Counterfire paper at the November 17 antiracism demonstration. Photo: Jack Hazeldine Counterfire paper at the November 17 antiracism demonstration. Photo: Jack Hazeldine

The most popular articles on Counterfire this year


An American soldier lies dead, tangled in barbed wire on the western front. Photograph: American Stock Archive/Getty Images

This year marked the centenary of the end of the First World War. The establishment put on a big show of glorifying the war, so it’s no surprise that Dominic Alexander’s 2014 article debunking the myths used to justify the slaughter of the First World War was our most popular article this year.


Jeremy Corbyn, May 2017. Photo: Flickr/Andy Miah

As the Brexit crisis continues to unfold and Theresa May’s government teeters on the brink of total collapse, there is growing pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to adopt a position calling for a second referendum, with the aim of stopping Brexit altogether. Here, Tom Gibbs wrote a timely reminder of the policies that would face obstacles if a Corbyn government was bound by the EU’s framework.


‘It’s our NHS’ National Demonstration, 2017. Photo: Jim Aindow

At the start of 2018, the NHS was facing the worst crisis since it was founded 70 years ago, with patients literally dying on trolleys in hospital corridors. David Bailey explained why this was no natural disaster but a crisis manufactured by the Tories, entirely down to austerity and privatisation. As well as the popularity of this article, there were two large national demonstrations for the NHS in 2018, showing that people see through the government’s lies.

Sadly, David Bailey passed away later in the year. He fought for the NHS and against austerity till the end, and we’re very proud that this article was one of the most read of 2018.

4Why fascists hate trade unions

SA close down ADGB union office, Germany, May 2nd, 1933. Photo: GHDI

During 2018, we witnessed a resurgence of far right street mobilisations in Britain at a level not seen for many years. After one of the DFLA demonstrations in London, Steve Hedley of the RMT was violently attacked by a group of fascists. This article by Chris Bambery was a timely reminder that whenever fascism has taken power, trade unions have been banned, because they are a vehicle for working class power.


Jeremy Corbyn, October 2016. Photo: Jim Aindow

Following a summer of relentless attack on Jeremy Corbyn, the concerted antisemitism smear campaign culminated in the Labour Party’s NEC adopted the IHRA definition which was a blow to the Palestinian cause and to the left. John Rees provided critical analysis in this article on the dangers this posed to the Corbyn project.

6Defend Jeremy Corbyn: time to fight back – Counterfire statement

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the NHS demonstration, June 2018. Photo: Jim Aindow

During the so-called antisemitism row, Counterfire was making key arguments to defend Jeremy Corbyn and fighting back against the right.

7The Suffragettes, Black Friday and two types of window smashing

The photograph the government tried to hide. Suffragette Ada Wright collapses through police violence on Black Friday

As well as being in the top ten articles of this year, this is Counterfire’s most read article! Written by Katherine Connelly just after the militant student protests of 2010 that resulted in the smashing up of Conservative HQ in Milbank Tower and 100 years after the Suffragettes faced brutal police violence after which they launched a campaign of window smashing.

8The EU has derailed left governments at least three times – don’t let Corbyn be next

Photo: Flickr/Chatham House

Throughout the year, the Labour right have used the EU to attack Jeremy Corbyn, first to campaign to stay in the Single Market and then to campaign for a second referendum and stopping Brexit. This timely article by Chris Nineham reminded us that history matters and if we want a socialist Corbyn-led government, staying in the EU or its structures is not the way.


Idealism. Photo: Nichole Burrows /

In this comprehensive materialist and historical analysis, Elaine Graham-Leigh powerfully explained why the pervasion of identity politics limits our ability to truly liberate ourselves from oppression.

10For International Women’s Day my hero is Ahed Tamimi

Ahed Tamimi marching in Palestine. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

For International Women’s Day, Counterfire held up its tradition of featuring a number of articles written by women and highlighting women’s issues. This popular article by Sybil Cock looked at the plight of Ahed Tamimi, a young Palestinian woman who was arrested for defending herself and her family from violent Israeli soldiers, and why both her and the campaign to free her were inspiring.

Lindsey German’s Weekly Briefing

A section of the Battle of Cable Street mural

Consistently popular on our site is the Monday morning briefing by Lindsey German, providing much-needed analysis of the political situation to start every week. This briefing from August was the most read in 2018, which cut through the witch-hunt taking place against Jeremy Corbyn, the left and the Palestine solidarity movement. 

Counterfire Media Podcast

In 2018, Counterfire held a very successful crowdfunder to help launch Counterfire Media. As part of the upcoming launch of Counterfire Media, we’ve begun a regular podcast series, brilliantly made by Tom Lock Griffiths and featuring prominent activists and academics discussing the big issues at hand from a Marxist perspective.

You can listen to all the episodes on SoundCloud or subscribe on iTunes.