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 […]

Full employment is not enough

George Osborne has announced that he wants to make full employment a key policy goal – and that Britain should aspire to the highest employment rate in the OECD.  It sounds like a significant shift in policy from a party that has previously accepted unemployment as a price worth paying to achieve its policy goals. […]

An economic and political case for generous social security spending

After a week of political debate about the Governments benefits cap – and Labour’s support for it – at last Ha-Joon Chang, in an article in the Guardian today, takes us back to the economics.  And, not entirely surprisingly, considering the economics takes us to a very different place from the political debate. I take […]

Should Labour support the benefits cap?

George Osborne’s Budget package includes a cap on the overall level of benefit spending – excluding pensions and some unemployment benefits.  Labour has tonight said it will vote with the Government to support it.  I’ve blogged before – and before I joined the Labour Party – about the regressive effects of benefits caps  and why Labour […]

Ed Balls, bankers and Wayne Rooney

Ed Balls has caused something of a furore by claiming that, in contrast with bankers paying themselves bloated salaries, Wayne Rooney earns every penny of his £300,000 per week.  It’s a claim that’s worth unpacking a little, because it tells us quite a lot about some of the assumptions we make about wealth, risk and […]

Labour’s jobs guarantee – addressing the big questions

Ed Balls has today announced that Labour’s jobs guarantee scheme – likely to be a centrepiece of its programme at the next election – will be extended for the lifetime of the next Parliament if Labour wins the election. It’s hugely important that Labour gets this right.  As a society and an economy we continue […]

i360: a final appeal to the City Council

This afternoon the City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee will meet in special session to discuss an increase in the proposed loan to the developers of i360 to £36m.  Having now had a chance to read the papers, I do not believe that they make the case for the loan to go ahead, and urge […]