Time for Plaid Cymru to come off the fence

With elections to the Welsh Assembly no more than three months away, the rhetorical war is hotting up.  According to yesterday’s Western Mail, the Conservatives are now demanding that Plaid Cymru come off the fence about how they would vote in a new Assembly, in which – potentially – they could hold the balance of […]

Taking the economic fight to the Tories at last

Today’s Guardian reports that shadow chancellor John McDonnell intends to hold a series of free public seminars to inform public debate on economic issues.  According to the report they will be supported by members of Labour’s Economic Advisory panel, and will contribute towards a conference on economic policy in the Summer. This is fantastic news.  […]

2016 could be a great year for Labour – if the Party lets it

As the year turns, the political commentators are preoccupied with Labour’s apparent difficulties.  It’s hard to remember that in any normal times it would be the Tories that would be on the ropes.  There are three key issues on which the Tories are, potentially, in the most serious trouble: On Europe, the Tories remain as […]

BBC statistics review – missing the point?

You may have missed it, but the BBC Trust is conducting a review of how the Corporation uses statistics in its news coverage, focusing on economics, welfare, migration and health – which pretty well covers the main domestic issues of controversy.  The Trust has called for submissions from interested organisations and individuals with specialist knowledge – […]

Open Labour: looking outward at last?

Today has seen the launch of a new, activist-inspired grouping within the Labour Party; Open Labour. It positions itself as an expression of the mainstream democratic Left within the Party. Its launch document, a letter in today’s Guardian, talks of the need for a clear anti-austerity stand from the Party, developed through open, constructive debate; it […]

Hilary Benn and the allure of business as usual

As oratory, Hilary Benn’s speech in the House of Commons winding up for the opposition on the Government’s motion on Syria was something very special.  The uninhibited passion was something that mainstream debate has lacked for a long time, especially from the Labour benches.  It was greeted by applause from both sides of the House, […]

Against pragmatism: the undermining of Jeremy Corbyn

This weekend, something important happened.  As a Labour Party member, I received an email from the party leader asking for my views on whether the UK should join in the bombing of ISIL in Syria.  It was a leader, elected with a huge mandate, putting into practice what he promised during his election campaign – […]