Event: Where now for a two-state solution?


Tuesday 17:30, Labour Party Conference, Manchester – LabourList Marquee (secure zone)

Israel PalestinejThe issue of Israel and Palestine is rarely out of the news. Behind the stories of human tragedy, however, there exists a solvable land dispute. Traditionally this has meant progressives working towards a two state solution. But is this still a realistic goal?

In light of recent events, where now for the two state solution? Speakers will be asked to talk for seven minutes each before the debate is opened up to the floor. Read More »

Posted in Left Foot Forward | Tagged , , , | 8 Responses

Will Labour’s lofty NHS plans fall down a cash black hole?


Labour’s NHS plans sound interesting at first view. But can they survive the pressures on the health service?

NHSjWith the final party conference season before next May’s general election underway, the main political parties are treating their gatherings as a pitch to the voters.

At its jamboree in Manchester, Labour is especially keen to flaunt its government-in-waiting credentials, with a slew of announcements designed to appeal to key voter groups while simultaneously showing it has learnt from the ‘mistakes’ of the Blair and Brown years. Read More »

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History should not give cause for optimism for Labour


Ed Miliband needs to conquer is his image problem which, four years on from taking the leadership of the party, remains a noose around the party’s neck

Ed Miliband ncrjNext year’s General Election will be one in which the near impossible will have occurred whatever the result.

Should the Conservatives seize the levers of powers they will have defied historical precedents and increased its share of the vote whilst in power between elections. Read More »

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The unbearable lightness of deficit reduction


The parties’ spending plans are becoming stranger and stranger

Ed Balls ncr2jThe shadow chancellor Ed Balls made his last party conference speech before the election today. He was remarkably consistent, the bulk of his speech repeating what he said last year: increasing the top rate of tax, a higher levy on bank balance sheets and houses worth more than £2m, confessing that spending cuts will continue.

In that vein, he added that ministers in a Labour government will take a 5 per cent pay cut and child benefit will not rise in line with inflation until 2017. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , | 6 Responses

The Yes campaign may have won the #indyref


With pro-independence parties seeing record-breaking membership growth, the indy camp could be the real winners after all

Alex Salmond ncrjWho do you think won the Scottish independence referendum on Thursday? You’d probably have a fair claim to say it was the unionist campaign, winning 55 per cent of the vote.

But a few facts suggest that in the long run, it could be the parties that campaigned for independence. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Responses

Labour conference: The child benefit cap is a blow to struggling families


Labour’s record on child poverty is an admirable one. So it’s even more of a shame that Ed Balls has allowed the axe to fall on child benefit

Ed Balls ncjIn an impressive speech by Ed Balls today, the shadow chancellor sought to balance social justice with ‘toughness’ on the key issue of spending and ‘balancing the books’ should Labour win power in 2015.

To strong applause, Balls told conference that ‘you can never trust the Tories with the NHS’. He also drummed on a familiar theme of ‘the slowest recovery for 100 years’, saying that ‘working people cannot afford five more years of this Tory government’. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

Labour must be more radical on housing


We need to strike out beyond the confines of housing policy orthodoxies accepted by all political parties since the late 1980s

Housing for sale signs JPEGOvershadowed by the independence referendum in Scotland, last week’s National Housing Federation conference struggled to convey positive housing messages, including some from shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds.

Even so, Reynolds boosted the morale of NHF conference delegates with categorical assurance that a Labour government will repeal the hated Bedroom Tax. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , | 3 Responses

Conference 2014: Labour is losing credibility on devolution


On English votes for English laws, Labour has been caught like a rabbit in the headlights

England flag ncrjIn his annual pre-conference interview with Andrew Marr, responding to questioning on Labour’s position on English votes for English laws, Ed Miliband declared “we can’t do it in a back-of-the-envelope, fag-packet way”.

Let’s make no mistake about it, David Cameron’s statement just after the referendum in Scotland in which he called for action on the English question to proceed at the same time as further powers being devolved to Scotland blindsided both Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Read More »

Posted in A Britain We All Call Home | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Responses

Labour conference 2014: why Britain needs a higher minimum wage


Ensuring a minimum wage of £8 an hour will mean the low paid seeing some of the benefits of the economic recovery

Ed Miliband ncr 3jEd Miliband has announced that under a Labour government the minimum wage will rise to at least £8 an hour.

The plan will ensure that the lowest paid have about £60 extra in their pockets, ensuring that they are not left behind as the economy grows.

The minimum wage is set to rise by 19p in 10 days’ time to £6.50, but Miliband has ­promised to add £1.50 an hour to that. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Responses

VIDEO: How can public engagement in politics be sustained?


Left Foot Forward’s James Bloodworth and Charlie Beckett of the Polis think tank talk on Sky News about the Scottish independence referendum and getting people politically engaged

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Responses
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