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 […]

Stiglitz and Blairism

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prizewinner in Economics and one of Jeremy Corbyn’s board of economic advisers, has claimed that the centre-left consensus of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband has now eroded.  The claim was made in an interview with Labour List following his recent lecture as part of John McDonnell’s “New Economics” tour. According […]

Economic fatalism and the Labour Party leadership election

Perhaps the most dispiriting feature of the Labour Party leadership economics has been the standard of – one is tempted to say the absence of – the economic debate.  There is an emerging – and vague – narrative around the need to be more business-friendly, to reward “hard work”, to cut the deficit, to enable […]

Scottish referendum: morning after thoughts

So Scotland voted to stay with the Union – the silent “no” vote giving a bigger “no” majority than once seemed likely, on the back of a huge turnout.  Immediately, David Cameron appears before the cameras to start talking about English devolution, calling for a cross-party consensus. For the British political establishment, this has been […]

Labour’s failure to grasp the essentials of youth unemployment

A piece in the New Statesman yesterday by Stephen Twigg and Liam Byrne seeks to summarise Labour’s Youth Jobs Taskforce, led by Alan Buckle, deputy chairman of KPMG: it’s interesting not for what it says but what it omits. Assuming this piece represents it correctly, the report concentrates entirely on supply-side issues.  Twigg and Byrne talk […]

Five Days in May: parties, coalitions and One Nation

I’ve just got round to reading Andrew Adonis’ account of the negotiations between Labour and Liberal Democrats following the inconclusive 2010 General Election result.  Written at the time, the account of the negotiations is far from dispassionate; it is a vivid read, although at times a curiously impersonal one.  The clear theme of Adonis’ account […]

Omnishambles, Chloe Smith and a Government without grip

On the internet today, in Britain at least, it is impossible to avoid comment about Economic Secretary Chloe Smith’s disastrous attempted defence in Newsnight last night of the Government’s decision not to implement a 3p per litre increase in fuel duty, due this autumn. The consensus is that she was utterly shredded by Jeremy Paxman, […]

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 Hounding of Gordon Brown

The latest allegations that the Sunday Times sought to obtain details of Gordon Brown’s personal finances, and in particular that it sought to publish information that his son Fraser suffered from cystic fibrosis, add a further twist to a crisis that, for News International, is spinning further and further out of control.  What possible public […]

Solving the puzzle of gullibility

A great little post from nobel laureate Paul Krugman on his New York Times blog today asks why the pundit class are so gullible: Looking at the House budget proposal, in all its ludicrousness, makes me wonder about an enduring puzzle: the gullibility of so much of our pundit class. In the time I’ve been […]