Commentary

After the celebrations

Hopi Sen  |  4 June 2014

If Labour wins next May it will face huge challenges If Labour wins next May, the joy of victory will be infectious. Gathering at cabinet to agree the Queen’s speech, Labour ministers will be eager to seize the chance to change Britain. We already know much of the party’s plan for the hectic early weeks …

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Five tests for 2015

Hopi Sen  |  13 May 2014

How to measure Labour’s progress over the next 12 months Some historically minded psephologists apply the trends of the past, and produce models that predict Tory recovery and Labour decline: few oppositions win from the poll share Labour enjoys. For Labour’s pessimists, our lead is too fragile for victory. Others point out the uniqueness of …

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It’s the assets, stupid

Kitty Ussher  |  9 April 2014

How Labour should respond to the budget’s pensions shake-up Labour and the Tories share a perverse incentive to talk down the economy just at the time that economic growth begins to soar. George Osborne and David Cameron, acutely aware that their strongest trait in the eyes of the public is the ability to take tough, …

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Rage against the machine

Robert Philpot  |  26 February 2014

The Collins reforms are welcome but machine politics may yet strike back When Ed Miliband launched his attempt to reform Labour’s relationship with the trade unions last July, he set himself a huge challenge: to put an end to the closed, machine politics that had been exposed in Falkirk. With this month’s special conference that …

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A settlement for 2050

Patrick Diamond  |  11 February 2014

We need to debate spending priorities, not just the size of the state Since the general election of 2010, debate has raged about the appropriate size and scope of the UK state. The most ideologically driven chancellor in modern British economic history has chosen to make Labour’s alleged fiscal profligacy the centrepiece of the Conservatives’ …

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Repeat after me

Steve Van Riel  |  4 November 2013

Will a touch of populism bring either party victory in 2015? The mood of the Conservative party changes quickly. Last Christmas, Paul Goodman, editor of ConservativeHome and a former frontbencher, predicted that ‘David Cameron will not win an overall majority’, citing his failure to gain new voters or change constituency boundaries in time for 2015. …

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Remaking Labour

Anthony Painter  |  4 September 2013

There are two futures for political parties. Only one will save Labour After the last election, Labour was a broken party. Very little thinking had been done at a senior level about models of party organisation – it is hardly stuff to set pulses racing. So a timid report, Refounding Labour, was rushed out. There …

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Labour’s European third way

Jonathan Todd  |  3 July 2013

A referendum is inevitable. Here is how pro-Europeans can win it Mainstream Labour opinion has been pro-European since Neil Kinnock, as leader, made it so. Rarely, however, do Labour speakers join up the dots between the European Union and our policy objectives. We pride ourselves, for example, on being green but we hear little from …

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Different and better

Nick Pearce and Graeme Cooke  |  31 May 2013

Labour should get in its counter-argument to the spending review first Rarely has something sounding so technical been so political. When the chancellor said he planned to ‘introduce a new limit on a significant proportion of annually managed expenditure’ in his budget speech most eyes will have glazed over. For non-Treasury wonks, ‘AME’ is the …

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No room in the middle

Peter Watt  |  4 April 2013

Labour does not really care about the plight of the middle class In early 1996 I tried to become Labour’s parliamentary candidate for north Dorset. I was unsuccessful and I have never tried for a seat since; I have absolutely no intention of standing for one again. However, I do remember my speech at the …

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