Blog posts

  • David Cameron

    What’s Cameron’s real agenda?

    David Cameron told Andrew Marr on Sunday [pdf] that he “cannot rule out campaigning to leave if he cannot secure his goals”. Up to now, most pundits would have considered that to be rhetoric, assuming that he will come back from a meeting on Brussels proclaiming that his goals have been secured and duly campaign […]

  • Nigel Lawson

    Squabbling sceptics

    The venom with which various ‘Out’ campaigners (Nigel Farage, Nigel Lawson, Arron Banks) have attacked each other over the last few days tells you a lot about what sort of politicians they are — more interested in how the referendum campaign can enhance (or shore up) their profiles than anything else. But there is an […]

  • Britain & Europe

    There’s nothing left-wing about being anti-EU

    This article was originally published on Labour List. Like Britain, the EU isn’t perfect. Political battles need to be fought at European level, just as at national level, to change things. But our economic and environmental interdependence with our neighbouring countries makes such battles at European level vital – and the idea of opting out […]

  • courtesy David Holt via Wikimedia Commons

    Jeremy Corbyn on the EU

    Following Jeremy Corbyn’s comprehensive victory in the Labour leadership election, speculation is rife about his views on the European Union. I, for one, am optimistic that he will make good on the pledge he made during his election campaign: Labour should set out its own clear position to influence negotiations, working with our European allies […]

  • courtesy US government

    Twisting words to poison debate

    The public debate about migration in the UK has been poisoned, and that poison is killing people. The endless campaign by our right-wing press to hammer xenophobic prejudices into the minds of decent people has seized on an innocent umbrella term, ‘migrants’, and twisted it into an epithet of condemnation. The word ‘migrant’ doesn’t describe […]

  • courtesy Lollie-Pop via Wikimedia Commons

    Cloning of farm animals

    European countries are discussing whether to adopt a single policy on farm animal cloning for the single market. Since all EU laws need the approval both of national ministers and elected MEPs, the European Parliament will be voting next week on a proposal to ban the cloning of farm animals. Labour MEPs are of the […]

  • courtesy Ottojula via Wikimedia Commons

    Disagreements and common ground

    I spent part of the summer in the USA, where I had meetings with members of Congress in Washington. One of the main subjects we discussed was, of course, the ongoing negotiations for a transatlantic trade deal known as TTIP. I also met the US negotiators and the EU’s ambassador to the USA. It was […]

  • courtesy Erik Christensen via Wikimedia Commons

    Whaling in the Faroes

    It’s a pleasure to receive well-argued representations from constituents on genuine issues. Here is one such message I received recently from Millie Hall of East Yorkshire, on the subject of whaling by Faroese people. I expect you are aware of the continued whaling in the Faroe Islands as pictures hit the media recently when around […]

  • University Graduation

    Universities for Europe

    The forthcoming referendum on our EU membership has made it all the more important that we concentrate on challenging misinformation. To do this convincingly, it’s crucial that we have a constellation of voices. Those in the No camp can easily laugh off politicians, but they find it far harder to laugh off businesspeople, charities, scientists, […]

  • 800px-Greek_flag_at_the_Acropolis

    Greece: a deal, but…

    I’m relieved that a deal has at last been reached – but it comes after weeks of considerable damage to the Greek economy. I have every sympathy with the Greek people, but no sympathy with the Greek government. The successive u-turns of the Syriza/far-right coalition have been hugely damaging: they seemingly agreed a package three […]

  • courtesy Tony Hisgett via Wikimedia Commons

    Austerity, Keynes and debt

    The term ‘austerity’ features prominently in recent debates, whether we’re discussing Greece, Osborne’s spending cuts, or the Labour leadership election. But the term itself is rarely defined. Yet what we mean by ‘austerity’, and the circumstances in which various forms of it apply, are both crucial. For some, austerity has the precise meaning of ‘public […]

  • Courtesy jeffowenphotos via Wikimedia

    TTIP update

    A long-awaited vote on TTIP in the European Parliament, unfortunately postponed from last month, has been rescheduled for this Wednesday. Just to reiterate the key points: A final draft of TTIP is not imminent — it is most probably years away. When the draft is completed, MEPs will have the power to accept or reject it. Depending on the content, it […]