Voting with their feet: Labour’s economic advisers desert Corbyn

What is happening to the team of economic advisers that Labour established after Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership election win last year?  The answer is that many members of that team are increasingly dissatisfied with the Labour leadership’s response to their work and in some cases are now backing Owen Smith in the present leadership election. It’s […]

Neoliberal economics is based on faith: undermining faith is the key to change

I am a huge admirer of Richard Murphy, accountant turned campaigner for tax responsibility and economic reform, pithy blogger about economics and society, and author of The Courageous State.  Today he’s blogged a longer-than-usual piece about the faith-based nature of neoliberal economics, and how to challenge it.  It’s an optimistic, grounded and hopeful piece and […]

Reinventing Labour’s language

The Labour Party has had an extraordinary week in Brighton.  Despite sniping from both left and right, it has looked like a week when the political game has been blown wide open; partly because of important policy announcements, but I feel that there is something deeper, more important going on. The most eye-catching announcement of […]

Time for more economics teaching in schools

During a less than complimentary Twitter exchange yesterday about the qualifications needed to be Chancellor of the Exchequer (with the present incumbent providing the context) I made a serious point about the lack of economics teaching in schools, and rather surprisingly got a negative response; it would just mean pupils learning (I paraphrase) more of […]

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 […]

How my window cleaner took down the British economy

David Gauke, junior Treasury Minister, has responded to the growing concerns about offshoring and tax avoidance by claiming that it is immoral to pay cash in hand to tradesmen.  The scales have fallen from my eyes. Meet Mick, my window cleaner.  Once a month he comes to the house and cleans my windows, for payment […]

Agenda for a new Green leader

Caroline Lucas has announced that she will not seek re-election as Green Party leader later this year, in a move aimed at increasing the exposure of other leading Greens.  It’s a wise move; Caroline’s achievement has been enormous, raising the profile of the Party by gaining our first Westminster seat and providing what has at […]

Still no such thing as society?

Watching the coalition take an electoral thrashing is very gratifying.  Two parties who have executed a feral neoliberal programme for which they have no electoral mandate getting a tanking at the ballot box is good to see – and it emphasises their lack of any mandate – but the story is not really that rosy. […]

50p tax rate and Tory triumphalism

Widely-circulated predictions that George Osborne is about to announce the end of the 50p top income tax rate for those earning more than £150,000 have attracted much comment.  The obvious one is fury at the naked unfairness – here is a handout to the wealthiest in society that comes at the same time that those […]

The steady unravelling of Osborneomics

What’s the big headline message from the Budget? It’s that George Osborne’s economic experiment is, predictably, in tatters. The Budget announcement provided the latest in a series of bad economic numbers for the Coalition.  Inflation running at 4.5% with, apparently, no prospect of its slipping back; a second consecutive Osborne Budget in which growth forecasts […]