Jeremy Corbyn and Sure Start

As voting opens in the Labour Party leadership election, a rather extraordinary meme has been doing the rounds on social media. It shows a frame from a Jeremy Corbyn promotional video, and claims that Sure Start centres are “our” creation. It’s worth examining this claim briefly, because it’s instructive about the debate currently under way […]

A vote for Owen Smith is a vote for democratic socialism

With the ballot papers about to be despatched in Labour’s increasingly testy leadership election, it’s a good time to take stock of the debate so far, and to summarise what we’ve learned from a contest that has tended to generate more heat than light. The most important thing is that this is a historic contest.  […]

No, Jeremy: just ignoring abuse isn’t remotely good enough

In the course of a wide-ranging interview in today’s Observer, Jeremy Corbyn was asked, among other things, about abusive behaviour in the Labour Party.  His response was instructive: I know that I have received more abuse than I ever use to. But then maybe I’m better known these days. But I receive more abuse than […]

Labour and Entryism – three questions

Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn appear to be at war over the former’s claim that there has been some infiltration of the Labour Party by the old Left – along the lines of Militant – who are influencing new and especially younger members; Jeremy Corbyn’s camp is dismissing it as nonsense, relying on the claim […]

Political cults and democratic deficits

In the increasingly ill-tempered Labour leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents are using the word “cult” more and more to describe his support.  And it’s not difficult to see why; on social media in particular some of his supporters adopt a tone of personal adulation that would make Kim Jong-Un blush.  Facts – such as the […]

Labour’s Cardiff hustings: a view from the hall

It’s been fascinating to see the first reactions to the first hustings of the Labour leadership campaign, held last night in Cardiff.  As one of those fortunate enought to get a ticket in the ballot, it was difficult to know what to expect – and curious to see how the media have covered the event.  […]

Voting with their feet: Labour’s economic advisers desert Corbyn

What is happening to the team of economic advisers that Labour established after Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership election win last year?  The answer is that many members of that team are increasingly dissatisfied with the Labour leadership’s response to their work and in some cases are now backing Owen Smith in the present leadership election. It’s […]