Bring Together Cosmopolitans And The Communitarians To Avoid US-Style Culture Wars

(Photo credit: The Times News Syndication) The Times The news of a so-called “Make America Great Again” bomber targeting 11 different addresses of high-profile liberal Americans should serve as a stark warning to all Western democracies about the dangers that US-style culture wars can pose. These barbaric acts might be rare, but it would be wrong to dismiss the direct link between such extremism and the increased political polarisation taking place either side of the pond. Continue reading

Monday’s Budget Is The Tories’ Moment Of Truth - Will They Bring Our Divided Country Together, Or Will They Continue To Deepen The Splits?

South Wales Evening Post This year’s Westminster budget comes with the Westminster parliament in a state of disarray. Thanks to Tory in-fighting Theresa May has spent two years negotiating with her own party rather than with the European Union. Her scrambled ‘Chequers’ plan fails to solve the issue of the Irish border, and it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of forming the basis for our future relationship with Europe.  Continue reading

Statement On Junction 41

Commenting on a report produced for the Welsh Government into the monitoring of vehicle emissions between Junction 41 & Junction 42, which includes the option of closing the junction as a possible way to reduce pollution and meet legal requirements on emissions, Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock said,   “It is deeply disappointing to see a fresh threat to close junction 41 emerge. Last time the proposals were widely rejected by the local community, who came together to fight, and win, a long and difficult campaign to keep the junction open. Continue reading

To Win The Next Election We Need To Show Communitarians That We Genuinely Share Their Values And Priorities

House Magazine It’s fair to say that my party came out of the 2017 general election on a high. We went into the campaign with low expectations, but Jeremy Corbyn’s energy, an inspiring manifesto and a clear, socialist anti-austerity message took us to 40% in the polls. Yet we still came second. And despite the shambles of the Conservative’s Brexit negotiations, the polls have barely moved an inch since. We should now be 20 points ahead, so why aren’t we? And why is our politics in this worrying state of paralysis and deadlock? Continue reading

Austerity Has left councils At Breaking Point, Westminster Must Give Them The Money They Desperately Need

Theresa May claims to not have a magic money tree, but whenever she raids the back of the sofa she always comes up with the money she needs: there was the £1bn she found for Northern Ireland and then the £20.5bn for the NHS. Well now she needs to go back to that sofa and find the money for local government because without the resources they need councils are teetering on the cliff edge. Continue reading

New book: 'Spirit of Britain, Purpose of Labour' published

Download the book here Our country is more polarised than at any time since the Second World War – by age, education, place and wealth - but above all by values. On one side of the Great Values Divide we have the Cosmopolitans – typically university educated, urban, highly mobile and confident in the modern, globalised world. On the other the Communitarians – often non-graduates who value familiarity, security and community, and have experienced the profound changes of the last 40 years as loss.  The EU referendum deepened these divides; the 2017 General Election entrenched them. Continue reading

How To Oust The Tories And Reunite Our Deeply Divided Country

LabourList Britain is currently both polarised and paralysed. Our entire political system has fought itself to a standstill. This weak and divided Tory government is in disarray over Brexit, and parliament is in stalemate. Rees-Mogg and Johnson are doing all they can to pull us further towards a ‘no deal’ cliff edge – the type of Brexit that would run our economy into the ground, hit our public services even harder and ignite the bonfire of workers’ rights that Dominic Raab and his cronies could, until recently, only dream of. The sooner we get a Labour government, the better. Continue reading

Daily Express Article

Dear Friend, Some of you may have seen a lot of social media traffic around a Daily Express article which claims that a group of Labour MPs have apparently been meeting in a B & B in Sussex to ‘plot against the leadership’. Unfortunately, my name features in the list of MPs who have allegedly been engaged in this activity. I have no idea whether or not any such meetings have been taking place, but I can categorically assure you that I have never and would never take part. Continue reading

This is the biggest threat to democracy we've ever faced in Britain

Independent This month, draft findings of the Electoral Commission’s investigation into Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit referendum campaign, were leaked, revealing Vote Leave of being guilty of breaking electoral law, on multiple accounts. They are expected to face the most hefty fines in the watchdog’s history. Then there was Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced big data company that was using misappropriated Facebook data to sell elections to the highest bidder and saw Facebook receive the maximum fine of £500,000. Then who could forget Nigel Farage's Leave.EU – the unofficial Brexit campaign bankrolled by the infamous insurance tycoon Arron Banks – which was recently found guilty of "multiple breaches of electoral law", fined £70,000 and referred to the Metropolitan Police for suspected criminal offences. Continue reading

Why I Am Defying My Party Whip And Voting For The Lords Brexit Amendment

This week the House of Commons will be asked to determine the type of Brexit our country seeks. Will MPs back a sensible lords amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that instructs Theresa May to negotiate a deal keeping Britain inside the European Economic Area, or will we risk a bad deal such as a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement which would do nothing for our services industries and lead inevitably to a hard border in Ireland? Or, worse still, will we allow the government’s profound incompetence to take us over the cliff edge into a "no deal" scenario, where tariffs and non-tariff barriers destroy the jobs and livelihoods of the very people we were elected to represent? Continue reading