The luck and fate of post-war premiers

We have a new Prime Minister and ex-Prime Minister. Every time we change PM without an election there is a call for an election, but, rightly that’s not how we do things. However I have revised my history chart.

Prime Ministers, duration of office, means of becoming PM and reasons for departure

The chart was originally designed to help understand if those that inherited the office were more successful electorally than those that became PM by winning a general election. Our recent history skews the data towards the idea that it is not the case. although some might consider me generous in saying that May is a successful inheritor; she remained Prime Minister. With Truss’s resignation, I have to introduce a new category of a PM that didn’t fight an election but I have classified her as ‘couped’.

For Labour we can safely say, that it acquires the premiership through elections and it is unsuccessful in sustaining its inheritors, Callaghan and Brown. The Tory case is more complex, and skewed by its recent post Brexit referendum history, but only Douglas-Hume inherited the office and failed to win an election, but he was set up.

On first examination this is not so easy to read, and maybe I should consider the colour coding of the categories but, Up means that they became PM by winning a general election and all the up bars are solid colours, with blue and red being obvious to non US readers. Bars going down represent administrations that came into being mid-parliament, and a dark hatching is because the PM successfully won re-election, and the light hatching that they did not. Truss is actually a purple, as uniquely she did not fight an election.

The data file (in excel) is here. Feel free to copy it and see if you can find out more. Let me know if you do.  …

Will CoFoE make a difference?

I had hoped to have my views on the progressive nature of the CoFoE published elsewhere, but I doubt it’ll happen. I have put it out on this blog, as at the date I submitted it, 21 Sep 2022. It reflects the demand for better, more inclusive policies, on macro-economics, climate change, health and education.

The demand for more citizen’s assemblies seems to have been adopted, but the need for treaty revision is more controversial.  …

Without power, we can not make things better!

Without power, we can not make things better!

It’s also true that without will, we can’t make things better and the Labour front bench’s, with their so-called Labour-to-win outriders, constant return to competence as a differentiator from this corrupt Tory government, their rejection of our core and even peripheral supporter’s interests and a lack of clear opposition to austerity using sound finance as an excuse will lead to a situation where a Labour Government, a Labour Government, will privatise hospitals, privatise schools, make higher education harder to enter for working class people, start the surveillance state, introduce workfare and fail its own people on regional policy, capping this sad litany off by supporting the US in an illegal war.

The front bench owe Labour’s member’s a duty to put a manifesto that is agreed by the Party; but their current vision is one of capture of the Party, funded by donors, with policy designed by psephologically informed experts and ‘clever’ people, appealing to voters and attempting to create an electoral coalition informed by ‘triangulation and jeopardising the loyalty of the young and ethnic minority voters.

Blair once famously said,

Let me make my position clear – I wouldn’t want to win from a traditional leftist platform. Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn’t take it.

Tony Blair

This is permission for everyone that disagrees with policy to say what they want.

What I want is a manifesto and front bench intent on building a better society not replacing the Tories with themselves; for some, it’s just about red boxes, ministerial salaries and government cars and asking us to be grateful that they’re not Tories because any Labour Government is better than a Tory Government. We need a manifesto that excites the membership and unions who’ll then defend the Government when they are blown of course by the powers of conservatism.

We should hope for and promise more!

I doubt that a Labour front bench will be as corrupt as Johnson, or as vacant as Truss, or as cruel as Osborne but this political strategy, can only fail. If the disgust with the Tories wasn’t as bad as it is, it’s questionable that Labour would win on a centrist and austerity platform and even if they do, the dangers of a Labour austerity government leading to a one term government looms large. All Labour Governments have failed because they forget who put them there. …

Chilling Effect

no entry

Lauren Townsend, a Labour Milton Keynes councillor and cabinet member has been blocked from standing as a Labour MP for her own seat. This was allegedly done for showing support for an opposition party by ‘liking’ a tweet from Nicola Sturgeon on her -ive covid test. Aydin Dikerdem found that candidates who have been approved for the selection have also liked tweets from other party members. As he said, this should be a permitted act of free speech. The decision to bar Lauren is biased, probably improper, potentially based on unlawfully and unfairly obtained data and designed to create a chilling effect. She had been nominated by several unions which should guarantee her a place on the long list, how long will they put up with this?


