Ed Balls, bankers and Wayne Rooney

Ed Balls has caused something of a furore by claiming that, in contrast with bankers paying themselves bloated salaries, Wayne Rooney earns every penny of his £300,000 per week.  It’s a claim that’s worth unpacking a little, because it tells us quite a lot about some of the assumptions we make about wealth, risk and […]

Jailing bankers: an irrelevant distraction

I think we were supposed to be impressed by Cameron’s ringing declaration at yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Question Time that “reckless” bankers should go to prison. I disagree: like much of the talk about taxation at the G8 summit last weekend, this is about embedding existing practices, not challenging them. It’s a classic example of the […]

Tories are trashing their core supporters too

On the eve of the Tory Party conference, the anger among their opponents is very much – and rightly – focussed on the impact the coalition is having on the most vulnerable in society.  Unemployment, cuts in jobs and services, privatisation of the NHS, the bullying of the sick and disabled by Atos.  Single mothers […]

The money trick revisited

Today marks the centenary of the death of Robert Tressell, whose book The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists has for decades been an inspiration for the Left.  One of the very few authentic working-class voices from an era that is now more likely to be associated with costume dramas and the perceived opulence of the pre-war wealthy, […]

Alarm clock Britain – a wake-up call

Just when you thought Nick Clegg had reached the limits of absurdity, out comes more idiocy. The Guardian today reports that Clegg intends to speak up for what he calls “alarm-clock Britain” – people on low to middle incomes who are anxious about their standard of living. The patronising phrase “alarm clock” Britain is supposed […]

It’s not about fees, it’s about democracy

Now that things are settling down after this week’s massive student demonstration in London – and the events at the Conservative HQ building that followed it, it’s worth reflecting a little on what was really happened, and what it tells us about the temper of Con Dem Britain. The media reactions have been predictable. It’s […]