Kevin McNamara RIP, champion of an old Labour approach to Ireland

The late prime minister Jim Callaghan was said to have described Kevin McNamara once as “the Fianna Fail member for Kingston upon Hull North”.  Kevin himself recalled how Tony Blair on being elected Labour leader summoned him and told him straight : “I don’t want you in my shadow cabinet.”  At which Kevin rose from his seat and walked out. Both anecdotes say a lot about of Kevin’s outlook but not the whole story. He was an unapologetic and consistent … Read more

“on behalf of all those other people you let down by not being good enough to win the election…”

With kind permission of Tom Harris, the former Scottish Labour MP for Glasgow South, this is a posting from his Facebook page. It’s an important ‘dry your eyes’ corrective to beaten political parties, to get over themselves and a reminder that politics is competitive for good reason: There’s a lot of anger among my friends in the Labour Party and in other parties, and among people of no particular party allegiance. Anger at the Tories, their welfare reforms, their budget cuts, anger … Read more

Lisa Nandy: Labour must help its own voters to ‘take back control’.

Labour NI AGM table goodies

A quick break in the drama of the Labour leadership election, or for those still crying into a Remainers cup of camomile tea: Lisa Nandy MP makes a decent fist of outlining what Labour might usefully do next. In short, get over it. Find ways to get Labour’s voter base some real control over their lives with real policies that are likely to make a difference to the lives of a whole tranche of voters neglected since the early 80s. Her point … Read more

Is Jeremy Corbyn slowly turning UK Labour into the ‘nasty party’?

Labour NI AGM table goodies

It is getting hard to know whether Jeremy Corbyn is actually malign, or just a bit ‘slow’. On foot of this and other incidents, no branches of the British Labour party are allowed to meet. Whatever your own definition of leadership is, I doubt it resembles this… That long slow summer of poisoning has well and truly begun… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media … Read more

UK Labour in turmoil: “if I had lost the confidence of 80% of colleagues I would resign…”

Labour MPs vote no confidence in Corbyn 172 to 40. The decision is non-binding, in the sense that according to the rules there are no consequences.  At least that’s the way Mr Corbyn is playing it. And in direct consequence of that, the UK Labour Party is having a major meltdown. In fact, the no-confidence motion was much less shocking than the fact that 27 members of his own Shadow Cabinet have resigned. There’s an oddly fallacious impression abroad that this … Read more

If Article 50 is the starting gun, how does the UK get there?

Well, helpfully for the Tories, Labour is having a meltdown over their own lame duck leader and so (barring an uncanny and uncharacteristic lucky turn in fortunes) may be discounted as providing any serious drag on defining how the Article 50 process for leaving the EU might process. There’s a deal of scepticism as to whether Brexit will ever happen. That’s partly to do with the way it was sold (with everyone offering their own maximal vision of what could … Read more

Livingstone’s spectacular implosion damages no one more than Khan

Election campaigns are one of the most disappointing parts of politics from an analysis point of view. Rarely do campaigns actually sway the result as much as people like to think. Clearly they are vital and manifestos etc. are essential. However, all too often the manifesto and the campaign itself are the out workings of the almost inevitable result. As examples the disastrous longest suicide note in British political history of Labour’s 1983 campaign was merely the outworking of an … Read more

Brexit from the Centre Left

The Remain camp have so successfully monopolised the centre and especially centre left ground that they have reduced the political space for Leave. In reality perfectly valid arguments for both positions (Leave / Remain) can be presented from almost anywhere on the political spectrum.

Corbyn is not Labour’s real headache, Labour is…

Just putting this here… In general, the paradox is that the political argument for [Scottish] independence is perhaps even stronger than it was a year ago but the economic argument, a weakness even in 2014, is incontrovertibly weaker than it was 12 months ago. No-one is much thinking about that right now but at some point some nationalists are going to have devote some thought to these matters. At some point the Labour party is going to have to come to … Read more

It’s going to be a bad week for the Labour Party

CUSHTY CORBYN: This week that will be the true test of Corbyn’s ability to fight off his opponents in the PLP. Anger and defiance on the right of the party is growing, but Corbyn remains the overwhelming first choice for the Labour grassroots, with 66% of members backing him.