Diane Abbott

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…)

Finding one’s voice

Jermain Jackman: Finding one’s voice

This was first published in Progress magazine | Richard Angell and Ben Dilks The winner of The Voice on politics and pop ‘I’m still the same Jermain Jackman that you’ll see in McDonalds on a Friday afternoon getting my Big Mac meal,’ begins the winner of The Voice, before pausing to concede, ‘but it’s changed the life around me.’ The 18-year-old believes that winning the BBC’s singing competition in April ‘sent a message’ to other young people in his local community in Hackney, east London. ‘I’ve spoken to many young people, in Hackney especially, and they’ve turned their lives around because they saw how hard work has gotten me somewhere and it’s all become so real to them,’ he says. But there is nothing soft-headed about Jackman’s message. ‘Too often young people get given false hope,’ he says. ‘Politicians say, “Oh yeah, we’ll do this for young people” and then [the] EMA is scrapped, tuition fees trebled and we’re seeing youth clubs nationwide being shut down because of cuts.’ (more…)