Why Labour must abandon its commitment to HS2

Speaking at the Labour Party conference today, Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh reiterated her support for the HS2 project.  Economically, environmentally and politically, this is the wrong decision. The economic and political arguments against HS2 have been well-rehearsed – put simply, the claims made by its proponents do not stand up.  Notoriously, its economic case […]

Ed Balls and credibility

On the day of Ed Balls’ speech to the Labour Party conference – which included a ringing declaration of the need for fair deficit reduction – Chris Dillow raises some interesting points about fiscal credibility.  He writes: At the end of an interview with Ed Balls this morning, Sarah Monague (02h 22min) gave us a wonderful […]

How Ed Miliband’s £8 per hour minimum wage pledge will create jobs

In the run-up to the Labour Party conference, Ed Miliband has announced that a Labour government will raise the national minimum wage to £8 per hour.  It’s an important announcement, and one that builds on Labour’s commitment to ensure that people in work are able to earn a decent sufficiency. It will be attacked by […]

Devolution: Why Ed Miliband is right not to back Cameron’s plan

Following the rejection of Scottish independence in yesterday’s referendum, David Cameron immediately announced his decision to set up a review to ensure that Scottish MPs could not vote on English affairs – presenting this as a constitutional change that would result in a “fair and balanced” settlement – and expressed a hope that this would […]

Scottish referendum: morning after thoughts

So Scotland voted to stay with the Union – the silent “no” vote giving a bigger “no” majority than once seemed likely, on the back of a huge turnout.  Immediately, David Cameron appears before the cameras to start talking about English devolution, calling for a cross-party consensus. For the British political establishment, this has been […]

One Nation Labour and the search for an economic narrative

I have spent some time carefully reading Jon Cruddas and Jonathan Rutherford’s pamphlet One Nation: Labour’s Political Renewal.  It aims to give an overarching rationale for the outcome of Labour’s policy review.  It is ambitious and in many respects offers a powerful diagnosis of a society that has become disillusioned, impoverished, unequal, unambitious.  There are […]

Hard Work: why we need to change the way we think about work, pay and benefits

The concept of work is at the heart of contemporary political and economic rhetoric.  Slogans about work – about hard-working families, about backing the people who work hard, about being the party of work – pepper political discourse across the political spectrum.  But work is in crisis in a way that you would find hard […]