I got a taste of how established opinion would react to Ed Miliband’s leadership within minutes of his election in Manchester two years ago when I bumped into a News International journalist of my acquaintance at the conference bar.
There are plenty of reasons for those of us on the left to dislike the Daily Mail. Their tin-eared coverage of race and immigration issues and their columnists espousing hateful attitudes – from the mania of Liz Jones to just about everything ever written by Samantha Brick or Richard Littlejohn.
Since the summer reshuffle, a lot of discussion has been devoted to the right-ward shift of the Conservative party. As Stewart Wood writes, the Tories detoxification strategy seems like a “distant memory”.
After their Brighton conference, we certainly know more about how the Liberal Democrats plan to revive their electoral appeal ahead of the next election.
With the economy still flatlining and the Conservative-led coalition’s policies making things worse for most working people, Ed Miliband’s messages about responsible capitalism and pre-distribution reflect the concerns and values of many voters.
Vince Cable valiantly announced his flagship, financial policy of the Small Business Bank at the Lib Dem conference. The positive way to look at this would be see the appetite and potential for trying something different, or, dare I say it, a ‘Plan B, C, D or maybe Z’.
Britain’s economy is crumbling under the drastic choices of our Tory-led government, grounded only in the sheer ideology of austerity, with no grip on growth.
The word ‘pre-distribution` may not trip easily off the tongue but we are going to hear a lot more of it. To date, Ed Miliband’s call to mould a narrower income gap before the application of taxes and benefits has received something of a mixed reception, even amongst Labour supporters.
The Coalition’s recent reshuffle saw three female Cabinet ministers sacked and fa ew promoted, leaving just four women out of 22 members, or five out of 32 attending. This prompted entirely understandable outrage from the Labour Party.
Change and transformation has been on the cards for Royal Mail for many years now. Being a government-owned postal service, it has battled successive governments’ plans for privatisation since the 1980s, and the Postal Services Act 2011 is ensuring the government can continue that tradition. Royal Mail handles approximately 4.
A coalition with the Lib Dems is not the answer according to Sam Wheeler. In the middle of his tirade against Britain’s third biggest Party, Sam berates them for hypothetically not being strong enough to stand up to Blair taking us to war in Iraq.
Henry IV of France, facing a conflict between his faith and a chance to be king, declared “Paris is worth a mass.” There are rumblings, as there always are when Labour are out of office, that getting into government again might be worth a coalition.
It’s more than two years since the long-anticipated “progressive moment” evaporated in failure and acrimony as coalition negotiations with Labour collapsed and the Liberal Democrats entered power with the Conservatives. Hard feelings linger, but enough is enough.
Liberal Democrats have long supported electoral reform. If any such system was eventually adopted for Westminster (despite last year’s lamentable referendum on AV) then it is more than likely that coalitions of one sort or another would become the norm rather than the exception.
Who would have thought this time last year that two of the three main party leaders would be facing serious challenges to their leadership and that neither of them would be Ed Miliband? It is a measure of how the political weather has changed since the last party conference season that Miliband goes into this one as the only leader with good reason to feel s
Labour beware. The Tory high command are poised to unleash the attack dogs. The party has been given a free ride these past few months, coasting on the back of its double digit lead in the polls, a government forever on the defensive, and gobby backbenchers on the Tory Right doing their best to nibble away at David Cameron’s authority.
With most western economies either stalled or contracting, there is an obvious need for action to promote a return to growth. My concern is that the very tool that Central Banks are using to improve liquidity in stagnating economies (Quantitative Easing) could actually be creating a brand new bubble.
When I first started writing for Shifting Grounds earlier this year, my first blogpost was on the danger that Andrew Lansley and the Health and Social Care Bill posed to the future of the NHS. Six months on, our most cherished institution is in grave peril.
Every four years the world waits and worries as the most powerful nation on earth votes to decide who will be the most powerful person on the planet. It is almost certain Ed Miliband privately wants Obama to win and columnists insist David Cameron is eager to see Obama stay at the Oval Office.
In the 1980s and 90s, and to a large extent during the Blair-Brown years, it was the last of these three choices – unfettered capitalism – that won out as both main political parties subscribed to liberal free market economics.
The concept of ‘pre-distribution’ has grown increasingly popular with Labour Party policymakers, as witnessed by Ed Miliband’s use of the term at a Policy Network conference in London last week.
How times have changed.
The story that was sold to the public in 2010 was that dramatic cuts were needed, due to a ‘profligate’ Labour Party, and ‘red tape’ needed to be hacked away which would appease the financial markets and boost business growth.
Yesterday, at the Policy Network conference entitled ‘The Quest for Growth’, Ed Miliband set out his stall for conference season. His speech, a brilliant exposition of Labour’s New Growth Agenda, was delivered with the urgency the economic situation demands.
Mortgage fraud has increased dramatically. According to Experian, in 2011, 34 out of every 10,000 applications were deemed to be fraudulent, which is more than double the 2006 figures of 15 out of every 10,000 applications.