A few days ago, Labour launched a lecture series – “The New Economics” – intended “to broaden the debate around economics in Britain.”

The line-up of speakers certainly includes various sizeable brains, from the world of academia and left-wing campaigning. But there’s a notable dearth of experience in the real, wealth-creating economy.

In fact, on closer examination, the ten speakers appear to have a total of around one year of experience in the private sector between them: Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister of Greece, worked from 2012-13 as Economist-in-Residence at the Valve Corporation, a computer games firm. That doesn’t really suggest ‘broadening the debate around economics’ – more shrinking it to a theoretical discussion.

Given that one of Labour’s major problems is that their hard left economic opinions suggest they pose a threat to business, jobs and growth in the UK, how exactly will this help them? No doubt their expert speakers could produce some fascinating academic articles, but could they run a whelk stall between them?

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