Archive for June, 2010

Thursday News Review

24/06/2010, 10:55:45 AM

The fightback goes on…

Liberal Lines

“LABOUR leadership contender Ed Miliband launched a withering attack on the Liberal Democrats during a trip to the Senedd yesterday, accusing them of selling out their principles to prop up a right-wing Tory Government.” – Western Mail

“How can the Liberals support a Budget which puts 100,000 more people out of work while raising the only tax that the unemployed have to pay? And what about charities that help the elderly and the poor? The Charity Tax Reform Group says the Budget will cost charities in Britain at least £140million a year in higher VAT bills. That’s equal to the total money raised on the last three nights of Comic Relief.” – Ed Balls, The Mirror (more…)

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Labour select committee election results

23/06/2010, 11:46:10 PM
Following today’s ballot the following colleagues (in alphabetical order) have been elected to the following select committees:

BIS – Luciana Berger, Jack Dromey, Chi Onwurah, Rachel Reeves.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT – David Cairns, Paul Farrelly, Alan Keen, Jim Sheridan, Tom Watson (more…)

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As the Tories go to war on the public sector, Nick Palmer asks where does Labour stand?

23/06/2010, 12:05:44 PM

As covering fire for its cuts, the coalition is deliberately whipping up division between public and private sector workers (and between both of these and people on benefits). The Mail and the Express are leading the charge with crude comparisons of public and private sector pay and conditions (for entirely different types of job). The message is being backed up in successive speeches by Cameron and Osborne.  This was heralded by a menacing warning by Cameron in 2009:

Let me make it clear to everyone who works in the public sector: we will honour existing pay deals, including any three year pay deals. But many of them end next year.. (more…)

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Cuts to food and trips: MPs to share the public sector pain

23/06/2010, 10:24:32 AM

The Speaker, John Bercow, last night wrote to MPs pledging extra cuts to House of Commons spending “in the light of increased financial constraints on the public sector”.

He told MPs that “the House of Commons Commission has agreed to cut £12 million from the budget for the House in the current year. This marks the start of a fundamental review of expenditure, which will deliver further savings over the next three years.

The savings to be made this year are 5 per cent more than the Commission originally planned, and will reduce estimated spending for 2010/11 to £219 million. This action follows the Commission’s decision in December 2009, to cut House expenditure by 9% by the end of 2012/13.” (more…)

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Back to school for today’s select committee elections

23/06/2010, 09:27:16 AM

It’s back to school for Labour MPs. Term has started and now it’s time to choose options.

 Last night, PLP secretary Martin O’Donovan sent out the rules for the next stage of choosing Labour’s select committee members. Those who put their names down for committees which proved unpopular have been elected unopposed.

But there won’t be enough chairs in the classroom for maths: it’s almost two to a seat at the treasury. (It does look good on your CV though).

Boys dominate PE and art in the DCMS nominations, with no female candidates. But most pupils went for more holidays:  international development, defence and foreign affairs – the top trip committees – were as over-subscribed as the most prestigious and serious one: treasury.

Predictably less popular are science and technology, public administration and environmental audit. Empty desks and unfilled places abound. Graham Stringer, Paul Flynn and Martin Caton were the only ones to put their names forward in each case.
Each candidate’s 200 word ‘pick me’ has now been sent to the PLP. Interminable self-promoting emails have been dispatched. Surprising numbers of them have been read and considered by their peers. And they have till 5pm this evening to vote.

The full document sent out to MPs last night is here.

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Rules and candidates for today’s select committee elections

23/06/2010, 09:23:26 AM

FAO Labour MPs
At 7pm this evening (Tue 22 June) the deadline passed for nominations to the Labour vacancies on the select committees.

Please find below four key pieces of information:

– the list of nominations where we are proceeding to ballot.
– the list of the remaining committees, including those colleagues who are now

ELECTED unopposed to fill vacancies.
– details of how you submit a short statement (200 words) to the PLP Office so that we can send all statements out together

– information about proxy voting

We will now move to elect the vacancies on the following committees in a ballot in the PLP Office between 10am and 5pm on Wednesday. The names of all the candidates is also attached.


