Donald Trump

Divisions over divisions

First published on Progressonline for ‘the Last Word’

Article 50 has plunged Labour into the thick of the controversy of leaving the European Union this week. The very issue Labour could once use to divide the Tory party leaves Labour looking like they are all over the place. The vacuum in leadership allows a three line whip – aimed to indicate understanding of how 17 million people voted – to be characterised as a blank check for Theresa May’s hard Brexit.

The leadership of the party, has for once, recognised the important of being in touch with majority opinion in Britain. Yet it is Jeremy Corbyn’s close allies – both in parliament and outside – that seem to understand his position least. In fact, many of those who berated the ‘coupists’ last summer are now the ones walking off Corbyn’s frontbench or leaving the party all together. Labour members of parliament – from all wings – have got to do right my their conscience and their constituents. We should respect how they each vote, despite our deep felt feeling about how we wish the voted had gone last June. (more…)

It’s ‘game on’

First published on Progressonline for ‘the Last Word’

Byelection dates confirmed in Copeland and Stoke, Trump confirmed as president, and Theresa May’s ‘hard Brexit’ speech – Richard Angell looks at the events of the week

The writ will be put down for both Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central on Monday for an byelection on 23 February 2017. My colleague Matthew Faulding has already been on the Labour doorstep in the former, I look forward to joining the Labour and Progress members that are out day-in-day-out very soon. (more…)

Don’t give up on progressive politics

First published on ProgressOnline

‘This is your captain speaking. The new president of in the United States is … Donald Trump’. News that the Barack Obama’s successor is the rightwing orange demigod is met with groans on my flight as I head as far away from last night’s new as is humanly possible. The realisation that there is nowhere you can fly out of the sphere of influence of the 45th occupant of the Oval Office feels horrifying. Watching the results creep in it is hard to suggest a feeling of shock, the final result – as with Brexit – was present in the early results in Michigan. As Sunderland had foretold the inevitable news that Britain had rejected the European Union, Florida confirmed US voters had voted to reject a neoliberal world order of free trade and outsourcing, political elites and mass movement of people providing cheap labour. But as with Brexit, it is not clear what they voted to replace it with. Will Trump bring about a new wave of protectionism and government spending? Will the billionaire TV host and former Democrat donor not surround himself with a like-minded inner circle? Is he really going to build a wall, kick out immigrants, ban Muslims and separate families? (more…)

Richard Angell discusses the Democratic nomination race and Donald Trump with Richard Helgason

Progress director Richard Angell and former chairman on the New York Democratic leadership council Richard Helgason discuss the Democratic nomination race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the coming US presidential election.

Richard Helgason is the former chairman on the New York Democratic Leadership Council. the New Democrat think tank that Time magazine branded ‘the brains behind Bill Clinton’. He is a former campaign adviser to Al Gore and Barack Obama, and was recently named one of the directors for the board of the Hugh Carey Institute for Public Policy and Government Reform in New York City. He has conducted briefings at 10 Downing Street and for Labour MPs in the UK and Australia, and has also served as an instructor of US History to undergraduate university students.