Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

The Last Word: Still with her

Hillary pulls no bunches on Bernie, Trump and the US election and why it’s time to give public sector workers a pay rise – Progress director Richard Angell has the Last Word

Hillary Clinton has hit every news channel with the launch of her new book, What Happened. It is frank, self-effacing and and raw. In every interview you can feel how emotional she still is, and how she believes she has let herself, progressives and other women down.

But she has not pulled her punches on the men at either end of the political spectrum who plotted her demise. She is still shocked at Donald Trump’s behaviour and how numerous people aided and a betted his strategy to take the White House. Equally she is scornful of Bernie Sanders – still not a Democrat – who could never substantiate his claims that she she has changed votes following campaign contributions but acted as the midwife to Trump’s ‘crooked Hillary’ nonsense. Time and again he led his supporters up a hill to build in distance with her campaign and made it easier for people to stay home or back Trump.

Part of what Clinton’s critics have never understood was why she did keep going despite all these attacks over decades – from left and right.

It made them suspicious of her motives; no normal person would put up with the amount of animosity, vitriol and hate that she has had to put up with. As she says, none of the men were asked why they were running for president in the same way: it was just assumed they would.

To many, her inner steel looks cold, but this book reveals she is fired up. I don’t know about you, but I’m with her.

Give them a pay rise

Public sector workers should not be pitched against one another. While the government’s public sector pay policy is crumbling, there is a real danger that the public servants we come into face-to-face contact with – or hold an emotional connection to – will get higher awards than equally vital, backroom public servants. This is no way to run a country.

The emergency workers who ran at the danger this morning in Parson’s Green can only do that because they have confidence in teams of people we never meet – who might have taken intelligence calls, ordered them the right kit or ensured their equipment is clear and in good working order.

The prime minister leads tributes to our 999 responders on days like today. The Tories do divide and rule as second nature but while vile terrorist are more determined than ever to set people against each other, maybe the government – for once – can bring people together. It is in fact the only way to show these every day heroes we mean our words.


Richard Angell is director of Progress


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Richard Angell

is director of Progress


  • I know it is difficult to concede but it looks very likely to me that Bernie Sanders would have performed so much better than Clinton who was, and is so much indebted to big business money that still sustains the liberal (not labour) politics in the US. It is a mistake to claim that the Democrats are the US equivalent of Labour – they fit much more closely to the Blair-Thatcher politics than to Labour.

  • “Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat,” and in the sense that you mean, Hillary Clinton, thank goodness for that. That he is not a fiscal and military hawk on speed, and that he has absolutely no history of connection to the Southern white supremacism of your husband’s mentors, is precisely why Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, and the man who ought to be President. Donald Trump is President instead, Hillary, because all that he had to do was beat you. And a koi carp could have beaten you. That Trump had to do nothing more demanding, such as what would have been for him the impossible task of beating Sanders, was only because the process had been rigged in your favour. By the DNC. Now, remind us, Hillary, what does the D stand for?

    Any compromise on the public sector pay cap would mean that there was, in its own terms, no remaining point to this Government. Like any compromise on the pubic sector pay cap, any compromise on undergraduate tuition fees would effectively negate this year’s General Election. In that case, Labour might as well have won. Yet that latter, at least, really does seem to be coming. It seems to have become a matter of consensus that fees are at best an unfortunate necessity, and that in principle undergraduate tuition ought to be free at the point of delivery. There is no remaining point to this Government. Labour might as well have won.

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