Memo to Ed Miliband: can we please stop talking about “hard working families”

It was too good to last.  One of the things that led me back into the Labour Party last autumn was hearing Ed Miliband’s speech at the Labour Party Conference (or, to be more accurate, following it through a very dodgy Guardian live feed) and realising how far Labour’s rhetoric had changed – how more […]

A six point plan for a One Nation economy: the speech Ed Balls should make today

But sadly won’t …. Conference, We meet at a time of unprecedented economic crisis.  Six years after the financial crash living standards are in freefall. Real wages continue to fall while the price of essentials soars.  Housing has become unaffordable in many parts of our country, especially for the young.  The ghost of a recovery […]

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 […]

Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement? One Nation Labour and the politics of fear

Notoriously, when asked what was her greatest achievement, Margaret Thatcher answered: “Tony Blair and New Labour”.  Margaret Thatcher was not known as a humorous woman, so one has to assume that she was not being facetious.  And the point remains; Labour was swept to power in 1997 and, despite some distinctly non-Thatcherite legislative achievements (the […]

Labour and the Ashcroft poll: winning the war as well as the battle

There has been a certain amount of excitement over a poll of marginal constituencies by Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, suggesting that Labour is on course for a thumping win at the 2015 General Election.  While it is no doubt encouraging for Labour and indeed for anyone who wants to see the end of the Coalition, […]

10p tax: one-and-a-half cheers for Ed Miliband

I’ve been pretty scathing about the Labour Party on this blog, so a bit of credit where it’s due: Ed Miliband’s eye-catching announcements today committing Labour to a 10p lowest tax rate, funded by a so-called mansion tax, are a step in the right direction.  It’s some way from the New Jerusalem that some enthusiastic […]

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 […]