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. […]

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, […]

If Labour is to win, it must oppose Brexit

A new report by the Fabian Society suggests that Labour will not be able to form a Government on its own after the next General Election; the implication is that Labour will have to make alliances in order to win. It’s a sobering read: although the most sobering part, perhaps, is the tacit acceptance of […]

Corbyn’s Christmas message: notes from a parallel universe

Like, I would imagine, every single other Labour Party member, I have just received an email containing a Christmas message from Jeremy Corbyn.  It is difficult to imagine a more complacent document; it almost appears to have issued from a parallel universe. Corbyn writes about how the Labour Party has signed more new members in […]

Labour’s £59bn elephant in the room

John McDonnell’s response to the Autumn Statement on this morning’s Today programme offered a fascinating insight into a growing political problem that seems to be passing unnoticed.  McDonnell, as ever, talked about fair taxation – dealing with tax avoidance, stopping tax giveaways to business and wealthy individuals, while struggling to defend Labour’s acceptance of proposed […]

I, Daniel Blake: Corbynism on celluloid?

I’m writing this having just returned home from seeing Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake  -a powerful, visceral but – in my view – flawed film about one man’s struggle with the vicious, bureaucratic mess that is the UK benefits system.  Because the film was obviously made to expound a political message, I think it is […]