Dec 7th, 2016by Mike Phipps
What can be read into the by-election result at Richmond Park? A 23,000 Conservative majority has been turned into a narrow win for the Lib Dems and a lost deposit for Labour. One blogger drew the comforting conclusion that this was down to the anti-Corbyn characteristics of the Labour candidate. Well, maybe.
In reality, this was obviously a contest more about Brexit than anything else. Constituents in this area voted by 70% in the referendum to Remain in the EU. Since then, the Lib Dems have championed the minority Remainers, a plausible option for a minority party, promising a fresh referendum. It is far more difficult for Labour to offer this and stand a credible chance of winning the next general election – but the Lib Dems have no serious ambitions to do this. Continue reading →
Dec 6th, 2016by Peter Rowlands
Last week’s by-election in Richmond was the second resounding success for the Lib-Dems, after Witney, in using a by-election to demonstrate the breadth of opposition to Brexit, and it places them in a strong position to lead and promote such a campaign, despite having few MPs, and limited resources, certainly compared to Labour.
I don’t particularly wish to discuss whether Labour should have stood or not. I was personally opposed, but there was an argument for doing so, and it fortunately did not prevent a Goldsmith defeat, which it might well have done. What is clear is that there was a large Labour tactical vote for the Lib-Dem candidate, including quite a few members. Continue reading →
Dec 6th, 2016by David Osland
For the second time in my life, I am watching firsthand the arrival of a new political dispensation. After growing up under the post-war social democratic consensus, and spending most of my adult years contesting various shades of neoliberalism, it looks increasingly as if populism will see me through to collecting my bus pass.
Britain has, at least so far, been spared the nastier manifestations of the phenomenon. Dramatic as the changes wrought by Brexit will surely be, there is currently no credible prospect of a politician of the stripe of Le Pen, Hofer or even Donald Trump becoming head of state or head of government. Continue reading →
Nov 30th, 2016by Phil Burton-Cartledge
Who’s that knight on a white charger? Why, it’s none other than Paul Nuttall, Eddie Hitler look-a-like and the latest leader of our purple friends in the United Kingdom Independence Party. His election by a landslide suggests a desire on the part of the party’s much-reduced membership (of which, 15,500 out of 33k cast a ballot) to put the recent period of fracas and farce behind it. But more significantly, and unlike the hapless Diane James, Tory-in-exile Suzanne Evans, and homosexual donkey anecdote man, Nuttall is the man with a plan. To put the UKIP jigsaw together again (his words), they’re going to go all out and concentrate on the northern working class Labour seats. It’s a “big open goal” as far as he’s concerned, and plenty of the media agree. Despite evidence of a declining brand, there are plenty only too happy to talk up this threat. Continue reading →
Nov 28th, 2016by Newsdesk
Labour celebrated an important victory on Friday, as the Conservative government took another U-turn by scrapping their proposal to increase immigration tribunal fees by up to 500%. This comes after campaigning by the Labour Party, and overwhelming public opposition to a government consultation on the subject.
Fees for a tribunal to deal with asylum or immigration cases had risen from £80 to £490, a decision taken by previous Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Continue reading →
Nov 26th, 2016by Mark Perryman
40 years ago today The Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK was released. Philosophy Football’s Mark Perryman remembers
For some of us of a certain age it still seems like yesterday. For others it is something to breathlessly boast to our children, or grandchildren, that yes, we were there. 26th November 1976, the Sex Pistols release their debut single Anarchy in the UK and for as long as the record (remember those?) was on the turntable (ditto) it was as if the world had changed, forever. Continue reading →
Nov 25th, 2016by Phil Burton-Cartledge
Compare and contrast. A confident figure seizing the moment and pledging a radical remaking of Britain. Yes, Theresa May looked formidable on the steps of Downing Street in July. She had stolen Labour’s 2015 Manifesto and she was going to get away with it. Wind the film forward to November, and her chancellor gets up and lays out a programme that differs from his predecessor’s by degree, not kind. And it comes covered in the Prime Minister’s ultra-cautious thumb prints. Continue reading →
Nov 24th, 2016by Peter Willsman
National Executive Committee 22 November 2016 (‘Away Day’)
After several very tense and fractious set-tos there was clearly an effort made to have a tranquil NEC for a change. There was nothing faintly controversial on the agenda. The whole ‘Away Day’ was reminiscent of one of the Maharishi meditation sessions. Before reporting on the 22nd November NEC, there are two other meetings to quickly cover first.
National Policy Forum Report, 19-20th November
First, a brief report of the National Policy Forum (NPF) at Loughborough University, 19th and 20th November. The NPF was also calm and studious, as delegates hurried to workshops based around the 8 new Policy Commissions: Continue reading →