Will Hutton’s speech to Wales for Europe: three key points

Last night, Will Hutton gave a passionate and powerful speech to a Wales for Europe gathering in Cardiff.  The event had been scheduled to include Andrew Adonis, and was focussed around their book Saving Britain; in the event, rail chaos at Paddington meant that he was unable to attend. Much of the material in Hutton’s […]

Will Hutton on Labour’s lost opportunity

At the weekend, I was in the audience for a talk by Will Hutton, formerly of the Guardian and now Principal of Hertford College, Oxford – but, more importantly, for a generation a critical and powerful voice on the centre-left.  The talk was part of the Cardiff Book Festival and was linked to the book […]

Owen Smith: sacked by Corbyn for expressing Labour values, and supporting Labour policy

On the day that Owen Smith was sacked from the Shadow Cabinet for publishing an article that called for the question of whether Britain should leave the EU to be re-opened, I couldn’t help on the two occasions that I saw Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn on the same platform. The first was the launch […]

John McDonnell’s supermarket checkout tax: bad economics, bad Socialism

The Labour Party is considering a tax on supermarkets that use self-service checkouts, with the aim of preserving jobs.  A motion proposing such a tax was passed by St Ives constituency Labour Party in January and John McDonnell has welcomed it on his “People’s Chancellor” Facebook feed. The problem is that it is both very […]

The ESA assessor who told a paranoid schizophrenic to join a golf club: a morality tale for modern Britain

The issue of how the Department of Work and Pensions administers its assessments for ESA and PIP has been in the news recently, following a damning report by the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee published in February 2018.  The Committee sought to set out the stories of some of those who had undergone […]

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 […]

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 […]