May, 2008

Resources must be redistributed to the frontline, to those who need the services most

Margaret Moran  |  30 May 2008

It was a great moment when in 1997 the mass of the population demanded that we save public services. Perhaps it is one of the greatest disappointments that despite sackloads of cash, many cannot see the radical changes that have gone into creating those services for the 21st century which they believe we promised, and …

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The most powerful way to convince Middle England that Labour is on its side is to reform the tax system

Sally Keeble  |  30 May 2008

The rising aspirations of Labour’s core voters have been shaped by 10 years of progressive social policy. But fiscal policy has sometimes been the tripping stone for people whose aspirations require an empowering, not an interfering, state. A homeowning, car-owning, working electorate with toddlers at nursery school, teenagers at university, anticipating a planned retirement is …

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Labour’s vision and message needs to be rooted in the everyday to be credible

Shona McIsaac  |  30 May 2008

What has the Labour government ever done for us? In danger of sounding like a sketch from The Life of Brian, suffice to say – quite a lot. But how many people actually know what has been achieved? Not many. To be brutal, the government has been bloody awful at pointing out that things did …

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Labour must be far bolder in pursuing constitutional reform

Martin Linton  |  30 May 2008

An essential element of New Labour’s appeal in 1997 was the constitutional reform agenda, first embraced by John Smith and then taken up by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. A lot of these reforms have now been carried through – devolution, freedom of information and the Human Rights Act. Others have been started – reform …

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Labour must look like a party that is in touch with the electorate if it is to counter Tory charges of ‘time for a change’

Fiona Mactaggart MP  |  30 May 2008

Edward Timpson’s acceptance speech following the Crewe byelection felt eerily familiar. His claims were, first, that the government, by ending the 10p tax band, had increased poverty and his party was on the side of ‘hard-working families’. Second, his party says you don’t have to put up with crime but has no plans to prevent …

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Scotland and New Labour need each other

Eric Joyce MP  |  30 May 2008

A little over a fifth of people living in Scotland support independence. Twice that amount support greater devolution. Yet asked to list their public policy priorities, Scots rate constitutional debate low with hardly anyone suggesting which powers might be devolved and why (see The SNP’s dream scenario, as essentially conservatives, is a Tory victory …

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New Labour must empathise with people’s need to feel secure

Eric Joyce MP  |  30 May 2008

I’ve just surveyed 10,000 Falkirk households on the things that matter to them most. The results, for the most part, are pretty generalisable across the UK (see ‘methodology’ at Many of the priorities expressed by Falkirk folk can be usefully grouped under the broad heading of ‘Security’. Asked to look at their lives in …

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To stay in power, Labour has to strike a ‘new deal’ with the motoring public

Stephen Ladyman  |  30 May 2008

If there is one thing that unites people right across the New Labour coalition it is their attachment to the motorcar. And they will break their attachment to politicians who try to force them out of their cars before they will break their attachment to the car itself. So, if cutting carbon emissions from motorcars …

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Low-income families must be empowered to build their own communities

Anne Snelgrove  |  30 May 2008

The two big ideas in housing in the last half of the 20th century were the new town movement arising from the second world war, and the massive council housing sale of the 1980s. Labour’s fortunes were closely tied to both movements. After the war, a successful Labour party was in tune with the aspirations …

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We can and must fix the energy efficiency of our workplaces and dwellings

Alan Whitehead  |  30 May 2008

The use of energy drives our economy – and hitherto it has been both plentiful and cheap. So cheap, in fact, that we could afford to import or extract huge amounts of fossil-derived fuel, waste most of it, and still maintain a price for the resulting energy that was only a fraction of the overall …

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