Demonstration against ISIS this Saturday


Organised by the Kurdish People’s Assembly UK

ISIS protestjOn Saturday the 16 of August, a large demonstration will take place in central London calling for urgent action to protect the people of Sinjar and the surrounding region from attacks by the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

ISIS represent a new and unprecedented threat to the lives and way of life of millions of people in Iraq and Syria. Furthermore, this is a threat we in the West cannot afford to ignore since it could potentially jeopardise our own national security. Read More »

Posted in Multilateral Foreign Policy | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Responses

The chancellor’s vision of a northern powerhouse is a world away from the Department for Transport’s cost-cutting agenda


The chancellor should use his Autumn Statement to set out firm plans for major investment in the north’s rail infrastructure

George Osborne nc1jThe chancellor’s vision of a northern powerhouse is a world away from the Department for Transport’s cost-cutting agenda. The surprise announcement that Northern Rail is putting up fares shows government must learn to sing from the same hymn sheet or the opportunity to rebalance the economy will be squandered.

From 8 September, passengers using Northern Rail services on weekdays between 4.00pm and 6.30pm to and from many of the north’s main cities will have to buy a peak-time ticket, costing up to double the off-peak equivalent. Read More »

Posted in Public Services for All | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Salmond fails to get Commonwealth boost


Alex Salmond’s hopes of a Scottish bounce as a result of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have been dashed, according to the latest polling on Scottish independence.

Scotland independencejAccording to the latest data collected by TNS-BMRB, 45 per cent of those questioned backed a no vote in next months’ referendum (+4 points from a month ago), 32 per cent expressed support for independence (unchanged) and 23 per cent said that they were undecided (-4 points). Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Responses

Once again we’re reminded: this won’t feel like a recovery to most people


While the overall number of people in work is now higher than in 2008, the composition of the workforce is very different

Job Centre ncrjYesterday’s labour market statistics shows strong improvements in employment and further falls in unemployment. At 73 per cent the employment rate is back to its pre recession level.

The unemployment rate has also continued to fall and at 6.4 per cent is the lowest it’s been since late 2008.

While there is still some way to go before pre- recession rates (5.2 per cent) are reached, this progress is welcome. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

With strong economic growth we should be seeing wages going up, not down


Dismal pay figures leave many scratching their heads

Money no copyrightjThe pay figures published today show a dismal picture for many of those in work. Average weekly earnings fell by 0.2 per cent comparing the three months to June with the same three months a year ago.

Much of this fall was because bonuses were down on exceptionally high levels at this time last year. But even regular pay – which excludes the bonus element – produced growth of only 0.6 per cent. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Responses

HSC’s Letter to the Prime Minister: Call for urgent response to recent events in Iraq


The Rt Hon David Cameron MP

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street

London WC2H 9JQ

13 August 2014

 

Dear Prime Minister,

Sub: Request to recall Parliament

On behalf of the Human Security Centre, and the Parliamentarians, academics, media associates and community leaders who share our concerns, we are writing to request you to recall Parliament and to convene a wider debate about the UK’s response to the current humanitarian crisis in Iraq. Read More »

Posted in Multilateral Foreign Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Responses

Poll results: large majority of Left Foot Forward readers opposed to fracking


83 per cent of you are against fracking, according to our poll

Fracking ncrjOn Monday we asked you, on the back of a poll showing that most Brits seemed to support at least some fracking, whether you, as readers of this blog, did too.

I assumed, judging by much of our coverage of the issue, as well as based on some of the ‘below the line’ comments here, that you wouldn’t. What I didn’t expect was such a large majority against fracking. Read More »

Posted in Environment | Tagged , , , , | 5 Responses

Unemployment down 132,000 to 2.08 million


Job Centre ncrjUnemployment decreased by 132,000 in the three months to June 2014 to 2.08 million, with the unemployment rate now at 6.4 per cent, today’s labour market statistics reveal. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , | 8 Responses

What would radical decentralisation look like?


Much needs to be done to end the irresistible pull of London

London 1 ncrjWith Labour’s Policy Review acknowledging the importance of re-distributing power away from Westminster and George Osborne announcing over £15bn of rail improvements for the north, it is worth exploring some ideas for what could be done to truly overcome the London-centric nature of our politics and economy.

Firstly, public spending is necessary but not sufficient by itself. Austerity has and will continue to increase regional disparities (as regions outside London are more dependent on public sector investment) and with Labour signing up to Tory spending plans this trend will continue. The cuts to local government are significant and are testing their ability to function as efficient and responsive organisations to the fullest. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , | 12 Responses

Play the world’s smallest violin for Mark Simmonds MP


What planet does the MP for Boston and Skegness actually live on?

Mark Simmonds ncrjMP bashing can certainly go too far at times. Cynics enjoy lamenting our MPs for being ‘all the same’ when it reality they aren’t. Many work incredibly hard for their constituents and they really could earn more money outside of Parliament.

That said, what on earth is Tory Foreign Office minister (now ex-minister) Mark Simmonds thinking? Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , | 8 Responses
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