Editorials from Labour Affairs

Covering the previous year. Older editorials are part of Past Issues.

Rush To Judgement.  April 2018

Theresa May pointed the finger of guilt directly at Russia. Before all the evidence had been gathered and examined by scientists at Porton Down, (the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), and the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical weapons, May stated it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible.

May’s rush to judgement overturned the basic principle of British law, that one is innocent until proven guilty.

Labour’s Poisoned Chalice.  March 2018.

“The so-called Brexit war committee met at Chequers on 22 February. Government policy on Brexit is now broadly described as “ambitious managed divergence”. What this means no one quite knows. What everyone knows is that the Brexit war committee is at war with itself. The hope is that the UK will pick the EU rules it likes and reject those it doesn’t. This is unilateral cherry picking. A deal that solely benefits the UK will, ipso facto, disbenefit the other EU 27 countries. It’s pure illusion, according to European council president Donald Tusk. It simply won’t happen.”

As of March 22nd, it is clear it has not happened.

What A Carry On, Carillion.  February 2018

Carillion, the second largest construction company in the UK, went into liquidation on 15 January, with debts of £900m and a pensions black hole of around £580m.

Carillion’s problem arose in the construction side of the business.  They solved it by not paying what they owed, something the rich can get away with, despite repeated Tory promises to fix this.

Faint-Hearted Phil.  December 2017

In the short term, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s latest budget is designed to keep himself and the Prime Minister in their jobs, while placating their unruly backbenchers. In the medium term it has its eye on winning the next general election.  Instead of the badly needed radical change of the sort offered by Labour, Hammond simply applied sticking plaster to the deep wounds caused by austerity and Brexit.

Corbyn On a Roll.  November 2017

Fear of a Corbyn Labour government was ubiquitous at the Tories conference. With Philip Hammond and other senior Tories warning that Corbyn would take the country back to the 1970s, a favourite theme of the Tory supporting Daily Mail. The 1980s Thatcher government did more damage to the economy and to working class communities than Labour, burdened with cripplingly high oil prices, did in the 1970s.

Brexit Divisions.  October 2017

The vote to leave the European Union has thrown a spanner in the works of the British political machine. Labour and the Tories are divided over Brexit. Only the Liberal Democrats are united. But their support for Britain remaining in the EU and calls for a second referendum on the final deal go against public opinion. Opinion polls show that voters, both leave and remain, simply want the whole exercise to be completed as quickly as possible.

Brexit Blues.  September 2017

Theresa May’s gamble on a landside majority in June’s general election was a Titanic disaster. She failed to get the mandate she wanted to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations. She even lost the pre-election majority she had. Consequently, May and her Brexit ministers, shocked by the election result, are floundering like fish out of water. It is fourteen months since the June 2016 referendum resulted in an unexpected vote to leave the EU. Yet no progress has been made with the EU’s three pre-trade negotiations demands.

They’re All Corbynites Now!  July / August 2017.

The election was a personal triumph for Corbyn. Labour MPs who had poured scorn on him as leader and undermined him at every opportunity, have undergone a Pauline conversion. Many of their seats which were forecast to fall to the Tories, were retained with increased majorities. The majority of elderly voters continued to support the Tories. But this was more than compensated for with a huge surge in support for Labour from relatively young voters.

Corbyn’s Comeback, June 2017

On the eve of the election campaign the Tories held a lead over Labour of around 20 points.  But as Harold Wilson once said, “a week is a long time in politics.”  Within a few weeks the political landscape changed as Labour successfully switched the focus from Brexit to the bread and butter issues of falling living standards, the desperate housing shortage, and the crisis in the NHS and social care.

Trusting Theresa May.  May 2017.

‘Trust Me, I’m A Vicar’s Daughter’ could be the message.  But the overwhelming support of MPs for Article 50 wasn’t enough. She wanted complete obedience from her congregation in the chamber of the House. She claimed, bizarrely, that the country was united following the referendum result, but that parliament was divided. She accused Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP of attempting to sabotage the Brexit negotiations and of threatening to oppose a final deal.

The Parliamentary Labour Party: Labour’s Timid Tendency.  April 2017

Corbyn’s major problem as leader derives from his desire to unite the party as much as possible. This is unachievable and he should therefore concentrate on setting out his own views, and also be more firm with shadow cabinet members who step out of line.


Older editorials are included with other articles on another page.

PDFs of the magazine are also available, for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and earlier.  Incomplete, unfortunately.

To Subscribe, go to the Athol Books Webpage


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