October, 2014

Past imperfect

Editorial  |  31 October 2014

Labour has had seven leaders since Harold Wilson stepped down as prime minister in 1976. Allowing for John Smith’s premature death, only one of these – Tony Blair – has thus far succeeded in securing the party victory in a general election, a feat which he achieved on three consecutive occasions. But 20 years after …

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‘It might be worth listening to me’

Adam Harrison and Robert Philpot  |  30 October 2014

Tony Blair’s legacy is hotly contested. He defends it to Robert Philpot and Adam Harrison The expected publication next year of the much-delayed Chilcot inquiry will reopen, if it ever closed, the debate about Britain’s most controversial foreign policy action since Suez: the decision to join the United States in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein …

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And it’s goodbye from me

Robert Philpot  |  30 October 2014

Final thoughts from our departing director After many years at the helm, this is my last edition as editor of this magazine, and director of Progress. It has been a great privilege to have had this opportunity and to have had it for so long. I believe it is one of the best jobs in …

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Murphy is essential to a Miliband majority

John McTernan  |  30 October 2014

Sir Walter Scott asked: ‘Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,/ ‘Who never to himself hath said’, / ‘This is my own, my native land! / ‘Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,/ ‘As home his footsteps he hath turned,/ ‘From wandering on a foreign strand!’ Now we know Jim Murphy’s answer. He has …

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Ignoring the crisis of the young will cost Labour dearly

Rich Durber  |  30 October 2014

Last week Alan Milburn, chair of the government’s commission on social mobility and child poverty, delivered his final report before the general election showing that the under-30s risk being priced out of society, while this week Unicef published figures revealing that the number of children in poverty in the United Kingdom has risen to over …

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A quagmire of antisemitism

Danny Stone and John Mann MP  |  30 October 2014

Like many others we were particularly concerned about the rise in antisemitism this summer both in the United Kingdom and across Europe as a result of the most recent escalation of violence in the Middle East conflict. Party members will have their differing views on the conflict of course but none of us should ever …

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Fighting to win Rochester

John Newham  |  30 October 2014

However tempting it might be to spectate at a possible slugfest between the Tories and the United Kingdom Independence party in the forthcoming Rochester and Strood by-election, Labour should make every effort to fight to win a seat held in the last decade – and sent both our major opponents packing. The Tories are not …

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‘You can’t out-Salmond Salmond’

Catherine Vallis  |  30 October 2014

This last week will probably be looked back on as a defining moment in the Scottish Labour party’s history. After last Friday we have dominated news programmes and columns for all the wrong reasons, with the Scottish National party letting us tear us apart without interruption. However, this week has also given us a chance …

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Nye: The Political Life of Aneurin Bevan

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP  |  30 October 2014

On 4 July 1948, the day before the introduction of the National Health Service, the Labour party held a rally in Manchester. The main speaker, Labour’s minister of health and housing, Aneurin Bevan, captured the significance of the moment: ‘The eyes of the world are turning to Great Britain. We now have the moral leadership …

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In conversation with … Tristram Hunt

James Beckles  |  30 October 2014

Progress’ thought-provoking series of debates with Labour’s shadow frontbench team continues. This time it was the turn of Tristram Hunt MP, shadow secretary of state for education, to be given the third degree by Times columnist and commentator David Aaronovitch. The discussion started with a good-humoured quip at those who have called for Progress to …

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