Marxist Writers: Paul Foot

Marxists’ Internet Archive

Paul Foot

1937 – 2004

“Only the working masses can change society; but they will not do that spontaneously, on their own. They can rock capitalism back onto its heels but they will only knock it out if they have the organisation, the socialist party, which can show the was to a new, socialist order of society. Such a party does not just emerge. It can only be built out of the day-to-day struggles of working people.” – Why you should be a socialist, 1977



Despite coming from a ruling-class background, Paul Foot broke politically with his class and became a revolutionary socialist while working as a young journalist on the Daily Record in Glasgow. He became one of the finest investigative journalists of his generation and was responsible for exposing corruption in high places and the blatant injustice of the British legal system.

He was a great populariser of the socialist message both in print and in person at innumerable meetings up and down Britain. He also published a number of important political studies (e.g. on Harold Wilson and Enoch Powell) as well introducing a new generation to the revolutionary message of radical poets such as Percy Shelley and William Blake.

In 2000 he received the Journalist of the Decade award in recognition of his principled struggle against injustice. This archive attempts to provide a glimpse of all aspects of his political work.


Paul Foot 1937–2004, by Chris Harman (Socialist Worker, No. 1911, 24 July 2004)



Unemployment – The Socialist Answer (pamphlet)

Autumn 1965

Immigration and the British Labour Movement

Spring 1966

The Devlin Report

Summer 1968

Harold Wilson and the Labour Left

June 1968

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, is Cecil the fairest of them all? (column)

July 1968

Business as usual on the Barbican – Workers versus management (column)

14 September 1968

3,000 people ‘at risk’ in sky-high death traps

28 September 1968

Wilson: the man who murdered reformism

26 October 1968

Do-It-Yourself Politics Threaten N. Ireland’s Police Regime

16 November 1968

Great Take-Over Plot

23 November 1968

Falling flats ruin Labour’s building boast

30 November 1968

AEF Leaders Give Up the Fight

21 December 1968

Derry – the grim facts about Ulster’s divide and rule city ...

1 February 1969

Heath’s new race bid

8 February 1969

What Really Took Place on the QE2

5 April 1969

How Barbara forgot the starving masses and learned to love the bosses

19 April 1969

W. Indies: 20 years of pirates, profits and blood

1 May 1969

‘Parliamentary socialism’: Labour’s road to disaster

5 June 1969

Press Barons’ quest for profits threatens jobs in Fleet Street

April/May 1970

Law and Order

July 1970

If only Harold had got the date right


The Postal Workers and the Tory Offensive (pamphlet)

21 August 1971

Army reign of terror (with Jimmy Grealy, Chris Harman & Brian Trench)

July 1972

The Old Firm (book review)


Workers Against Racism

15 September 1973

How the TUC killed workers’ paper

February 1974

Portrait of an Appalling Man (book review)

13 April 1974

Clay Cross double-crossed

June 1975

Shelley: The trumpet of a prophecy (extended book review)


Stop the Cuts (pamphlet)


Why you should be a socialist (book)

25 June 1977

How much longer must these people be hounded and humiliated? (with Lionel Starling)

April 1978

For law, read class (book review)


The Woman who Built Barricades – Louise Michel and the Paris Commune

June 1979

Blair – our brother, our friend (obituary)

2 February 1980

The Rotherham lads are here!

March 1980

The Labour Left’s Brightest Star

May 1981

Shirley, Shirley, quite contrary, how will your garden grow?

June 1981

“This bright day of Summer”: The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 (pamphlet)

March 1982

Three letters to a Bennite (pamphlet)

July 1983

A socialist bookshelf

January 1984

Orwell and the proles

May 1984

United in battle for the class


Remembering the miners’ strike

February 1985

Late Developer (book review)

February 1985

Thatcher – class warrior

May 1985

May Days and heydays

January 1986

‘An Agitator of the Worst Type’: A portrait of miners’ leader A.J. Cook (pamphlet)

15 February 1986

No sects please

17 May 1986

101 years of not thinking (obituary)

December 1986

Off the Christmas tree (book review)

December 1986

Powell’s poison platform

March 1987

Without a paddle (extended book review)

May 1987

Confessions and repressions

June 1987

Voting for our class

October 1987

Victor Gollancz – From Marx to muddle (book review)

January 1988

Battle for the NUM

January 1988

Ruth First

January 1988

T. Cliff and Zionism

February 1988

Poor on pioneers (letter) (with Margaret Renn)

April 1988

Harry McShane (obituary)

July 1988

Dividing Ireland

September 1988

The great times they could have had (book review)

7 January 1989

Reaching across the centuries

March 1989

Can Labour win?

June 1989

Learning from experience?

July 1989

No challenge, no change

July 1989

The question lingers on

15 July 1989

Icon, icon in the wall ...

22 July 1989

The great society

November 1989

Dead ringer (film review)

11 November 1989

Glamorising an atrocity

January 1990

Tribunes and the people (extended theatre review)

March 1990

Marx’s real tradition

July 1990

The Case for Socialism (book)

21 July 1990

Why the world is eating less

November 1990

All fall down

17 November 1990

Oil’s not well in East Timor

February 1991

Press Censorship: The media massage

Spring 1991

An open letter to New Left Review (with Alex Callinicos, Mike Gonzalez, Chris Harman & John Molyneux)

April 1991

Birmingham Six: Injustice seen to be done

1 June 1991

Revolutionary necrophilia

July 1991

Man’s unconquerable mind

July 1991

Toussaint L’Ouverture: The Haitian Slave Revolt of 1791 (lecture)

November 1991

Will Labour make a difference?

