Eric Shaw

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    Labour’s political calculations: explaining the party’s muddled policy on Brexit

Labour’s political calculations: explaining the party’s muddled policy on Brexit

Why is Jeremy Corbyn ignoring calls for a second referendum, despite these being backed by a substantial part of his party’s membership, as well as by non-members? Eric Shaw explains the factors affecting Labour’s inability to agree on a clear and feasible Brexit policy, and warns that inevitably divisive decisions will have to be taken.

The Labour Party’s stance on […]

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    Once more unto the breach: what you need to know about the next Scottish Labour leader

Once more unto the breach: what you need to know about the next Scottish Labour leader

Although political contests in general, and Labour contests in particular, are bound to be divisive, the impending Scottish Labour leadership one has so far seen little acrimony. Eric Shaw provides an overview of the two candidates and concludes that neither of them is by nature confrontational, while both recognise than in order to regain Labour’s leading role in Scotland, […]

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    Why Corbyn’s leadership is being judged neither prematurely nor by the wrong standards

Why Corbyn’s leadership is being judged neither prematurely nor by the wrong standards

Supporters of the Labour leader believe he is being judged by the wrong standards, and that opponents are unable to understand the leadership style he is offering. Eric Shaw draws on political theory to explain what that leadership style actually is and writes that, despite Corbyn’s merits as an individual, his concept of leadership is not what Labour requires.

Labour […]

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    Fractured and unmanageable? Labour Party Management under Blair and under Corbyn

Fractured and unmanageable? Labour Party Management under Blair and under Corbyn

Under Tony Blair, Labour’s managerial structure shifted from a pluralist system to a centrally directed one. Eric Shaw explains that this structure of control has now unravelled and power is dispersed among a range of institutions which are resistant to Jeremy Corbyn’s rule – and so Labour at times verges on the ungovernable.

Labour is facing a crisis of party […]

All change in Scotland?

The independence referendum in Scotland played a decisive role in galvanising support for the SNP and leading many Labour voters to abandon ship. In this article, Eric Shaw reflects on Labour’s predicament in Scotland.

Arriving to the leadership a few short months ago, Jim Murphy knew he had a tough fight on his hands to save as many of Labour’s 41 […]

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    Jim Murphy faces a formidable challenge in ‘refounding’ Scottish Labour

Jim Murphy faces a formidable challenge in ‘refounding’ Scottish Labour

The new leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy seems like the right person to help Labour recover its position in Scotland. However, he faces significant obstacles, not least that many voters see Scottish Labour as essntially a branch plant of UK Labour. Here, Eric Shaw summarises the challenges and points to some of the radical themes Murphy has been sounding in trying to turn the tide. 

It seems […]

What has been going wrong for Scottish Labour?

The Scottish Labour Party has been in freefall following the Scottish referendum in September and the resignation of its leader, Johann Lamont. Eric Shaw explains how the social and institutional supports underpinning Labour rule have steadily unraveled over the last several decades. The grave strategic error made in allying with the Tories and LibDems for the ‘No’ campaign has also not done […]

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    Why have Scottish Labour supporters drifted to the ‘Yes’ camp?

Why have Scottish Labour supporters drifted to the ‘Yes’ camp?

The dramatic tightening of the Scottish independence polls can be partly explained by a drift of Labour supporters to the ‘Yes’ camp. How can we account for this drift? Eric Shaw writes that the clarion call – ‘vote Yes and get rid of the Tories forever’ – has resonated amongst Labour voters. Moreover, class identity and class solidarity have weakened over the years, being often replaced […]