May, 2012

A referendum for the right reasons

Curtis McLellan  |  31 May 2012

It started with a wink and a nudge, the appointment of Jon Cruddas to a major policy brief. It continued with Ed Balls winking even more and a guest appearance by Peter Mandelson. But the news that Labour was considering a referendum on European Union membership has left me furious. I do not want to …

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Beyond Blairite?

The Progressive  |  31 May 2012

The obsession of some with the term ‘Blairite’ is Orwellian in its ability to shut down debate before it has started In a recent lecture on ‘the good society’, by way of Louis Althusser, Milan Kundera, TH Green, John Ruskin, William Morris and Dylan Thomas, Jon Cruddas argued that: ‘“Blairite” is now an orthodox term …

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Labour and the Somali community

Amina Ali  |  31 May 2012

The presence and settlement of the Somali community in significant numbers in the UK dates back to the 19th century when Somalis arrived to work as seamen for the British merchant navy. The seamen settled in most port cities like Cardiff, Liverpool and east London docks, were they joined the National Union of Seamen. In …

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Beyond false alternatives

Anthony Painter  |  30 May 2012

Growth versus austerity is a tired debate. Labour must offer something better, argues Anthony Painter Would you like cake or death? Er, cake please.’ This is Eddie Izzard’s take on the use of extreme alternatives in order to win an argument. So it has gone with much of the European discourse on the economy, including …

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Why Boris won’t be PM

Simon Griffiths  |  30 May 2012

After re-election as mayor of London Boris Johnson claimed that he is ‘definitively, categorically, emphatically’ not interested in becoming prime minister. This is certainly not true – his ambition is one of the few things that Boris-watchers agree upon – and he is now the favourite to be the next Conservative leader. Bookies put him …

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Striking a better balance

Graeme Cooke  |  30 May 2012

We need to arrest the shift from building homes to subsidising rents By Graeme Cooke —Promoting homeownership and defending social housing have dominated the politics of housing within the Labour party since the 1990s. Often seen as separating ‘Old Labour’ and New Labour, both are now perilously placed. Rates of homeownership have been falling since …

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The lights might stay on – but is anyone in?

Melanie Smallman  |  30 May 2012

Energy is a difficult issue for the UK. Not only are there the competing needs to keep the lights on and at the same time tackle climate change, there are also pressures from the energy industry to secure their profits and from consumers to keep energy prices low. But the coalition government’s draft energy bill, …

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Pro-growth, pro-reform

Andrew Adonis  |  29 May 2012

Similarities with the 1970s abound. Labour must respond with boldness and radicalism Approaching the halfway point of the government, a significant political shift is taking place in Labour’s direction. Partly this is midterm coalition blues. But something more fundamental is happening. The Tories promised their economic plan would deliver growth and jobs. Two years on …

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Case closed?

Dermot Finch  |  29 May 2012

The government offered the wrong mayoral model in last month’s referendums. It should not be surprised by the results By Dermot Finch —After last month’s resounding ‘no’ votes, elected city mayors look set to be a rarity across England, not the norm. Four cities have switched to the mayoral system in the last year (Bristol, …

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Man on wire

Luke Akehurst  |  29 May 2012

The policy review is a tricky balancing act which may benefit from its new ringmaster By Luke Akehurst —‘Policies don’t win elections, policies lose elections. Balloons and whirly hats win elections.’ This aphorism did the rounds in New Labour circles in the 1990s. It is half true. Unpopular policies can lose elections as 1983’s ‘longest …

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