March, 2014

Time to stop avoiding tough choices on the NHS

Paul Corrigan  |  31 March 2014

The politics of reform of the NHS have never been easy. It was not easy for the Blair government that I was a small part of and it has not been for the coalition government. But running away from that controversy has now placed the medium-term politics of the NHS in a very odd place. …

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A wake-up call for the French Socialists

Renaud Thillaye  |  31 March 2014

Yesterday the run-off of the French municipal elections ended with the worst possible scenario for François Hollande after the 23 March first round’s poor results. Despite holding the Paris mayoralty, with the first woman ever to win that post, the results confirmed the tendencies noticed last week, namely an unusually high abstention level, a Front …

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Food banks show welfare is not working

Lee Gregory  |  31 March 2014

Responding to household crises and low incomes within a turbulent economic context, food banks are a lifeline for families who would otherwise go hungry. As noted in my previous piece, the rise of food banks represents an attack on state welfare to secure a minimum level of wellbeing and participation in society. Unfortunately the continuing …

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Maoist Tories and the BBC licence fee

John McTernan  |  28 March 2014

It’s been welfare week. The ‘benefits cap’ was a sideshow. George Osborne really needs to get better at politics. The key to tricking your opponents is not to smirk at the same time. If you want Labour to become unpopular on welfare then don’t erect a large sign saying ‘Political Trap ahead, Tee Hee.’ Yes, …

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Miliband has the right answers for small businesses

Stephen Alambritis  |  28 March 2014

One expects conglomerates to have the resources to protect themselves in courts and other places if they feel hard done by. But for years we have attributed the same kind of firepower to Britain’s minnows. This cannot be right and Ed Miliband moved today to correct this wrong. Labour created 1.1m new businesses between 1997 …

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Childcare: from crisis to opportunity

Amanda Hill-Dixon and Fiona Mactaggart MP  |  28 March 2014

It was the desire to offer my constituents a fitting Mother’s Day gift that got me talking to local mums of pre-school children about what they need in Slough. They told me that the cost of childcare in Slough is reaching crisis point for many. Findings show that at £7 per hour for an average …

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Labour must tackle institutional sexism in the police

Estelle Hart  |  27 March 2014

When more than 10,000 women and children are deemed to be at high risk of being murdered or seriously injured by their current or former partners, today’s report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary on how police forces deal with domestic violence makes for worrying reading. The report finds ‘alarming and unacceptable’ weakness in police …

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Knowing your Aida from your Aldi

Bilal Mahmood  |  27 March 2014

The recent blog post from Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission policy chief Peter Brant has caused more harm than good. He argued that the a significant barrier to working class young people being more successful at university and in their professional careers is because of specific barriers including ‘lack of shared cultural experiences (eg …

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A pragmatic approach to public health

Rachael Saunders  |  27 March 2014

The research from the British Medical Journal released today, a year after public health came back to local government, is a lesson from the coalition government in how not to do localism. The BMJ claims ‘local authorities across England are diverting ringfenced funds for public health to wider council services to plug gaps caused by …

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The EU debate: how should Labour respond?

Stephen Tindale  |  27 March 2014

Well done Nick Clegg. Not for winning – it is hard to debate with someone who regards the truth as just one option – but for taking part. And for the radical strategy of making the European elections about Europe. How should Labour’s leaders respond? Ed Miliband is firmly pro-European. He knows that for crucial …

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