14 December 1991

They all knew he was a crook

February 1992

Saints and devils (book review)

May 1992

Why Labour lost

27 June 1992

At last – Crows peck the eagles

July 1992

Poetry of protest

11 July 1992

‘Positive’ surrender

October 1992

Press: Private parts

November 1992

Birth of our power

7 November 1992

Hungry for power?

12 December 1992

Inspiring memory

23 January 1993

Morse code

February 1993

Stop press

13 February 1993

Bribery and corruption

10 April 1993

‘We need socialist newspapers like never before’

May 1993

Vision of a new world (extended book review)

1 May 1993

A hero of Labour

June 1993

Seize the time

3 July 1993

Ambushing the news

September 1993

Introduction to In the Heat of the Struggle

9 September 1993

How history comes alive

December 1993

Christmas Crackers (book review)

May 1994

Silencing the Nazi threat

June 1994

Ship without a keel

18 June 1994

Can Labour bring jobs?

30 July 1994

Tony Blurs the past

10 September 1994

Ever since Malthus

October 1994

Ten things everyone should know about the Labour Party

16 October 1994

Defiant laughter

November 1994

Parliamentary privilege

May 1995

Arms dealing: Will they get off Scott free?

Summer 1995

When will the Blair bubble burst?

June 1995

Pipe dreams (obituary)

July 1995

The government that devoured itself

15 July 1995

A question of principle

29 July 1995

Rogues and ‘scroungers’

12 August 1995

Capitalism is stripped bare

19 August 1995

What Have They Got To Hide? Tories, arms and the Scott report

26 August 1995

The dream of Tony Blair

October 1995

State of terror

7 October 1995

Moonshot moonshine

November 1995

Treated for health or for wealth?

December 1995

Judges’ ruling

16 December 1995

Marx alive in Clerkenwell

February 1996

Waste disposal

March 1996

Armed and dangerous

June 1996

A Passionate Prophet of Liberation (extended book review)

29 June 1996

Plague of the market

July 1996

In the colonial style (book review)

13 July 1996

Strikes from a sunlounger

October 1996

New Statesman, Decline and Fall

7 November 1996

‘Argies’ with British guns

30 November 1996

Red verse in Horsham

December 1996

Corruption: Members declare an unhealthy interest

January 1997

Ireland: Majority rule

April 1997

Socialism and democracy

5 April 1997

Offensive to the bullies

May 1997

It’s been a long time coming

July 1997

Jonathan Aitken: Weaving a tangled web

12 July 1997

Judges rule against a free press

September 1997

The triple whammy (book review)

January 1998

Labour: Millionaires’ welfare

February 1998

The Lessing legend (book review)

March 1998

Beyond the Powell (obituary)

July 1998

‘A groundswell of anger and dismay’

December 1998

No time to make up

January 1999

House of cards

February 1999

London, 27 February 1900


Introduction to Tony Cliff, A World to Win

JanUary 2000

Democracy and socialism: Century of the great hope

11 April 2000

Tony Cliff (obituary)

May 2000

Tribune of the People (interview)

October 2000

Big Business and Government: Tony Blair’s well oiled machine

November 2000

Labour’s Crisis: Ghost of a chance


Why You Should Vote Socialist (pamphlet)

January 2001

Ireland: Come all you young rebels (preview)

20 January 2001

Ross Pritchard – dedicated socialist (obituary)

February 2001

Passports and Politics: A beautiful symmetry

March 2001

Haunted by the Future (theatre review)

June 2001

Election: Is this what democracy looks like?

November 2001

Stop the war: The Truth Machine

November 2001

I urge you to join the socialists

December 2001

Lewis Grassic Gibbon: Poet of the Granite City

January 2002

Workers’ movement: The party’s just begun

19 January 2002

TUC’s own official part of plots against left leaders

March 2002

Corruption: Dirty Business

March 2002

Doing the Deed of Death (theatre review)

May 2002

The Budget: Not very taxing on the bosses

June 2002

Red Barbara’s Rocky Road (obituary)

July 2002

Slaughterhouse Six (theatre review)

14 September 2002

Shaking up New Labour (interview)

28 September 2002

Duncan Hallas: We owe him a huge debt (obituary)

23 November 2002

‘Seeds of new society are sown in battle with the old’

December 2002

Stocking Thriller (book review)

15 February 2003

Real democracy

April 2003

Born Unfree and Unequal

June 2003

Corruption: Who Said Crime Doesn’t Pay?

July 2003

Orwell Centenary: The Cold War Controversy

26 July 2003

‘We need to concentrate on the big deception’

25 October 2003

Libel Fund: ‘Please contribute to Bookmarks appeal’

November 2003

Democracy: A grand delusion

December 2003

Left Alternative: Beyond the Crossroads


How capitalism corrupts Labour politicians (extract from The Vote)

24 January 2004

Toussaint L’Ouverture and the great Haitian slave revolt

February 2004

Karl Marx: The Best Hated Man

April 2004

Mordechai Vanunu: Israel’s Whistle Test

Last updated on 17 January 2021