Triggering Article 50 is the point of no return – and the UK isn’t ready

Prime Minister Theresa May has made it clear that she intends to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, giving the UK’s formal notice that it will leave the EU, by the end of March 2017.  How that process happens depends on a case in the Supreme Court, whose verdict is expected shortly; it will […]

Corbyn’s Christmas message: notes from a parallel universe

Like, I would imagine, every single other Labour Party member, I have just received an email containing a Christmas message from Jeremy Corbyn.  It is difficult to imagine a more complacent document; it almost appears to have issued from a parallel universe. Corbyn writes about how the Labour Party has signed more new members in […]

Standing up against Tory xenophobia: Carwyn Jones leads the way

Those who have wondering when Labour would hit back against the appalling rhetoric on post-Brexit immigration and employment  coming out of the Conservative Party conference will have been delighted by the clear, unequivocal statement issued today by Wales’ First Minister and Labour Leader, Carwyn Jones.  In an email to all Labour supporters in Wales he […]

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 […]

Why I’m voting Owen Smith for Labour leader

A year ago, I cast my vote in the Labour Party leadership election for Jeremy Corbyn.  I felt strongly at the time that this was the only vote that would wean Labour’s leadership off its taste for austerity economics, with all his opponents implicitly accepting the framing behind it.  I’d been appalled when Labour failed […]

A vote for soft fascism

Yesterday’s vote to leave the EU is a leap into the unknown. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the winning side hasn’t a clue what happens next.  No exit strategy, no negotiating brief.  Only a vague perception that “we have taken our country back”, and a lot of noise and fury about immigration;  a vote distinguished […]

Brexit and the politics of irrationality

A few miles from where I am sitting, something altogether disturbing is about to happen.  There appears to be every sign that, in the South Wales valleys, thousands of people in one of the most deprived areas of the UK – one whose Less Developed Region status under EU rules means that it is a […]