March 2020 Editorial: Budget Battle Lines.
The next UK budget is on 3rd March. We don’t know what position Sunak will take on the hugely increased fiscal deficit. Will he return to austerity policies quickly or defer for a year? Certainly the Labour Party response to Sunak’s budget will be an opportunity to clearly separate Labour from the Conservatives.
February 2020 Editorial: Reclaim the State.
Starmer needs to reclaim the role of the UK state when the private sector fails. The private sector certainly failed to revive the ‘red wall’ constituencies after Thatcher destroyed the coal industry in the mid to late 1980s. The UK state should have stepped in to fill the gap. When Blair won his landslide in 1997, he could have reclaimed the role of the UK state to revitalize these destroyed communities. Instead, Blair bought into the Thatcher vision that the private sector knows best. The result of Blair’s impoverished vision was impoverished communities and Brexit.
December 2020 Editorial: Starmer to Purge the Labour Party?
Sir Keir Starmer, asserting an unprecedented prerogative as Leader of the Labour Party, overrode a decision of the National Executive in the matter of Jeremy Corbyn’s membership of the Party.
Corbyn was suspended from the Party for expressing the opinion that the problem of Anti-Semitism in the Party had been wildly exaggerated by the media. A public opinion survey showed that there was a widespread opinion that thirty per cent of the Party members were being investigated on suspicion of being Anti-Semitic. What the independent Report showed was that 0.3% were being investigated. The Party Secretary suspended him within hours of his making that comment. It is only realistic to suppose that he did not act other than as Sir Keir’s instrument. Starmer had already said that people like Corbyn should be let nowhere near the Labour Party.
December 2020 2nd Editorial: An Opportunity for Labour.
There is a battle in the Conservative Party over the role of the state in a currency creating country. However, there is a similar battle going on in the Labour Party. Anneliese Dodds has improved her position on this as the pandemic has continued. Initially she took an approach on Furlough spending that suggested that the Labour Party would have managed the Furlough spending better than the Conservative Party, that it would have more careful with the public finances by making the spending more targeted. In her more recent addresses to the HoC she has been bolder and has come close to saying that the size of the fiscal deficit and national debt are not important. What is important is the level of unemployment. It remains to be seen whether she can take that next brave and vital step if Labour are to be truly able to grapple with Conservative economic policy.
Corbyn Suspended. November 2020
Sir Keir is by profession a common law barrister, but as a political leader he prefers Inquisition to debate. It came to light after his election that he is a strong Zionist and it is therefore understandable why he preferred that the issue of Labour Party Anti-Semitism should not be tested in open Court, in which both sides would be represented, but should be passed judgment on by a Committee.
The Deficit Myth. November 2020 – 2nd Editorial
Can Labour present itself as an alternative to the Tory Party if it does not understand the reality of a currency creating state? The question is not idle speculation. In the Furlough scheme the state paid 80% of the wages of those in employment who could not work because of the pandemic. The scheme was described by many as generous. This misses the point. 80% was the rate necessary to ensure that all the industries that could still work throughout the pandemic would not experience any significant drop in demand for their produce. Such a drop in demand would have further exacerbated the unemployment problems directly created by the pandemic.
A Dishonourable Start. October 2020.
It does not augur well for the future of the Labour Party that Starmer began with a false account of the previous 5 years of the Party under Jeremy Corbyn. Starmer says it’s time to get serious about winning. The implication is that Corbyn was not serious about winning and that’s why Labour lost the general elections in 2017 and 2019. However in 2017 the swing to Labour was 9.6% .
A Clause 4 Moment. September 2020.
Constituency Labour Parties have been warned not to discuss, or speculate about the contents of the draft report of the Equality and Human Rights Commission into allegations of antisemitism within the party.
Just what cause does this ban serve?
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