Just as Iain Duncan Smith’s election as Conservative leader in 2001 was overshadowed by 9/11 two days earlier, so the Coronavirus pandemic will overshadow Keir Starmer’s almost certain election on Saturday as Labour’s leader. Yet it will be an important moment for the party and for British politics; how important may depend on what he … Continue reading Keir Starmer needs to shake up Labour’s machine – starting at the top
Following Labour’s catastrophic general election, the time has come to return to first principles. If the party did not exist, would we need to create it? If so, why, who for and with what objectives, beyond winning elections? These are the most important questions the new leader must answer — if not during the leadership … Continue reading What is the point of the Labour Party?
If you live in Darlington, Keighley, Barrow, Stockton, Walsall or Warrington, you probably know that your once-Labour town voted Leave in 2016 and now has a Conservative MP. You are even more likely to know something else. Your town has lost its Marks and Spencer. For some residents, the loss of their M&S is of … Continue reading How M&S closures illuminate Brexit Britain and last month’s election
I agree with Jeremy Corbyn. And John McDonnell. And Seumas Milne. And all their allies. To return to power, and notwithstanding its catastrophic election campaign, Labour’s central task in 2020 is to make the case for socialism. My disagreement is not with that statement, but with what “socialism” means. It is commonly used to promote … Continue reading Don’t abandon socialism: redefine it
Stop reading now if you think Labour can win the next election with much the same policies as it lost last week’s – or if you relish the prospect of ten more years of Conservative rule. This column is not for you. It’s for those who would like to kick out the Tories at the … Continue reading Four ways to defeat the Tories next time; but how likely are they?
Here are five take-aways, beyond the bleeding obvious, from last week’s election. If you discount London, Britain’s major cities will send more Scottish nationalists than Conservatives to Westminster. It’s worth noting where the Tories made little headway, not just where they made lots. The great majority of their gains were in small and medium-sized towns. … Continue reading Five lessons from last week’s election
Three huge facts about Boris Johnson’s victory dwarf all others. The first is that the new Parliament will have a big majority for taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union. The second is that almost two million more people voted for parties that wanted to rethink Brexit than wanted it to go ahead … Continue reading The end of twentieth century Labour