Policy

Rethinking Welfare

Labour recently announced the intention of ending in-work poverty within the bounds of the next parliament once in government. Putting to one side this slightly woolly phrasing – reminiscent of the current administration’s resolution to ‘complete decarbonisation (hopefully before the last polar bear burns to death)’ – this is a welcome intervention from a leadership that has frankly been far too reticent…

The UCU And You

On February 22nd, 2018, the University and College Union went on strike. Although many factors played a role in causing the strike, the balloted action concerned a reorganisation of the USS pension scheme. The details of the changes to the pensions are fairly complex, and I am not here to write about the particulars of the dispute (not least because it is…

Transforming the House of Lords

Britain’s Brexit battle and its associated skirmishes have dominated the news cycle for the last three years, and aside from occasional committee reports and cries of “traitor” from some quarters, this has forced certain issues, such as House of Lords reform, further out of the spotlight. Although the Labour Leadership last year reaffirmed plans to abolish the Lords, these have not been…

Imagining a Hyper-Charged Welfare State

Though 2016 is often held to mark the dawn of the post-truth age, it must be said that the 2010-2015 coalition government had a nice line in rhetorical liberties. The Coalition’s policies resulted in swingeing cutbacks, marketisation of public services and outsourcing. The deliberate and vicious theme of ‘austerity’ – with its earnest 1940s echoes, it’s black-and-white heroics and stoicism in the…

James Meadway Interview: “There are ways to end neoliberalism globally that are not progressive, and this will (increasingly) be the terrain the left is fighting on.”

James Meadway is a former advisor to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. Previously, he was the Chief Economist at the New Economics Foundation and he is currently writing a book on left wing economics. In his interview with this website, he outlines the principles of Corbynomics, discusses a Green New Deal and explains why he thinks MMT would be such a misstep for…

Autism in the UK

Earlier this year, at the age of 25, I discovered that I am within the estimated one percent of the UK population that is on the autism spectrum. Like many autistic adults who receive a delayed diagnosis, I have found the revelation to be earth-shattering and emotionally exhausting. Finally being diagnosed as autistic caused a lifetime of traumatic experiences to flood into…

Wellbeing, GDP and Amartya Sen

1980s Latin America was a region of contradictions. On the one hand, it was the producer of some of the world’s most valued commodities. On the other, it was also home to communities plagued by poverty and income inequality.  Enter neoliberalism. Competition and increased production, they said, that’s the real road to prosperity. We’ll scratch your back if you scratch ours. Let…

Labour and Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism has always shaped how the Labour Party has approached social policy. The New Labour years were defined by ‘tough’ Home Secretaries choosing their next target to deride as anathema to British society; be it professors telling uncomfortable truths about drugs, or asylum seekers having the temerity to exist within our borders. Tony Blair even went so far as to describe Labour’s…