Do the Conservatives Have a Long Term Plan for the 7-way Leaders’ Debates

By Bill Lytton What is Cameron's plan now there is a seven-way leaders' debate? “It is pretty disreputable that David Cameron went in to the 2010 election saying these debates were the most important thing that we could possibly have, people shouldn’t make feeble excuses to get out of them and he is doing precisely that. He is running scared from these debates.” That’s Ed Miliband’s analysis of the situation, given on the Andrew Marr Show some weeks back. And,...

Setting our cities free to grow

 By Cllr Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council and Vice Chair of Core Cities UK with responsibility for growth Barely a week goes by, it seems, without a new report making the case for devolution of powers and funding to city regions to drive economic growth and re-balance the economy. The Scottish Independence referendum ignited the debate about devolution and pushed it into the mainstream. Big cities are the powerhouses of the economy. The ten biggest UK cities outside...

Parliamentary sketch 21st Jan – Obama’s care received by PM

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor I’m quite paranoid and believe the whole world is a conspiracy (against who, I’m not certain), but I am sure there was a very elaborate planned “joke,” during today’s PMQs. The sting began with Robert Jenrick, Con, who said of Miliband’s economic policy, “to be blunt” “James Blunt!” his partner in crime sitting beside him, chipped in, “he would send the UK back to bedlam,” he finished. Then Robert Redford (played by the PM) stepped...

The Assassination of Princess Diana

Jack Peat reviews Truth, Lies, Diana at Charing Cross Theatre. On the night princess Diana died I was driving home from a family holiday in France. Most people know where they were when the tragic news started filtering through the media, the memory fixed in our minds in the same way people recall their whereabouts when JF Kennedy was assassinated. And like the gunshot on the grassy knoll that has implicated 82 assassins and 214 people in conspiracy theories, the...

How the media push though the Human Trafficking legislation

By David Thomson "They had for the present no object immediately before them, but that by putting stop directly to the carrying of men in British ships to be sold as slaves,” were the words of evangelical christian MP William Wilberforce after his Slave Trade Act won an overwhelming Commons majority in Febuary 1807. It wasn’t until 26 years later that slavery was fully abolished. Slavery was thought to be long gone in the UK until the beginning of 2013...

Moving on Seamlessly? Mapping the Fate of UK Coalfield Communities

By Dr Katy Shaw 2014-15 marks not only the anniversary of the biggest post-war labour conflict in UK history - the 1984-5 UK miners’ strike – but also the first birthday of the Justice for Coalfields campaign. With a total population of around five million, of which 3.75 million are in England, former coalfield sites constitute both a significant portion of the UK and a continuing source of tension for its government. For many former coal regions, the miners’ strike of...

Charlie Hebdo’s survivors’ issue: a short lived solidarity?

By Elsa Buchanan, International Politics reporter Charlie Hebdo’s “survivors’ issue” sold out within minutes as readers jostled and elbowed their way to grab a copy, but supporters warn this upsurge of solidarity could be short-lived. Demand for what is being called the "survivors' issue" of the Charlie Hebdo magazine was high across France this morning. “I was fifth in the queue when I arrived at 6.45am to buy Charlie Hebdo, and the Maison de la Presse (newsagent) didn’t open until 7.15am,” explains Marie-Christine...

David Cameron the Freedom Hypocrite

By Bill Lytton  Before it was shadowed by the heinous attacks in Paris, France last week, it emerged that the NHS is in a grim state. Numerous hospitals across the UK declared major incidents. Inevitably, a showdown ensued between the incumbent guardians of finance, the Conservatives, and the self-appointed angels of the NHS, Labour. The stand-off was a trite, if not predictable, medley of self-defence strategies and outright accusations. In sum, Ed and Dave are both incompetent – according to...

Parliamentary Sketch 14th January – “If your name’s not down you’re not getting in.”

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor I was brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne and watching pub fights escalate was a common occurrence. Surprisingly the two leaders reminded me of one of these skirmishes, albeit it in an Oxbridge, educated duel way, rather than a bottling on Shields Road, Byker. After watching a number of these confrontations, the violence tends to only escalate once the door staff have broken it up, then both parties can really throw insults at each other,...

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