History and Strategy

An Open Hand

Keir Starmer has won the Labour leadership election, but it’s not yet clear what that will mean. Politics-as-usual has suspended for the moment anyway – will there be a conference this year? Will any of the things that normally mark a new leader’s tenure even happen? At this stage, it’s all deeply unclear. What is clear is that a variety of people…

Labour’s Legal Turn

Keir Starmer’s arrival as leader of the Labour Party will, of course, shift many of the political co-ordinates. Labour’s institutional setting will look different under a new leadership. But the case Labour has staked out in the last four years – opposing austerity, raising taxes on the richest, supporting a far wider role for the state in the economy – now, under…

Bad Education: The UCU and Casualisation

I’m very boring, and so I read a lot of reports by charities, think tanks and trade unions. The University and College Union (UCU) last month released a new report, “Second class academic citizens: The dehumanising effects of casualisation in higher education”. Based on research by Olivia Mason and Nick Megoran of Newcastle University, the report makes for interesting yet profoundly depressing…

Metro Mayors and the Battle for England’s Cities

Now that resounding Conservative victory has been followed by leadership elections, the opposition’s focus has naturally shifted to the next general election. But this government has a free hand to tip the electoral scales, through boundary reform and voter ID legislation, while Labour must match some of history’s greatest landslides just to govern alone. Faced with the very real possibility of a…