Luke who’s talking

Let’s make Ed’s reforms work

Luke Akehurst  |  9 July 2013

I hope with today’s bold announcement about party reform, following on the heels of economic and welfare policy announcements, fellow members who like me are on the right of the Labour party, but unlike me didn’t vote for Ed as Leader, get what the qualities were that I saw in Ed back in 2010. Ed …

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The two-year task begins

Luke Akehurst  |  14 June 2013

Last week’s Labour announcements on welfare reform and economic policy were vital set-piece events on the road to the 2015 general election, now under two years away. They took place in the context of a volatile polling situation, with the United Kingdom Independence party scooping up anti-government (indeed, anti-politics) protest votes, some of which might …

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Taking seats direct from the Tories

Luke Akehurst  |  1 May 2013

Thursday’s council elections are the most difficult in the cycle for Labour. There are no elections in most of the biggest urban areas, including London and the six former metropolitan counties, nor in Scotland, nor in Wales except for Anglesey. Instead, the main battleground is the rural shire counties, which were largely gerrymandered in a …

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Labour let Thatcher happen

Luke Akehurst  |  11 April 2013

I don’t believe in celebrating when a political opponent dies. You celebrate when they lose power. Celebrate their political demise, not dehumanise them by celebrating their passing as a person. So I celebrated as an 18-year-old student when Margaret Thatcher was deposed as prime minister in 1990, but when she passed away this week I …

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A new model of ‘preventative intervention’

Luke Akehurst  |  20 February 2013

Ed’s speech about the 10p tax rate meant that there was not a lot of coverage of Jim Murphy’s important speech on ‘preventative intervention’ last week. That’s a shame as Jim’s speech deserved more attention and was a characteristically thoughtful contribution to debate about one of the most controversial aspects of the Blair years, the …

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10p and the mansion tax

Luke Akehurst  |  14 February 2013

There has been a bit of background chuntering that Ed Miliband needed to start unveiling some policy proposals. Today’s speech in Bedford did just that. The centrepiece of it was a pledge to reintroduce the 10p tax rate for lower-paid workers. This was introduced by Gordon Brown in 1998 and then in a bizarre and …

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Why is Iran Air still flying to Heathrow?

Luke Akehurst  |  6 February 2013

Barely a week goes past without the Iranian regime’s rogue status making headlines. President Ahmadinejad is the figurehead of one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Iran under his leadership has: •    Provided support for the Syrian government in its civil war. •    Cracked down on anti-government protesters, journalists, human rights activists and …

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UKIP tail is wagging the Tory dog

Luke Akehurst  |  24 January 2013

I am trying my best to get excited about David Cameron’s ‘big speech’ on Europe. Mainly I am failing. I can think of a number of questions facing the UK today which are worthy of a fuss and really fundamental for the future wellbeing of the country: How do we restore economic growth? How do …

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‘Super Thursday’ postscript

Luke Akehurst  |  30 November 2012

Last night we had the postscript to the ‘super Thursday’ elections, with three further parliamentary by-elections in Croydon North, Middlesbrough and Rotherham. Any or all of these could have been problematic for Labour and could not be taken for granted. Middlesbrough has a history at local authority level of electing the independent ‘Robo-Cop’ Ray Mallon …

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Peace process needn’t be rocket science

Luke Akehurst  |  21 November 2012

As well as being a Labour party activist I work as director of We Believe in Israel, a grassroots campaign group. I therefore don’t pretend to be an unbiased observer of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. But I have studied the situation closely enough to understand that the events of the last week are …

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