The world’s financial markets are in crisis. Energy, fuel and food price rises are hitting people hard and there is an attempted political coup against the Prime Minister.

The Left Economic Advisory Panel, which I chair, has warned for years that you can’t run a country on debt without it eventually catching up on you. The greed of the finance sector has caused this crisis and so the solution is to control finance markets by a combination of state ownership and regulation.

When Gordon Brown organised to prevent an election for the Labour Party leadership last year it was obvious that the debate about the Government’s policies would not go away and so it has now broken out in earnest. The faction in-fighting between Brownites and Blairites has been like watching the crew having a punch-up on the deck of the Titanic. Just to set the record straight, I am not part of this plot and have not asked for leadership nomination papers.

I am still up for a leadership election if there is one but it must be based upon a thoroughgoing, open debate about policies and not personalities. In July I suggested the compromise of an open debate about the future for Labour. If this demonstrates support for the need for radical change, as I suspect, it is only in this context that the party should convene an election for a new leader.

The most important thing for me though is getting on with the job of working hard on behalf of my constituency. That is my priority.