October, 2015

‘No one can sit on their laurels’

Sally Gimson  |  30 October 2015

Alison McGovern takes on her latest challenge as chair of Progress —Alison McGovern is a tough cookie. At the age of only 29 she won the seat of Wirral South when everyone said she couldn’t. Five years later – having turned a 531 majority into a strong four-figure lead in a year when Labour was losing seats – she is …

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The Last Word … Pipes of peace

Jamie Reed MP  |  30 October 2015

Pig sick If I was David Cameron (as a vegetarian I have no interest in pork products of any kind) I’d be getting my sacking list ready. ‘Happy Christmas, you’re fired!’ would be a phrase I rehearsed in the mirror from now until New Year’s Day. First up? Ladies and Gentleman, Chris Grayling MP. ‘Happy …

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Community energy on the line

Andrew Pakes  |  30 October 2015

Has the government got something against renewable and community energy? First, the government came for the feed-in tariff. Now they are coming for tax relief on community energy projects. Over 1,000 jobs have already gone in the solar industry in the last month as the sector adjusts to the scale of financial changes being brought …

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Project Fear

Josh Graham  |  30 October 2015

More can, should, and will be written about the years that changed Scottish politics, but Joe Pike’s Project Fear is an excellent first look back at the two campaigns that attempted to stem the seemingly unstoppable rise of nationalism in Scotland. That the second word of the prologue is a four letter expletive should come …

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Bedtime

Richard Angell  |  29 October 2015

Time to put the last Labour government to bed Kitty Ussher, Jacqui Smith, Anne Begg, Stephen Twigg and Mike Gapes assess how Labour did The last Labour government was the Labour party’s greatest electoral success. It transformed our public realm and brought into being a Britain more relaxed with itself. It had a record of improvement and innovation in the public services that no other …

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The mantle of credibility

Kitty Ussher  |  29 October 2015

Trust in Labour on the economy was hard won, deserved, then needlessly lost, suggests Kitty Ussher The Blair government won office after 18 years in opposition. Unlike its predecessor Labour governments, it was not met by a dip in the stock exchange but instead heralded a decade of continuous growth. The government set to work …

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The bedrock of social justice

Jacqui Smith  |  29 October 2015

Labour rejected the fatalistic assumption that public services could never really deliver higher standards or fairer access, reflects Jacqui Smith Before my election to parliament in 1997, I was a teacher in Tory Worcestershire. My classroom was in a portakabin and a bucket to catch the drips coming through the roof was an important teaching resource. …

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The escape from poverty

Anne Begg  |  29 October 2015

Labour made strong progress in the battle against poverty and unemployment, finds Anne Begg When the Labour government was elected in 1997 there were a number of challenges it faced. These were things that were anathema to an incoming Labour government and included: dealing with pensioner poverty; very high youth and long-term unemployment; and the …

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Equality for all

Stephen Twigg MP  |  29 October 2015

We must not forget the equalities legislation passed under the Labour government, writes Stephen Twigg One of the finest achievements of the last Labour government was comprehensive legislation to tackle discrimination, promote equality and protect human rights. However, after September 11 the world became more challenging and the focus shifted markedly from liberty to security. …

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A more progressive world

Mike Gapes MP  |  29 October 2015

The new Labour government in 1997 was immediately internationalist in its approach, recalls Mike Gapes The 1997 government hit the ground running – on aid, ethics, Ireland and Europe – and brought a new dynamism to Britain’s relationship with the rest of the world. The Department for International Development was established by Tony Blair on …

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