October, 2011

Return of the technocrats

Olaf Cramme  |  31 October 2011

Retreat into its comfort zone has been the stock centre-left response across Europe, but it could be technocratic leaders who forge a way forward, says Olaf Cramme Across Europe, social democrats are occupying the moral high ground. After a decade spent wrestling with self-doubt about whether the left had entered a far too uncritical relationship …

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The Manchester Purple Book debate

Furqan Naeem  |  31 October 2011

Last week I decided to attend the Purple Book event organised by Progress in Manchester. As the former chair of Manchester Young Labour I was particularly interested in how The Purple Book talks about the role of young members in ensuring we win back government in 2015. Although I hadn’t read the book before the …

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Economics too important to leave to economists

Tanweer Ali  |  31 October 2011

A timely new book challenges the received wisdom in economics. It was the Queen who asked the big question in the aftermath of the financial crisis – why did nobody see it coming? Many of the world’s most distinguished economists took upthe challenge, with varying degrees of success. The basic answer was that they couldn’t …

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Heads over hearts

The French Socialists’ choice of the centrist François Hollande shows a new seriousness about winning next year’s presidential election, say Michael McTernan and Antoine Colombani Since 1988, when François Mitterrand was re-elected, the Parti Socialiste has failed in three successive presidential elections and in three general elections, with the notable exception of 1997 when it …

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End of the fiesta

Denis MacShane MP  |  31 October 2011

This month’s general election in Spain heralds another defeat for the left in Europe, reports Denis MacShane The shabby building in Calle Feraz just up from the bullet-marked bunkers that defended Madrid from General Franco’s assault 75 years ago is unadorned. Just a dirty red rose in a fist on a dusty sign says this …

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Modernising Labour

John Carr  |  31 October 2011

During much of the 1980s, for most of the time, the Old Right did what the right has traditionally done. They supported the leader, though in this case often through gritted teeth. Kinnock and the Old Right were not natural bedfellows. They helped deliver a Labour NEC that supported Kinnock and we all owe them …

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Marxism Today and Labour

John Carr  |  31 October 2011

The organisational focus for this group on the left was what in the end turned out to be the improbably named monthly magazine ‘Marxism Today’, an official organ of the Communist party. The brainy vanguard was led by the Editor Martin Jacques. It included people like Andrew Gamble, Tony Lane, Stuart Hall, Bea Campbell, Charlie …

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Reflections on a Reunion

John Carr  |  31 October 2011

The Marquis of Granby is a pub not far from parliament. A couple of weeks ago in its upstairs room there assembled a motley crew. The common bond was student politics from the mid 1970s to early 1980s. From Charles Clarke to Dave Aaronovitch, with Sue Slipman and Trevor Phillips in between. It was a …

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Combating disability hate crime

Kate Green MP  |  31 October 2011

I know I’m not famous among Progress readers for my tough attitude to sentencing in the criminal justice system. But this week I’m proud to be proposing an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill to increase the minimum mandatory life sentence for those convicted of murder where the crime was …

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Re-engaging with the young

Anthony Parker  |  31 October 2011

I begin this piece with some unwelcome news. The Manchester Evening News has revealed that university applications for Manchester University, the UK’s largest university, has seen an overall drop of 16 per cent, with figures from UCAS showing a fall of 14 per cent. The timing of the drop in admissions comes as no surprise …

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