Have Faith in Our Rival Narrative

Peter Wilby (the Guardian, 5 September) argues that the manifest failure of neo-liberalism to fulfil its promises to voters now provides the Labour Party with an opportunity and a duty to move on from New Labour’s preoccupation with the centre ground and to assert an alternative and more radical agenda. He is right of course, […]


One of the fascinations of politics is that it unfolds over different time scales and at different levels. At one end of the scale are the personal and short-term; at the other, the matters of policy and principle, the history and development of ideas and of political movements. It is no surprise – given the […]

It Has Come To This

So, it has come to this. In twelve short years, New Labour has travelled from the exultation and boundless optimism of the 1997 election victory and of a movement whose time had come to a craven pursuit of self-preservation by frightened MPs. And even then, it is a self-preservation that can only be pro tem. […]

New Labour Betrays Its Supporters

As the Labour Party steels itself for electoral meltdown, it may seem ironic – after the global-sized catastrophes of the Iraq invasion and the worldwide recession – that it is the descent into venality at home that will count most with the voters. But to underestimate the importance of the expenses scandal would be a […]

The Expense of New Labour

As the scandal of MPs’ expenses unfolds, it threatens not only to expose individual sleaze but to create a crisis of confidence that will engulf the whole of the political class and Parliament as well. While it’s not surprising that Labour, as the party in power, is in the firing line, the Tories, and others, […]

Not In My Name

Those, like me (and almost everyone I know in the Labour Party), who have been critical over the years of New Labour and its record in government might have expected that the passage of time would bring with it a kinder judgment. And in my case, in particular, it might have been thought that – […]

New Labour – Not Labour

New Labour’s current travails have prompted a number of people to recall a piece I wrote for the New Statesman in 1999 – it was a review of Paul Routledge’s biography of Peter Mandelson – and to ask if they can see it again. So, here it is. “When Peter Mandelson’s resignation from the cabinet […]

The End of New Labour?

The local election results, and the subsequent opinion polls, suggest that the game is up – not just for Gordon Brown, but for the Labour government. It seems unlikely now that recovery is possible. If anything like the local election result is repeated in a general election, Labour could be out of power for a […]