Tag Archives for Labour

The Anglo-American Centre-Left and the immediate question of agency

David Coates

The Democrats and the Labour Party have been on the defensive for too long. Winning again requires a progressive re-radicalization of politics The primary problem faced by the Centre-Left in both the US and the UK is not ultimately one of programme. Adequate policy proposals abound. The problem lies rather in the lack of electoral support for such proposals, and … Continue reading

18 September 2017 by
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The strange still-birth of ‘Milimayism’

Tony Payne

Britain just can’t generate the politics with which to build the new reformist consensus its political economy so badly needs A key problem for Britain at the moment is that it can’t give birth to the politics that its political economy needs.  Marxists used to think this was impossible, believing that the sub-structure (political economy) would always determine the super-structure … Continue reading

11 September 2017 by
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Does age now trump class in British politics?

Kate Alexander Shaw

After higher youth turnout in the 2017 general election Labour has to think hard about whether fairness is about class or cohort Labour’s surprise success in June’s election, gaining 32 seats and winning 40 per cent of the popular vote, has quickly been absorbed within a new narrative about the rise of youth. Before the election, the conventional wisdom was … Continue reading

21 August 2017 by
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Has the salience of ‘saving’ in British political discourse declined?

The practice of saving has been complexified, but the concept has until recently retained discursive significance as part of an ‘asset-based welfare’ agenda. The 2017 election may, however, have signalled a significant shift in British economic statecraft The value of saving has been preached by the leaders of both main political parties in the UK for a considerable period of … Continue reading

9 August 2017 by
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Labour’s Titanic Brexit nightmare

Matthew Bishop

In even flirting with leaving the EU Single Market, the UK is heading full steam towards an iceberg of historic proportions, and this will destroy Labour if a change of course is not pursued We are plausibly living through the endgame of a neoliberalism that has drastically over-reached itself. The great value of Corbynism is its recognition of this essential … Continue reading

24 July 2017 by
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The proletariat problem: general election 2017 and the class politics of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

Craig Berry

The election continued the swing of working-class voters to the Conservative Party – but also the more important trend of working-class disengagement from politics. Can Labour respond without succumbing to populism? The general election was peculiar for a large number of reasons. One of those reasons, relatively overlooked to date, is that – amid some stunning victories in affluent areas … Continue reading

5 July 2017 by
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General election 2017 and the incompleteness of industrial strategy

Craig Berry

Industrial strategy is the Achilles heel of British economic statecraft, but the radical approaches promised by both the Conservatives and Labour fall short of a transformative agenda When Theresa May suggested that economic growth would be pursued much more inclusively under her premiership than under David Cameron and George Osborne, a renewed focus on industrial strategy was offered as a … Continue reading

21 June 2017 by
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Reassessing Corbynism: success, contradictions and a difficult path ahead

Corbyn’s success in building an alliance that extends from Greens to UKIP voters only postpones the moment of Labour’s reckoning with Brexit The trickle of mea culpas from the rapidly diminishing band of Corbyn-sceptics following the election result has now turned into a flood, and not without cause.  Once widely-held truisms – Corbynism is a ‘movement’ more clicktivist than canvasser, … Continue reading

13 June 2017 by
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The odd case of Jeremy Corbyn’s increasingly right-wing Labour Party

Glen O'Hara

Labour’s recent economic policy positions highlight a curious rightwards drift under Corbyn and McDonnell The chaos and dissent so obvious within the UK Labour Party since its 2015 General Election defeat has helped to cover up its actual dearth of policies.  It is by no means incumbent on any Opposition to put forward a fully-worked-out roster of actual plans, especially … Continue reading

1 December 2016 by
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Does Labour have any good choices before it?

Glen O'Hara

Corbyn’s opponents and supporters must find common causes if Labour is to avoid long-term damage to the party Craig Berry’s excellent recent SPERI blogs, in which he analysed Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party as a movement which is at one and the same time ‘utopian’ and ‘authoritarian’, did an incisive job of laying bare some of the contradictions that now lie … Continue reading

