My community in Stamford Hill

This week is Small Charity Week 2020, an annual campaign founded by the Foundation for Social Improvement celebrating the work of small charities (generally defined as those with an annual income of less than £1m, though many are much smaller than that). It is supported by other charity sector bodies and aims to improve awareness about organisations working at this scale, to ensure that they are represented politically and to encourage public giving to charities outside of the high-profile national ‘brands’. Of 183,000 registered charitable entities in England and Wales, more than 152,000 are small.

Right now with coronavirus, it…


From today, Labour members have until April 2nd to vote in our leadership contest. I will be first preferencing Lisa Nandy to be Labour’s next leader and prime minister, and I urge you to do the same.

She’s principled, experienced and has a record of achievement as both a campaigner and a front-rank politician. Before becoming an MP she worked in the charity sector getting homeless people off the streets, young people out of dangerous temporary accommodation and opposing the last Labour government’s detention of children at Yarl’s Wood. …


Close-up of the main stage at Labour live in an intermission, around 6pm

Despite sharing some of the scepticism about Labour Live, as the debate around it mounted my curiosity had started to grow. Especially after a getting a text this week from my union Unite about the ticket offer, eventually I decided to bite the bullet and see what all the fuss was about yesterday, going along for the whole day.

Attendance and features

There was of course a lot of speculation about ticket sales and levels of attendance. I went straight to the main stage and it was light there at first for the initial acts (reggae reggae sauce man Levi…


Today Haringey council leader Claire Kober announced she will step down at the local elections in May, bringing to a close the saga of the controversial £2bn Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) plans for public-private joint redevelopment in the borough.

This follows controversy first about the mass-deselection last year of Labour councillors in the borough who had backed the HDV, and more recently around the related intervention by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) this month, in which the NEC asked Kober and Haringey Council to pause the scheme. Among Labour’s beleaguered moderates, the former was seen as yet another sign of…


Like many who have been critical of Corbyn, the election result on Thursday has forced me to summon humility. Right up to the exit poll, I thought any election we fought under him would be a bloodbath. I described the likely outcome as “Dunkirk, not D-Day” when he was re-elected last September, when in fact we have now established a real bridgehead for a future Labour government. …


Trade union membership strength is correlated with economic equality, as James Bloodworth and others have noted

On Wednesday, voting comes to a close in the general secretary election for Unite, Britain’s largest trade union. As a practical matter this means those of Unite’s 1.4m members who have not yet voted must get their ballot in the post by Monday latest for it to arrive on time, if they are to have a say in the future of their union. All voting is by post, as the government still cynically restricts internal electronic ballots by trade unions even as hundreds of other civil society organisations — including the Conservative Party — use it as standard, overseen by…


Attribution: Kevin Thant, Flickr

Since the EU referendum result last June, I have sought to argue that firm acceptance of the public’s decision to leave the EU and a pivot to championing a ‘soft’, sensible Brexit that can unify the country is the only way forward for Labour. It is the right course democratically and also the only politically viable one, and I do feel the decision Jeremy Corbyn took to whip Labour MPs on Article 50 was broadly correct.

However, the facts on the ground are nevertheless clear. Labour is losing significant numbers of Remain voters to the Lib Dems, who have found…


Labour is starkly divided over Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to three-line whip the Article 50 vote to give the government the power to begin Brexit proceedings, and on Brexit more broadly. The odd bedfellows in this debate — with some arch-Blairites siding with Corbyn and steadfast Corbynistas threatening to rebel — speak to the degree to which Brexit flummoxes us, throwing a wrench into the middle of Labour’s usual factional alignments.

As most arguments either way on Article 50 have acknowledged, Labour also faces a bind in its broader electoral coalition. Our current urban-centric voters were predominantly Remain and believe that…


As part of its recent campaign for Clause One Socialism, Progress has launched a ‘new year’s resolution’ to oppose the McDonnell Amendment, which will effectively abolish the requirement for future Labour leaders to demonstrate that they have a bedrock of support in the Labour’s Parliamentary Party. This is the right view to take on the amendment, but Clause One Labourites must also speak up more broadly, as the proposed change comes in the context of a fundamental breakdown in relations between the PLP and the membership, and the emergence of trends in Labour that don’t always reflect Clause One. …


In France, 4 million voters have been participating in a process to select the presidential candidate for the centre-right Republicans — Francis Fillon is tipped to defeat Alain Juppe in a runoff today. The Socialist Party will select their candidate in January — a move partly timed to allow its voters to see who the Republican candidate is — and 2.9m participated in the process than selected Francois Hollande as their choice for the 2012 election. Hollande then won the French presidency with over 10m votes in the first round and 18m in the second.

Voters must pay €2 and…

(((Elliot Bidgood)))

Research & comms analyst at a consultancy for not-for-profit organisations. Recovering Remainer, @UKLabour member, Unite. All views my own

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