How the Greenstein verdict falls short of addressing Labour’s anti-Semitism problem

The expulsion – after many months – of Brighton-based activist Tony Greenstein from the Labour Party is seen by many as long overdue, and as an indication that the Labour Party is serious about dealing with anti-Semitism in its ranks. I’m not going to comment on the Greenstein case, but on the reasons given by […]

For the sake of liberal democracy in Britain, we must defeat Brexit in 2018

If there is one political narrative that has dominated late 2017, it is the unravelling of the Brexit project.  The evidence has mounted, not just that leaving the EU will make the UK a much poorer and meaner society; but that the polticians who are leading it are simply clueless.  The furore over blue passports […]

So who wrote those Brexit sectoral analyses? And why does it matter?

The recently-published sectoral analyses apparently prepared by the Department for Exiting the European Union have been received with an avalanche of ridicule.  As if some of the content were not banal enough (for example the unsurprising claim that fishing is concentrated in coastal towns), it’s now become clear that some passages were lifted directly from […]

Local elections: why Labour bucked the trend in Wales

Anyone listening to the Today Programme on Radio 4 this morning would have heard John McDonnell denying vigorously that yesterday’s local election results were a disaster.  His argument: Labour had held Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Neath and Port Talbot.  They had stemmed the tide in Wales.  Diane Abbott was saying much the same thing this afternoon. […]

Theresa May and a moment of the purest weakness

Theresa May’s extraordinary comments this afternoon — to the effect that there are some in Brussels who are seeking deliberately to influence the UK general election by spreading fear — deserve a little deconstruction. The fact that they appear to come straight from the Donald Trump playbook is far from the least concerning aspect of them. The EU is […]

Brexit and nostalgia: a narrative for social democrats?

The return of blue passports, or the royal yacht Brtiannia; gunboats being sent to Gibraltar; the return of imperial measures – it’s not difficult to see the world of Brexit Britain as a sort of contemporary version of Passport to Pimlico, with the symbolism of empire once again dominating Britain’s political discourse.  And it is […]

Anatomy of a disaster: Labour after Copeland and Stoke

After the by-elections, the comment on the state of Labour.  For the Labour Party – which won Stoke and lost Copeland – the very fact that its, rather than the Tories’, performance was the focus of attention ought to be bad enough, given that the Government is in clear disarray over Brexit.  But there is, […]