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.  […]

Labour and Entryism – three questions

Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn appear to be at war over the former’s claim that there has been some infiltration of the Labour Party by the old Left – along the lines of Militant – who are influencing new and especially younger members; Jeremy Corbyn’s camp is dismissing it as nonsense, relying on the claim […]

Labour’s Cardiff hustings: a view from the hall

It’s been fascinating to see the first reactions to the first hustings of the Labour leadership campaign, held last night in Cardiff.  As one of those fortunate enought to get a ticket in the ballot, it was difficult to know what to expect – and curious to see how the media have covered the event.  […]

Time for Plaid Cymru to come off the fence

With elections to the Welsh Assembly no more than three months away, the rhetorical war is hotting up.  According to yesterday’s Western Mail, the Conservatives are now demanding that Plaid Cymru come off the fence about how they would vote in a new Assembly, in which – potentially – they could hold the balance of […]

Rebuilding the broad church: why Jeremy Corbyn’s candidacy is vital to Labour’s future

Jeremy Corbyn getting on the ballot paper for the Labour Leadership is the best news the Party has had since the election. Not because he stands a realistic chance of winning (although early indications are that he commands a substantial level of grass-roots support), but because of the effect that he will have on the […]