Tanked Up

Trends turn against Labour

Ben Dilks  |  16 February 2017

Ben Dilks with the latest from the wonk world There could not be a more overt gathering of the ‘global elite’ than the World Economic Forum in Davos. Beneath the shimmer of the Swiss Alps, the £15,000-a-ticket summit plays host to an equally glittering array of world leaders, celebrities and billionaire financiers – the targets of the anti-establishment rhetoric …

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Wonks wake up to Brexit

Ben Dilks  |  16 December 2016

It has already become a cliché to say historians will spend years poring over Britain’s shock Brexit vote. While there will inevitably be a huge amount of debate over the various causes and eventual consequences, few contest the magnitude of the result. The immediate political fallout – battles within the two main parties, leading to a shiny new …

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Labour tales in modern Britain

Adam Harrison  |  15 June 2016

Adam Harrison with the latest from the wonk world This age of post-truth politics can sometimes feel a little fantastical. In thinking about the publication of Jon Cruddas’ independent review of Labour’s election defeat and Tristram Hunt’s new book on England, a host of myths and fairytales rose to retell themselves. The five years following …

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If it’s broke, fix it

Adam Harrison  |  30 March 2016

Adam Harrison with the latest from the wonk world Plenty about the way public services
 are currently run could be fixed, even if everything is not totally broken. Scottish Labour under leader Kezia Dugdale turned heads once more last month by pledging 
to abolish council tax – possibly the most unpopular tax ever. It was …

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Labour’s unreconciled dilemma

Adam Harrison  |  19 February 2016

As IPPR releases a raft of new reports on schools, housing and criminal justice reform, it is tempting to pursue business as usual and inspect its policy proposals. Times are, however, different. The ever-perceptive Stephen Daisley last month commented that Progress, rather than leading the ‘counterrevolution … spends most of its time debating how to reform public …

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No mean task

Adam Harrison  |  27 September 2015

Adam Harrison with the latest from the wonk world Last month Tanked Up reported that Policy Network would be continuing the long-running ‘southern discomfort’ series of studies into Labour’s electoral (mis)fortunes. The problem is now extremely serious, and Patrick Diamond and Giles Radice’s latest instalment takes the form of an entire book. It makes for grim reading, …

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Sequels to the sequel

Adam Harrison  |  10 September 2015

Tanked up Adam Harrison with the latest from the wonk world One of the most seminal texts in Labour party history – yet one that is unfortunately not heeded enough – is Southern Discomfort, Giles Radice’s 1992 study of floating voters in southern marginal seats who had thought about voting Labour but ended up backing the Conservatives. …

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Fresh starts

Adam Harrison  |  25 March 2015

A growing murmur of complaint, in the SW1 postcode inhabited by many thinktanks, is that this is the most inward-looking election of recent times with the outside world never looking or feeling more unstable. This is especially so with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, an impending free trade agreement between the European Union and …

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Going south

Adam Harrison  |  13 February 2015

How long before we start hearing calls for devolution to ‘the south’? Perhaps sooner than we think. Labour’s ‘southern discomfort’ is a long-running difficulty which has re-emerged in recent years. But the recent establishment of the Southern Policy Centre, whose advisory board is chaired by outgoing Labour member of parliament for Southampton Itchen John Denham, …

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Firm foundations

Adam Harrison  |  10 December 2014

This month sees an event by Policy Network on Laying the Foundations for a Labour Century, a pamphlet edited by members of parliament Liz Kendall and John Woodcock, which sets out a range of policies which they believe will help to do just what they said on the tin. One of the most compelling chapters …

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