The Fabian Society

Articles and publications by Richard Angell for the Fabian Society

Uncertain times

All of the party’s interventions in the next 12 months should be measured by three tests, writes Progress director, Richard Angell

First published on the Fabian blog

Never has an opposition proved itself so unfit to meet the 12 months ahead of it. Just 12 days into 2017 and two policies have been proposed, critiqued and reversed by the Labour leader himself. In fact, both happened in the same 12 hours.

Whether you see Jeremy Corbyn’s new year relaunch as ‘let Bartlet be Bartlet’ or Trump-lite, it has been laid bare. More importantly it has been found wanting. We had five years with Ed Miliband as ‘his own outrider’. It resulted in him being out on his ear. This cannot last. I predict 2017 will see at least one, if not more, further Corbyn relaunches as the leadership struggles to do enough to show the party it can at least go through the motions.

To end 2017 stronger than it has started might not seem hard but it will require focus. All interventions should meet one of three tests: first, whether it makes the Tories feel the heat; second, whether it changes Labour in the eyes of the voters; or, third and even better, whether it gains Labour new levels of support. (more…)

Advertisements

Politics by People: A new charter for democratic reform

At Fabian Society New Year conference 2017
Saturday, 14 January 2017 | Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ

Speakers included:

  • Stella Creasy MP (Walthamstow) – 20.08mins
  • Wayne David MP (Caerphilly) – 15.22mins
  • Katie Ghose (chief executive, Electoral Reform Society) – 5.59mins
  • Richard Angell (director, Progress) – 10.29mins
  • Deborah Mattinson (founder, Britain Thinks) – 1.50mins

A new prime minister, a new president, a new relationship with Europe… and a divided Labour party. After a tumultuous 2016, our January conference looks ahead to a critical year for the UK and asks where next for Britain, and where next for the British left? The morning will focus on the big challenges facing the left: what we believe, who we speak to, and how we win. The afternoon sessions will examine the global dilemmas we face: populism, globalisation and the age of Brexit and Trump. The conference will feature keynote speeches, panel debates and interactive delegate discussions.

Uncertain Times: Is Labour prepared for 2017?

At Fabian Society New Year conference 2017
Saturday, 14 January 2017 | Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ

Speakers included:

  • Jon Ashworth MP (Leicester South & shadow health secretary) – 15.34mins
  • Kate Green MP (Stretford & Urmston & chair, Fabian Society) – 9.40mins
  • Richard Angell (director, Progress) – 3.38mins
  • Ellie Mae O’Hagan (freelance journalist) – 21.26mins
  • Chair: Cllr Sue MacMillan (cabinet member, Hammersmith & Fulham Council)

A new prime minister, a new president, a new relationship with Europe… and a divided Labour party. After a tumultuous 2016, our January conference looks ahead to a critical year for the UK and asks where next for Britain, and where next for the British left? The morning will focus on the big challenges facing the left: what we believe, who we speak to, and how we win. The afternoon sessions will examine the global dilemmas we face: populism, globalisation and the age of Brexit and Trump. The conference will feature keynote speeches, panel debates and interactive delegate discussions.

———————————

UPDATE: A blog on the theme on my speech was published by the Fabian Society on Monday 16 January 2017.

The jury’s out: can the campaigns persuade the ‘undecideds’?

Fabian summer conference
12.30pm, Saturday 21 May 2016
TUC Congress Centre – 28 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS

  • Brendan Chilton (general secretary, Labour Leave)
  • Rachel Barker (Stronger IN)
  • Richard Angell (director, Progress)
  • Nic Conner (Vote Leave)
  • Chair: Felicity Slater (exec member, Fabian Women’s Network)

My article ahead of the event is published on the Fabian blog. The full agenda is published here.

The jury’s out: Can the campaign swing undecideds?

First published on the Fabian blog

A referendum is in so many ways just like any other elections. There are polling booths, ballot papers. You win by getting more votes than your opponent. With only two candidates one side needs an outright majority, technically just one would do. The question in the voters mind when casting their ballot is not necessary about the direct choice in front of them. We know general elections are not about selfish interests but a broader national interest. Voter balance good leadership and ability to run the economy. Some parties aim to be ahead on both. This referendum must link the pounds in people’s pockets to a bigger vision about what is best for Britain and her national interest.

At the same time referendums can be totally different. There are no candidates, constituency agents and obvious leadership in given geographic areas. And herein lies the problem. (more…)

EU Reform: What’s In It For Me?

‘Europe for us all’ Fabian conference: Brighton
1pm, Saturday 19 March 2016
Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1YD

2.45pm: EU Reform: What’s In It For Me?

  • Kelvin Hopkins MP Labour MP for Luton North
  • Tracey Hill Councillor, Brighton and Hove council
  • Richard Angell Director, Progress
  • Kyalo Burt-Fulcher Regions officer, Young Fabians
  • Chair: Melanie Davis Former chair, Brighton and Hove city Labour party

(more…)

The mountain to climb: how does Labour win in the 2020s?

At the Fabian New Year Conference 2016 titled ‘Facing the Future‘ I was asked to join a panel of excellent speakers to debate and take questions on how Labour wins in 2016.

Saturday 16 January 2016, 9.15am-5pm
Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

The mountain to climb: how does Labour win in the 2020s?
Richard Angell (director, Progress), Ellie Mae O’Hagan (journalist), James Morris (partner, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research), Olivia Bailey (research director, Fabian Society), Chair: George Eaton (political editor, New Statesman)

Release the Beckett report – it’s a necessary first step

First published on the Fabian Review blog

In May we lost everywhere to everybody‘ was the verdict of former policy chief Jon Cruddas after Labour’s second avoidable but disastrous defeat. Labour lost Scotland, eight seats to the Tories – including one never held by anyone but Labour, Gower – and saw the Tory majority increase in 68 of the 88 target seats where we faced David Cameron’s party. We won just 10 seats from the Conservatives, and reduced their majority in a further 10.

The 10.01pm exit poll put large swaths of the party into shock. Still wrapped in the post-trauma tin foil blanket, the result is still seeping in, as are the consequences. Labour still has not issued an apology to the 9.3 million who voted Labour and wanted an end to the bedroom tax, the zero-hour contracts, the selling-off of the NHS to the lowest bidder. Those who relied on a Labour government to change, not just their immediate lives, but their whole trajectory, are left in pain on the sidelines. Some at least have Labour members of parliament, councils or councillors who can be on hand to help; too many have no one on their side. (more…)

The tests to unleash the aspirational offer

aspiration codeFirst published in Anticipations, the Young Fabian journal | Volume 18, Issue 4 | Summer 2015

The election result was categorical from the voters and harsh to the Labour party. Hate the Tories, as we do, there is no denying that David Cameron and George Osborne received two million more votes than Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. The latter even lost his seat. Miliband resigned from the leadership.

While many try to complicate the problem and spread round the blame one truism confronts Labour: no party has ever won an election behind on leadership and behind on economic competence. Sort one and Labour is back in the running. Sort both and we are winning. But how?

The post-election debate within Labour focused on ‘aspiration’. Labour must appeal to those not likely to pay the mansion tax and unlikely to be on zero hour contracts. Middle incomes, middle classes, middle England, however you want to put it. Aspiration is the key.  (more…)