Anneliese dodds

Labour flounders to define the word ‘woman’

Happy International Women’s Day! To mark this auspicious occasion, the Radio 4 programme Woman’s Hour today hosted a conversation between presenter Emma Barnett, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the Labour shadow minister for women and equalities, Anneliese Dodds.  Unfortunately, amid all the amicable chatter about why Dodds’ post does not have a full-time dedicated Cabinet minister, Barnett decided to raise a difficult question for any right-on Labour MP. Referencing the query of one listener called Jill, Barnett asked the Labour chair if a future government led by Keir Starmer would legislate to define what a woman actually is. Dodds squirmed for several minutes to answer the question, tying herself

Labour’s obsession with race shows no signs of fading

After a relatively successful spell attempting to side itself with ordinary folk, Labour has lurched back into hardline identity politics with a particular focus on the issue of race. Over recent days some of the party’s leading figures have stoked up the idea of Tory Britain being a hotbed of discrimination. Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy is leading the way with a call for a posthumous royal pardon of those who took part in an anti-slavery uprising in Guyana in 1823. According to Lammy, the pardon would help Britain find a ‘path to repair’ in regard to its ‘acknowledgment of its role in the history of slavery’. Yet given that

Rachel Reeves can easily make life difficult for Rishi Sunak

There is one thing to be said for Anneliese Dodds: as shadow chancellor, she set the bar very low. Virtually invisible, with few ideas, and a manner designed to send even political obsessives to sleep, her successor Rachel Reeves won’t have to do much to look like an immediate improvement. A wet tea towel would have more impact. And yet if Reeves wants to make a real impression, there is one move she should make, even though it would require some courage. She should focus on attacking the government from the liberal, pro-consumer right rather than the left – because that’s where the space is. After a disastrous set of

Labour doubles down on opposition to tax hikes

Rishi Sunak kept his Budget cards close to his chest this morning as he toured the studios for both BBC One’s The Andrew Marr show and Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday. The Chancellor batted away questions about spending and possible tax hikes, repeating over and over again that it’s only ‘appropriate’ to wait until the fiscal event this Wednesday to reveal the details of his plans. There were hints towards areas that have taken the Chancellor’s interest, including a passing comment about ‘business investment’ on Sky News – a bugbear of many on the right, who have long-argued that the UK’s corporate tax rate regime is ungenerous to businesses that

Sunday shows round-up: Chancellor says rebalancing the books won’t ‘happen overnight’

Rishi Sunak – Government will do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect people and businesses Ahead of the Budget this Wednesday, both Andrew Marr and Sophy Ridge were joined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. With the government’s roadmap for ending the lockdown having been published last week, all eyes are now on Sunak and the economic levers that he will be pulling as the pandemic hopefully begins its journey out of the news and into history. Sophy Ridge asked the Chancellor if the government’s furlough scheme would be extended beyond the current deadline of April. Without going as far as to say ‘yes’, Sunak suggested that an extension

Can Labour win back trust on the economy?

What’s the Labour party’s biggest weakness at the ballot box? After the last election, Brexit and Corbyn were credited by Tory MPs with helping them win the biggest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher. But now the UK is out of the EU and Keir Starmer in charge, there’s an argument that it’s now the economy that is their biggest weakness.  A YouGov poll over the summer found that while Starmer’s personal approval ratings are promising, only 19 per cent of voters believe that Labour to be best at handling the economy, compared with 37 per cent who say the Tories are. Given that six in ten voters view the economy as their

Sunday shows round-up: Rishi anticipates ‘more economic stress’

Rishi Sunak – There is more economic stress to come The Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver the 2020 spending review this Wednesday, and it will shock no one to hear that the public finances are not in good health. Joining Andrew Marr in the studio, Rishi Sunak said that the economy was not out of the woods yet, and may not be for a long time: RS: The economy is experiencing significant stress. We’ve seen that particularly in the labour market… [There is] more stress to come, and that is very sad to see… and it’s something that we’re going to grapple with for a while to come sadly.

Labour’s wealth tax proposal is deeply flawed

Will Labour ever stop pushing for punitive taxation? Not content with gifting the Conservatives an 80 seat majority in December, the supposedly more moderate Labour party under Keir Starmer is already dreaming up ways it can extract large sums from our pockets. Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds floated a ‘wealth tax’ at the weekend, so that the burden of paying for the Covid 19 crisis might fall upon the ‘very best off people’. Except it won’t be the very best-off people who get whacked by a wealth tax, as she should surely know. The highly mobile global super rich wouldn’t hang around for five minutes after a Labour government announced a