Monday Politics

hustings pac15 1

Let’s bin the pledges for a while

Jacqui Smith  |  18 May 2015

I am beginning to think it is time to bin my pledge card. Like John Prescott, I still have the 1997 pledge card which I handed out in thousands in our 1997 campaign. To remind you, the pledges were: We will cut class sizes to 30 or under for five, six and seven year olds …

23 Comments Read more
Election count; ballot papers.

We need to listen to both winning and losing candidates

Jacqui Smith  |  11 May 2015

I joined the Labour party in late 1979 and had to wait another 18 years until we were in government. And I lost my seat in 2010 so I know what it is like to be on the rough end of our democratic system. I frankly have not got time now to wait another 13 …

16 Comments Read more
Labour doorstep campaign Fiona Mactaggart

Keep at it – it is working

Jacqui Smith  |  13 April 2015

Anybody who is reading this is probably taking a short break from phoning, leafletting, doorknocking and poster-erecting. My message to you is ‘Keep at it – it is working’. Last week I experienced the election campaign equivalent of Peter Mandelson’s old mantra that it is only when you are sick to tears with a particular …

1 Comment Read more
Police Community Support Officers PCSOs

Policing by partnership and involvement

Jacqui Smith  |  9 March 2015

Putting a neighbourhood policing team into every community was one of the most important public service reforms of the last Labour government. It is under serious threat from record levels of cuts in policing reported this weekend. However, it is also under threat from those who wilfully choose to ignore the fact that neighbourhood policing …

0 Comments Read more
jihadi john

MI5 is not to blame for Jihadi John

Jacqui Smith  |  2 March 2015

Any parent of teenagers and many others will have felt their heart clench as they looked at the pictures of Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana waiting at the Istanbul bus station before heading to the Syrian borders and into the clutches of Islamic State. While I was home secretary, the then director general …

2 Comments Read more
Lidl shopper

Votes are precious – do not take them for granted

Jacqui Smith  |  23 February 2015

Having been one of the original ‘Worcester women’ in my Midlands marginal seat, and previously a loyal shopper at Sainsbury’s and Tescos, I realised on Saturday that I am once again on political trend as I tried to find a parking place in my crowded local Lidl. This weekend the Sun on Sunday ran an …

2 Comments Read more
Eton College

Parliament is the last place where we need establishment ‘groupthink’

Jacqui Smith  |  9 February 2015

Does it matter what school you went to? There was some interesting research from the Sutton Trust this week on the educational backgrounds of those likely to win parliamentary seats in May. The key conclusion is that the overrepresentation of those who have been privately educated will continue in the new parliament – for both …

0 Comments Read more
Let it go

Nothing progressive wanting to defend the status quo

Jacqui Smith  |  2 February 2015

This week a couple of my old political mates demonstrated how tricky it can be to challenge policy or propose alternative thinking in the heat of an election campaign. Schooled in the rigid message discipline of the 1997 general election, I am naturally loyal and unlikely to speak out in the run up to a …

0 Comments Read more
Dunce cap

It’s the coalition’s nasty incompetence we need to expose

Jacqui Smith  |  19 January 2015

The Tories started the political year with a campaign press conference. Leaving aside the impression of the ‘worst boy band in the world’, which the five cabinet ministers in a row conjured up, the point of the event was to signal that the Tories aim to make the general election about competence. There was real …

1 Comment Read more
Paris March Charlie Hebdo

Protecting, not undermining, our rights and freedoms

Jacqui Smith  |  12 January 2015

Events in Paris have been shocking and tragic. However, for those involved with protecting us from terror, they were far from unexpected. The continuing Islamist terror threat is real and known. In the United Kingdom there have been 140 individuals convicted of terror-related offences since 2010 and many other plots will undoubtedly have been foiled. …

1 Comment Read more