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18.11.14

Authenticity is the key to Labour defeating the new insurgents

I had this on Labour Uncut yesterday.

Labour is about to throw away a winnable election, according to Phil Collins’ latest fiery column, because its leader cannot fathom that he needs to convince us he will take care of our money. As a consistent Uncut theme, we cannot be accused of not being forthright in stressing this need. We are eager to avoid Labour falling short in public estimation of whether the party is capable of taking the tough decisions on public spending that closing the deficit requires.

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27.09.14

Labour now has big questions to answer

I had this on Labour Uncut after the Scottish referendum result.

The Scottish referendum is the most tumultuous event in British politics in my lifetime. Writing on Labour Uncut in February, I anticipated that Scotland would stay together but potentially on bitter and cantankerous terms. What I didn’t see until much later was that Yes victory would seem a distinct possibility and that bitterness and rancour would spill from Scotland into the rest of the UK.

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27.09.14

Labour must overcome the Terrible Simplifiers

I had this on Labour Uncut during the Scottish referendum.

Ben Watt recently won best “difficult” second album at the AIM Independent Music awards. In the chorus to the album’s closing song he sings that “the heart is a mirror where it’s easy to just see yourself”. One of the verses tells of a redundant man undertaking childcare and domestic responsibilities, while his wife is the bread winner. All this man can see in his heart is the pain of redundancy, which distorts his relationship with his wife, causing him to see her as a threat to his sense of himself.

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27.09.14

Scotland: The madness has to stop now

I had this on Labour Uncut during the Scottish referendum.

Mental health is said to be a ‘Cinderella’ service, lacking resources. Friedrich Nietzsche maintained, though, that madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule. He would be unsurprised, therefore, that I’ve received an email from a friend in Scotland who reports the Yes campaign is coming across “like a millennial cult”.

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27.09.14

Ballots and pay packets

I had this in the September edition of Progress magazine.

Did the relationship between voting and the economy change after May 2010?

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09.06.14

From Margate to Montrose, it’s time for Labour to raise our game

I had this on Labour Uncut at the end of April.

Tony Stockwell, the psychic medium, performs at Margate Winter Gardens on 11 September. Perhaps he’ll reveal whether Nigel Farage, rumoured to be considering standing for parliament locally, will become South Thanet’s MP. Tracey Emin, a renowned daughter of Planet Thanet, “won’t let that happen,” retorted my wife.

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26.03.13

The public’s fear of the future will frame George Osborne’s budget

I had this on Labour Uncut earlier in March.

It is not only Charlie Brooker who thinks the future is broken. Businesses and households do too. This is why businesses are sitting on billions of pounds. They don’t think there is a future worth investing in. This is massively economically significant, but perhaps more politically significant is the resignation of the public to their grim economic fate.

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18.11.12

Unions should argue for a green economic future forged in Europe

I had this on Union Home last month:

Demonstrations against austerity have swept across Southern Europe in recent weeks, and on Saturday the marches for a Future that Works will take place in the UK.

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03.11.09

Can UKIP save Labour? Or can Labour save itself?

Given that the Guardian now report that David “Cameron faces Eurosceptic backlash after Czech Lisbon treaty decision”, it seems an apt moment to revisit this question: “Could UKIP still save the day for Labour?”

Perhaps confounding expectations of what the Spectator would be like with Fraser Nelson as editor, James Forsyth at Coffee House has been quick to man the trenches on Cameron’s behalf and insist he “hasn’t broken a pledge on Europe”. Such activity from someone, who is, among “the leading commentators”, according to Danny Finkelstein, to well “understand what the Cameron team are trying to do” might suggest that this team is worried that UKIP could indeed save the day for Labour.

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15.05.09

What happens when social contracts break?

MPs have abused their expenses, seeming to treat them as perks or part of their remuneration. In doing so, they have shattered a social contract with actions that sometimes appear criminal.

It is ironic, then, that in this week Gordon Brown has given us his first key note speech on crime as PM and John McFall has alleged that remuneration packages in the financial sector have lead to a social contract being broken.

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