Tuesday 17:30, Labour Party Conference, Manchester – LabourList Marquee (secure zone)
The 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 »
Labour’s NHS plans sound interesting at first view. But can they survive the pressures on the health service?
With 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 »
The parties’ spending plans are becoming stranger and stranger
The 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 »
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
In 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 »
We need to strike out beyond the confines of housing policy orthodoxies accepted by all political parties since the late 1980s
Overshadowed 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 »
On English votes for English laws, Labour has been caught like a rabbit in the headlights
In 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 »