February, 2012

Young TURCs at the gate

John Woodcock MP  |  29 February 2012

Last month a group of Conservative supporters operating under the harmless-sounding name of the Trade Union Reform Campaign commandeered a House of Commons committee room. Speeches were made and in what was no doubt meant to be light-hearted irony; beer and sandwiches were served. A few ministerial big beasts floated around and murmured words of …

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Leading on sustainable development

Fiona O'Donnell MP  |  29 February 2012

This is a make or break year for sustainable development, and Britain should be leading the world in setting out an ambitious future for green growth and the environment.  The Rio+20 Summit being held in June is the biggest global gathering on sustainable development since the original Rio summit in 1992. It is crucial the …

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Defending moderate trade unionism

Luke Akehurst  |  29 February 2012

The interview the Guardian carried today with Unite general secretary Len McCluskey is worth a close read. I declare a few interests that will be familiar to regular readers. I am a Unite member and have been since 1995. Until 2009 I was heavily involved in the political structures of the union, serving on its …

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Another win for Miliband

Gurjinder Dhaliwal  |  29 February 2012

Who won? All style and no substance today with David Cameron, and he isn’t even that stylish. Another win for Ed Miliband and this shall continue to be the case so long as the health and social care bill is around. Lively exchanges at prime minister’s questions were dominated by the NHS, as expected. Miliband …

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Somalia: the missed opportunity

Rayhan Haque  |  29 February 2012

The past few months have been a crucial and testing time for the people of Somalia. A fierce battle is currently raging across the land that has pitted the fragile government forces and regional powers against the brutally oppressive militia of the extreme Al-Shabaab group. With the world’s attention firmly registered on the Arab awakening …

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Labour needs an alternative

Neil Churchill  |  29 February 2012

The health bill is distracting both government and opposition from the massive challenges the NHS faces By Neil Churchill It is easy to forget, in the storm of protest against the government’s health bill, that the underlying principles of reform met with widespread agreement when they were published in 2010. Sadly, some sensible reforms around …

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The case for school commissioners

Josh MacAlister  |  29 February 2012

For good or bad, the role of local authorities in the oversight and running of our schools in the last 15 years has been eroded. The rise of trust schools, the recent boom in academies, and now the emergence of free schools is leaving some local authorities with no direct stake in the running of …

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Can Labour ever win the deficit argument?

Jamie McMahon  |  29 February 2012

Reading The Independent at my desk yesterday all was going well, I’m still on a high from Sunday’s 5-2 thrashing of Spurs and two pages of coverage on the Leveson Inquiry is always enjoyable. I happily flick to page 6 where I see Labour is up two to 40 per cent, a three-point lead over …

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Great expectations

Adam Harrison and Robert Philpot  |  28 February 2012

Elected to parliament a year ago, Progress vice-chair Dan Jarvis is one of Labour’s rising stars. He talks to Robert Philpot and Adam Harrison about his time in Afghanistan and the tough fight ahead for the party It is the day of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens and shadow arts minister …

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Consider Callaghan

Rob Newman  |  28 February 2012

Despite the fact that the 20th century was dominated by Conservative victories at the ballot box, there is an embarrassment of riches for those seeking to make the case for their choice for Labour’s greatest leader. Arguments for Attlee, Gaitskell and, of course, the electorally unmatched Blair, have already been made – and each is …

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