March, 2012

Demand, not supply

Matt Cavanagh  |  30 March 2012

Labour can again contest the centre-ground if it untangles the web of immigration, jobs and wages, suggests Matt Cavanagh In the February edition of Progress Liam Byrne urged Labour to ‘keep the insight that elections are won in the centre-ground’. He did not mention immigration, though as a former holder of the ministerial brief I …

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Which lessons to learn?

Paul Richards  |  30 March 2012

The lesson we need to learn from the Bradford West by-election, as our deputy leader told us this morning, is to learn the lessons. The problem is: what lessons? A spectacular coup, such as that carried out last night by the newly elected member of parliament for Baghdad West, is so unusual, such an aberration, …

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When will democracy pay for democracy?

Denis MacShane MP  |  30 March 2012

One of the most curious aspects of the cash-for-access scandal if that no one has made the case for a major reform of political funding so that the scandals that keep on erupting can finally be killed off. Instead there has been a ritualised round of mutual accusations which once again utterly alienates most voters. …

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All in the mind

Peter Kellner  |  30 March 2012

Labour is currently espousing a new centre-ground. But how useful is this notion, asks Peter Kellner The centre-ground is like the square root of minus one. It is extremely useful, but there is a strong case for saying that it does not actually exist beyond the minds of those who use it. Consider the proposition …

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The Tories’ thin blue lead

David Pinto-Duschinsky  |  29 March 2012

With the coalition vulnerable, Labour could re-establish its authority on law and order By David Pinto-Duschinsky While the economy has dominated the public discourse, law and order has all but slipped off the political agenda. This is odd. Crime remains among the public’s key concerns, with around a fifth of respondents consistently naming it as …

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Breaking the silence on housing

David Talbot  |  29 March 2012

Over the past few months an issue that has received scant political attention over the past few decades became the most emotive issue not only in Westminster, but across the land. It sparked a petition of nearly a quarter of a million; organisations ranging from Campaign to Protect Rural England to the National Federation of …

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Watts happening at the PLP

The Insider  |  29 March 2012

Congratulations to Dave Watts, the new chair of the parliamentary Labour party, elected by 138 votes to 88 in a race against leftwinger John Cryer. Cryer, a Morgan-driving parliamentary retread, achieved an impressive vote for a candidate associated with the parliamentary left. Your insider would attribute this to respect and affection for Cryer himself, rather …

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Defending progressive cities

Philip Ross  |  29 March 2012

As the former mayor of Letchworth Garden City I found it refreshing to read David Cameron’s recent praise of our town and Garden Cities in general. But while Cameron was praising the virtues of Letchworth, the Conservative-run North Herts District Council was publishing a document that seeks to abolish the very same garden city. Yes, …

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Championing shared values for peace

Ben Garratt  |  28 March 2012

Over a year since the first protests of the Arab Spring, and with so much hope, uncertainty and pain continuing to be felt across the Middle East, it is right that Labour is at the centre of efforts to promote the spread of democracy and respect for human rights in the region. Yesterday’s parliamentary debate …

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The grannies versus the grandees

Kitty Ussher  |  28 March 2012

George Osborne got the politics of the budget all wrong but Labour has yet to win back the public’s trust When the outgoing Labour government decided to introduce the 50p income tax band it was a thinly disguised political trap for the Tories. The idea was to tempt them into outrage, putting them at odds …

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