Posts by Alan Simpson

Net-zero, not-zero and ground-zero

What a mess we are in. Labour loses the Hartlepool by- election with a 16% swing to the Tories. A new North-South divide is opening up. With the exception of London, Labour no longer holds the hearts and minds of its conventional heartlands. So much for new leadership, new vision. What on earth is going…

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Antigonish Labour?

Labour is lost. I say this in sadness more than anger. Anger is no substitute for answers. It clouds the fact that the Left could be just as lost as the Right. Boris Johnson has bought himself some ill-deserved credibility; slowly loosening the lockdown rules and stepping up the vaccination programme. Both are welcome. But…

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Tony Benn: Still our Man for all Seasons

I find it hard to accept it is 7 years since Tony Benn died. I miss his wisdom, foresight, kindness and humour. Worse still, whether the country realises it or not, we are all the poorer for the loss of Benn’s political acumen and vision. Faced with some of the biggest existential challenges in human…

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Bert versus the Dismantled State

We do ourselves no favours by treating the current Policing Bill just as an outrageous assault on a public right to protest. It is…Of course it is. But the violence targeted towards the police in Bristol (and the preceding violence by police themselves towards peaceful protesters) masks the scale of the assault on civil liberties…

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We, the People – The case for Radical Federalism

Radical constitutional reform is no longer an option, it is an unavoidable necessity. The internal conflicts within the structure of the UK must be resolved. This paper is a contribution to the start of that debate, and sets out the reasons for reform, the principles upon which any future reform should be based, and the process for getting there.

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Let them eat what?

Governments fall more often from let-downs than lock-downs. That’s why Marcus Rashford’s ‘end child food-poverty’ campaign has thrown British politics into a tiz. Who would have thought a young, black footballer would provide the leadership politics seems to lack. Although Rashford consistently says “This is not about politics: it is about humanity,” everyone understands the…

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Beware a Covid Coalition

Britain’s ‘4 week national lockdown’ will not halt the rate at which Tory pandemic planning falls apart. Privately, there are calls for a ‘Grand Coalition’, a Government of National Unity to save the country. For Labour (and Britain) it would be the Kiss of the Spider Woman; something to be avoided as much as Covid…

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The Prisoner

Are we the new Number 6? Don’t be under any illusions. This article offers no sanctuary for the advocates of ‘herd immunity’. As an answer to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s a price too high. A colossal increase in death rates, and overwhelming the NHS, does not even bear thinking about. All the same, the growing…

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The Politics of Uncertainty

The government’s educational omnishambles is stealing all the headlines at the moment. It pushes political incompetence to new limits. But behind the debacle lies a bigger crime. Boris Johnson is killing parliamentary democracy faster than the pandemic is killing people. And though Labour is immeasurably more virtuous, the Party struggles to lay a glove on…

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