The Guardian’s exclusive from John McDonnell in advance of the Labour conference:
McDonnell will announce that Labour MPs will be expected later this autumn to vote for the chancellor’s fiscal charter unveiled in the budget in July. It commits the government to delivering an overall surplus by 2019-20 and to running an overall budget surplus in “normal times”. The shadow chancellor said: “We will support the charter. We will support the charter on the basis we are going to want to balance the book, we do want to live within our means and we will tackle the deficit.” But McDonnell makes clear that he takes a radically different approach to the austerity measures of the Tories
Is he going to rearrange the spending deck-chairs, or is he going to be asking (all of) us for a lot more money?
1. Labour and Lib-Dems won’t find it so funny any more when Alex Salmond makes the joke about panda bears and Tory MP’s. He only needs two more pandas in Edinburgh Zoo…
2. So, First Past the Post is a broken system that can no longer deliver its primary stated benefit of majority governments, eh?
3. 120 UKIP second places will come to be recognised as why Labour couldn’t win regardless of the Scotland catastrophe. They want someone they can recognise as a ‘their’ people.
4. Opinion Polls = 285 / Exit polls = 316 / Final results = 331 with 37% of the vote. So, yeah, the ‘shy Tory’ is still very much a thing!
5. Sturgeon’s enthusiasm was remarkable in telling the English how she much she wanted “progressive change” for them, and would work with Labour to [make] it happen. Lol.
6. A Tory gov’t taking a majority after five years of austerity must make us look positively alien in the capitals of europe; a loose cannon rolling across EUrope’s deck in high seas as 2017 approaches.
What is the purpose of the Labour party now all the money has gone? Who will take the opportunity and fill the void…
A few 2015 predictions no doubt swiftly to be proven wrong.
On the usual themes of politics, foreign policy and technology:
Ukraine is an endless source of fun. The play-thing of a Mad God and yet safely removed from the possibility of further Western Adventures. But, perhaps this time Putin has overplayed his hand, forcing a response that Russia’s petro-export economy can ill afford.
Perhaps not. Rather a price that has been judged worth paying:
Previously I have held to the view that the Iraq war at the same time as Afghanistan has threatened to wreck the traditional British consensus on liberal intervention. I saw parliamentary control of war as being the best mechanism we have to ensure an active foreign policy in future, it represents the best opportunity we have to keep the public engaged in what Lindley-French describes as our missionary Foreign Policy. From the point of view of an effectively communicated geopolitics I was happy see the PM retain this power, but feared it would only be a faster route to Belgium.
However, Alistair Burt has given me pause to reconsider, and to refine my thoughts on Parliament’s role.
Hmmm, been a while and you have my apologies for that. Not that this is any great exposition of my grand skills as an oracle, sadly, it is just some post holiday news I feel you should read.