Campaigns Archive 2020

  • 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.

  • Labour Would-Be Leaders Must Face Up to Freedom of Movement

    February 11, 2020

    The one issue that Labour candidates walk in fear of is raising honestly the question of British and our fellow Europeans living or working in each other’s countries.

  • Brexit done, UK undone

    January 24, 2020

    What would various literary and historical figures have made of Brexit?

  • Candidates' answers to LME questions

    January 23, 2020

    We asked all of the Labour leader and deputy leader candidates five questions to help us decide who we nominate.

  • Labour’s Five Brexit Myths

    January 19, 2020


    In politics, as in life, it is always dangerous to believe your own vanities or succumb to myths because blind belief is so much easier than rational analysis.

    So too with Brexit and Labour as it stares into the infinity of an era of opposition without seats in Scotland and with a voter base that is no longer automatically on tap as it was in the 20th century and up to the end of the last Labour government.