35 per cent strategy

An unrest being fuelled not quelled

First published on ProgressOnline

It all feels very personal. It is not that I cannot believe it or that I hate my fellow country-folk. But I do worry about what our country is becoming. Leaving the European Union is a body blow to Britain, as we are seeing in the markets. I respect the decision but think it was a very wrong one for everyone.

On the tube this morning a group of friends were talking about Brexit, Boris and Trump in the same worrying breath. A mixed race guy told his friend that he ‘felt like an illegal immigrant in his own country’. The first cross word I have ever had with my grandma was over this divisive referendum and Facebook seems full of families arguing about who took what side. There is an unrest in the air that this decision is fuelling not quelling. (more…)

Modernisation, values into policy, policy into action

Richard Angell opens Progress annual conference 2016

———————————-

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

———————————-

Comrades.

Welcome to Progress annual conference – the highlight of the political calendar. Bold speakers from broad backgrounds. This year’s promises nothing less. We are honoured to be joined by not just one, but two leaders of the Labour party – Kezia Dugdale and this afternoon Jeremy Corbyn. For those worrying, I have not become a Corbynista, and Jeremy has not become a ‘formerly known as Blairite’ member of the Labour party. Today is part of a dialogue. Both leaders will inform and challenge us. It is our role to ask informed and articulate questions about where we go from here. (more…)

Paying the price

First published in Progress magazine

Never again should Labour play fast and loose with working people’s lives

The Labour party is full of idealists; it is one of the things I like about it most. But its ability to wish the situation to be better than it is sometimes has no bounds. Ed Miliband’s Labour party had this in abundance. Central to all this was one assumption: that the economic crash had moved the centre-ground to the left; that, because markets had failed, people’s trust in an all-powerful state had been restored. There was almost no grounding for this theory, other than wishing it so. The very reason Labour was in opposition was because the voters, following the crash, had replaced Labour with David Cameron’s pro-austerity Conservative party. No incumbent centre-left party in office since the crash has been re-elected across Europe, yet the centre-right in Germany and elsewhere has been. France was the only place the left was winning, but that has hardly gone to plan or been a model for British social democracy. (more…)

Labour has to give people something to hope for, not just offer despair

Labour’s latest party political broadcast is well-made, moving – but politically, a repeat of the old failed strategy. 

First published on the Staggers

The latest Labour party political broadcast is well-made and clear in its message. It is, in fact, the video Ed Miliband should have released. It is a brilliant manifestation of the 35 per cent strategy: if you hate the Tories or are hard done to by the Tories, vote Labour. It is better than much of what Miliband put out over the last five years, and it gives a personal touch to what Labour was putting in press releases. (more…)

rhubarbTV: Head To Tozer

Episode 2 of Head To Tozer is here! Watch Ben Tozer interview the director of Progress – Labour’s progressives, Richard Angell.

About rhubarbTV

We are rhubarbTV. It’s an acronym. Royal Holloway’s Unique Broadcasting and Recording Brand. And that is exactly what we do, broadcast and record. We aim to cover an array of events both on and off campus in order for clubs and societies to reach a stronger audience with what it is that they do.

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)

‘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…)

10 unanswered questions from the Beckett Report

If we don’t ask the right questions, how will we get the right answers?

First published on the Staggers

2015 was painful for Labour. A winnable election in which we failed through decisions, not destiny, to win. Like 2010, had Labour made the right choices, both of those elections could have been very different. Every year of the 21st century so far could have been under a Labour government. Now the pattern of the 20th century looks to be taking hold: Tory rule punctuated by short spurts of Labour.

It does not have to be this way, which is why the unasked – let alone unanswered – questions of the Beckett report must be confronted. I have 10 such questions – one for every seat we won from the Conservatives in May – that need to be addressed, quickly. (more…)

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…)

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…)