After IDS: some questions for Labour’s Parliamentarians

With the Tory Party apparently in meltdown following Ian Duncan Smith’s resignation, it’s easy to miss how the events of the past few days affect Labour too.  I’ve already blogged about how the terms of Duncan Smith’s resignation letter expose the cuts and austerity agenda as a matter of political choice, not economic necessity; the […]

Why Labour must abandon its commitment to HS2

Speaking at the Labour Party conference today, Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh reiterated her support for the HS2 project.  Economically, environmentally and politically, this is the wrong decision. The economic and political arguments against HS2 have been well-rehearsed – put simply, the claims made by its proponents do not stand up.  Notoriously, its economic case […]

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 […]

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 […]

Labour’s jobs guarantee – addressing the big questions

Ed Balls has today announced that Labour’s jobs guarantee scheme – likely to be a centrepiece of its programme at the next election – will be extended for the lifetime of the next Parliament if Labour wins the election. It’s hugely important that Labour gets this right.  As a society and an economy we continue […]

Ed Balls and that budget surplus target

There have in the last few weeks been a number of key announcements from senior Labour figures about policy, and they are beginning to conform to a well-established pattern.  Controversial policy lines begin to appear in the media a few days before the speech, leading to furious cries of “sell-out” on the left, and then […]

Labour’s zero-based review: an opportunity for the left?

The Labour Party has today announced a zero-based review of public spending, to be completed early in the next Parliament.  It’s being presented in some circles as a renewal of the commitment to stick to something close to austerity after the election – which in some senses it is; in others it has been presented […]