Realities

The State of Welfare

We know that tackling child poverty and pensioner poverty was a priority of New Labour, and that they succeeded in doing so to a remarkable degree. The introduction of the Minimum Wage and Tax Credits, which also boosted work incentives in the old system, played a central part in this. But an equally significant part was played by a slightly dull and…

Back to the Statist Quo

The British state has been starved since 2010: methodically and deliberately. We were told that this was because the crash of 2008 devastated public finances. By now, it is clear this was merely an excuse to justify the ideologically-driven austerity agenda of George Osborne, who hacked away at the state with almost pathological zeal. The damage his actions have done to our…

Stay and Fight – for what?

After Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2015, Frank Field – who had nominated Corbyn – explained why his candidate had won the contest, and why UNISON leader Dave Prentiss had been wrong to suggest that Labour members had witnessed a “great debate” during the leadership campaign. “We had no such debate,” Field told Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan. “I…

The Joy of Tax

Ed Balls has written about how, during one campaign, Tony Blair had suggested to Gordon Brown that the party made a vow not to raise taxes. Balls, ever the problematic stepchild in that political marriage, countered that they could not make that promise, as they were bound to break it later when they raised taxes. Blair, of course, reacted with horror. It’s…