Strike poses economic challenge for Labour

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Good morning. There is a rail strike going on in the UK, and more strikes are likely to follow. Some thoughts on this in today’s email. (And, I suspect, tomorrow’s email. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.) Please contact us at the email address below.

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Summer is here, it’s happening so fast

Is the UK heading for a summer of strikes? Delphine Strauss, Philip Georgiadis and Bethan Staton explain why we might: The government’s plan to tackle rising inflation comes in head-on conflict with the fact that nearly all public sector workers are now in worse shape than they were in 2010.

In a way, the answer to “are we going to have a summer of strikes” is no, simply because schools are approaching a long summer break, so strike action at schools is more likely to happen in the fall.

A big reason why the UK faces protracted industrial action is that the Conservative Party’s plans to tackle inflation will make households suffer enormously. These strikes are largely the inevitable result of the government’s inflation strategy.

A big reason why Labour has had difficulty responding to strikes is that Labour has not Have inflation strategy.

While the party’s shadow transport secretary, Louise Haigh, has won internal plaudits in recent days for refining the party’s line, in the end, these strikes — and their potential consequences in schools, hospitals and elsewhere — – Not that the answer can come from the relevant shadow spokesperson.They can only come from the party leader and the shadow chancellor, as they are the two politicians who have to articulate the broad outlines of Labour’s plan to fight inflation Yesand only when their opponents respond can they gain a foothold in the strike.

Now, I’m not saying inflation isn’t a huge pain for the Conservatives.Have many reasons Why Emmanuel Macron Lost parliamentary majority on Sunday, but for the simple reason that inflation is bad for incumbents and good for challengers. But a source of comfort for the Conservatives is that whether their inflation strategy is good or bad, they can at least say they have one. As long as Labour doesn’t, their internal and external debates will inevitably become pointless public debates about whether the party supports strikes, what the leadership’s values ​​are, etc.

Can’t take your eyes off the EU

Of course, one of the difficulties Labour faces when it comes to setting inflation policy is that it’s hard to talk about the UK economy when you don’t want to talk about Brexit.Chris Gilles and George Parker wrote an excellent read About the economic toll of Brexit, and neither the Conservatives nor Labour are willing to talk about it.

In some ways, Labour’s Brexit issues haven’t changed since 2014: the party still sees its European policy as something it needs to address its problems in the post-industrial sector and among voters without degrees. One reason Sir Keir Starmer had the right idea when planning a speech on free movement and its future (or lack thereof) is that only by addressing it in one way or another can he focus on the UK – The rest of EU policy, from phytosanitary standards to any other regulatory area you wish to mention.

That said, it’s hard for the UK to have a coherent economic policy if you don’t want to talk about the biggest self-inflicted economic challenge the UK is currently facing.

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