The Times Redbox

Articles by Richard Angell that appear on the Times Redbox

Lessons learnt on the doorstep for Labour

First published on the Times Redbox

This Sunday I ventured to the Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency with a car full of people. I was keen to do my bit to help Gareth Snell, a friend from my Labour Students days, and Labour’s campaign more generally.

In these heartbreaking times it is important to remember there is no factionalism in doorknocking and despite the feeling that Labour is dying in front of our eyes, most Labour activists like each other and love this party. (more…)

One tiny change makes Labour unrecognisable

First published on the Times Redbox

Last year I left Labour party conference in Brighton exhausted. Moderates had fended off attacks on Trident and Labour’s defence policy, the rulebook was left largely unchanged, and the mistakes made in full view of the public were all homemade, by Jeremy Corbyn and his Short money-employed staff.

Recently I was back in Brighton for the Labour First/Progress Road to Conference tour. While Labour itself heads to Liverpool this year, conference is back in Brighton in 2017. Could the party be unrecognisable by then? (more…)

Labour’s moderates need a single unity candidate by 5pm tonight

Angell1

First published on Times Redbox

Politics is often guilty of ramping up the rhetoric beyond reality. But not this time. The existential crisis, for that’s what it is, that now grips Labour can only be solved by the parliamentary party showing a level of unity and purpose that is proportionate to the scale of the challenge.

Let’s take a step back and see how we’ve got here. Jeremy Corbyn had never enjoyed the genuine support of more than a couple of dozen of his fellow members of parliament.

The rest who ensured he was on the ballot paper last summer have already expressed buyer’s remorse, if not all as bluntly as Margaret Beckett. (more…)

Queen’s Speech shows MPs make laws of the land, not Brussels

First published on the Times Redbox

The Brexit camp are trying to make the referendum on the United Kingdom’s continued membership of the European Union about control. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and co promise to bring back control over our laws that parliament apparently doesn’t have. The myth goes that 75 per cent of UK laws originate from the EU. Wrong. (more…)

Livingstone appointment will backfire

First published on the Times Redbox

Putting aside all the usual criticism of his past, and acknowledging Ken Livingstone’s positives as a campaigner and a politician – not least his response to the 7/7 attacks in London – still does not explain his latest appointment to Labour’s defence review. At last night’s Left Book Club relaunch, he announced himself as co-convenor alongside Maria Eagle, the shadow secretary of state.

Of all the people Jeremy Corbyn could have appointed – for those not versed in Labour internal workings, most commissions have a National Executive Committee member as a co-convenor –  he definitely has not gone for a representative of one the unions whose members’ jobs depend on the defence industry. He has even snubbed Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, who nominated him in June and sits on Labour’s management committee. (more…)

Jim McMahon is a man to watch

Council leader and Labour’s byelection candidate

First published on the Times Redbox

“Labour’s recovery will come through local government,” remarked Liam Byrne in his speech to Policy Network on Tuesday, predicting a 1930s return to “municipal socialism” and the days when Herbert Morrison clawed Labour back to credibility as leader of the London county council.

For those despondent about a Labour recovery, there is good news. We do not need to wait. Since Labour left the Whitehall stage, a generation of exceptional local government leaders have come to the fore. They are dynamic, innovative and charting an exceptional path for Labour. In the most challenging fiscal environment they are creating jobs, transforming services and winning powers from central government. However, the parliamentary party has yet to find a way to harness this energy. (more…)

Burnham and Cooper must move towards the centre

First published on the Times Redbox

The chances of Jeremy Corbyn seizing the Labour leadership have consumed the debate this week. Corbyn will not become leader of the Labour party. Instead, what is currently being missed is the impact that he is having on the race: dragging Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper to a position that could win them this selection, but not the 2020 election. (more…)

Why Labour must win over Tory voters

First published on the Times Redbox

On Wednesday this week, the chancellor George Osborne used the first majority Conservative budget to implement much of the Tories’ manifesto for Britain – and no small part of the Labour one. Labour members of parliament were open-mouthed at the spectacle of a Tory chancellor shaking up ‘non dom’ status. They were in outright shock at his creation of a new minimum wage rate for the over-25s and the audacity of calling it a ‘living wage’.

Many were left simply depressed. As Labour looked on and made its protests about the detail, Tory MP after Tory MP took to the airwaves to repeat the same lines over and over. They were so effective that I can already repeat it verbatim: ‘Moving from a low pay, high tax, high welfare society to a high wage, low tax, low welfare one’. As the comment rolled on there was one statement that never got muttered by Tories of any wing, stripe or faction of the party: ‘that Osborne is just Labour-lite’. (more…)

Crosby’s mimicry is too little, too late

Redbox article 16/04/2015First published on the Times Redbox

The Conservative party’s apparent political cross-dressing has left many people puzzling over why the party is talking about matters traditionally viewed as Labour strengths. In fact, this is classic Lynton Crosby.

Known as the ‘Australian Karl Rove’, and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Crosby has long been associated with the negative campaigning that became the signature of the 2005 general election.

But he is also a master of mimicry. When things are going well for his opponent, and he cannot easily demolish it or find a way to fold it into the Conservative message, he will go all out and ape it. (more…)