Maurice glasman

Will UKIP ever win?

A couple of reflections upon Eastleigh. Firstly it was indeed an appalling night for Labour; midterm the party came second in this constituency in the early 90s. It received the votes a joke candidate might expect this time around. Maybe that’s because they put a comedian in the seat. I have no objection to John O’Farrell’s writing at all; but maybe one reason for Labour’s failure – and probably not the most important – was his candidature. He is the sort of thing London Labour loves; metropolitan, cool, ever so witty. Ever so PC. Does any of that play outside the M25? I don’t think so. And the result would

Miliband comes out swinging

After being mostly absent in an embarrassing week, which culminates in today’s Sun headline of ‘Block Ed’ referring to the Labour leader’s Twitter gaffe yesterday, Ed Miliband has emerged with a self-assured interview in the Guardian. In parts, he is even boastful. Miliband declares himself ‘someone of real steel and grit’ and brags ‘I am the guy who took on Murdoch… I am the guy that said the rules of capitalism as played in the last 30 years have got to change’. He claims – contrary to Maurice Glasman’s criticism this week – to have ‘a very clear plan’ about what needs to change in Britain. And what is it

Every day, in every way, it’s getting worse for Ed Miliband

Unless one of Ed Miliband’s New Year’s resolutions was to ignore absolutely everything going on around him, I expect the Labour leader will be in a particularly glum mood this morning. And it’s not just that Maurice Glasman article — which has inspired the headline ‘Miliband’s former guru says he has “no strategy”’ on the front of today’s Guardian — either. It’s the, erm, questionable tweets from one of Miliband’s shadow ministerial team. It’s the LabourList poll that finds scant support, and much disapproval, for his leadership. It’s that John Rentoul column suggesting Yvette Cooper for the throne. It’s the Tory minister who said to Iain Martin that ‘Keeping Ed

Lord Glasman’s target is the other Ed

Maurice Glasman’s New Statesman piece on Ed Miliband is causing a bit of a stir. Lord Glasman, an academic who Miliband proposed for a peerage, writes that the Labour leader ‘has not broken through. He has flickered rather than shone, nudged not led.’ But if you read between the lines of Glasman’s article it is clear that he thinks someone is holding Miliband back and he drops very heavy hints as to who that is. For instance, the second sentence reads as follows: ‘Old faces from the Brown era still dominate the shadow cabinet and they seem stuck in defending Labour’s record in all the wrong ways – we didn’t

Miliband woos the strivers

Finally, a good idea from the Labour conference. In his speech tomorrow, Ed Miliband will say he’d give workers priority over the jobless for social housing. This is the dividing line he was reluctant to draw when asked to by Andrew Marr on Sunday. It’s a clever move, and one that recognises the resentment felt by the strivers against the welfare dependent. He will say: “The hard truth is that we still have a system where reward for work is not high enough, where benefits are too easy to come by for those who abuse the system.” So councils dolling out housing should not only take need into account, but

Blue Labour’s Blood-Red Rivers

Guido – or Harry Cole, actually – asks Where’s the Outrage? about Maurice Glasman’s declaration that all immigration to these fair islands should cease forthwith. Ed Miliband’s advisor or intellectual guru or whatever he’s termed these days believes immigration makes Britain little more than “an outpost of the UN” and we should cease being so generous to beastly foreigners and concentrate on oor ain folk. Of course Harry is right in one respect: if a Tory thinker had come out with this stuff the BBC and Guardian and the Labour machine would have denounced him and called for his defenstration or permanent exile and so on. So, yes, there’s a

Blair is still a believer

To an extent, British politics is still determined by whether or not you agree with Tony Blair. For more than a year, the coalition and the opposition have been debating whether to continue Blair’s public service reforms; this is a testament to his failure as Prime Minister as much as it to his success. Today, has given an interview to the Times (£), coinciding with the release of his memoirs in paperback. He uses it to question the Labour party’s current journey back into “nostalgia”. He says: “The attraction of a concept like Blue Labour is it allows you to say that there’s a group of voters out there we

Accentuate the differences

This is an age of ideas, not of ideology. That is the thesis of Amol Rajan’s enthralling overview of the intellectual trends in contemporary British politics, published in today’s Independent. As part of the piece, Rajan has interviewed Maurice Glasman, who gives a far clearer account of ‘Blue Labour’ than he did during his recent comments to the Italian press. Communities must be organised to resist the caprices of capital and the dead-hand of the state. Resist is probably the wrong word because the aim appears to be, in Philip Blond’s celebrated phrase, the ‘recapitalisation of the poor’, which implies some form of empowerment. Rajan notes that Glasman holds a

Glasman sings the blues

Maurice Glasman, a favoured thinker of Ed Miliband’s, has given an interview to someone called Filippo Sensi who writes for an Italian magazine called Europa. I sound a firm note of caution here because there is a distinct possibility that it’s a spoof. Take Glasman on the etymology of Blue Labour: “There is a sense of bravery and tragedy in our position and that is one meaning of the word blue, that links Miles Davis with Picasso and Aristotle. It is not mentally ill or depressed to feel triste and out of that understanding can flow a deeper understanding of the world and a more durable courage in resisting it than

The man who hopes to win English votes for Labour

Maurice Glasman and Ed Miliband do not think as one. But Miliband’s Favourite Thinker™ is an undoubted influence on the Labour party — and, as such, it’s worth tuning into his ideas from time to time, if you have a tolerance for such things. Glasman’s “Blue Labour” philosophy has already enjoyed heavy exposure this year, and he has an interview in today’s Times (£) to explain it even further. If you’re not minded to buy, borrow or steal a copy of the Thunderer, then here are a few observations. First, it’s striking just how much Glasman dwells on the personal. “If you want to know everything that was wrong about

Miliband’s pre-election surgery

Miliband-o-rama on this Good Friday, with the Labour leader spread all across the papers. The Mirror reports that he is to have an operation to have his adenoids removed this summer, in a rather extreme bid to “improve his voice”. The Guardian says that he’s to deliver a speech next week — presumably with adenoids still intact — that will engage with the “Blue Labour” thinking of Maurice Glasman. And, if that’s not enough, there’s a curious interview with Miliband in the Sun. I say “curious,” because there aren’t too many interviews where a party leader goes through the (less than flattering) nicknames that have been bestowed upon him —

Charting Labour’s future

The Labour Party is still ambling in the wilderness – sure of its destination, but uncertain of the route. Its response to last year’s general election defeat has been silence, publicly at least. In the privacy of debating chambers however, the party is charting its potential renewal. These circles murmur that ‘the state has reached its limits’; or, in other words, that Fabianism, the dominant force in the post-war Labour movement, has been tested to destruction. Philip Collins touches on this in his must-read column for the Times today (£): ‘Since the general election defeat, the only intellectual life in the party has come from blue Labour, an intriguing set