3 November 2016 by
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The battle for Labour: competing visions of representation

Maha Rafi Atal

Do parties exist to represent the views of members, or to organise and represent a diverse range of interests and views? Answering this question is key to Labour’s future. In his recent trilogy of blog posts on Corbynism, Craig Berry argues that the Corbyn movement is best understood as an uneasy alliance between two distinct groups: old leftists, who, after … Continue reading

27 October 2016 by
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Corbynism, martyrdom and the other Labour split – Part III

Craig Berry

The future of the Labour Party depends on how the party’s centre and ‘soft left’ responds to the emerging divide between Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters The attempt to renew the British left via Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has failed, largely because his supporters’ efforts to sanitise Corbyn’s destructive politics has failed.  Through a mixture of naivety, hubris, loyalty and fatigue, however, his … Continue reading

13 October 2016 by
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The politics of reforming capitalism in Britain: Part I

Tony Payne

The Labour approach being shaped by Corbyn and McDonnell has yet to find a politics that will work and will not do so if it comes to be seen as fundamentally anti-capitalist With Jeremy Corbyn emphatically re-elected to the leadership of the Labour Party and Theresa May basking still in the glow of her sudden elevation to Downing Street, it’s … Continue reading

6 October 2016 by
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When work doesn’t work

Sophie Moullin

The left’s focus on full employment fails to address the realities of work and family in the twenty-first century ‘The clue is in the name’, Ed Miliband said, Labour is ‘the party of work’.  The previous UK Labour party leader fought the 2015 general election on a manifesto that promised ‘to reward hard work’.  Yet soon after the election one … Continue reading

20 July 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery: Poverty chains and global capitalism

Reorienting value generated within ‘global poverty chains’ is essential to improve the lives of an impoverished world labour force Contemporary global capitalism is characterised by extreme wealth concentration and a rapidly expanding and largely impoverished global labour force. Mainstream institutions such as the World Bank and International Labour Organisation encourage integration into global value chains as a development strategy that, … Continue reading

12 July 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, trade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: The dangers of indecent work

Genevieve LeBaron

To prevent another economic crisis, we must address the spread and normalization of indecent work Global capitalism’s promise was to pull people out of poverty by creating decent work. It hasn’t delivered, and an escalating jobs crisis is now at the centre of the global economy’s ‘gathering storm.’ As of 2014, over 200 million people in the world were unemployed … Continue reading

22 June 2016 by
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Why Labour is losing: a response to O’Hara and Pye

Corbyn’s ascendance has compounded Labour’s electoral difficulties, but it didn’t create the problem In their recent posts for SPERI Glen O’Hara and Robbie Pye articulate the reasons why the Labour Party currently appears suspended between optimism and despair.  O’Hara makes powerful use of historical polling data to reveal why Labour’s position as an opposition party currently appears weak.  A prospective … Continue reading

15 March 2016 by
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Labour and 2020 – looking forward, not back

The current polls are poor but electoral success will rely on a mass mobilisation campaign and increasing voter turnout There have been a number of opinion pieces and blogs recently that have presented a very negative outlook on Labour’s chances at the general election in 2020. Glen O’Hara’s recent blog for SPERI drew on current and historic polling data to … Continue reading

2 March 2016 by
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The real ‘new politics’ of post-crisis Britain: Part II

Craig Berry

Austerity is anchored in a new politics of place, but Labour is adrift In part I of this post, I argued that, through the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda, the Conservative government had successfully exploited post-crisis anxieties about place to justify its ongoing austerity crusade. In this second part, I argue that Labour has been too slow to grasp the centrality of … Continue reading

25 February 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Craig Berry, Devolution, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Organising metaphors and austerity: what the left can learn

Progressives need to think differently about political narrative to shape the political agenda to their advantage Arguably one of the most memorable moments of last year in the UK featured a tearful, Conservative-voting mother on BBC1’s weekly debating programme Question Time explaining how cuts in tax credits would affect her ability to provide the basic requirements of food and shelter … Continue reading

9 February 2016 by
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