Progress magazine

Articles by Richard Angell that are published in Progress magazine

‘Loyal is my brand’

Crime should rise back up the Labour party’s agenda, Andy Burnham tells Richard Angell and Adam Harrison

First published in Progress magazine

Andy Burnham has just emerged from a meeting at a mosque in Newport, south Wales, when we catch up with him. He has been out on the stump in support of Labour’s police and crime commissioner candidates. But the high-profile brief of shadow home secretary inevitably oscillates between being visible campaigning for Labour and handling some of the trickiest questions of the day around policing, security and integration. (more…)

Concrete action needed

Time for the hedging on antisemitism in Labour to end

2016-03-14-merkel-antisemmitismuskonferenz

First published in Progress magazine

Following the 2012 presidential election in the United States, I attended an event on the result. Impressive speakers talked about their experiences of the campaigns and what would come next. Only one comment sticks in my mind. It was in response to a question about a ‘rape apologist’ Republican Senate candidate. The panellist replied saying: ‘What has the country I love come to when someone asks about the “rape apologist” candidate and you have to ask “Which one?”’ It describes much of what I feel like about the party I love and the issue of antisemitism. There is now a suite of people who have been suspended from the party, and at least one expelled, for antisemitism. We have a senior member of the House of Lords investigating the behaviour of Oxford University Labour club. Watching a particularly vile Gerry Downing talk about ‘the Jewish problem’ on the Daily Politics with a byline saying he was a member of my party was shameful. (more…)

‘London’s shop steward’

First published in Progress magazine

The soon-to-be mayor of London Sadiq Khan talks to Richard Angell and Adam Harrison, and he is hungry for new powers

We lost to everyone, everywhere’, says Sadiq Khan, quoting his friend and colleague Jon Cruddas, Labour’s former policy chief speaking on the party’s defeat last May. Scotland was a wipeout, few marginal seats were won, and the Tories even took the constituency of Gower for the first time ever. In another first, Labour lost to the Tories among Sikh and Hindu communities, and in every age category over 44. There is one exception: the capital city. In London, Labour polled 300,000 more votes than the Tories. This should be more than enough to propel the son of a bus driver into city hall this May.

Khan, however, is not complacent. His office is a hive of activity. We struggle to find a quiet spot to huddle as meeting rooms are filled with campaigning briefings and organiser training, and the phones are ringing off the hook. Karen Buck, a long-time ally of Khan and winner against the odds in hyper-marginal Westminster North, is meeting with councillor and housing lead James Murray, who splits his time between Islington town hall, the leader’s office and the mayoral campaign. The staff make up the rich diversity of Labour’s political family – everyone from ardent Corbynista to ‘redeployed’ former Michael Dugher adviser. The whole Labour family has jumped behind the member of parliament for Tooting. (more…)

‘I want us to be a governing party’

First published in Progress magazine

‘No one wants to be called a “predator”’. Angela Eagle talks exclusively to Richard Angell and Adam Harrison

The office of the shadow secretary of state for business is no easy place to find. Hidden doors lead to long corridors and spiral staircases as if we have stepped into the magical castle made famous by the Harry Potter series. We find Angela Eagle in her eyrie at the top of a turret, her view a vantage point over the parliamentary estate; it is almost like Eagle is looking out for the party in the current precarious times.

If parliament is Hogwarts, then Eagle as shadow first secretary of state is Professor McGonagall to Jeremy Corbyn’s Dumbledore. The member of parliament for Wallasey is ‘looking forward’ to her ‘first bout with George Osborne’. The appointment means she will step up to do prime minister’s questions when the government puts up the chancellor. (more…)

Turnout tests

First published in Progress magazine

Is the notion that boosted turnout will turn Labour’s fortunes around simply outlandish? Richard Angell examines its chances

We had a problem of mobilising people’, said leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn – with little chance of getting on the ballot, let alone winning – as he explained why Labour lost when Progress sat down with him on 11 June 2015. A lot has changed since that interview, not least the reluctant nominee receiving a stonking 59 per cent of the first preference vote on 12 September. (more…)

Bedtime: Time to put the last Labour government to bed

Bedtime

Kitty Ussher, Jacqui Smith, Anne Begg, Stephen Twigg and Mike Gapes assess how Labour did. Richard Angell explains the motivation for this new assessment, and argues that the last Labour government should be the inspiration to be in government again – not the inspiration for the next government.

Read | Download


Introduction Time to put the last Labour government to bed Bedtime it might be, but only so the Labour movement can awaken as a party of government again, writes Richard Angell

The mantle of credibility Trust in Labour on the economy was hard won, deserved, then needlessly lost, suggests Kitty Ussher

The bedrock of social justice Labour rejected the fatalistic assumption that public services could never really deliver higher standards or fairer access, reflects Jacqui Smith

The escape from poverty Labour made strong progress in the battle against poverty and unemployment, finds Anne Begg

Equality for all We must not forget the equalities legislation passed under the Labour government, writes Stephen Twigg

A more progressive world The new Labour government in 1997 was immediately internationalist in its approach, recalls Mike Gapes

Conclusion Principled and proud The last Labour government should be the inspiration to be in government again, not the inspiration for the next government, argues Richard Angell

Militant’s modus operandi

  First publish in Progress magazine

Keep ‘cybernat’ politics at bay

At 242 pages, Michael Crick’s book on Labour in the 1980s and how the far left dominated its politics, The March of Militant, is one of the shortest on this period of the party’s history. But I would argue it is one of the most important. Crick chronicles how this small sect left Labour further from power and its voters prey to the worst instincts of Margaret Thatcher. ‘Militant is more than a well organised and far-left Labour party pressure group’, he argues. ‘Its philosophy descends directly from Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, and virtually nobody else.’

It is now top of my rereading pile as the party repeats history and its terrible consequences for working-class Britain. Why? Because not only does Crick retell the stories of Militant Tendency at its best/worst (delete as appropriate), he has a unique understanding of its modus operandi. (more…)

Modernising modernisers

PROJXXXX_Mag_October_22.09.15_FrontCover_RGB_SFirst published in Progress magazine and on the Huffington Post

The result of the Labour leadership election was hurtful – to pretend otherwise would be untrue. I think the candidate that I supported did a brilliant job – tough though her task was. As Jeremy Corbyn said, Liz Kendall ‘absolutely stands up for what she believes in’. Yvette Cooper came out and changed government policy on refugees. Andy Burnham showed he was one of the nicest guys in politics. Congratulations are due to Jeremy Corbyn and his team.

It is horrid losing elections. Internal ones are often more painful. While May’s general election result was hard to take, losing within the party for which you have worked your whole adult life is more personal, especially when your very motive for doing so has been brought so firmly into question. (more…)

Deputy leadership interviews

… by Richard Angell and Adam Harrison

‘We need a candidate who’s not from a safe seat’ The success of ‘Fortress Exeter’ should show the way for Labour, says Ben Bradshaw

‘Don’t mourn, organise’ Labour has to start with the fundamental question of purpose, argues Stella Creasy

‘I’m not going to take any lectures’ This lioness will go out hunting for Labour’s next victory, says Caroline Flint

Labour leadership interview special

Labour-leadership-specialRichard Angell and Adam Harrison speak exclusively to all the leadership candidates for Progress magazine