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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

Time for Corbyn to go?

As the fallout from the UK’s vote to leave the EU continues, two Labour MPs – Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey – have tabled a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership at the Parliamentary Labour Party.  It follows a referendum campaign in which Corbyn has made little impact, at least until the last […]

Joining the dots? Labour’s State of the Economy conference

Yesterday in London, the Labour Party held its State of the Economy conference, in which more than 700 Labour members came together for debate on the Party’s economic policy for the next election and beyond. It’s remarkable that this event should have happened at all.  Economic policy has long been untouchable, forged by the professional […]

Notes on the new economics: John McDonnell’s tour comes to Bristol

Last night in Bristol saw the latest instalment of John McDonnell’s new economics tour, with prominent macroeconomists Ann Pettifor and Simon Wren-Lewis – both members of Labour’s economic advisory board – speaking to a packed audience.  It was in many respects a remarkable occasion – not just for the content, but for the fact that […]

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 […]