March, 2016

Strong and coherent

Meg Whitelaw  |  31 March 2016

Tuesday night saw the leaders of the main Scottish parties go head to head in the second debate of the Holyrood election campaign. Kezia Dugdale performed well, offering a strong and coherent electoral platform where Nicola Sturgeon stumbled over the inconsistencies and contradictions of Scottish National party policy. The first question of the night focused …

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The March megashambles

Seema Malhotra MP  |  31 March 2016

We need prosperity that is fairly shared You might have thought George Osborne would have learned a lesson from his 2012 omnishambles budget. Not a bit of it. He surpassed himself with a megashambles. No budget has unravelled as quickly and as comprehensively as this one did. Within a couple of days its main revenue-raising …

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Learn from Labour’s intervention – it worked

Parmjit Dhanda  |  31 March 2016

Over 40,000 jobs are at risk if Tata walks away from the colossal steel works of Port Talbot in south Wales. The government has been left looking flat-footed and indecisive, with ministers unsure about whether to return from overseas trips and then sending out mixed messages about whether state intervention is merited or not. It …

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If it’s broke, fix it

Adam Harrison  |  30 March 2016

Adam Harrison with the latest from the wonk world Plenty about the way public services
 are currently run could be fixed, even if everything is not totally broken. Scottish Labour under leader Kezia Dugdale turned heads once more last month by pledging 
to abolish council tax – possibly the most unpopular tax ever. It was …

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The journey of my first private members’ bill

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP  |  30 March 2016

It was my fellow Welsh Labour member of parliament Kevin Brennan who first told me that I had been drawn in the ballot to put forward a private members’ bill. I was delighted. But when one of your predecessors is renowned backbench legislator Leo Abse, you know that the expectations upon your bill are going …

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We need a clear message on rural crime

Daniel Walton  |  29 March 2016

Just under a fifth of the United Kingdom’s population live in rural areas, a figure that is on its way to having doubled since 1990. Whether it being due to different working practices or more houses being built in green belt and brown field areas, more and more of us are living in villages and …

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Protecting the thin blue line

Barry Kirby  |  29 March 2016

I am very proud to have been selected as the Labour police and crime commissioner candidate for Gloucestershire. That said, many people, including both the general public and Labour members, are not that enthusiastic about police and crime commissioners – and the party is not exactly pulling out all the stops to help candidates. The PCC …

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Play the ball, not the man

Christabel Cooper  |  24 March 2016

George Osborne has sometimes seemed like a cartoon villain, whose Machiavellian cleverness has thwarted Labour at every turn. Within weeks of the 2010 election, he had set about the construction of a giant trap – propagating the narrative that all his public spending cuts were absolutely necessary to fix the mess that Labour had left …

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We are right to be angry, but that alone is not enough

Becca Wright  |  24 March 2016

The immediate backlash for the recent government white paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, has focused on the removal of all schools from local authority control. But Labour’s first education policy announcement since the white paper’s publication is not simply a reversal of the plans, and instead focuses on making personal, social and health education compulsory. It …

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Respect for shopworkers

John Hannett  |  24 March 2016

Recently we have seen reports of a French man on trial for assaulting shopworkers with camembert in Chelsea. It is easy to understand why this story was reported, journalists must have rubbed their hands in glee when this landed on their desks. However, this case is a serious one. The individual concerned had a history …

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