The Oldham by-election result is a disaster for Labour

There was a glimmer of hope for the Labour Party this week. Hilary Benn captivated the House of Commons with an impassioned proclamation that democratic socialism still lives. Closing the debate on Syria, the Leeds Central MP called on his comrades to stand against Islamist terrorism, a monstrous and fascistic conspiracy against liberal democracy. ItContinue reading “The Oldham by-election result is a disaster for Labour”

Sunshine of socialism clouded by nationalism in Scotland

Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches are getting better. There is more structure, a line of thought; an editor has crashed the speechwriting staff. The Labour leader retains the unorthodox habit of speaking in complete sentences, with verbs and everything. Most politicians gave up on verbs some time ago. Troublesome little buggers, they are. They’re all about doingContinue reading “Sunshine of socialism clouded by nationalism in Scotland”

Corbyn Labour dwarfed in the shadow of Denis Healey

Denis Healey was a giant and lived in an age of giants. His name shares breath with the icons of postwar Labour: Wilson and Callaghan, Gaitskill and Castle, Crosland and Benn. One need not be a misty-eyed nostalgist to lament the absence of such big beasts from today’s parliamentary party. Healey had hinterland. He foughtContinue reading “Corbyn Labour dwarfed in the shadow of Denis Healey”

Public won’t allow Corbyn to ban the bomb

The British Army is going soft. A week into Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and only now has the prospect of a coup been raised. Labour’s number one comrade pals around with terrorists, fails to condemn the IRA and wants to cripple western military power. I’d have expected targeted airstrikes by Wednesday last week. A “senior servingContinue reading “Public won’t allow Corbyn to ban the bomb”

Cameron stands to be the winner of Corbyn’s new politics

Crashing bores have had Prime Minister’s Questions in their sights for years now. All those vinegar-faced finger-waggers who want “new politics” and “consensus” and “engagement” – that is, political debate without the debate – have been itching to turn the weekly spectacle into a half-hour of polite head-nodding. They want to make it… constructive. TodayContinue reading “Cameron stands to be the winner of Corbyn’s new politics”

Labour has abandoned its purpose and those who rely on it

At this point David Cameron could nuke Yorkshire and get away with it. The Labour Party, founded to seek power in the interests of working people, has decided that power is something dirty and it would much rather feel good about itself. To atone for the sin of winning three general elections, they have chosenContinue reading “Labour has abandoned its purpose and those who rely on it”

Backing Corbyn is another step on Daily Record’s journey to Yes

The Daily Record was once a giant of Scottish life, at its height read by one in every two Scots. The days of such sales figures are long gone but some newspapers retain a certain status, conferred by journalism or symbolism. The Record qualifies on both counts and even if it is no longer Scotland’sContinue reading “Backing Corbyn is another step on Daily Record’s journey to Yes”

Jeremy Corbyn is not the Messiah, not in Scotland anyway

There’s an old Jewish joke – usually attributed to Teddy Kollek z”l – about the parting point for Judaism and Christianity. What would you say to the Messiah if he appeared on Earth tomorrow, the former mayor of Jerusalem was asked. “Is this your first time here?” he quipped. If only supporters – devotees, reallyContinue reading “Jeremy Corbyn is not the Messiah, not in Scotland anyway”

Is the rise of Jeremy Corbyn Labour’s ‘Scotland moment’?

After its Highland hammering in May, it makes sense for Labour to listen to Scotland. It may have been attending a little too hard, though, given the course of the leadership election. The surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn is eerily reminiscent of events north of the border, where debates over jobs, education, and theContinue reading “Is the rise of Jeremy Corbyn Labour’s ‘Scotland moment’?”

An open letter to a Labour Party losing its way

Dear Labour, You don’t know me. I am not part of the Labour family. I have voted for you once, from memory. So you might dismiss this letter out of hand. Keep your nose out of our business. Fair enough. But while I’m not blood, I am a friend. Not an ideological ally as suchContinue reading “An open letter to a Labour Party losing its way”