Being backward-looking is a curse in politics. We need to know our history, so that we do not repeat the wrong bits. But pining for a bygone era, or looking to recreate something that has been and gone, never works. Worse still it stops you being able to shape the future. As centre-left people who want a Labour government, this is our task.
Many Labour MPs are currently receiving threats of de-selection, usually coupled with abuse. Yet amidst all the sound and fury, there is another issue which Labour should face. Do we look or sound like the people we represent? The short answer is that we often don't. Being selected as a candidate in a winnable seat is time consuming and expensive. The result has been the increasing professionalisation of politics. So here's a really radical idea. Let's stop doing it like that...
I had my run-ins with Panorama when working for Tony Blair, usually because they tended to take a grain of truth from somewhere and flam it up into something worthier of a right-wing tabloid than the BBC. But tonight's version is all the stronger for being somewhat understated, telling the story rather than shouting it or ramming it down throats. I know our government leaders are busy (almost all) men, but I hope they find time to watch it. Because while they talk the talk on mental health, as the Prime Minister did in his party conference speech, the documentary shows the reality of mental health services on the frontline.
In-fighting is not an appealing factor in voting for any party, and it is not an effective factor in forming opposition towards a majority government. It is time that in-fighting was exposed for what it really is; useless. It achieves nothing and will doom its party to the fate of nothing.
It's two years since Margaret Thatcher died and 25 since she quit as Prime Minister but Tories still love their former leader. From the conference stage to fringe meetings and book stalls at their annual shindig in Manchester, there was evidence of "Thatcher-mania" - a low-key, quiet majority version of "Corbyn-mania". Here's a brief guide to where it was spotted.
Apprenticeships are attracting a huge amounts of interest from across the political spectrum. We've come a long way from the days when Tony Blair is said to have joked that political interest in vocational education was such that he could make a declaration of war in a speech about skills and no-one would ever notice.
Jeremy Corbyn has an opportunity to seal a positive image of himself in the public consciousness, and to rewrite a polluted Labour brand as Mandelson did in 1994. How he does this is another matter. He has few friends in the media, and fewer in the PLP. There has been no honeymoon period, and the Labour Party conference next week has an unnerving 'make or break' feel to it. Can he win in 2020? Will he even last? I genuinely don't know. The last 18 months in British politics has shown that only a fool would be so sure.
Ignore his policies - and many will choose to - comrade Corbyn has finally buried New Labour. Where Brown and Miliband failed to break with the Party's immediate past, Corbyn has succeeded in making Tony Blair and New Labour old news.
Since 2010 David Cameron has successfully made the Conservatives seem more socially progressive, whilst simultaneously bringing through a punishing programme of budget cuts that surpass even those of the Thatcher years. Another Blair is not the solution this time around. Whether or not Corbyn is the person to redefine the left as Blair once did remains to be seen.
The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party was as unsurprising as it is likely to be destructive to the party for at least the next five years. Yet the dire prospects for the future of the Party stem from a far deeper rot than simply the policies of Mr. Corbyn himself; the conduct of his supporters betrays a disturbing intolerance that will only further split and discredit the Party.
Not that long ago, I walked away from Labour for the second time. I was in despair at their brazen rejection of the ideals and values that spurned the...
It wasn't being 'too left-wing' that did for Labour; it was the belief that, so far as it was desirable to fight on the economy at all, the objective had to be one of aping the Tories on 'fiscal responsibility', for which read deficit reduction for its own sake.
A concerted march against Jeremy Corbyn's candidacy for leader of Labour is in full stride across the political spectrum. Right and left, neoliberal a...
I always believed that Labour had lost it's fight because it had lost sight of it's purpose. I was wrong. The party machines remains acutely aware of that purposes, it just chooses to ignore it. The three mainstream candidates have united to show only too clearly that their fight is still within them, it is still bristling.
The vultures have circled around Labour for years. Miliband even showed off a giant gravestone at one point, and outsiders have frequently dealt the party a huge blow, e.g. Russell Brand, who displayed a sudden passion for politics and urged his apathetic fans to vote for Miliband... a mere 14 days after the deadline to register had passed!
But I think there is a very different dynamic at play. The 90s generation are asking Labour supporters to vote for anyone but Corbyn because they see the only electable Labour party as being a cigarette-paper away from the Conservative party. Those who support Labour are tired of being told that their support is valuable and yet their voice is never heard.