In December 2019, Oly Durose lost by over 25,000 votes as a socialist candidate in a safe Conservative seat.
Revealing what it’s like to stand on a left-wing platform in hostile terrain, Suburban Socialism makes the case for socialism in the suburbs, unveils the challenges of its electoral realisation and proposes a strategic revolution required to win.
Drawing on global examples from Basildon to Nevada, this book diagnoses the harms of suburban capitalism around the world, and asks what it would mean to bring white picket fences under collective control.
Confronted with deepening economic, social and climate crises, we have two choices: socialism or barbarism. Suburban Socialism shows us why the path to the former is through the suburbs.
Oly Durose is a socialist activist, parliamentary researcher and writer. In the 2019 UK General Election, he stood as the Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for Brentwood & Ongar. In February 2020, he was a Caucus Site Leader for the Bernie Sanders Campaign in Nevada.
“A convincing and forceful case for radical change in the outskirts.”
“As a Labour parliamentary hopeful’s memoir of 2019 and a thoughtful reflection on class, place and comfort, Suburban Socialism will undoubtedly provoke debate in the labour movement and challenge perceptions — held by both the Left and Right of British society — that vast swathes of our country remain irrevocably immune to the offer of a non-capitalist world.”
“Reading about endangered species is always a challenge: a mixture of despair and hope tinged with a belief that goes beyond immediate reality. Oly Durose may not be the David Attenborough of electioneering, but this book is flavoured with the same kind of inspiring feeling.”
“Out of tough and tender experiences of an election candidate in a constituency with a political mountain to climb, comes a stimulating economic and political analysis of suburbia that creates a Suburban Manifesto to rise to this challenge.”
“Suburban Socialism is a thoughtful, engaging and original despatch from the neglected ground of suburbia, and a roadmap for how the left in Britain and beyond can meet our urgent present and future challenges.”
“If there is any redemption for the suburbs, it is in this imaginative and stereotype-shattering account. Oly Durose’s work is a fierce companion for those ready to wage class warfare in the suburbs and against surburbia.”
“In Britain and North America, the overwhelming majority of people live in suburbs — so if we are to have socialism, it will be suburban or not at all. With examples from Essex to Nevada, Oly Durose outlines some of the starting points to turn the outskirts red.”
“This is an amazingly — and successfully — ambitious effort to reconceptualise the suburbs as an arena for emancipatory politics, threaded into an engrossing account of an only apparently quixotic Labour campaign in ‘hostile territory. It’s a one-off mix of practical campaigning and visionary theorising, a hustings war story and a comprehensive critique of ‘suburban capitalism’ that are equally down-to-earth and accessible.”
“The assumptions we have about class, and the frameworks that have been adopted to conceptualise it are outdated. Oly has analysed emerging economic and social dynamics from first principles, and by burnishing mainstream misconceptions he has provided an account of socialism’s relevance and popularity in suburbia.”