Salmond’s NHS argument has been blown apart

Independence could make it harder to protect the NHS in Scotland

NHSjAlex Salmond’s argument that only independence can save the NHS has been blown apart by new information leaked to the BBC and the Herald newspaper.

The papers, supplied by an unnamed NHS whistle-blower, described as having become frustrated by the Yes campaign’s statements on the NHS, were presented to a meeting of health board chief executives and civil servants last month. Read More »

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Scotland’s referendum will boost turnout in the 2015 election

With so many Scottish voters going to the polls, there could be a spillover effect resulting in higher turnout levels in future elections

Polling booth ncrjOn Thursday people in Scotland are set to make one of the biggest political decisions of their lives. How important this vote is to the Scottish public couldn’t be better highlighted than in the record number of those in Scotland registered: nearly 97 per cent (4.29 million) of the total population aged 16 and over.

The knock on effect of so many people participating in the referendum can have a tremendous impact on democratic life in Scotland. At IPPR we’ve found that not only has election turnout declined over recent years, but it’s increasingly becoming unequal as younger and less affluent citizens remove themselves from the electoral process. Read More »

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A Yes vote would make it harder to tackle extremism

 The Scottish National Party has failed miserably to engage in preventing Islamist extremism

Alex Salmond ncrjWe are facing an international and unprecedented threat from extremist Islamist groups and individuals. This threat is acutely felt in the UK since we have experienced the terror attacks of 7/7, have foiled over 30 major terrorist plots since 7/7 and have over 500 fighters – from both England and Scotland – that have joined ISIS.

With this in mind, it is important to note that the Scottish National Party (SNP) has failed miserably to engage in preventing the Islamist extremism agenda. In fact, Alex Salmond has even appeased Islamist extremists and spent tax payer’s money to fund them. Read More »

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Event: How can we make economic growth work for everyone?

Wednesday 10.00, Labour Party Conference, Manchester – LabourList Marquee (secure zone)

Money ncrjLeft Foot Forward is hosting a discussion about making economic growth fairer at this year’s Labour Party conference in Manchester

Finally, after several years of flatlining under George Osborne’s watch, the economy is once again growing. And yet despite this, most people are still getting poorer as inflation outstrips average wages. Read More »

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Will Nick Clegg’s drug reforms have any influence on voters?

67 per cent of the public agree there needs to be reform when it comes to drug policy, but will it be enough to win back lost voters?

Nick Clegg ncrjThe Liberal Democrats are in dire straits. Plummeting support for the party continues to be highlighted in poll after poll, currently standing at 7 per cent according YouGov, but it is likely that that figure will continue to dip right up until election day next May.

In an attempt to claw back some share of the electorate, Nick Clegg announced on Monday that the party will look into decriminalising all drugs for personal use, allowing cannabis to be sold on the open market.

If it reaches the manifesto, it is no doubt a bold move that the party so evidently needs, but will it make a difference? Read More »

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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 »

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The Tory double-think on human rights

If we want to champion human rights abroad, we cannot undermine them at home

Human rights ncrjIf I had to commend the Tories on one element of their agenda since 2010, it would have to be the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative championed by William Hague. Culminating in the successful Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in June this year, the initiative rallied countries across the world to the cause of tackling violence against women.

Indeed, the world has come together under Britain’s leadership to sign a Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

It was a proud moment. It was also a surprising one. Who ever expected the Tories would emerge as champions of women’s rights on the global stage? Isn’t Tory foreign policy only supposed to be about naked self-interest – security and trade? Read More »

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POLL: Should Britain take part in military action against IS?

Should Britain take part in military action against IS? Or are we best of out of it?

Foreign secretary Philip Hammond is to meet foreign ministers in London today to discuss plans to deal with the so-called Islamic State (IS).

David Cameron has said the UK will ‘hunt down’ the killers of aid worker David Haines, who was murdered over the weekend by IS militants. But the prime minister has yet to spell out exactly what form that action will take. Read More »

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A No vote must not mean Yes in all but name

We need to be together in more than just name

Alex Salmond ncrjThe recent YouGov poll showing, for the first time, a small lead for those in favour of Scottish independence had the Westminster parties in a renewed state of panic.

A Yes vote on Thursday would be personally damaging for both Cameron as the prime minister who let his country fall apart, and Ed Miliband as the leader whose party fronted much of the No campaign, and lost a large chunk of their electoral heartland.

Hence the latest, last ditch effort to save face, bringing Gordon Brown back for one last hurrah and a new, improved offer for the Scottish people. Read More »

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Is Lord Hill’s appointment really a ‘victory for Britain’?

The tendency to see EU policy as a battle between competing nations should be more problematic for the left

CamJuncker ncrjThis week the former Conservative leader in the House of Lords, Lord Hill, was awarded the financial services portfolio at the European Commission – though anyone hearing of this development through the UK media might understandably have mistaken the news for the second coming of King Arthur.

Even newspapers that normally cover European issues with a measure of balance reinforced the narrative of the gallant peer riding in to rescue the poor benighted Brits from the willful oppression of the vindictive Eurocrats.

The Independent claimed that ‘hopes of winning a better deal in Europe for Britain were boosted’. The Guardian said that ‘Britain was celebrating a rare success in Brussels.’ Less restrained outlets conjured up images of Hill entering the Commission building in a chariot pulled by bulldogs, at the head of a conga singing ‘Vindaloo.’ Read More »

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