Corbyn, antisemitism and the politics of disengagement

With allegations that Labour has increasingly become an anti-Semitic political party now widespread in the media, Jeremy Corbyn has written to all Labour Party members arguing that anti-Semitism has no place in the Labour Party.  It is, on the surface, a powerful and emphatic statement that there will be zero tolerance within the Labour Party. […]

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 Posted Workers Directive is an excuse, not a reason, for opposing the Single Market

In recent speeches, most notably to the Scottish Labour Party conference, Jeremy Corbyn has cited the Posted Workers Directive as a reason for resisting membership of “the” Single Market, on the grounds that it allows workers from abroad to undercut the pay and conditions of local workers, and is therefore an example of how the […]

Corbyn’s EU speech: right direction, but still serious misunderstandings

Jeremy Corbyn has made his much-trailed major speech on the EU.  As widely trailed, Corbyn appears to have accepted the principle of a customs union with the EU.  It was a fascinating and wide-ranging speech, although still concerned, as ever, with generalities rather than detailed policy proposals. Corbyn structured the speech around three main themes: […]

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 […]

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.  […]