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 […]

Jeremy Corbyn and Sure Start

As voting opens in the Labour Party leadership election, a rather extraordinary meme has been doing the rounds on social media. It shows a frame from a Jeremy Corbyn promotional video, and claims that Sure Start centres are “our” creation. It’s worth examining this claim briefly, because it’s instructive about the debate currently under way […]

A vote for Owen Smith is a vote for democratic socialism

With the ballot papers about to be despatched in Labour’s increasingly testy leadership election, it’s a good time to take stock of the debate so far, and to summarise what we’ve learned from a contest that has tended to generate more heat than light. The most important thing is that this is a historic contest.  […]