April, 2012

Evict the bishops

Glenys Thornton  |  30 April 2012

As we near the next Queen’s speech of this coalition government we know that reform of the House of Lords is a big priority for the junior partner in the coalition. Quite why the Liberal Democrats think that championing this particular cause will restore their electoral fortunes after two years of supporting legislation to wreck …

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A back-to-school Queen’s speech

Alex White  |  30 April 2012

The Labour party must look to education as a way of winning arguments and changing lives. It shows our commitment to communities; education is where the future is built. It is also vital to our fiscal credibility that we find the middle ground between overspending and starving our schools of funds. The party should make …

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No more Lib Dem ‘human shield’

Andrew Bettridge  |  30 April 2012

At last year’s local elections the Conservative party was able to hide behind a ‘human shield’ of the Liberal Democrats, I recall one of my Labour councillors telling the local press: ‘Nationally, the Conservatives have run a very good campaign. ‘They’ve used the Lib Dems as a human shield and it’s worked’ he said. This …

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From omnishambles to paralysis

Jacqui Smith  |  30 April 2012

This government is running out of steam. For some government departments and minister, it has been a frenetic first two years in government. Michael Gove, Eric Pickles, Andrew Lansley and Iain Duncan Smith have been energetic in putting forward reform – some has worked, some hasn’t; some I agree with, a lot I don’t. But …

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Just another week in politics

David Talbot  |  30 April 2012

With election season upon us, the Easter parliamentary session is due to come to a close on Tuesday afternoon with the 17th century ceremony to prorogue the current parliament. This is the formal name given to the end of one parliamentary session and the state opening of the next, with all the pomp and regal …

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‘Elf’n safety’ at risk

Michael Leahy  |  28 April 2012

Workers’ Memorial Day falls every year on 28 April. It is a day when trade unions throughout the world commemorate and remember workers who have been injured or killed at work. This year the day is being marked in conjunction with the TUC’s Day of Action to Fight for the Living and therefore it is …

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Health and safety matters

Chris Clark  |  28 April 2012

We hear it all the time – myths about outlandish restrictions placed on ordinary people by bureaucratic buffoons, in the name of ‘health and safety’. Since taking power in 2010 the government has launched no fewer than three reviews of health and safety legislation – including the infamous ‘red tape challenge’. In January 2012, Cameron …

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‘No illusions!’

Luke Akehurst  |  27 April 2012

Labour’s moderates need to vote and campaign ‘for Ken – with no illusions!’ I am referring of course to the old Socialist Workers’ party slogan at elections: ‘vote Labour – with no illusions’. I think it would be fair to say Ken Livingstone and I come from diametrically opposed traditions within the Labour party and …

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Lessons in building democracy

Peter Hain  |  27 April 2012

The 2012 Lord Merlyn-Rees Lecture Thursday, 26 April 2012 South Africa and Northern Ireland: Lessons in Building Democracy. University of Glamorgan. Today we take for granted Nelson Mandela’s ‘rainbow democracy’. Yet the defeat of apartheid was painful, bitter and long, until finally once evil oppressors settled into government with those they had imprisoned or tortured. …

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Soft on crime, tough on the police

Josephine Channer  |  27 April 2012

There are two things that we can let Londoners know about Ken’s policing pledge and they are that police numbers will be restored and that Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be safe. But will these policies really make any difference to the safety of London streets? I believe they will. As a former prison officer and …

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