The party’s dealings with finance have always been tricky. These are the three issues the opponent should keep in mind

Reports in the Financial Times that Labour’s brand-new shadow City minister wants to “repair bridges” with Britain’s financial services industry read strangely to me. I recollect accompanying the then shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, on his “tea offensive” meetings with City figures- with the emphasis on the bowls of tea and digestive biscuits, rather than the offence.

McDonnell had the great advantage of dramatically low-spirited beliefs amongst the bigwigs of high-pitched investment, who( as he joked to them) would turn up half-expecting to be sent to a re-education camp by the end of the meeting. They actually left, as far as could be told, pleasantly surprised. But behind the joke, and McDonnell’s personal charm, was a serious attempt to address the issue that any Labour shadow chancellor or chancellor will run up against: what is the party’s relationship to finance?

Continue reading …

Read more: