Jeremy Corbyn

How politicians plan to cope with health and social care in the UK

Ahead of the Fabian Society New Year conference 2017 (Saturday, 14 January 2017 | Friends House), I spoke to Sky News about Jeremy Corbyn’s plan on social care and the government’s handing of the winter crisis.

Advertisements

The wrong Jeremy

First published on Progressonline for ‘the Last Word’

The NHS crisis, progressive alliance ploys and Momentum purges – Progress director Richard Angell has this week’s Last Word

Toby Perkins’ speech to the House of Commons this week on the death of his father was not only a brave personal intervention, but also an important contribution to the debate around the National Health Service. That the story he tells comes from the summer of 2016 shows that the current winter crisis in the NHS is no one-off. It is the result of years of Tory mismanagement, of ill-thought through reorganisation and failure to deliver the funding it needs. (more…)

Copeland challenge

First published on Progressonline for ‘the Last Word’

Jamie Reed leaving parliament

I am personally extremely sad that Jamie Reed – and former author of this column – is leaving parliament in the near year but understand that he must put his family first. His new role people he might be able to get more done for the people of Copeland than he would in parliament in the short run but I know that will be no compensation for his desire to be a public servant. He has worked tirelessly for his community since being elected as the second youngest Labour MP in 2005. He is popular locally and an important working class English Labour voice on the green benches. We will miss his proximity but wish him luck as he pursuits a new challenge. (more…)

Whither Labour?

Can Labour win again asks Richard Angell and Maya Goodfellow

The Speakers’ Corner Trust hosts Progress director Richard Angell and LabourList columnist Maya Goodfellow debating the challenges facing Labour and the way forward.

Follow the debate now: http://www.speakerscornertrust.org/10642/whither-labour/

The loner leader

First published on Progressonline for ‘the Last Word’

Theresa May gave the world a glimpse of what Brexit Britain, certainly under her lack of vision, would look like. Alone with no one to talk to at the latest European Union summit she looked awkward and in desperate need of friends. No longer the new kid on the block – the Italian minister of foreign affairs Angelino Alfano has that accolade – May’s notoriety is fading and the reality of Britain’s exit from the EU has crystallized. But a plan of action has not. The unelected prime minister is consumed by Brexit yet made impotent by it at the same time. If only she faced a serious opposition … (more…)

Tone-deaf Labour

First published in the New European

Why is it left to Tony Blair to point out the government’s Brexit failings, asks Richard Angell

She may have voted Remain, but after the country opted for Leave, Theresa May performed an about-turn to appoint herself the leader of the latter.

Her ‘Brexit means Brexit’ slogan and the appointment of Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davies is supposed to reassure the 52 per cent that she is the champion they have been waiting for. It has fallen to Nick Clegg and Tony Blair to head up the 48 per cent.

Yes, the referendum has split the country in half, but considering how many were heavy-hearted Leavers or reluctant Remainers, it seems odd that the prime minister uniquely positioned to unite us seems intent on entrenching our division. The question the public will be asking is: who is speaking on behalf of all of us? (more…)

Reason to be cheerful

First published in Progress magazine

Conference in Liverpool was a success for moderates

—The honest truth is that I had not been looking forward to Labour party conference this year. 2015 had been the first year I had not enjoyed conference, not because of the leadership result, but because suddenly Brighton went from being friendly to alien. Those who were abusive online decided to be so in person, and my staff were treated in not dissimilar ways, just for doing their job. Added to this year’s trepidation was the exhaustion from a summer of Saving Labour, a National Executive Committee campaign, and a leadership contest that went straight into a conference where those behind Momentum and the so-called Campaign for Labour Party Democracy wanted to change our party beyond recognition.

There was some, I hope understandable, foreboding. In the lead-up to conference, Progress and Labour First – working together like never before – travelled the country on our Road to Conference tour. Back to the basics of how conference works, what motions would be up for discussion, why moving from a 15 per cent to five per cent threshold for nominations for the leadership – known as the ‘McDonnell amendment’ – would be so catastrophic. I always enjoy getting out of London for our various events series in British cities – invariably run by brilliant Labour councils – but often these ‘moderate meet-ups’ were as much about hearing the stories of abuse being levelled at long-standing constituency officers, Jewish members and women councillors and members of parliament as they were about policy and procedure. I called the editorial of a previous edition of Progress ‘heart-breaking times’ – little else brings it home more than when members who campaigned for Michael Foot are close to tears because a small number of supporters of the current leader shout them down in meetings and intimidate them into silence. And it is not everyone, just some. Often not ‘new members’ but those returning to relive the 1980s (and the same sad outcome). (more…)

Testing the Tarry approach

First published on the Huffington Post

Managing the Labour party in a United Kingdom general election is surely one of the most difficult campaign jobs in British politics. The daily media cycle, the Murdoch press, the key marginals, pressured candidates, a lack of resources and currently an 18 point polling deficit.

What a relief it must be to those nervous Labour members of parliament looking at that huge Tory lead to know that Dagenham councillor Sam Tarry outlines in a thorough interview with the Huffington Post his desire to run the campaign. (more…)

Actions speak louder than words

First published on Progressonline

The home affairs select committee released a seminal report yesterday. It is the culmination of work that started on 12 April 2016. The incidents with Naz Shah, Ken Livingstone and Jacqui Walker all came to light or took place after the inquiry was announced. Unless the committee had some great insight that the former mayor of London was due another controversy involving Britain’s Jewish community, it is hard to suggest – as some have done – that this is part of some establishment plot to undermine Jeremy Corbyn. 

The report is thorough, thoughtful and is the unanimous view of the committee. This should give everyone – particularly the Labour party and the National Union of Students – cause for reflection. A sober analysis is required, not a hot-headed response.  (more…)

Unity or uniformity: the shadow cabinet decides

First published on Progressonline

It seemed clear to me at Labour party conference that Jeremy Corbyn did not know how to lead. His shrill demands for followership are not a replacement for leadership. ‘Unity’ demands something to unite around – a programme, a political strategy and plan for getting Labour into government.

But leadership is also about being both shepherd and sheepdog. Not just setting out a path – which Corbyn is still yet to do – but finding ways to bring the stragglers along with you – which, it seems, he is yet to try. (more…)