Ed Miliband is a leader under siege, and the struggle for the heart of Labour is ongoing

It was probably the sense of his own isolation that induced Ed Miliband to make his ill-judged and impulsive decision to push for a radical reform of the party-union connection, writes Eric Shaw. Labour continues to be fractured between Blairites and Brownites, and Miliband finds himself under siege; with poor personal ratings, without a power base and undermined from within his own […]

Two nations and squeezed living standards: Top 5 blogs you might have missed this week

Miguel Coelho, writing on the Institute for Government blog, looks at what drives opposition to fracking. He argues that “without a genuine rethink about the way local communities are engaged, the prospects for shale gas exploration in the UK look grim”.

Duncan Weldon writes about the tightening squeeze on living standards on the ToUChstone blog, saying “the best way to boost […]

Miliband’s Dilemma: Winning the argument or winning the elections?

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, has gone through a tough stretch recently with the polls seeming to narrow and his leadership being questioned from within his own ranks. Eunice Goes argues that none of the ideas put forward by the opposition have been fully developed or linked to a grand narrative. To make matters worse, after spending much time […]

Forward guidance and pundits making noise: Top 5 blogs you might have missed this week

Yesterday, Mark Carney announced that the Bank of England will not raise interest rates or cut back on QE purchases until the unemployment rate falls below 7% (with caveats about financial stability and inflation expectations). Simon Wren-Lewis comments on the significant developments and the economic outlook for the UK on the Mainly Macro blog while Chris Dillow expresses some doubts on […]

Close analysis of Labour’s record in government shows that spending works to change outcomes

This week, the LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion released a major report examining the last Labour government’s record on Social Policy. James Kempton finds three important messages from the report: that Labour’s increased social spending worked in that it changed outcomes, Labour’s record on market-based health reforms is a mixed one, and it helped to achieve a political consensus […]

UKIP’s popularity can be explained by reactions to economic policy rather than an (imaginary) Tory drift to the centre

Given we have a government where major economic and social policies are very much to the right of the political spectrum, Simon Wren-Lewis asks how we can account for the rise of UKIP. He argues that much of their popularity comes from straightforward dissatisfaction with falling living standards and a lack of good jobs. This is expressed as hostility towards immigration […]

Involuntary idleness represents a massive waste of economic resources

As part of the ongoing Social State project, Howard Reed reflects on the macroeconomic significance of involuntary idleness. He argues that it is a waste of economic resources but one rooted in complex underlying causes. Drawing on a recent paper, he outlines ideas for how reform could be enacted and these difficulties overcome.  Idleness has been an unfortunate fact of life for […]

Trade unions are facing difficult circumstances but it is important not to overstate the extent of the challenges

In recent decades trade unions have undergone an apparent decline within OECD countries. Yet Elizabeth Cotton explains how the same period has also seen the rise of global union federations, which are the largest membership organisations in the world. Such GUFs are working to target the growth of temporary labour which is partly to blame for the precipitous decline in union membership in many […]

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.