2015: the year in review

Progress  |  29 December 2015

Welcome to the review of our year on Progress This was the year all those working hard on the ground to win a Labour majority in May 2015, and make the coalition government a one-term government, learned how far the party had fallen short in its bid for government. Polling day was then followed by one of the most surprising elections in …

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Letter from … Madrid

Roberto Robles  |  24 December 2015

The Spanish general election on 20 December delivered the most fragmented parliament since the country’s transition to democracy, with the People’s party and the Socialist party suffering unprecedented losses to two new political forces on the centre and on the left – Ciudadanos and Podemos. While this had been widely expected, what was not what …

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Follow the equality-bricked road

Amina Lone  |  21 December 2015

‘The fact that, in most cases, it remains more difficult for a candidate who does not fit the “white, male, middle-class” norm to be selected, particularly if the seat is considered by their party to be winnable, means that the case for equality of representation has not yet been won.’ One could be forgiven for …

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Why the old tunes aren’t the best

Stuart Hudson  |  21 December 2015

At Christmas, the Labour staff party has at least one difference from the typical office knees-up. Someone, at some point, will ask the DJ to play ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. This year we are told that the sound of D:Ream’s anthem from the 1997 election brought plenty of nostalgic staffers to the dance floor …

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‘Responsible capitalism’ must mean embracing mass empowerment

Adam Lent  |  21 December 2015

Darrell Hammond no longer makes playgrounds. For 15 years, his organisation, KaBoom!, addressed the lack of safe spaces for play in poor communities across the United States by building them. But a couple of years ago, Darrell decided to revolutionise his methods. He put all the tools and techniques needed to create a playground online …

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Time to shape a distinctively Labour economic policy project

David Coats  |  21 December 2015

The Progress editorial this month has correctly identified that the absence of a distinctive Labour project for the British economy has made it difficult for us to re-establish our credibility and take George Osborne successfully to task. All politicians claim to be concerned about the United Kingdom’s productivity problem and even the Tories would not …

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Partners for a new kind of growth

Stephen Kinnock MP  |  21 December 2015

Over the course of the last parliament the Labour party made several attempts to create a new narrative on the economy, and to stimulate a debate around the role of business within that narrative. Phrases such as ‘responsible capitalism’ and ‘pro-business, but not pro-business as usual’ were the watchwords. But they failed to gain traction, …

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The Cumbria floods: out of the textbooks

Rachel Burgin  |  21 December 2015

Thousands of families made homeless weeks before Christmas, key transport routes torn to shreds by the sheer force of nature, families unable to buy food due to supermarkets being flooded, children unable to sleep because they are frightened of the weather, schools posting homework on their website so their pupils can continue their education, hundreds …

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The new Spanish Inquisition

The Progressive  |  18 December 2015

The meaninglessness of terms like ‘neoliberal’ reveals Labour’s deep intellectual fragility Politics is a trade littered with meaningless terms. Ask a roomful of political types to define any of the big political words such as ‘socialist’, ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, ‘capitalism’, ‘the state’, ‘neocon’ or ‘internationalist’, and you may as well ask a kindergarten class to do your tax return. Each …

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Something Will Turn Up: Britain’s Economy, Past, Present and Future

Stephen Beer  |  18 December 2015

  Anyone following the twists and turns of the current debate on deficits and spending would be well advised to look back at previous examples. What seems of vital and immense importance at the time can pale somewhat with the passage of time. Sometimes this is literally true. For example, what happened to the double-dip …

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