Last night, clutching 120 motions and with the chanting of thousands of marchers still ringing in their ears, 100 Labour conference delegates entered a room to consider the wording for a motion on the People’s Vote. The “composite motion” that emerged somewhat different: a “public vote” which looked like an afterthought to securing a general election and offering no commitment to a remain option in such a vote. But let’s not be too quick to compost this composite motion. We should not underplay just what an incredible achievement this is. That this resolution has seen the light of day at all is testimony to the incredible efforts of campaigners across the country and the cross-party support that the People’s Vote has attained. A few notable Labour MPs and trade union leaders have been at the forefront of this campaign and support for the People’s Vote among Labour members has now hit dizzying heights, achieving almost 90% support, … [Read more...] about If Labour wants power, it must commit to a people’s vote on Brexit
Top policies for labour
Strong British prime ministers, such as Margaret Thatcher, Harold Macmillan and Tony Blair – to the frustration of Whitehall and the Foreign Office – frequently commandeered UK foreign policy, leading to inevitable inquests about the mistakes made owing to either secretive or informal policy-making. David Cameron tried to rectify the danger of disjointed government by establishing the National Security Council, a formalisation of the Whitehall foreign policy process. But ever since Theresa May became prime minister, and all foreign policy oxygen was sucked up by Brexit, a new problem has emerged – the absence of a strong No 10 hand on the wider foreign-policy tiller. It has left two Eurosceptics, the foreign secretary Boris Johnson, and the international development secretary, Priti Patel, with an unusual amount of latitude. Patel has filled the void with her own freelance policy towards the Middle East while Johnson has struggled to grip a coherent foreign policy. … [Read more...] about Foreign policy mistakes betray lack of a firm hand at No 10
The EU is intensifying its preparations for a no-deal Brexit amid heightened fears in European capitals that Jeremy Corbyn will order his MPs to vote down any deal struck in Brussels, a leaked document reveals. Labour’s stated goal to reject Theresa May’s deal in order to spark a general election has provoked a rush of activity in Brussels, where the party’s plans are regarded as one of the substantial risks to the negotiations. Shortly after Corbyn ended his leader’s speech at the Labour party conference, one of the European commission’s most senior officials addressed EU ambassadors on contingency planning in the event of a breakdown in talks, or a failure of the UK parliament to ratify an agreement struck in Brussels. A “restricted” document circulated among ambassadors in Brussels before Wednesday’s confidential meeting, warned of the prospect of Labour combining with rebel Tory MPs to kill off a deal. The document, seen by The … [Read more...] about EU steps up plans for no-deal Brexit as Labour stance alarms capitals
You’d expect a declaration of class war by the main opposition party to merit at least a mention in the country’s tabloids. After all, on Sunday night Labour announced a SIX BILLION POUND RAID ON BUSINESS – the kind of thing one might reasonably hope to be screamed in huge font across the front pages and condemned in fist-shaking, bloodcurdling editorials. But nothing. Barely a squeak. Just why that should be I’ll discuss in a moment, but first there is the policy itself – and a big, bold thing it is. At Labour conference on Monday, John McDonnell declared that he plans to force all companies with more than 250 staff to put 10% of their equity into a fund for their workers. Each employee will then be entitled to company share dividends worth up to £500 a year. Any extra will go back into public services. The sums involved are massive: Labour calculates that 10.7 million workers covered by the scheme will get about £4bn a year in share dividends … [Read more...] about Labour’s just declared class war. Has anybody noticed?
Sunday evening at Labour party conference provides some incredible answers to the question “what would you rather do than watch comeback sex addict Tiger Woods clinch his first tour win in five years?” How about a four-hour simulation to wargame a radical government? Here’s the rubric: “In a game based on the acclaimed novel A Very British Coup, 50 players take on the roles of the different factions of the 1980s Labour party. They must compete and collaborate to ensure that their preferred policies are prioritised by the new government. Others are playing the malign forces of the deep state whose task is to frustrate and sabotage the realisation of Labour’s socialist programme.” Or as one participant reflected after it was over: “I played as the military but immediately fucked up by making a deal with the Fabians without realising they opposed siting American bases on British soil.” D’oh! To Labour’s annual gathering, then, … [Read more...] about Welcome to Labour conference, where deep state paranoia and Momentum robots run amok