Politics and culture

Meanwhile from the town hall…

Rupa Huq  |  2 August 2011

As all the political shows wind up for the recess, the school term is out for the hols and political hacks wind down until September, the municipal year ends too. 2010 – 11 is well and truly over. Its passing marks not only the coalition’s first year in office but 12 months in power for …

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The gender agenda

Rupa Huq  |  15 March 2011

In the wake of International Women's Day, Rupa Huq casts her eye over some of the indicators of gender equality in the UK, from WAGs to child benefit under the Tories...

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Lord Young was right – up to a point

Rupa Huq  |  9 December 2010

What an age it seems since Ed Miliband started his paternity leave. Now he's back on the job, new challenges must be faced, most notably the whole continuing Wikileaks saga and revolting students.

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Every day is like Sunday?

Rupa Huq  |  13 October 2010

Now that the party conference is over, aside from the non-event of the Lib Dem gathering which was not the bloodbath predicted or the full-on assault on capitalism trailed, we are left with two competing visions of the future from the two ‘big' parties.

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Meanwhile in the town hall…

Rupa Huq  |  7 July 2010

'Progress with unity' is the motto of the London borough of Ealing. The often progressive politics and culture of the suburbs should not be written off by urban intelligentsia.

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No 30-year rule here – political leaders in the age of hyper-reality

Rupa Huq  |  11 February 2010

I can't remember exactly who said it but it's bound to be some American clever clogs or other who quipped that the problem with being British is you're only allowed to find out about current affairs 30 years after they take place. Recent examples of the political past being illuminated for today's news junkies contrast in their respect for the UK's venerable 30-year rule which is applied to civil service documents. Sometimes it feels the past has been pored over with almost indecent haste. At others we have been reminded of anachronisms of a bygone age that feel out of kilter with today's less deferential politics.

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Report from Number 10 Eid reception

Rupa Huq  |  3 December 2009

It may not quite have been on the scale of the mystery glamorous couple who inveigled their way into Obama's White House for a state dinner held for the Indian PM but I found myself last night at Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street for an Eid reception. The first Muslim to ever attend Cabinet, Sadiq Khan introduced a troupe of Syrian singers who'd come by way of Birmingham before introducing ‘Scotland's most charismatic and popular politician' Mohammad Sarwar who spoke briefly. Shahid Malik also addressed the assorted throng before Brown then took to the floor and listed areas on which Britain had benefited from Muslim influence from financial services to lobbying over increased third world debt.  

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Still nasty?

Rupa Huq  |  7 October 2009

Watching the Conservative party conference on television during the week I’ve been struck by the sea of overwhelmingly white faces fulfilling the function of clapping seals. At Labour last week the audience too was largely white but at the Tory love fest in Manchester even more so. The one exception is their big gun Baroness Sayeeda Warsi who seems to taken on the role of the Tories’ prize Asian, who addressed delegates on Monday from centre stage. The baroness is best known for her role in teddy bear-gate a couple of years ago when an English language teacher in Sudan was saved from a lashing due to her diplomacy skills.

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Michael Jackson and the juvenilisation of politics

Rupa Huq  |  3 July 2009

Am still shocked about Michael Jackson¹s passing. Went to bed after seeing Kirsty Wark interrupted in the middle of a Newsnight story on expenses (BBC executives this time) to receive news in her ear-piece that he'd been rushed to hospital. Awoke to hear he¹d snuffed it. People have compared it to Elvis dying or John Lennon¹s death.

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Rupa Huq  |  12 June 2009

I found myself in a BBC television studio last week where I was asked to complete the sentence ‘the big issue of the next general election will be...’ My answer (having been told to make it a soundbite) was three little words ‘the economy stupid’. They were asking about the next general election, whenever it may be. Voting for our European representatives had not yet begun. Had they asked what the issue of the European election was, I'd have answered that the thing about the 2009 European election was the fact that it had nothing to do with Europe.

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