Steel 2020

Labour List As we opened our papers this morning or scrolled though the news on our phones we will have been greeted with the latest updates on the civil war taking place within the Conservative Party, made a little more juicy thanks to a certain someone who is most notable for his blonde ambition, along with more about the horror show of another notably coiffured populist from across the Atlantic. In stark contrast to all of that gossip and punditry, something real is happening this week in my constituency. This is the week that the impact of the January announcement of 750 job losses at the Port Talbot steelworks becomes tangible. In a series of meetings this week the men and women who have given years of service to the works will find out if they are amongst those being laid off. Continue reading

Three reasons why the government will struggle to secure a good exit deal if Britain votes to leave the EU

City AM The path from now until referendum day on 23 June will be dominated by what is the most important debate our country has faced in a generation. There will undoubtedly be a fair amount of emotive rhetoric, and quite rightly so. But it is equally important that the conversation be anchored in rational argument: let’s hope that we can stick to the facts, and keep the fiction to a minimum. It is in this spirit of objectivity that I offer three arguments which serve to dismantle a view that lies at the heart of the Leave campaigns: namely that the government would be able to secure a good exit deal (aka a “Soft Brexit”) if the British people were to vote for the UK to leave the EU. Continue reading

Britain in Europe, Europe in Britain: the new patriotism in action

Labour Movement For Europe Labour must not allow the EU referendum to be about deciding whether or not Polish plumbers or Latvian taxi drivers are allowed to claim tax credits. Rather, we must ensure that we make this a referendum about what sort of country we want to live in, and what sort of nation we want the United Kingdom to be. This referendum must be about what it means to be British in the 21st century. And the choice will be clear and stark: are we as a people going to confirm that we are open, confident and happy to embrace and shape the world as it is, or are we going to turn in on ourselves, pull up the drawbridge and sail off into the mid-Atlantic? It is, of course, essential that the ‘Yes’ campaign wins the EU referendum, but the manner of our victory is at least as important as the result. The pro-EU camp must learn the lesson of the Scottish referendum campaign, which in the end delivered a pretty convincing win, but which somehow failed to fire the imagination. Continue reading

Look to Davos for partners for a new kind of growth

Progress I worked at the World Economic Forum in Geneva from January 2009 until 2012, and I will never forget the febrile mood of my first Davos in January 2009, just a few months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. I don’t mean the personal sense of ‘new kid on the block’ trepidation that I was experiencing, although that was certainly palpable. No, what I recall was a deep-seated feeling of fear and foreboding among the participants. Nobody knew where the global economy was going. It looked like it might fall off a cliff. And many of the people in Davos that year were also weighed down by a sense of personal responsibility, for these were the very bankers, politicians and business leaders whom many were accusing of having crashed the global financial system. They knew that the eyes of the world were on them, waiting impatiently for answers … Continue reading

Don’t Ban Putin From Britain, But Russia Should Lose The World Cup

The Times Yesterday’s report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko was shocking and deeply disturbing. But it was not a big surprise, as we have always known that this terrible act had a connection to the Russian state. The government must now send a strong signal to Moscow: state-sponsored murder is an outrage, in the UK or any other country. Litvinenko’s murder was a blatant violation of British territory and sovereignty, and the prime minister, home secretary and foreign secretary must now convey a clear message to Moscow that this cold-blooded and cowardly assassination was completely unacceptable. Continue reading

Cheap Chinese Steel The Greatest Issue For Industry, Says MP

BBC Wales Online Dumping of Chinese steel is the greatest issue that the British steel industry faces, Aberavon Labour MP Stephen Kinnock has said. It follows Monday's announcement of more than 1,000 job losses at steel giant Tata, 750 in Port Talbot. He said: "The European Union sets the rules of the game - it's up to the member states to invoke those rules." Continue reading

A Disgrace That David Cameron Is Not Helping Our Steel Works

Mirror I am calling on the Government to guarantee they will buy British steel for these ships. These contracts are worth hundreds of jobs Continue reading

Why it's time to pull together to safeguard 'truly iconic' Port Talbot steelworks

Anyone who’s ever driven up or down the M4 between Cardiff and Swansea will have seen it – a vast industrial complex, with the two blast furnaces towering over the rest of the works, and the town of Port Talbot and the stunning Aberavon beach stretching off into the horizon. The Port Talbot steelworks is truly iconic, representing as it does the past, present and future of the Welsh and British steel industries. Continue reading

Time for Tata Steel, the workforce, the trade unions and the government to pull together

The Mirror Britain’s largest steelworks is at risk of closure with thousands of jobs at stake. Union leaders and local politicians are calling for bosses Tata to come up with an urgent rescue plan for Port Talbot, warning: “It is 10 minutes to midnight.” The plant in South Wales is the country’s biggest steel plant, employing 4,500 people and thousands more in the supply chain. Continue reading

Splits and reshuffles? Let’s not go there

The Guardian To say that 2015 was a difficult year for Labour party is an understatement. Still reeling from the crushing defeat at the ballot box in May, we rushed headlong into the most divisive leadership election in living memory and, from there, straight into a maelstrom of in-fighting, factionalism and acrimony. “Things,” as they say, “can only get better...” This will require large doses of maturity and common sense on both sides of the equation. Continue reading