Read Part II here.
The key lessons of the 2008 crash are now becoming clear. For the last thirty years, some of the world’s most important economies have been applying a faulty theory on the way the economy works. Demand in most large economies is wage-led not profit-led. That is, a lower wage share leads to lower growth.
Read Part II here.
What would the foreign policy of an Ed Miliband government look like? That was the challenge set for me as a contributor to The Shape of Things to Come: Labour’s New Thinking published by the Fabian Society this week.
Miliband himself has quite properly focussed on domestic priorities since becoming leader.
Read Part I here.
The driving force behind the widening income gap of the last thirty years has been a shift in the distribution of “factor shares” – the way the output of the economy is divided between wages and profits.
Since patriotism is so often condemned as ‘a grave moral error’ or as ‘an infantile disease’ – not to mention ‘the last refuge of a scoundrel’ – it is only proper to begin with a short defence of why patriotism and nation-building matter to the Left.
Ed Miliband’s press conference last week marked a real shift for Labour. On that, its supporters and opponents can agree.
Does inequality trigger economic instability? A few years ago this was a issue that did not register on the political Richter scale. Nor did it attract much attention amongst professional economists. As James Galbraith, the economist son of John Kenneth Galbraith, has put it, those few working in inequality research were in an economics “backwater”.
Last weekend, King’s College London played host to a conference on the past, present and future of the Blue Labour movement.
From MPs to clergy, Greenpeace activists and members of staff from the Houses of Parliament, the group of around 60 had a slightly different makeup from your average political gathering.
Duncan O’Leary says the Miliband speech on migration targeted employers and workers’ rights not immigrants. Owen Tudor has asked us to recognise the labour aspects of what he said. It’s fair to point out that Miliband talked about weak labour standards and higher fines for breaching the minimum wage.
Saul Alinsky once wrote that ‘a liberal is someone who walks out of the room when the argument turns into a fight’. Judging by the response to Ed Miliband’s speech on immigration last week, there is a modern equivalent: to tweet disapproval without engaging in the argument at all.
This was a speech from the Left.
I regularly disagree with David Laws’ views on the size of the state (though not on a number of other issues). But I am actually very pleased that he has set out in stark light his in principle objection to the state spending 40% of GDP.
A while ago, the FT’s education correspondent, Chris Cook, wrote a piece for the FTdata blog throwing up some interesting numbers about the percentage chances of students from disadvantaged backgrounds getting into Oxford.
On 26 March 1999, Russia and China tabled a UN Security Council resolution condemning the US-UK led intervention in Kosovo, which had been launched following the escalating massacre and ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians by Serb forces.
The resolution denounced NATO action as a flagrant breach of sovereignty and demanded its cessation.
A prominent symbol of the Coalition era is the policy u-turn. From forests to pasties, and grannies to charities, the Coalition’s standard model of policy-making has been ‘make policy; await public backlash; scrap policy’.
Cuts versus stimulus, stimulus versus cuts. It’s a binary choice we hear more and more of these days. And it’s getting boring.
One of my enduring memories of the frantic days of Coalition negotiation in 2010 was the sight of William Hague declaring the eventual agreement a “realignment of the right”.
In the six weeks since his election, President Hollande has already shifted the focus of Europe away from an exclusive focus on austerity towards a commitment to create jobs and growth.
Next week’s European Summit is a crunch time for the new President.
The Greeks have voted, showing a country that is heavily polarised between pro and the anti-bailout opinion, with Pasok, the socialist party, in a very difficult situation, its consensus having reached an absolute minimum.
Pasok is guilty of having failed to manage a complex situation that it did not create.
Labour has established a sustained double-digit lead in the opinion polls over the last three months and Ed Miliband has David Cameron “on the run” (his words, not mine) over phone hacking, as well as tax, fairness and the economy.
In delaying the extension of flexible working to cover all employees, the government has missed a rather large trick. Omitted from the Queen’s Speech, space was instead found for legislation which will allow the sharing of maternity leave between both parents.
