Tony Blair and the politics of insurgency

Tony Blair has made his second intervention in the Labour leadership election, in a piece in the Observer that accuses the Jeremy Corbyn campaign as being fantasy politics from the world of Alice in Wonderland.  He writes: There is a politics of parallel reality going on, in which reason is an irritation, evidence a distraction, […]

Brief thoughts on the Labour leadership election voter list

Predictably, the process of verifying those who have signed up to vote in the Labour leadership election has fallen into something approaching chaos.  Today’s Guardian carries letters from long-term Labour supporters and activists who have been denied votes.  Far more than the removal of high-profile comedians and public political figures, this begs huge questions over […]

Why a vote for Corbyn is a vote for electability

Three days before the 1983 election, I attended a rally in Oxford Town Hall. It was in the days when it was still possible to come in off the street to a Labour leader’s rally, and the speaker was Michael Foot. The atmosphere was revivalist, a packed hall cheering on their much-loved leader.  How could […]

After Kids Company: the problem with charity

The closure of the Kids Company charity amid a flurry of allegations has raised much controversy; opinion is divided between support for its charismatic founder and former chief executive, Camilla Batmanghelidjh, and serious concern about the way in which the charity, dealing with some of the most vulnerable people in society, has operated. Batmanghelidjh was […]

After Corbyn

Labour’s leadership campaign has turned into a far more fundamental debate than many would have predicted.  The intervention of Jeremy Corbyn – nominated by, among others, a number of MPs who would not under any circumstances vote for him, in order to ensure a genuine debate – has turned what could have been a bland personality […]

Jeremy Corbyn to top leadership poll? His opponents should stop panicking and up their game

The panic among some Labour people on social media after two private polls suggested that Jeremy Corbyn will top the Labour leadership poll has been wondrous to behold.  Time to get some perspective. First, the electoral system means that Jeremy Corbyn will only win if he gets something approaching 50% of the first preference vote […]

Economic fatalism and the Labour Party leadership election

Perhaps the most dispiriting feature of the Labour Party leadership economics has been the standard of – one is tempted to say the absence of – the economic debate.  There is an emerging – and vague – narrative around the need to be more business-friendly, to reward “hard work”, to cut the deficit, to enable […]