Corbyn’s labour

Jeremy_Corbyn

At first, Britain’s Labour leadership contest was just about remixing Tory clichés. Andy Burnham issued bromides of ‘aspiration’ with a Northern accent. Yvette Cooper criticised Ed Miliband’s pledge to ban EU migrants from benefits for two years, on the grounds that it should be four years. Unable to add anything new, Liz Kendall gave up, and accepted almost every Conservative policy. The entrance of Jeremy Corbyn transformed the campaign. Up until that point, the only choice had been between three forms of neo-Blairism. It made sense. Since the advent of New Labour, in 1994, the party’s center had progressively moved … Continue reading

Dead Labour

The last ‘debate’ was somewhat uneventful. Except for one instance, Ed Miliband said he would not have a Labour government if it meant cutting a deal with the SNP. The statement has shocked progressives, but it has been welcomed by Blairites like Martin Kettle. Finally, the Labour leader had emitted yelping noises at the right pitch and sufficiently demonstrated his subservience. And yet it might not be enough to save his skin. Should we be surprised? Not really. In his younger days Ed Miliband was one of the interns, who wandered the corridors of America’s liberal flagship, The Nation, where … Continue reading

Tony Benn – He Encouraged Us

You’ve all heard it said. It is one of the leading cliches in politics: the older one gets, the wider one’s waistband expands, and the more conservative one becomes. There are notable exceptions to such sad cases that affirm this dictum of aging reactionaries. One such prominent case was Tony Benn, who started out as a mainstream Labour politician of the social democratic post-war establishment, only move further to the Left as he passed through Parliament and more than one Labour cabinet. The only thing startling about the old man was that he was ever a banal centrist. The praise … Continue reading