Politics matters, even against a disease

Politics matters, even against a disease

It would be odd not to comment on the CV19 pandemic. For various reasons I have been looking back at my blog and remember at one stage it was a semi-public diary. Because it’s my blog, this is quite abstract and very political, I hope that my readers are keeping safe with their families.  This article looks at the diseases virulence and also the need for effective non-pharmaceutical interventions, especially the funding of sick pay and funding for isolation. There is [much] more below/overleaf. … …

Getting welfare politics right and wrong

Getting welfare politics right and wrong

Harman’s interview on the Andrew Marr show where she challenges Labour to leave its comfort zone by being shit to welfare recipients is a disgrace and arguing for abstention on the Tories new welfare bill. I am one of many who argue that Labour should come to terms with losing the 2015 election before we elect a leader, but the Harman leadership repeats the mistake of 2010, by having the Leadership election immediately and then in lieu of a debate we have a brutal illustration of the power of Labour’s leader position exercised by someone who only holds the position on an interim basis. This is deliberate, some in the Leadership don’t want to share that power with either the long term membership or its newly energised members. They substitute a personality beauty contest for a rigorous and accountable policy framework which dis-empowers the activists. She’s wrong on policy and wrong on strategy. …

learnings of deptford, on the doorstep

New Cross in the a.m., 7:00 a.m.

I was out on the doorstep tonight, campaigning for Vicky Foxcroft, Labour’s candidate for MP in Deptford. I met a number of interesting people and these are my notes, thanks to those who spoke to me about tactical voting, the middle east, racism, welfare and Labour’s representation of its core suport, the working class. …

Tough on Welfare, tough on the causes of welfare; it’s not the poor!

Tough on Welfare, tough on the causes of welfare; it’s not the poor!

The new stars of Miliband’s reshuffle Rachel Reeves and Tristan Hunt both made speeches/interviews over the weekend and they have caused wide dismay in the Labour Party or at least in the Deptford Bridge Kremlin. Mind you not sure what we were expecting. Reeves’ speech reported here in the Guardian, has allowed herself to be quoted, and thus allow Labour’s welfare policies to be summarised as “Tougher then the Tories”.  One of the reasons Reeves was promoted and Liam Byrne sacked is that Byrne behaved as if he wanted to compete with the Ian Duncan Smith in a ‘being a shit competition’. Even if we want to be tougher, which the vast majority of the Labour Party don’t, no-one will believe us and since now we are now committed to repealing the bedroom tax and converting benefits into bricks, we have a different story to tell. …