The Tory-led government talks about us all being in it together and yet it feels very much like this is not the case.
“The most important thing is getting the best person for the job.” How often have you heard this mantra when the idea of positive discrimination of any kind is muted? OK then, if we always get the “best person” for the job, be that in politics or anywhere else – we can only draw one conclusion – women just aren’t as good as men.
The jumper is back! Rejoice because knitwear-sporting Danish super-sleuth Sarah Lund (Sofie Gråbøl) is on our screens for a third and final time in The Killing.
We’re now two weeks and four episodes into Sarah’s adventures in the last part of her dark-skied triptych involving corrupt politicians, mutilated bodies and self-mending jumpers.
On Sunday I was amused by two contrasting pieces on the Guardian website. The first was the semiannual ‘Goodness me, how impressive is Stella Creasy?‘ profile (no arguments here, the woman’s a phenomenon – I’m considering having ‘What Would Stella Do’ wristbands made).
If you thought Parliament’s latest palpitations about votes for prisoners might – at last – be the death throes of this interminable debate, I’ve got bad news.
I hate positive action. It makes me despair. I think it is demeaning and insulting to both women and men, and I resent having to waste my time on it. The sooner we can get rid of it the better.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
When it was passed during a sparsely attended parliamentary wash-up session in 2010, the Digital Economy Act attracted controversy in the technology press and mainstream media alike.
With this year’s US elections delivering not only the return of a transformational President but a Senate of unprecedented diversity and enormous breakthroughs in this generation’s civil rights struggle, it is tempting but dangerous to believe November marked a decisive shift leftwards in American politics.
This week, Ed Miliband did what the government should have done, and committed to a 2030 carbon target. To be meaningful, the Committee on Climate Change recommends that this should be a 60 percent reduction on 1990 levels.
The project ‘No Second Night Out’ (NSNO) is an admirable scheme linking a number of voluntary sector agencies who provide support for single homeless people.
The aim is that anyone reduced to sleeping rough on one single night is identified and provided with hostel accommodation while their needs are assessed.
It’s difficult to articulate my passion for politics. Many friends ask why I often trudge out at weekends and evenings, often in bad weather to knock on doors, frequently unanswered and sometimes to receive a curt ‘not interested’ or ‘you’re all the same’ response.
There is some feature of an economy that means it regulates the way in which goods and services of value move around a market: are exchanged and traded. This immediately presents us with a challenge. There are services of value that are performed every day – sometimes throughout our lives, for which individuals receive nothing.
There is an assumption that the Tories speak for the military. Tory MPs and spokespeople have a habit of assuming that they understand the military and defence issues better than other parties. Partly this is because there are more Tory MPs with military experience than in the other parties.
I recently wanted to buy something from a website, but had a question. As this was a well-know retailer, I thought I’d give them a quick call, so went to the “contact us” section of the website and it turned out they were trying their hardest to make sure that I couldn’t.
The Leveson Inquiry was launched a year ago following the scandalous revelations of industrial scale phone hacking by journalists and their agents. The Inquiry was charged with looking into the culture and practices of newsrooms, and the relationships between police, politicians and the media.
Traditionally, the world of Human Resources (such a cold expression) nee Personnel (not much better) has been considered a woman’s domain.
As a member of the European Parliament’s Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Committee I have worked for a number of years to increase women’s participation in decision-making.
The financial crisis has hit everyone hard but, in Britain, women are at the very sharp end of it.
I am really frustrated with British politics. I do not feel that there is a party that truly represents my values or cares about what I think.
The Conservatives are the party of big business; they represent greed and elitism and I would never vote for them.
My feelings towards Labour are far more complex.
Blogging, even compared to other forms of media, remains a very male dominated activity. It was our intention when Shifting Grounds was launched earlier this year to feature at least one women contributor every day. Regrettably, we have fallen woefully short of that target at times. To an extent this reflects a lack of editorial focus and effort.
Whoever the genius is who thought of One Nation Labour, I take my hat off to them. Because what this divided country desperately needs is rebalancing.
Labour’s recent decision to join hardline anti-European Tories in voting for a freeze in the EU budget received a sniffy response from commentators and established pro-European grandees like Lord Mandelson. It was either dismissed as an act of base opportunism or taken as a hint that Labour might be drifting back into its old Eurosceptic habits.
I’m sure that many listeners of a recent Radio 4 Analysis episode, in which an interviewee asserted that “to try and create zones which are morally free in human affairs is a mistake”, would have found cause to nod along in agreement.
As a community activist in an area like many others where residents are seeing the impact of national cuts trickle down to local decision making, the words ‘judicial review’ seem to be the most frequent ones I hear. I don’t know what that says about me, or where I live, but there we are.
The debate around George Osborne’s Autumn Statement has barely begun to gather momentum, with the announcement a mere three weeks away.
Last week I was lucky enough to attend two top class political events. On Thursday night, I saw Bill Clinton, speaking at a Policy Network event, deliver a ninety minute tour de force of vision, policy detail and a call to arms to transform the world’s economy for the future. He is a formidable intellect, and an even more formidable communicator.
Following last month’s agreement between David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, the Scottish Government has now rubber-stamped the SNP’s proposed question for the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence: ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?’
The proposed question has yet to be approved by the Electoral Com
A referendum on Europe is apparently in the offing, but we don’t yet know what form it would take. David Cameron has expressed support for some kind of vote while ruling out a straight in/out choice. It is said he wants to renegotiate the terms of our EU membership and then give us the opportunity to express our approval accordingly.
An announcement from Downing Street on Friday confirmed Justin Welby, an oil executive turned bishop, to be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Bishop of Durham was nominated by the Crown Nominations Commission, a 16-member body made up of bishops, priests and lay members.
Three days on from the re-election of President Obama, the hangovers that followed a night of celebration for Democrats have receded. As a nice bonus, the Republicans, by contrast seem to be facing a four-year long headache. The inquisitions and post-mortems have already began.
This is a post about political engagement. Except it really isn’t. Or at least it really shouldn’t be. The fact that we in politics actually use terms like social mobility and political engagement shows how far we have to go before we achieve any such thing. Because people at the sharp end don’t talk like that.
If it’s the hope that kills you, let’s all get ready to die again. Four more years to satisfy his liberal critics, catch up with the great expectations, and take on the perennially disappointed. Hope wasn’t the message this time around, but it’s what many will seek for a President Obama second term.
In 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry faced a maelstrom of negative campaigning, smears and attack ads. One of the main charges against Kerry was that he was a smug and detached member of the ‘liberal elite’.
It’s been a struggle to convince myself that this year’s US presidential race matters very much. In 2004 and 2008, I followed every twist and turn of the campaign, every new poll, on a daily and sometimes hourly basis from the convention season to the result. This time I have come to the party late and without any enthusiasm.
About a year ago there was a great deal of controversy about Blue Labour. Since then, the dust has settled a little and it is possible to come to an assessment about Maurice Glasman’s analysis of Labour’s past and its future trajectory.
There are some aspects of Glasman’s historical interpretation of Labour’s history which I have reservations about.