Twenty years ago, Giles Radice’s seminal Fabian pamphlet ‘Southern Discomfort’ shed a penetrating and well-researched light on Labour’s failing appeal in the south of England. Under the New Labour banner, Labour made major breakthroughs in 1997, holding many of those seats until the 2010 election.
417. That is, at time of writing, the British death toll for the Afghan war. The latest victim was Pte Gregg Stone. He was 20. To put it another way, he was 9 when the planes hit the World Trade Centre.
After over a decade, the victories of the Western Alliance in Afghanistan are hard to spot.
Over the last few months we have seen a marked increase in shareholder activism on the issue of executive remuneration. Shareholders have been using their advisory vote on executive remuneration and there have been sizable votes against at Barclays, Aviva, William Hill, and Legal & General.
Any argument for school reform motivated by a sincere desire to increase social mobility deserves to be taken seriously. That’s why the debate started by Ben Mitchell’s advocacy of grammar school expansion is one that belongs on Shifting Grounds.
Among the themes likely to shape British politics over the next fifty years, two in particular are under-discussed. One is an ageing population, meaning increased spending on pensions and healthcare. The other is the decline of home-ownership and an inexorable rise in the private rental sector.
Feel like you learnt about the Vikings an awful lot at school? Well you probably did. It was that topic teachers just couldn’t resist, even if deep down they knew the questions they posed would be answered like the rehearsal that had gone before.
It’s increasingly hard to remember what Europe looked like when it wasn’t in the midst of a slow-motion financial cataclysm. As a credit crunch metamorphosed through being a recession into ‘Eurogeddon’, attitudes to the post-war ‘European project’ have inevitably shifted.
On Sunday, Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, announced – in an interview with the Independent on Sunday – a new tougher approach to what the Government has called England’s ‘120,000 troubled families’.
Ben Mitchell wants to see more grammar schools built and existing ones expanded. He argues that children on free school meals (FSM) do much better there than in comprehensives. So more grammar school places would mean a better deal for poorer children.
The crash in the world economy has claimed many victims, among them a now-discredited picture of how the state should approach the regulation of business.
There can be few issues that polarise so violently or predictably, but discussion on the merits or otherwise of grammar schools is certainly up there. Almost universally condemned by the left, and splitting the right.
The rationale behind its opponents states that its policy of selection by academic ability hands grammar schools an unfair advantage.
The journey starts just outside Sevenoaks, the very heart of so-called Middle England. It’s a tidy little station, the platform bustling with people braced for their daily commute.
It’s four o’clock on a Sunday in Bath and the long-promised sun has finally come out. I’ve just finished running a training weekend for fifteen adults. The participants are a diverse bunch; a solicitor, an estate agent, a retired teacher, a former employee of Goldman Sachs. There’s even a telecoms entrepreneur who’s just sold his own business.
There are two ways of viewing the government’s use of emergency legislation to extend Sunday trading throughout the Olympics.
One way is is that the Sunday Trading (London Olympic and Paralympic Games) Bill, which will temporarily suspend trading laws for the biggest retailers during the games, is a betrayal of the spirit of the Olympics.
What do Mitt Romney, Glasgow Rangers Football Club, Amazon, David Cameron’s father and some PFI hospitals have in common? At first sight not much until you start to think about the accounting rules by which they organise their finances and then the answer falls into place: all these people and organisations have made extensive use of offshore financial c
The 2007 world banking crisis affected most developed economies but some more than others.
Germany’s regional banks, the Sparkassen, show why Germany suffered less than most and what , belatedly, we need to do to make our banking system better for business, consumers and society as a whole.
Resigning, in the words of the world-wise spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker, does not always have to be an unpleasant affair. Sometimes, it can be for the best. But try telling that to Jeremy Hunt and his Bullingdon bosom buddies.
Most of us can see in our daily lives how our world is beset with social problems: we’re stressed, mistrustful, our communities have eroded, crime is a constant problem, and the lives of growing numbers are dominated by despair and depression.