Articles by Paul Richards
Paul Richards is author of Labour's Revival: The Modernisers' Manifesto and of How To Win An Election, is a former chair of the Fabian society and writes a monthly column for ProgressOnline, Memo on ..., as part of the Campaign for a Labour Majority

When They Go Low, We Go High

Paul Richards  |  22 November 2017

Great speeches are an essential tool of democracy, and a bulwark against base populism, argues Paul Richards On the plains of Africa, about 100,000 years ago, give or take, human beings decided to stop pointing at things and start using sounds to describe them. They developed words for their immediate surroundings such as ‘food’, ‘fire’, …

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Claiming Corbyn’s crown

Paul Richards  |  13 March 2017

Paul Richards investigates who will be Jeremy Corbyn’s successor as the hard-left’s anointed leadership candidate One thing you can guarantee, like rain on a bank holiday, is splits on the hard-left. The old Monty Python joke is funny because it is true. For the all the calls for workers’ unity, disunity is the stock-in-trade. The Trotskyist …

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Team Corbyn is not wedded to good publicity

Paul Richards  |  11 January 2017

The belief in the leader’s office that all publicity is good means they might actually think yesterday went well, writes Paul Richards Everything was prepared. Nothing left to chance. Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctors had crafted the new messages, and set up a raft of high-profile interviews with major broadcasters. They had prepped their boss, roleplaying …

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No trade unionist wants year after year of Tory rule

Paul Richards  |  11 August 2016

It is nauseating to watch people who have been in the Labour party for a matter of months, and who probably didn’t vote Labour last year, denouncing the GMB, Britain’s third biggest trade union, for backing Owen Smith. The manner of their denunciation follows the well-trodden Momentum-inspired path: there was a conspiracy to stop members …

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Smell the coffee

Paul Richards  |  28 January 2016

Labour still needs a proper post-mortem In 1987, following an election when Labour won the campaign but lost the election, Philip Gould and his team presented an assessment of Labour’s defeat to a joint meeting of the shadow cabinet and the National Executive Committee. He recalled, ‘We were about to tell the party that 70 years of history had …

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Against the Grain

Paul Richards  |  22 October 2015

In 1892, George and Weedon Grossmith published a comic novel about an odd little fellow called Charles Pooter. Pooter was a clerk, struggling with the world around him, his family, and the pressures of fitting in to Victorian society. His comedic self-importance is thwarted at every turn by social misfortune and petty grievances. The book …

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The phoney war

Paul Richards  |  1 October 2015

The Labour party started the conference week talking about Trident, and ended it talking about Trident. It didn’t matter that conference delegates voted to not talk about Trident. Thanks to the efforts of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy there was plenty of hype whether conference would vote for a resolution on Trident over other …

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Argue your case

Paul Richards  |  26 September 2015

Labour’s moderate tradition defends constant values, not outdated policies The creation of a special section in the Labour leadership election for people who do not support the Labour party has released forces into the mainstream of the party like a plague. It is like a horror film when the construction of a new underground railway unearths a deadly bacillus which …

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No benign gathering of bureaucrats

Paul Richards  |  18 August 2015

If you think the conference arrangements committee of the Labour party is unimportant then you do not understand the Labour party. It may sound like a benign gathering of bureaucrats who choose the colour of the backdrop or the warm-up music, but in reality it is seven men and women who determine what annual conference …

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Summer reading: dusting down the old tomes

Paul Richards  |  29 July 2015

This summer, the Labour party needs a holiday like never before. It needs to turn off Twitter, drink sangria, feel the sand beneath its toes and stare at the ocean. It needs to get a little perspective, think about its future, and buy an oversized sombrero. It needs a rest. Knowing it as we do, …

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