A lot has been written about the Liberal Democrat councillors cast out of office in northern cities like Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle, but the Conservatives waning attempts at gaining a footing in the urban north is arguably more significant. It demonstrates that for hugely important parts of the country the Tories remain a toxic proposition.
Politicians have developed a predilection for reminding us how badly politics is broken and that it needs fixing – but that is usually as far as that line goes. Our political system isn’t necessarily falling apart; it’s in a rut. The only thing necessarily broken is the chord that used to tie the parties to a powerful base of public support.
Much like the NHS, the health of the railways is one of the few aspects of British life that can draw passionate support from across the political spectrum.
Post-Olympics reflections have been in full-flight. The games are one of the most international events the planet gets to see. Athletes of the world travel to a common place to compete. The competitors, media and watching public are exposed to the globality of the human race.
It is always easier to criticise and condemn rather than paint a picture of how to do things differently. In my previous post I argued that Britain needs a new long term plan for our economy and at this moment in time the population are more likely to be seeking one.
Certain stories tend to follow a familiar pattern. Take the yearly hike in rail fares. Yet another ticket price increase just above, or way above, inflation is announced. Government trots out the usual reasons: necessary to pay for upgrades, expanding existing fleet, cope with passenger numbers.
Reading Steve Richards’ Whatever it takes: the real story of Gordon Brown and New Labour I was struck by the extent to which New Labour felt constrained by British political culture.
Globalization has had a dual effect on the sovereignty of the nation-state. Since 1945, the normative framework of human rights has embedded a sense of obligation on the part of the state toward its citizens. The social contract now has a strong welfare element to it.
Like many people I woke up on Monday with very heavy withdrawal symptoms from a spectacular Olympic games. But it wasn’t just the sport I missed, it was the excellent BBC coverage that was critical to making London 2012 such a huge success for us as a nation.
The determination to secure a valuable and lasting ‘legacy’ was central to the success of these British Olympics.
In recent speeches Ed Miliband has made clear his determination to place Labour and values within a framework of national renewal. ‘Rebuilding Britain’ and rebuilding Britain’s economy, policies and society have been consistent themes in his speeches and conversations in the run up to Conference.
As Britain returns to normality after two and a bit weeks of the best escapism one could wish for, one man must be purring with delight at how well things have gone. Not just for ‘Team GB,’ or London 2012 as a whole, but for his own brand.
By all reasonable estimations, the 2012 London Olympics has become an overwhelming success for Britain. Confounding all expectations, we have seized the Games as an rare opportunity to express our humanity, compassion, and good-will.
The latest Coaltion fall-out over Lord’s reform has highlighted the way in which constitutional issues can easily turn into a game of political football. Booted between the Coalition partners, a decision of crucial importance on how we run our democracy has descended into short-term politicking.
For some, the outbreak of vocal patriotism that has met the colour, splendour and British success at the 2012 London Olympics has been a nauseating and worrying phenomenon. Those on the left have always struggled with patriotism.
It’s taken years of debate, controversy, misunderstanding, the rise of the far right, and more debate, yet at last it feels as if there is a Britain and a Britishness in which we can all identify and feel comfortable with. Step forward London 2012, with surely the best answer yet in the “what it means to be British” saga.
The shelving of both Lords reform and the boundary changes marks a new phase for the coalition.
Stage one was a meeting of minds, with liberal Tories joining together with economic liberals in the Lib Dems to reduce the deficit and reform public services.
If I had to be a Conservative (I’m imagining Tory HQ has my family hostage) I would be a One Nation Conservative. One Nation Conservatism began with Benjamin Disraeli and was in the ascendancy during the post-World War II governments of Churchill, Eden, Macmillan and Heath.
The statistics released yesterday show a 25% spike in the number of homeless people on our streets. This is simply not acceptable. We all know it. The government knows it. Yet it is wilfully ignoring all of the markers in its housing policy which should have shown that this outcome was a foregone conclusion.