Against pragmatism: the undermining of Jeremy Corbyn

This weekend, something important happened.  As a Labour Party member, I received an email from the party leader asking for my views on whether the UK should join in the bombing of ISIL in Syria.  It was a leader, elected with a huge mandate, putting into practice what he promised during his election campaign – […]

Ed Balls and credibility

On the day of Ed Balls’ speech to the Labour Party conference – which included a ringing declaration of the need for fair deficit reduction – Chris Dillow raises some interesting points about fiscal credibility.  He writes: At the end of an interview with Ed Balls this morning, Sarah Monague (02h 22min) gave us a wonderful […]

The case for a basic income – time to rethink incomes and work

Britain is facing a cost-of-living crisis, one that is driven by falling real pay.  There is growing concern, not just about the level of unemployment, but about under-employment; people who are in theory in work but in practice cannot earn enough to make a decent sufficiency.  The biggest cohort receiving benefits is people in work; […]

Alan Milburn’s social mobility report: a case for a basic income?

The  Government will publish today a report prepared by former Labour cabinet minister Alan Milburn into social mobility.  It’s widely trailed that it will make sobering reading for the coalition:   In particular, it is likely to highlight the fact that the biggest victims of austerity economics are the working poor – something we really […]

Backing the Positive Money delusion: how the Green Party just voted to become a party of austerity

I’d somehow forgotten that the Green Party Conference was due to debate full-reserve banking – although I knew that many people within the Party were enthusiasts for the Postive Money approach.  It had never occurred to me that, before the conference was out, the Party that had prided itself on being the only voice in […]

Zero hours contracts: bad economics as well as bad for people

In recent days, the issue of zero hours contracts – under which employees do not know from week to week how many hours they can expect to work – has recently moved to the top of the political agenda.  They have been praised by some as offering a desirable flexibility to the labour market, and […]

Greens and power: the importance of theory

There has recently been a small media storm over a question in the Eton scholarship exam, in which 13-year-old boys were asked to imagine they were prime minister and to write a speech justifying the shooting of protesters.  The best response I’ve seen to this was by Chris Dillow on his Stumbling and Mumbling blog, in […]