Labour needs another leader with Tony Blair’s rebel soul

His role in the Labour leadership election has been called “counterproductive”,“totally unacceptable”, and “very silly”. Not Jeremy Corbyn – unilateralist, friend of Hamas and Hezbollah, committed opponent of economic reality – but Tony Blair. The former prime minister’s intervention last week into the contest to decide who will lose the 2020 election to George OsborneContinue reading “Labour needs another leader with Tony Blair’s rebel soul”

It’s not enough to be right, in politics you have to win too

Two days before the 1983 election, and resigned to the inevitable, Neil Kinnock sought the only solace available to losers. Labour was about to be buried in a Conservative landslide but at least it was in the right. It had stuck to its principles, come what may. In a speech in Bridgend, he intoned: “IfContinue reading “It’s not enough to be right, in politics you have to win too”

Why is Liz Kendall in Labour and not the Conservative Party?

Why is Liz Kendall in the Labour Party and not the Conservatives? This – not reconnecting with the voters or making life difficult for the government – is the subject dominating the Labour leadership race. The meme is pushed on social media, where Kendall’s accusers have set up parody accounts depicting her as a candidateContinue reading “Why is Liz Kendall in Labour and not the Conservative Party?”

Liz Kendall on Sturgeon, devolution and winning back Scotland

Liz Kendall is a woman on a mission. And what a mission it is. Her campaign for Labour leader is the first leap in a project to reinvigorate the party and return it to government within just five years of its worst electoral reversal in three decades. The odds are stacked against her even moreContinue reading “Liz Kendall on Sturgeon, devolution and winning back Scotland”

Liz Kendall could help Labour regain purpose — and power

The Conservatives won the General Election. That much has sunk in for Labour people. But how they won. The Tories won men in every age bracket. They won women over 50 and overall. They won private sector workers by a margin of 17 points and trailed Labour amongst public sector employees by just three percentageContinue reading “Liz Kendall could help Labour regain purpose — and power”

Leadership contest shows Labour needs to get serious

The Labour Party goes through bouts of introspection. At these times, which inevitably follow electoral reversal, Labour throws all its energies into internal dispute. It was famously said of the Left in the 1980s that they “refused to compromise with the electorate”. Doctrinal purity or factional harmony has all too often taken precedence over winningContinue reading “Leadership contest shows Labour needs to get serious”

Next Labour leader needs to win back England, not Scotland

We Scots are a pretty self-involved bunch when it comes to politics. The independence referendum had world leaders pleading for us to stay part of the UK. The general election saw international media descend on the country they assured us was about to hold the balance of power in the House of Commons. Scotland, itsContinue reading “Next Labour leader needs to win back England, not Scotland”

Not another one of those columns about why Labour lost

This is not, I promise, one of those columns. You know the ones I’m talking about. You’ve seen a dozen of them quoted on Twitter in the past fortnight. You’ve probably read at least two or three. You may even have written one. “Labour lost because it was too left”. “Labour lost because it wasContinue reading “Not another one of those columns about why Labour lost”