I spent most of the last week in Eastleigh, soaking up that rare commodity at recent by elections, the palpable sense that this was one the Liberal Democrats could win.
On this blog, Stewart Lansley has argued that Ed Miliband’s Bedford speech should be seen as ‘a key turning point in social democratic thinking’ about the economy.
Why is it that media coverage of climate change is so convoluted and contradictory? Part of the problem derives from climate change itself; it is an immensely complex subject, subject to all manner of technical subtleties and nuances that baffle most of the population. I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, claim to be an expert myself.
“Labour stands for equality between men and women: equal political and legal rights, equal rights and privileges in parenthood, equal pay for equal work…”
So stated the party manifesto from not 2010, or even 1945 but circa 1923 – at time when women weren’t even accorded the vote.
If there has been a worse Chancellor of the Exchequer in my lifetime than George Osborne I am struggling to put a name to him.
“The power that money gives is that of brute force, it is the power of the bludgeon or the bayonet.”
On 9 March it is 250 years since William Cobbett, whom Karl Marx described as “the creator of old English Radicalism”, was born.
Women who work full-time in their 50’s earn 20% less than men, research by the Trades Union Congress revealed yesterday.
Their research, which was based on figures from the Office of National Statistics, found that the disparity in pay corresponds to smaller pensions. The worst hit by the gender pay gap are women aged between 50-59.
‘Responsible’ and ‘moral’ capitalism are phrases often knocked about by progressives to describe the ideal end point of their beliefs; the centre of a Venn diagram between ideology and pragmatism. It’s a potent and emotive concept, one that few would disagree with, but also one that is currently lacking in substance.
The world is changing in an unprecedented way. We have the rise of new economic and political powers and increased instability caused by the Arab Spring, the global financial crisis, resource scarcity, technological innovation and climate change. We have yet to determine the long-term geopolitical consequences of these changes.
“I think we really are the victims of a discursive shift, since the late 1970’s, toward economics”, the late historian Tony Judt said in a recent book.
“Intellectuals don’t ask if something is right or wrong, but whether a policy is efficient or inefficient.
Ed Miliband’s Bedford speech last week deserves to be seen as a key turning point in social democratic thinking. New Labour’s economic strategy was built around the idea that growth and economic success depended on allowing markets and the rich to flourish.
The Pensions Invesment and Research Consultants (PIRC), an adviser to pension funds responsible for a combined £2 trillion worth of investment, have announced that they will be advising clients to vote ‘no’ to all new Long-Term Incentive Plans (LTIP’s) introduced for company executives (see the attached press release from PIRC).
In the debate over DNA profiling and the acquisition of a national DNA database, accusations of a police state, even totalitarianism are pitted against the ability to vastly improve our criminal conviction rates.
Yesterday Ed Miliband gave a very important speech. It has been described as a game changer. In terms of policy, he made an audacious raid onto the Lib Dems territory with his claiming of the mansion tax. As Ed has always said, Labour doesn’t have a monopoly on good ideas and the mansion tax is one.
When President Marzouki of Tunisia visited London last November, he was emphatic about the importance of political compromise. Speaking on the subject of the then proposed Egyptian constitution, he stressed that it was necessary for all parties to concede on issues that were not to their liking. Only then, he said, could a successful democracy be born.
From Robert Halfon to Mehdi Hasan, calls for the great 10p tax come-back have been bipartisan and longstanding. And the politics of this are even smarter then the economics.
Because, as David Clark notes, Ed’s speech moves Labour policy on from New Labour in ways more substantive then just 10p and mansions.
Growth is certain to return to the British economy in advance of the next election, but there is no reason to think that it will be spectacular or that it will produce the kind of feel-good factor that would make the result a foregone conclusion.
Earlier this week Rupert Murdoch’s gave the most significant indication that he might replace the Sun’s Page Three with a half-way house of ‘glamorous fashionistas’.
Murdoch was responding on twitter to a tweet which said Page Three is so last century. Murdoch replied: “You may be right, don’t know but considering”.
The ongoing scandal about horsemeat found in a range of processed and pre-packaged foods has exposed some of the major fault lines in the UK’s food system. These come up periodically in food scares or panics (E-coli, BSE, Salmonella etc).
When I was interviewing informal carers last year about their experiences of caring and their finances, I was struck by how rarely they expressed anger about their situation; frustration, despair, humour, pride, optimism and fatalism, but not anger.
‘A bridge too far’ were the words of Michael Gove backtracking on his plans to revolutionise the exam system in England and Wales.
Andrew Harrop at the Fabian Society produced a good and cautiously positive analysis of Labour’s electoral prospects at the weekend. Based on a specially commissioned YouGov poll, it concluded that Labour’s support has been boosted since 2010 by the addition of 2.3 million Liberal Democrat defectors, 1.
Last night Jon Cruddas gave a speech to the Resolution Foundation on what he saw as two “building blocks for the Labour Policy Review”: earning and belonging.
Only the little people pay taxes – Leona Helmsley, American businesswoman
One critique of the recipients of welfare is that overly generous state support creates cultures of entitlement and dependency, hollowing out the drive to entrepreneurialism, self-improvement and independence.
During his conference speech in Manchester in October, Ed Miliband said the words ‘One Nation’ 46 times. By using the phrase made famous by the Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Miliband was not only rolling his tanks onto the Conservatives Party’s lawn, he was also trying to claim the mantle of national unity for Labour.
Today Members of Parliament will vote on the matter of whether same sex couples should be able to marry.
In May 2010, at a Citizens UK election rally, David Cameron declared the Living Wage to be an idea “whose time had come.” Two months later, in a volte face that has since become a hallmark of his Government, the Coalition announced that it was to abolish a body that guaranteed a Living Wage of at least £7.66 per hour for 45,000 British workers.
It appears almost banal to reiterate that the current economic recession, sliding inexorably towards its third dip, was not caused by the people who continue to suffer by it. It was caused by the rapaciousness of the banks and the governments who continue to quantitatively ease hedge fund managers’ bonuses.
In the often surreal discussions around Europe we seem to be ignoring the facts, and what Europe is doing for Britain now.
A few days ago, the European Commission announced the two projects that will receive up to €1 billion (£855 million) each over the next 10 years under the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme.