April, 2013

No new broom for policing

Jacqui Smith  |  30 April 2013

When Tom Winsor was appointed as the first non-police chief inspector of constabulary last year, I toyed with the idea that this could be a good thing. A breath of fresh air: focusing on the public rather than just the profession; allowing innovative new ideas brought from across the public sector and beyond. However, I …

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Rewriting the 1970s

Paul Wheeler  |  30 April 2013

Is it just me or is anyone else aggrieved about how the memory of the 1970s is being comprehensively trashed and rewritten by Thatcher worshippers? Sadly, perhaps with the youth of the parliamentary Labour party we don’t have as many people around to challenge these Tory myths. Well, I was there. This was the decade …

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Syria and western guilt

Greg Falconer  |  30 April 2013

In his 2010 treatise, ‘The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism’, French philosopher Pascal Bruckner mused on the way Europeans’ judgement of contemporary global issues is clouded by a perpetual self-loathing. Historical ‘original sins’ such as slavery or colonialism, Bruckner argued, have led us to focus on the negative aspects of our own …

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Five Days In May

Progress  |  29 April 2013

Pre-order Andrew Adonis’ new book ‘5 Days In May’ at the special Progress readers’ rate of £10 ‘Is a deal still possible?’ Nick Robinson texted me at 3.26 a.m. on election night. ‘Everything looks possible,’ I texted back. One of the great dramas of modern British politics unfolded in the wake of the inconclusive 2010 …

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Labour’s rural legacy under threat

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP  |  29 April 2013

In some ways, Tom Williams was an unlikely hero of British agricultural workers. After all, as a coal miner, he was associated with heavy industry before entering parliament for the Don Valley seat in 1922. As a cabinet minister, however, he made his name at agriculture, a post he held throughout the period of Clement …

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The Dhaka disaster and Workers’ Memorial Day

Michael Leahy  |  28 April 2013

‘Immediately we fell several storeys. I closed my eyes as the entire place was engulfed with dust. A stitching machine fell on my leg. All I could see were dead bodies all around me.’ Those are the words of Shariful, a worker who was pulled from the rubble of a garment factory that collapsed. His …

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Making family-friendly working work

Sally Gimson  |  26 April 2013

It is very brave of Gerald Kaufman to dismiss so airily family-friendly hours in parliament in his interview published on ProgressOnline. As one of the oldest sitting MPs he can at least compare what it is like today to previous times. But it’s difficult to defend his position, and I have no nostalgia for a …

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From Heath to Cameron

Andrew Bettridge  |  26 April 2013

In June, Gerald Kaufman – the second oldest member of the House of Commons – will have been a MP for 43 years, longer than many elected at the last general election have been alive. He has, he tells me as we settle into his Westminster office, no intention of standing down any time soon. …

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One Nation, new, blue, radical or conservative?

Philip Ross  |  26 April 2013

I attended the One Nation, new, blue, radical or conservative? debate at the House of Commons on Tuesday evening with an open mind. Mary Riddell, chair of the event and columnist for the Daily Telegraph, explained that the event had been jointly sponsored by Progress and Compass. Indeed, up on the stage was a Progress …

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No more Morecambe Bays

Huw Irranca-Davies MP  |  26 April 2013

When the despicable actions of a rogue gangmaster led to the deaths of 23 Chinese cockle-pickers who drowned in Morecambe Bay in 2004, the public was appalled at the scandal of worker exploitation and human trafficking which was revealed. The outcry brought together tireless campaigners like trade union leader Jack Dromey, industry leaders (from agriculture, …

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