Rachel Reeves and social security – looking beyond the short term

Unlike a lot of people on the Left, I thought it worth waiting to read what Rachel Reeves actually said in her keynote speech on Labour’s social security policy before taking a view.  Indeed, it has been interesting to see large numbers of people who presumably are not among the Sun or the Telegraph’s most ardent […]

One Nation Labour and the abandonment of politics

Like many others, I’ve found the concept of One Nation Labour elusive.  The term is deployed in almost every utterance from senior Labour politicians, but its meaning remains obscure.  Like everyone who has studied nineteenth-history politics, I’m familiar with the origin of the phrase One Nation in reference to Tory politics and Disraeli, and it […]

Combining income tax and National Insurance – simplification or ideology?

There is much speculation that in his Budget tomorrow, George Osborne will announce plans to merge income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC).  I have some real concerns about this.  On the one hand, to the individual in employment, it would appear that income tax and NIC could easily be merged into a single tax, […]

A party dying on its feet

Nearly thirty years ago, a politically-engaged student and president-elect of the Oxford University Liberals, I sat in a dingy hall in Llandudno with several hundred of my fellow party members and heard my then leader, David Steel, tell us to go back to our constituencies and prepare for government.  It was heady, inspiring – and […]