Labour’s £59bn elephant in the room

John McDonnell’s response to the Autumn Statement on this morning’s Today programme offered a fascinating insight into a growing political problem that seems to be passing unnoticed.  McDonnell, as ever, talked about fair taxation – dealing with tax avoidance, stopping tax giveaways to business and wealthy individuals, while struggling to defend Labour’s acceptance of proposed […]

I, Daniel Blake: Corbynism on celluloid?

I’m writing this having just returned home from seeing Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake  -a powerful, visceral but – in my view – flawed film about one man’s struggle with the vicious, bureaucratic mess that is the UK benefits system.  Because the film was obviously made to expound a political message, I think it is […]

Why nobody should be surprised by the Liberal Democrat showing in Witney

The main story of yesterday’s by-election for David Cameron’s former Parliamentary seat in Witney has been an apparent Liberal Democrat surge.  It was a good result, but it is one that should suprise nobody – because in recent months there has been a consistent pattern of strong Liberal Democrat results in areas where they are […]

Standing up against Tory xenophobia: Carwyn Jones leads the way

Those who have wondering when Labour would hit back against the appalling rhetoric on post-Brexit immigration and employment  coming out of the Conservative Party conference will have been delighted by the clear, unequivocal statement issued today by Wales’ First Minister and Labour Leader, Carwyn Jones.  In an email to all Labour supporters in Wales he […]

Theresa May and the Great Repeal Bill – a massive misconception?

It is widely reported today that Theresa May intends to announce a Great Repeal Act, to be included in the Queen’s Speech, which would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act under which the United Kingdom gained membership of the European Union. Inherent in May’s comment is a fundamental misconception about how EU legislation is applied […]

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.  […]