Gabriel Pogrund is re-circulating the rumour that Starmer will appoint Rachel Reeves as Shadow Chancellor. My first instinct is that this would be a poor start for a man who claims to want to unify the party, since her record is as a central thinker for those opposing Labour’s turn to the left.

Anyway I have googled her, and she is another ex-Bank of England employee with an impressive education in economics, unless we take the view that it’s academic economist’s lack of heterodoxy that is one of the key causes of the 2008 crash. Obviously this would come lower down the list of causes than the greed of the ultra-rich and the structural contradictions in late twentieth century capitalism. For more see below or oveleaf

Her most recent contribution to debate has been a pamphlet called “Everyday Economics” but has also published widely in the Guardian and the Fabian Society. This interest in ideas is an important positive.  There’s nothing wrong with Everyday Economics, it calls for decent jobs, better collective bargaining rights, worker board members, a social wage/services capable of supporting a family and the devolution of economic planning. Not so much a manifesto for Shadow Chancellor more one aimed at the current Business (BEIS) portfolio although she’s been silent on student finance. The critical issues for the Treasury are deficit/demand management, tax policy and monetary policy. Not issues she’s spoken about recently, except stating a need to refocus on wealth taxes although perhaps we could credit her with not wanting to rock the boat except she published a piece in the Huffington Post, albeit after the election, called “Labour ‘Will Be Reduced To 100 Seat Rump If It Fails To Change Direction’, Rachel Reeves Says” and concludes that Jess Phillips was the best candidate to succeed Corbyn as Leader. She nominated her too and of course nominated Owen Smith in 2016.

However, looking at the reviews of Everyday Economics, her focus on the jobs we need is partially accurate, although written before the coronavirus outbreak , since when we all share the wisdom as to what essential workers do and many minds have had to change. It’s clear than not only the funding of the NHS and Social Care services have been undermined by the policy choices taken by the Tories but we can’t ignore that the impact of Brexit on both the UK’s ability to defend. Two of the effects of Brexit will be that our leading bio-science researchers and medical staff will leave the UK as a result of Brexit and many Bioscience companies will either follow them or precede them. Food supply may also be jeopardised by Brexit, either as we import about half of it and the customs checks will fuck it up, or because we can’t get it out of the ground, as we see the growing debate as to whether farm workers are “essential” too.

Starmer’s Cabinet and more Brexit failures
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