Podemos is 3rd force Spanish elections – radical left triumphs in Barcelona

by Tom Gill

Camiseta Pablo Iglesias PODEMOSThe upstart left party Podemos has claimed it is a “lever for change”, as it broke through in eight regions of Spain to become the third force in eight of the 13 regional parliaments contested.

We would have liked to see a more rapid erosion of the large parties“, according to Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, who described this day as  “magical” and “historic“. Continue reading →

Banks have taken over the State and got away with it

by Michael Meacher

bankSix global banks, two them British, have just been fined £5.6bn in what the FBI has called ‘massive scale’ criminality, yet no individual executive has been prosecuted and no bank has been deprived of its licence to practise which would have happened in any other sector given such monumental wrongdoing. Indeed State regulators have gone out of their way to protect them from any such consequences. None of the charges in respect of any of the banks has been brought to trial so that the full scale and nature of these criminal activities will never be publicly disclosed. Two of the banks did not admit to any crimes related to this abuse, though they still paid up, but the other 4 who did were then given waivers shielding them from the consequences that would normally follow – the loss of the all-important banking licence. The banks have an armlock around the neck of the State. Continue reading →

Ann Black’s report from Labour’s May executives

by Ann Black

NEC Report AB

National Executive Committee meetings, May 2015

Ann Black reports on two meetings which have taken place this month.

Special meeting 13 May 2015

This was a special meeting, called to agree procedures for choosing the next leader and deputy leader. The Chair Jim Kennedy welcomed Hilary Benn MP, who replaces Sadiq Khan, and Peter Willsman, returning to the constituency section after Kate Osamor’s election as MP for Edmonton. Rachael Maskell and Conor McGinn are also now MPs, and their positions on the NEC will be filled at annual conference. Continue reading →

Did New Labour spend too much?

by Michael Burke

Did New Labour spend too muchIt is not sufficient for big business to have secured an election victory and an overall Parliamentary majority for the Tory Party. It is also necessary to intervene in the Labour Party to ensure that its leadership also conforms to big business interests too.

This currently takes the form of candidates in the leadership contest being asked to declare that Labour ‘spent too much’ in the run-up into the Great Recession. Answering Yes to this question is effectively a loyalty oath to big business interests, a renunciation even of the social democratic vestige of economic policy under New Labour. Continue reading →

Dear Liz Kendall, about the differences between socialism and liberalism…

by Phil Burton-Cartledge

Liz KendallDear Liz,

Re: Leadership of the Labour Party

I noted the other day that leadership contests are that rare occasion when MPs and ordinary members are frank about the personalities and policies at the top of the party. Some also over egg the pudding and go for outright abuse. I’m thinking mainly, this time around, about the people who are mostly Andy Burnham identifiers and think attacking you as the Conservative Party candidate for Labour leadership is a smart way for their man to win. It isn’t, it’s unfair, and it’s clear from an brief with your material that a Tory you’re most definitely not.

That doesn’t mean I think you’re well suited to lead the Labour Party. Continue reading →

Osborne has as much chance of a budget surplus in 2018 as of the Titanic resurfacing

by Michael Meacher

Osborne Liar LiarOsborne is telling another of his wheezing yarns which he’s much better at than solving real problems. His first yarn in 2010 was that he would eliminate the structural deficit by 2015; it turns out that it is currently £92bn. His next yarn today is that he will now eliminate it by 2017-8. Fat chance. His own figures tell an utterly different tale. Continue reading →

Abandon austerity: we have nothing to lose but our fears

by Bryan Gould

Austerity is failingThe aftermath of election defeat for Labour has been marked by the familiar combination of soul-searching and mutual recrimination. The remnants of New Labour bemoan the supposed failure to address the concerns of middle-of-the-road voters, and point to the lessons they believe should be drawn from Tony Blair’s three successive election victories.

Those who would prefer to disown the Blair legacy counter with the argument that Eds Miliband and Balls conceded too much to the Tories and did too little to establish their credentials with traditional Labour voters who accordingly failed to turn out in sufficient numbers. Continue reading →

Aspiration: what’s in it for the 20 million in poverty?

by Michael Meacher

cashAccording to the official Office of National Statistics’ latest report, 19.3 million persons in the UK had an income below 60% of the national median at some point during 2010-13. That is nearly a third of the entire population, and a higher proportion than for the EU as a whole.

The UK figures are even higher for pensioners (40%) and single-parent households (60%). These statistics are awful for the sixth largest economy in the world, but there is a deeper hypocrisy behind them. At the general election the Tory manifesto and Cameron’s speeches resonated with calls for aspiration for everyone. So what are the aspirational chances for the 20 million people at the bottom of the pile when Osborne’s first act in the new government is to target them? Continue reading →

The City & Wall St are a hotbed of lawbreaking & regulation isn’t working

by Michael Meacher

Trust me I'm a banker - BBC Scotland The implications of the latest survey of the City of London’s culture are stunning. The study by University of Notre Dame and a law firm revealed that nearly a fifth of respondents believed that “financial service personnel must sometimes engage in unethical or illegal activity to be successful in the current financial environment”. It found that there had been a “marked decline” in ethics over the last 2 years and, most worryingly of all, that half the respondents regarded law enforcement and regulatory authorities as ineffective in detecting, investigating and prosecuting securities violations. Continue reading →

New TUC polling on voter attitudes

by Andy Newman

young votersThe TUC are today publishing vital polling information, which throws light on the areas where Labour needs to improve, if we are to win the next election. The polling was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner on behalf of the TUC, straight after the election. The findings are available as interactive graphs, allowing users to compare different subgroups and questions. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: Continue reading →

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