Breaking the Shackles of Neo-Liberal Orthodoxy

Labour leaders have often been eloquent in articulating a vision of the kind of society they want; it is explaining how that vision is to be realised that seems to be the problem. We have seen a further demonstration of this sad truth at this year’s Labour conference. Ed Miliband had good things to say […]

If the Poor Are Worse Off, We’re All Worse Off

The Herald-DigiPoll last week cast an interesting light on the political debate as the election season approaches.  The poll showed that no fewer than 74% of New Zealanders thought that inequality had widened over the past six years – that, in other words, the rich had got richer and the poor comparatively poorer. On the […]

Miliband’s Dilemma

Andrew Rawnsley in last Sunday’s Observer identified, quite correctly, the dilemma facing Labour. On the one hand, the economic arguments indicate more and more strongly that George Osborne has got it wrong and that a new approach is needed; but on the other hand, the political reality is that the voters continue to believe that […]

The Tories Don’t Know Best

When Harold Wilson’s incoming Labour government prepared itself in 1964 to make good the damage done by “thirteen wasted years” of Tory government, its fate was sealed even as it took office. Fearful of fulfilling a Tory stereotype, the decision was immediately taken to resist a long overdue devaluation of the pound. There followed three […]

An Economic Policy for a Post-Neo-Liberal World

Alert: this article is 5000 words long AN ECONOMIC POLICY FOR A POST-NEO-LIBERAL WORLD Economic Policy Is Not A “No-Go” Area The global financial crisis, when it broke in 2008, seemed likely to mark a conclusive end to the neo-liberal hegemony that had dominated world politics and the global economy for more than three decades. […]

An Economic Policy for Labour

It was significant that, in the seven issues that Tony Blair – in his article last week in the New Statesman – advised Ed Miliband to focus on, there was no mention of the state of the economy. It is true that Tony never had much interest in or knowledge of economic policy – a […]

I Told You So

Jonathan Freedland, in last week’s Guardian, congratulates the UK Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, on being able to claim the rare privilege in politics of saying “I told you so”. Balls had warned in 2010 that austerity would not pull the UK out of recession – a prediction now in the course of being amply confirmed. […]

A Shadow of a Shadow Chancellor

Ed Miliband’s choice of Alan Johnson as his Shadow Chancellor is, for all the obvious reasons, likely to define the opening period of his leadership. It has been welcomed in some quarters as evidence that he is very much his own man and is determined to maintain control of economic policy himself. Not for him, […]

Shifting Foundations

As the global financial crisis unfolds, each country responds by seeking to protect its own institutions and economies. New Zealand is no exception. The steps we have taken have been sensible and – so far – effective in shoring up our economy as well as we can against the immediate prospects of worldwide recession and […]