Monday Politics

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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Power Pledge

A pledge to distribute power more equally

Jacqui Smith  |  15 December 2014

I sincerely hope that this will be the last coalition Christmas we will need to endure. At last the general election feels within touching distance – and the chance of a Labour government is real. One thing is for sure after next May’s election – we will see another jump in the number of women …

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School exam results

A little bit of character goes a long way

Jacqui Smith  |  8 December 2014

Today, Tristram Hunt is calling for schools to do more to develop character among young people. Quoting Winston Churchill and the idea of ‘British spirit’ was a clever way to ensure today’s speech got some good Sunday coverage. As a former teacher I can also imagine that there will be a fair amount of resigned …

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Michael Gove

Home truths for Michael Gove

Jacqui Smith  |  17 November 2014

Parliamentary discontent with the government’s handling of EU crime and justice measures, in particular the European arrest warrant, rumbles on today in the House of Lords. Timothy Boswell, chair of the Lords European Union committee, is tabling a ‘statement of regret’ ie ‘We’re flipping peed off with the handling of this’, with the cross-party support …

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Police tape

What will come after police commissioners?

Jacqui Smith  |  3 November 2014

Well done to Alan Billings and Labour campaigners in the South Yorkshire Police area. Last week, I was reading that the United Kingdom Independence party was ‘expected’ to gain this police and crime commissioner position. This week, I am reading much less about the fact that Labour and Alan succeeded in getting more than 50 …

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Discarded Labour rose

Time for Labour to stop trashing its own record

Jacqui Smith  |  20 October 2014

‘What is your greatest weakness’? – an idiotic interview question in my view, but nevertheless apparently a popular one. Suggestions for answering it include ‘I’m just too much of a perfectionist/workaholic’ and other lies. Despite the possibility of this question, preparation for a job interview should involve quite a lot of combing through our CVs …

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