Campaigns Updates

  • When It’s Over

    March 19, 2020

    It is possible that the economic and social chaos inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic will overwhelm us and that questions about the ‘big issues of yesterday’ will then appear wholly irrelevant or painfully trivial. But all that aside, we face three Brexit scenarios.

  • We Need A Kinnock, Not A Blair

    March 15, 2020

    Did you know that between 1997 and 2010 Labour lost over 5 million votes - most of them under Tony Blair? When I included that fact in an online article a senior figure in Progress riposted “They were Blair’s to lose.” No so, I replied. 1997 was a team triumph. Blair was a brilliant communicator, but he inherited from John Smith a party in great nick. He was supported by a formidable team, including Becket, Brown, Blunkett, Cook, Mowlam, and Prescott. Most importantly, post-1983, the heavy lifting had been done by former Labour leader and now Honorary President of the LME, Neil Kinnock.

  • The UK-EU Talks Are Not About Trade, But Ideology

    March 15, 2020

    The negotiations between London and Brussels are not about trade but the totality of how the British state is organized. Reporting on the BBC and in the London media once again is letting down British citizens by discussing the negotiations simply as aiming for a free trade deal. Ideology lies at the heart of the British approach.

  • The Reign of Experts Did Not Last Long

    March 15, 2020

    As far as I can see, the Government has binned last week’s policy. Matt Hancock has just said on Marr “herd immunity” is not government policy. The reign of experts did not last long. Johnson and ministers do not know what to do. 

  • Beating Boris Johnson: Tackle The Man And The Ball

    March 03, 2020

    “If Johnson self-isolates, how will we know?” Thanks for that joke goes to Tim Walker, the gallant Lib Dem, who stood down in Canterbury to help Rosie Duffield. He defied then party leader Jo Swinson. Happily, Duffield won while Swinson lost her seat.

  • Shifting The Party

    February 28, 2020

    My old boss, the BBC political editor John Cole, had a perceptive test of political leadership. Good leaders, he said, had to be ready  to “chip away at the prejudices of their followers”. 

    It looks as though Lisa Nandy gets it. “Steadying the ship isn’t enough. Labour needs to change or it will die”, she says. Richard Burgon doesn’t. 

  • The UK Is Not Canada

    February 20, 2020

    Boris Johnson says he would prefer a Canada style trade agreement with the EU and his negotiator, David Frost, says the UK is open to an Australia-style deal.

  • Can Starmer Win Big Enough To Take Control Of The Party?

    February 19, 2020

    It’s pretty clear that Keir Starmer is determined not to be outflanked on the left by Rebecca Long-Bailey. That was my firm conclusion from attending one of his campaign meetings last week.

  • What Should Labour's Brexit Message Be Now?

    February 19, 2020

    One of the most striking failures of the Labour campaign last December was any attempt to rebut or counter Johnson’s “Get Brexit done” sound bite. The leadership’s approach seemed to be to avoid the issue to campaign on bread and butter issues. 

  • Why leadership matters

    February 11, 2020

    Have you heard of the John Peel fallacy?  The late lamented BBC disc jockey was once heard to wonder why a certain artist’s recording wasn’t in the charts -- "Everyone I know has a copy". "No, you know everyone who's got a copy" came the reply.