About Us

We are Alastair Ball and Tom Coley: two British friends, one from the North and one from the South, with an interest in politics, who started a blog to share our opinions. We are democratic socialists, like George Orwell, and are both (currently) members of the Labour Party. We consider ourselves to be broadly left wing, but this is not a partisan blog – although you will find no love for the Tories or UKIP here. If you are someone who reads the Daily Mail, then this is not the blog for you.

We analyse politics, current events, books, films and TV from a left-wing point of view. We are critical, we question opinions, we try to explain the causes of events and we seek to understand politics better. We are open to new ideas and we try to listen to other people. We do endorse candidates and parties, but we are always open to being persuaded to change our mind.

We were inspired by many other journalists and bloggers to start this blog. Some of them include Laurie Penny, Owen Jones, Iain Banks, Sarah Ditum, Stephen Bush, Helen Lewis, George Young, Caitlin Moran, Jonathan Meades and others. We do not always agree with everything these writers have to say, but we to hope inspire others to write just as they inspired us.

Summarising exactly what we stand for on individual issues would be difficult. This blog is a record of what we support and oppose. It evolves as our opinions evolve. Some posts may contradict earlier ones; this is only natural, as our views change over time.

Our aim to foster left-wing political debates and the exchanges of ideas. Our goal is to fight against dogmas, unquestioning beliefs and commonly held assumptions. We want to encourage others to question, to seek explanation and to write for themselves. By adding many and diverse voices to the left, we grow stronger.

We are individuals with our own opinions. You will not agree with everything we write here, but please try to understand our arguments and what informs them. We sincerely want to change politics for the better. We may get this wrong occasionally, so please let us know. We encourage discussion and debate.

If you would like to get in contact with us you can email redtrainblog@gmail.com All comments, questions and feedback are welcome.

Photograph by Ian Richards