment, has taken the lead on tackling the scandal of the rich and super-rich avoiding and evading tax, an issue back in the headlines this week with the exposing of HMRC’s deals with big businesses.

In March, she tabled a new Tax and Financial Transparency Bill in Parliament, saying urgent measures were needed to stop companies that are formally dissolved from trading fraudulently and undermining honest businesses who pay their taxes. More here and here.

In joint second place were shadow chancellor Ed Balls MP and Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, with 9.1% of the vote.

Regressive of the year:

Nadine Dorries MP, anti-abortion, anti-Europe, anti-progress. Where to begin? First, on her fundamentalist anti-abortion crusade, see here, our look at the costs and consequences of her plans to restrict women’s reproductive rights, and see here for a look at where this slippery slope leads; and on her swivel-eyed Euroscepticism, look at Sir Malcolm Rifkind take her simplistic, isolationist, anti-European arguments apart. Priceless!

Joint runners-up were Mayor of London Boris Johnson and News Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, on 9.3% of the vote.

Finally this week, here is a list of the ten most read articles of 2011:

10. A crowd psychology analysis of the riots, Clifford Scott, August 9th.

9. The madness of Ken’s attack on Obama, Shamik Das, May 4th.

8. The BA cabin crew dispute: the view from the shop floor, Anonymous, January 10th.

7. Busted: Four myths about today’s strike, Alex Hern, November 30th.

6. John Humphrys is wrong, wrong, wrong on social security: Here’s why, Declan Gaffney, October 27th.

5. Mail and Telegraph pull anti-tax-dodging ads, Shamik Das, January 4th.

4. The nasty campaign: The No2AV campaign stoops to a new low, Will Straw, February 22nd.

And the top three:

3. How to write a Richard Littlejohn column, Dominic Browne, March 22nd.

2. Hillsborough ‘Thatcher Briefings’ will bring truth a step closer, Kevin Meagher, August 25th.

1. Gaddafi has underscored the new paradigm; Who’s next? Luke Bozier, October 20th.

Over the Christmas break we will have videos, 2012 previews and more, with a full service resuming on Tuesday, January 3rd.

From myself, Dan, Will and Alex, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year! See you in 2012…

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