Perspectives for Open Labour: A Politics of Radical Pessimism

By Paul Thompson and F. H. Pitts / @fhpitts This document is submitted as part of a constructive engagement with the Management Committee’s Draft Position Paper (DPP). There is not much that most on the left could disagree with in the Statement. That has its merits, and we are sympathetic to not trying to have … Continued

Saving our steel means demanding a strategy

By Tom Miller / @TomMillerUK A plan to nationalise steel was put in place by the Labour government in 1949, but after the defeat of the Attlee government, this was reversed by Churchill’s Tories in office – a reminder that conflicts over policy in our own movement are of lesser significance than who actually holds … Continued

After IDS: Where Labour Goes From Here

By Jade Azim / @JadeFrancesAzim There are three primary observations to take from Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation, after we have all done with jumping up and down on our beds and popping open a decent Pinot Grigio. First, that this was not actually about the reforms he championed, but a move in political chess. Second, … Continued

Budget 2016: The Illogical Sacrifices to The Altar of the Surplus

By Jade Azim / @JadeFrancesAzim Today’s budget is, as expected, an assault on the most vulnerable, coated as a supposed essential step to delivering a surplus that is neither particularly needed nor exceptional in British political history. The most extraordinary characteristic is that of the raising of the PIP threshold, which will see around 200,000 … Continued

Osborne’s Surplus: the Key to Labour’s Victory?

By Peter Kennedy/ @kennedy121 The 2015 general election marked a catastrophic dual defeat for the Labour Party: An abject failure to challenge the Conservative Party’s economic narrative and in turn, the worst electoral showing by the Labour Party in a generation. In the Labour leadership’s attempt to hitch its wagon to the perceived ‘common sense’ … Continued

The Only Way is Universal?

By Jade Azim / @jadefrancesazim I fear the Left has lost a crucial battle. The 1997-2010 Labour government was, rhetorically, obsessed with making welfare popular. “This is not a denial of self-interest” Tony Blair argued at Labour’s 1996 conference, “This isn’t a killjoy philosophy. This is enlightened self-interest. In a society in which opportunity is … Continued

Campaigning beyond our comfort zones

By Clifford Singer / @cliffordsinger A recent report by Labour’s centre-right RedShift group on “reinvigorating Labour’s brand” calls for Labour to be more “surprising” and “counterintuitive”. An unnamed advisor is quoted as saying: “We have to marry [resilient] Labour voters with a wider group by saying something surprising. Labour has not said anything surprising for … Continued

Brand Anew

By Samuel Fawcett / @SamFawcett92 If you were anything like me when you first became interested in politics, you were enraptured by high concepts of democracy, redistribution and universalism. You believed that what mattered was the strength of rational argument and that, if only people saw the facts, they would come over to your side. … Continued