George Osborne

The Insider April 2014

Matching Osborne’s moves

The Insider  |  8 April 2014

Fear is the constant companion of Labour in opposition. We become nervous when our poll leads shrink and the memory of lost elections past is summoned from our collective recall. Are we as secure and as safe from political earthquakes as we need to be to win? Last summer, as Labour seemed to falter, the …

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Maoist Tories and the BBC licence fee

John McTernan  |  28 March 2014

It’s been welfare week. The ‘benefits cap’ was a sideshow. George Osborne really needs to get better at politics. The key to tricking your opponents is not to smirk at the same time. If you want Labour to become unpopular on welfare then don’t erect a large sign saying ‘Political Trap ahead, Tee Hee.’ Yes, …

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Older people

Pensions: the personal freedom dilemma

Edward Davie  |  26 March 2014

Tory budget changes to pensions have left Labour in a quandary about whether to back greater individual freedom or defend a policy that creates a more stable society. This kind of dilemma is nothing new and reading Robert Skidelsky’s biography of John Maynard Keynes I am struck by how little the political tension between individual …

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Angela Eagle

Posh boys’ den – No 10, bankers’ heaven – No 11

Angela Eagle MP  |  21 March 2014

Business of the House questions was later than usual this morning to allow the House of Commons to pay tribute to Tony Benn who passed away earlier this week. He was a huge figure in the Labour movement who we will never forget. His son Hillary and his long-time friend Dennis Skinner made particularly moving …

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George Osborne budget 2014

Borrowing ballooning out of control

Stephen Beer  |  21 March 2014

This year’s budget did not do much for the macroeconomic outlook. In that sense, it was in line with expectations. The big picture remains in place – years of spending cuts while hoping economic recovery is sustainable. The chancellor chose to ignore the underlying problems facing the UK economy. George Osborne’s spin on the economy …

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Angel of the north

People of the north: In need of a good lawyer

Claire Reynolds  |  19 March 2014

A Great Train Robbery is occurring oop north. The revelation that nine of TransPennine Express’s 70 railway carriages are to be reallocated to boost Chiltern Rail services in the south-east has left northerners reeling in anger. The carriages will be taken out from the Manchester to Leeds line, which is a vital chunk of regional …

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Patrick Diamond Progress political weekend 2014

Of hawkishness and hope – winning in 2015

Patrick Diamond  |  18 March 2014

How does Labour win in 2015 on policy? The first step is clearly securing credibility on the economy. Labour has to be hawkish on the deficit, not only in theory but in practice. History demonstrates that successful political parties are willing to identify their achilles heel and tackle it head on, however painful. For Labour …

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Credibility deficit

Jonathan Todd  |  14 March 2014

Ed Balls has chosen to take a different approach to spending to that adopted by Labour prior to 1997. He is right to do so, says Jonathan Todd From the bully pulpit of the Treasury, George Osborne is convinced that he can have the deficit dominate the next parliament as it has dominated this – …

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Chuka Umunna

Changing Britain’s economy for the better?

Hopi Sen  |  5 March 2014

Labour’s approach to business has a powerful social democratic message of growth. It deserves a broad welcome. Last night Chuka Umunna spoke to the Engineering Employers’ Federation. At the heart of his speech lay a vital question: What should Britain’s economy look like 15 or 20 years from now? There is cross-party agreement on the …

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Ed Balls

‘I’m not going to let them off the hook’

Robert Philpot and Adam Harrison  |  18 February 2014

As he prepares to respond to next month’s budget, Ed Balls is in a fighting mood, find Robert Philpot and Adam Harrison Shortly after Christmas Ed Balls gave an interview with the New Statesman which held out the prospect of a period of détente between the shadow chancellor and Nick Clegg. He described a ‘very …

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