Region Archives: England

Should doctors strike?

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There is to be a further strike by junior doctors in England next week. They will not work between 8 am and 5 pm on 26 and 27 April. In previous strikes, cover for emergencies was maintained; this time it is ‘all out’. (The strikes, and the challenges of the new contract, don’t apply in more…

Abandonment of policy and a growing ‘cult of managerialism’ in education…

Interesting piece by Frank Furedi in the Times Educational Supplement this week. It’s a well-aimed dig at managerialisation within education. It highlights a broader degradation of policy-making in England, courtesy of several generations of activist politicians. Yet some knock-on effects are evident elsewhere too (not least in devolved regions where there’s a dearth of policy more…

Rehabilitation revolution? The Tory mission to change the prison system

Wormwood Scrubs prison, picture by Dylan Harries from Creative Commons

Michael Gove promises “wholesale change” of the prison system. Is his reform agenda One Nation Conservatism in action or just more empty social-justice rhetoric from the Tory government?   The prison service is in crisis and getting worse. As a report from Nick Hardwick, the former chief inspector of prisons, shows, more prisoners were murdered, more…

Northern Ireland’s first fact-checking service launched: FactCheckNI

FCNI Postcard

FactCheckNI — Northern Ireland’s first ever fact-checking service — was officially launched at the Skainos Centre in Belfast. The project — funded by the Big Lottery Fund through Building Change Trust — aims to influence public policy in regards to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, keep politicians right in terms of both more…

Just a day to go to the Big EU Debate from Belfast

1day

Tomorrow evening we’ll be holding our EU Referendum debate featuring some of the leading pro-leave and pro-stay campaigners. We’ll be pitting Owen Paterson MP (a former Secretary of State) against Vernon Coaker MP (the current Shadow Secretary of State). We’ll have Kate Hoey MP against former Conservative MEP, John Stevens. The good news is that more…

Referendum & devolution: 3 different pictures

Will they toe the line together?

The elections this May are almost certain to see the return of familiar faces of both nationalism and unionism. Of course I’m referring to the elections to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, whose electorates will go to the polls on 5 May and then again most likely later in the year for the more…

Corbyn has a long way to go before he can spend any political capital on dealing with his NI rebels

Corbyn result

Interesting piece from Siobhan Fenton in the News Statesman looking at the decision of the local UK Labour Party in principle to stand for elections in Northern Ireland… Siobhan calls it a ‘crisis’ which it might be if anyone in the broader Labour party takes notice… The Northern Irish branch are currently inviting local people more…

Labour Difficulty, Tory Opportunity?

Mick posted a great piece today that referred in detail to a column that the Guardian’s Zoe Williams wrote. Williams argues that Labour’s current travails will be good for the party in the long run as over time the party’s future direction will begin to formulate. It’s a similar argument put forward by Dan Hodges more…

It’s going to be a bad week for the Labour Party

CUSHTY CORBYN: This week that will be the true test of Corbyn’s ability to fight off his opponents in the PLP. Anger and defiance on the right of the party is growing, but Corbyn remains the overwhelming first choice for the Labour grassroots, with 66% of members backing him.

Jeremy Corbyn and the obsession with the history of Marxist revolutions.

Apparently there was a pitched battle for the Chair of the Portsmouth Constituency Labour Party last night… Deep deep joy! – third ballot a tie. Arguments over whether a second coin toss should take place. Demands for a city wide ballot… — Cllr John Ferrett (@John_Ferrett) November 19, 2015 A pitched battle between New Labour more…

Corbyn’s dire polling figures give Tories (and the SNP) huge political latitude

DEAD CAT BOUNCE: Yesterday there were five council by-elections in which both Tories and Labour stood. The overall swing to Conservatives was estimated at 3.8%. Hardly definitive judgement on Corbyn’s leadership, but at a time when the Tories are running a horse and cart through the benefit system hardly grounds for optimism either.

It’s the Constitution, Stupid!

Well last night was a pretty sobering night for George Osborne.  The bill setting out the reduction in the income threshold at which tax credits can be claimed was dealt a serious blow in the House of Lords this evening.  The Government was defeated on two votes; one to pause introduction until an independent study more…

Tories identify the ‘squeezed middle’ and then find an inventive way to squeeze them just a little bit harder.

That rugby tackle, eh? Boris’s way is the old Etonian way. Coming through and winning, and it doesn’t seem to matter who gets hurt. Even Tory voters, apparently… Kate Malby, with a Tory take on the matter… …last night’s former Tory voter was heavily on message, until suddenly, she wasn’t. ‘I work bloody hard for my more…