Anti-Semitism should have no place in the pro-Palestinian movement


It’s up to all pro-Palestinian campaigners to stamp out any anti-Semitic sentiments when they see them

Gaza protestsj70 attacks have been reported on Jews in the UK since the Israeli war on Gaza began on July 8, two thirds of which are directly related to the conflict.

It goes without saying that this is an incredibly worrying trend. And as the Palestinian death toll mounts past a thousand, it appears to be spreading.

I was on the Stop the War demonstration in London on Saturday. It was huge (between 50,000-100,000), and it was peaceful. It was also incredibly diverse, with Jews for Justice for Palestinians marching alongside Muslims, students and peace campaigners. Read More »

Posted in A Britain We All Call Home | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Responses

UK Surveillance Bill: giving up privacy for security but with no guarantee of security


Freedoms cannot be given up for the nebulous cause of ‘security’

Theresa May no copyrightjBy now, people are aware of at least some the spying being conducted by the NSA and the GCHQ. The two programs working together form the largest data collection project in human history.

Edward Snowden’s leaks have elucidated at least the mechanisms behind the data collection: metadata collection by the GCHQ and the NSA has been sponging up information from across the internet as phone call metadata is simultaneously monitored. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Battling hostile management, Ritzy workers inspire low-paid workers across the UK


At least some young workers are starting to realise that they won’t get paid what they’re entitled to without a fight

Ritzy ncrjThe days of company lock-outs and barricades against striking staff are said to be over. But if one art-house cinema chain in London has anything to do with it, worker-management hostility may be making a return.

Workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton have been taking strike action over the past few months to fight for a Living Wage in what is now one of the most expensive cities to live in in the world. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , | 2 Responses

Message to David Cameron: you have no evidence the benefit system acts as a ‘magnetic pull’


There’s very little evidence of the ‘magnetic pull’ of our benefits system. But there is evidence which suggests the Prime Minister wants to win back disillusioned Tory voters who’ve been attracted by UKIP

ImmigrationjAnother day, another announcement about tightening benefit rules for EU migrants.

Writing in the Telegraph today, David Cameron says the “magnetic pull” of UK benefits needs addressing so that people come to Britain for the right reasons.

Immigration should “put Britain first”, he writes, before setting out plans to ensure that EU migrants will be unable to claim benefits for more than three months unless they have “clear job prospects”. Read More »

Posted in A Britain We All Call Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 22 Responses

Fracking for shale gas: Hancock’s half-truths


The new energy minister calls shale “the holy grail” of energy policy. He’s probably right. It’s a mythical object that no-one’s found, and over time just has increasing comedy-value

Fracking ncrjToday, new energy minister Matthew Hancock has lined up behind the rest of the men in the coalition government to don his cheerleader outfit and start thumping the tub for fracking.

Astonishingly large swathes of the British countryside are now laid open to the drillers’ rigs, as the government’s new map today shows. It’s an obsession that’s starting to seem more than slightly unhinged.

What’s worst about this bizarre fixation with trying to force through the least popular energy source since nuclear power is that if the government were genuinely concerned about the problems fracking purports to solve, there are many other things it should do first. Read More »

Posted in Environment | Tagged , , , , | 20 Responses

The Sun: preparing its readership for NHS privatisation


The NHS is in ‘crisis’, according to today’s Sun. But is it really? Or at least, is it in the way the Sun is arguing?

Sun front pagej‘NHS in crisis’ – that’s The Sun’s verdict on the health service today. The paper points to “A&E swamped, long waits for GP” and a care “timebomb”.

This alarming analysis by The Sun dominates their main news coverage. They’re clearly searching for problems – “are you a media with a horror story about the NHS? Call our newsdesk”, page five screams. Read More »

Posted in Public Services for All | Tagged , , , , | 10 Responses

Forget Wallace, what Miliband doesn’t have is sufficient distinction in the message


If Miliband can’t win on style, substance becomes more important, but I’m not sure Labour really understand this

Ed Miliband ncrjEd Miliband has been in full counterattack mode over the past few days. On Friday he attempted to defuse the Wallace bomb by claiming he wouldn’t even try and out do the Prime Minister in the image stakes. On Sunday he appeared on Andrew Marr to sell much the same message, albeit with some new material on a People’s Question Time.

The message is clear – you might not think Miliband is a cool guy, but he’s the best guy to be Prime Minister.

The right – predictably – has had some fun at this, and it is indeed unfortunate that it arrived on the week Miliband dashed to Washington to grab a picture with Barack Obama. But the problem facing the electorate isn’t just articulated by the response of the right. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , | 14 Responses

London rents now double that of rest of UK


The cost of renting in London has soared in recent years

Houses ncrjRents in London are now more than twice as expensive as the rest of the UK, a new study has found.

The average rent in the capital is £1,412 per month, compared to £694 for the elsewhere in the country – making London prices 203 per cent higher, according to the HomeLet Rental Index. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Will the last person to leave Scotland please turn out the lights


17 per cent of adults say they would consider leaving Scotland if it opted for independence

Scotland flag ncrjNew polling conducted by Panelbase for the Sunday Times and Heart Radio in Scotland has found that 17 per cent of adults would think about leaving the country should it opt for independence.

In contrast, 5 per cent of voters said they would consider emigrating in the event of the country rejecting independence, with 73 per cent saying they plan to stay regardless of the outcome. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , , , | 26 Responses

Members of the public in the Commons: populist stunt or authentic democratic renewal?


As a populist stunt, it’s certainly a clever one

House of CommonsjEd Miliband announced today that if he were elected Prime Minister, he would invite a carefully selected cross-section of the public into the House of Commons to question him. This would take place on a Wednesday afternoon, after questions from MPs.

Is this a populist stunt designed to make the wider public feel included, or is it a brave step towards authentic regeneration?

As a populist stunt, it is certainly a clever one. In a climate in which young people feel that there is no point in voting because it will not make a difference, or, worse, will legitimise the current politics, offering this appearance of inclusion could bring a swing towards Labour. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , | 6 Responses
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