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.  […]

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 – […]

Osborne’s tax-credit U-turn: no time to celebrate victory

In today’s Autumn Statement, Osborne has announced that the proposed cuts in tax credits will not now go ahead until the introduction of Universal Credit (although families already on Universal Credit will suffer the full cut)  It’s being hailed as a victory for Labour’s opposition to it – some commentators on social media are claiming […]

John McDonnell and the deficit 

The Guardian has reported today that John McDonnell will announce to the Labour Party conference that he will back George Osborne’s fiscal charter and support the concept of a balanced budget over the course of a Parliament. Some people – including those like Caroline Lucas whose claim to be the radical conscience of the nation […]

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 […]

Labour did not overspend in office. So why do Labour’s leadership candidates keep saying so?

Perhaps the most depressing aspect of the Labour leadership contest is hearing the candidates acquiescing in the myth that Labour in office overspent – and, by implication, accepting the Tory framing that Labour crashed the economy.  Of course it is more nuanced than that, but the outcome of the recent election shows that this is […]

For Labour, Emily Thornberry’s tweet is not the issue

Emily Thornberry, former Shadow Attorney General, has resigned from the Shadow Cabinet after tweeting a photograph of a house festooned in St George’s flags with a white van parked outside.  It was a stupid, insensitive thing to do; it’s easy to see why people could take offence at what looked like ridicule of a Rochester […]