We want our star back

We want our star back

The Rejoin EU movement held a national march today, the Evening Standard reported that it was well attended by 15,000 people, and @femi_sorry who took a film of the march and posted it on twitter at 12 times speed, so not as large as others

I’d love to thank the interpretive dancers performing to ‘ode to joy’, the car and van drivers that supported us, and the one builder who told us to “fuck off”. …

Brexit’s over, it’s just about the mopping up now

Brexit’s over, it’s just about the mopping up now

Phil, of a different Bias, has released a new video, spurred by his observation that the Brexiteers have retreated from “Take back Control” to “Save the Pound” because if we were to rejoin, they think we’d have to join the Euro. This probably isn’t the case. Phil points out that Sweden has agreed to join up and did so in 2002, but hasn’t yet done so and has no plans to do so. This article looks at the issues of economic policy governance, the opt-outs, trade friction and immigration. It concludes with the proposal that, "The Truss Government was an ERG Govt, it’s fall marks the end of Brexit..", although we are unlikely be allowed back in until we can offer a substantial and believably long-term majority in support of re-joining the EU/ There is more overleaf ...

Where’s prudence gone?

Where’s prudence gone?

While reading Simmon Hannah’s “A party with socialists in it”, I made a note to talk about Corbynism and Modern  Monetary Theory. I am writing an omnibus, review of that book, but think that a further note on MMT and its role in Corbynism, and the insights and weaknesses it brings to today's crisis might be appropriate. In 2015, Corbyn flirted with MMT but by 2017, McDonnel, Meadway and Wren Lewis had won control of the Party’s economic agenda. The rest of this article looks at the bond market disruptions, FX and the balance of trade, the threat to pension funds, and the extent to which MMT has some useful insights. For more, check out overleaf behind the "Read More" button. ...

What I said about #lab22!

What I said about #lab22!

i have finished my write up of Labour Conference ’22. The articles can be found using a wordpress search on tag:lab22, This tag also includes some articles I wrote before the conference previewing its agenda.

I have written a piece on most of the debates and speeches and added a couple of pieces on left/right power the European Movement meetings and the conduct of the chair[s].  …

Adversarial Justice, maybe not all its cracked up to be.

Adversarial Justice, maybe not all its cracked up to be.

I am working my way slowly through “Stories of the Law“, by the Secret Barrister and came across this,

Such as whether adversarial criminal justice is all it is cracked up to be. Whether to much – truth, dignity – is sacrificed on its alter. Whether a system that does not have as its stated aim the pursuit of truth, but instead rewards the best game player in a winner-takes- ll contest, can really be said to deliver justice in a sense understood by anyone outside of legal circles. And whether, if we have abandoned –  or never even prized – truth as a guiding principle of our trials, we’re doing the gross injury to Enlightenment principles with the result that all of us – defendant , victim and society – are wronged.

The Secret Barrister

I wrote this too soon. In the following paragraph, SB, makes the argument that inquisitorial systems have one fundamental weakness

Such cases demonstrate the fallacy of assuming the state is able to neutrally seek truth as opposed to aligning on its own theory and embarking on ex post facto buttressing of that narrative. And this is a criticism often levelled inquisitorial systems by those who work within: not withstanding their oxymoronic designation as ‘neutral’ prosecutors, the prosecutor and the police may bow to natural inclinations to take a partisan position against the suspect and construct a case against him.

The flaw runs deeper than the motivations of individual investigators, however: inquisitorialism is compromised by the inherent susceptibility of the state machinery to political influence not at the level of high conspiracy, but the subtle pressures the government bring to bear on the administration of criminal justice. The ubiquitous ministerial intuition that cost savings can be made without public outcry by shearing the justice budget, cutting a few corners here and there,  has been demonstrated at length. You do not need to be modelling a tin foil hat to recognise the politicians incrementally dispense with systemic safeguards, increasing the incidence of wrongful convictions, to bank transitory credit for being ‘tough on crime’; often as a reflex to media campaigns to improve conviction rates for particular offences.

The Secret Barrister

Featured image : Richter benutzt dunkelbraun-goldenen Hammer vor weißem Hintergrund CC 2.0 Marco Vetch 2018 BY …