Why electing Jess Phillips – or anyone else – won’t save the Labour Party.

Leaving the Labour Party is not easy; nearly a year after the event, you still follow the debates, discuss things with your former comrades, still feel a certain emotional pull. The Labour Party is far too much like a family – admittedly one, to misquote Orwell, with the wrong members in control – for its […]

Mark Drakeford on 21st Century Socialism: five principles and two big questions

Last night, at Cardiff University, Welsh Labour leadership candidate and current Cabinet Secretary for Finance Mark Drakeford set out his vision of twenty-first century socialism.  This was not a typical hustings speech but an intellectually-serious lecture in which he explained the guiding principles that he would follow if elected as First Minister. He began by […]

Greens and fire service cuts: a study in political failure

Yesterday, the East Sussex Fire Authority voted through cuts that will mean job losses and the loss of fire appliances in Hastings and at the Preston Circus fire station in Brighton.  Tories (though not those from Brighton and Hove), Liberal Democrats and UKIP – who chair the authority – combined to support the cuts.  Greens […]

Tory benefits campaign: ideology as a bridge of lies

The Conservative Party has launched a campaign which seeks to distinguish between hard-working families and scroungers, through a poster depicting an unshaven person lounging  on a sofa in contrast to a modest 2.4 children family who emphasise the virtues of diligent work.  It is all of a piece with George Osborne’s rhetoric about those who […]

The choices before Labour: Tawney revisited

In a political life that has taken me from undergraduate Liberalism (in the days when Liberals challenged Tories rather than sustaining them in office), to the political neutrality of the Civil Service, to a brief (and deeply uncomfortable) flirtation with Labour, and now finds me comfortably at home in the Green Party, the towering figure […]

Abusing Beveridge’s legacy

According to the Daily Mail (NB clicking on that link will contribute to the Mail’s advertising revenues), Ed Miliband and Liam Byrne are about to launch an attack on the “evil” of benefit scroungers.  The Left blogosphere and Twitterati have been driven into overdrive by this; some condemning the way in which an alleged party of […]

Where does progressive politics stand after 5 May?

Elections last Thursday saw conflicting fortunes for political parties across Britain – an SNP landslide in Scotland, annihilation for the Liberal Democrats in many parts of the country, Labour gains but the Tories taking enough seats from the Liberal Democrats for them to claim (with help from the supine media) they’re holding their ground, and […]

Hard Labour

The Labour Party.  For those of us on the non-Labour left, it sits across radical discourse like Philip Larkin’s toad.  Large, morose and with a massive sense of entitlement that leads its members to believe that it, and it alone, has the answers to the various crises affecting Britain. I’ve been reflecting on the role […]