Ed Balls

Labour 2015

A welcome focus on winning

Nick Bent  |  26 January 2016

Sharply contrasted against the unedifying and introspective nature of certain elements of the current Labour party, the great strength of the Beckett report is that it is firmly focused on the public and on the future. Specifically, it is a useful blueprint to the massive challenge of how Labour wins the 2020 general election. So …

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What would Kier Hardie say?

What Would Keir Hardie Say?

Greg Rosen  |  9 October 2015

This fascinating collection of essays is a timely reminder of Keir Hardie’s sheer achievement of founding the Labour party and the doggedness and courage it took. Essays emphasise his moral voice, the depth of his determination to overcome adversity, his Christian faith, and his socialism. Hardie was ‘a socialist not a statist,’ writes Melissa Benn. …

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Stafford Cripps

Labour’s austerity bind

Hopi Sen  |  24 September 2015

Labour allowed everyone to give its spending plans whatever name they liked, writes Hopi Sen On 2 November 1948, Hansard records that Michael Foot told the House of Commons, ‘I have not seen much of this eager enthusiasm among members of the Conservative party to support the austerity drive of the chancellor of the exchequer’. If …

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Labour party conference 2014

Be yourself, Ed

Matt Forde  |  19 March 2015

This is no time for mankini politics, warns Matt Forde There’s a lot of rubbish written about Ed Miliband having an image problem. Of course he’s got one, but it’s not the fundamental problem. He won’t change his image and neither should he. I hope he doesn’t anyway, because, as an impressionist, he’s an absolute …

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George Osborne autumn statement 2014

After the autumn statement: What now for the two main parties?

Rich Durber  |  4 December 2014

Both George Osborne and Ed Balls are likely to be satisfied with their performances during the autumn statement yesterday, in what most objective people will see as a score-draw. The chancellor failed to deliver the knockout blow to the opposition that some in Labour’s ranks had feared he might, but neither was he forced into …

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Labour balloon

Closing Labour’s deficit

Jonathan Todd  |  6 November 2014

The Conservatives may not have won the last general election but Labour lost it. Labour was thought too keen on spending other people’s money, particularly in areas where the public are least keen to see their money spent, such as working-age welfare. As the Labour leadership candidates were reaching for the party’s erogenous zones, which …

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Chris Leslie

‘I’m jarring with my colleagues’

Robert Philpot and Adam Harrison  |  1 September 2014

There will be no big spending under Labour, Chris Leslie tells Robert Philpot and Adam Harrison Chris Leslie is an improbable hate figure. With his affable manner and gentle northern accent, he is not obviously one of politics’ bruisers. Yet in June the Observer’s political columnist, Andrew Rawnsley, predicted that if Labour forms the next …

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Fifty £50 pound notes. Cash. Money.

The battle for economic credibility

Stephen Beer  |  31 July 2014

The United Kingdom economic recovery is underway. The first official estimate for the second quarter of this year shows gross domestic product rising by 0.8 per cent. That means that the economy is now larger than just before the financial crisis. Growth is occurring across the economy, not only in the predominant services sector but …

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Policy Network Inclusive Prosperity conference

Labour, economic efficiency and social justice

Andrew Lomas  |  4 July 2014

Who hasn’t done something we’ve come to regret after a few drinks? A late-night karaoke session; a forgettable romantic encounter; dropping £45,000 on a bottle of champagne signed by Margaret Thatcher … No? Well a reveller at this week’s exclusive Tory summer party had more than a hangover to contend with the morning after having …

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English money

A tax system built to last

Melanie Ward  |  2 July 2014

Monday’s economic speech by Ed Balls contained many important themes and announcements: on work and skills; on industrial policy; and on an economic strategy which depends on an internationalist outlook – not least being an active member at the heart of the European Union. It also set out the basis on which business will be taxed …

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