1. BIS (6 nominations for 4 vacancies)

(Luciana Berger, Jack Dromey, Julie Elliott, Gregg McClymont, Chi Onwurah, Rachel Reeves)

2. CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT (6 nominations for 5 vacancies)

(David Cairns, Jim Dowd, Paul Farrelly, Alan Keen, Jim Sheridan, Tom Watson)

3. DEFENCE (8 nominations for 5 vacancies)

(Thomas Docherty, Michael Dugher, David Hamilton, Dai Havard, Madeleine Moon, Alison Seabeck, Gisela Stuart, John Woodcock)

4. FOREIGN AFFAIRS (10 nominations for 5 vacancies)

(Ann Clwyd, Jeremy Corbyn, Mike Gapes, Fabian Hamilton, Mark Hendrick, Sandra Osborne, Yasmin Qureshi, Emma Reynolds, Frank Roy, David Watts)

5. HOME AFFAIRS (5 nominations for 4 vacancies)

(Steve McCabe, Alun Michael, Bridget Phillipson, Karl Turner, David Winnick)

6. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (9 nominations for 5 vacancies)

(Hugh Bayley, Russell Brown, Richard Burden, Michael McCann, Ann McKechin, Pamela Nash, Anas Sarwar, Virendra Sharma, Marsha Singh)

7. TRANSPORT (7 nominations for 4 vacancies)

(Lilian Greenwood, Tom Harris, Julie Hilling, Kelvin Hopkins, Jonathan Reynolds, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith)

8. TREASURY (9 nominations for 5 vacancies)

(Gordon Banks, John Cryer, Mark Lazarowicz, Andy Love, John Mann, Michael Meacher, George Mudie, Ian Murray, Chuka Umunna)

9. WORK AND PENSIONS (5 nominations for 4 vacancies)

(Karen Buck, Margaret Curran, Kate Green, Shabana Mahmood, Teresa Pearce)


1. CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES – Nic Dakin, Pat Glass, Liz Kendall, Ian Mearns, Lisa Nandy. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.

2. COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Heidi Alexander, Clive Efford, Toby Perkins, Chris Williamson. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.

3. ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE – Tom Greatrex, Albert Owen, John Robertson, Alan Whitehead. ONE VACANCY REMAINS.


5. HEALTH – Rosie Cooper, Fiona Mactaggart, Grahame Morris, Valerie Vaz. ONE VACANCY REMAINS.

6. JUSTICE – Chris Evans, Sian James, Linda Riordan. TWO VACANCIES REMAIN.

7. NORTHERN IRELAND – Gemma Doyle, Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, Ian Lavery, Stephen Pound. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.

8. POLITICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM – Sheila Gilmore, Tristram Hunt, Catherine McKinnell, Peter Soulsby. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.


10. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS – Eric Joyce, Austin Mitchell, Anne McGuire, Nick Smith. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.


12. SCOTTISH AFFAIRS – Cathy Jamieson, Jim McGovern, Fiona O’Donnell, Lindsay Roy. NO VACANCIES REMAIN.


if you are standing in a contested ballot on Wednesday the PLP Office will be collating short (200 word) statements to be circulated to all colleagues and avoid too much email traffic. So, if you are in a contested ballot as of 7pm, please send your 200 words to me on this email address by 3pm tomorrow. All statements will then be circulated at 4pm tomorrow.


If you need to arrange a proxy vote for Wednesday’s election please contact me by Tuesday at 5pm on this email address.

A reminder that candidates who are unsuccessful in Wednesday’s ballot may apply for remaining vacancies, as may any eligible colleague who has yet to express an interest. I will circulate the full list of vacancies on Thursday morning.

Martin O’Donovan
Director of Unit and PLP Secretary

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Wednesday News Review

23/06/2010, 07:53:04 AM

Labour’s fightback

“While Labour fights a leadership contest and Lib Dems wonder whether they can change the voting system as a reward for their loyalty, Osborne needs to win the argument that his measures are “unavoidable” – a word that recurred in his speech as often as “progressive”. The term is another convenient one, implying that there is no other course and therefore challenge is futile. Margaret Thatcher famously argued in the 1980s that there was no alternative to her policies. Osborne did not repeat the phrase, but “unavoidable” has precisely the same meaning and serves the same purpose.” – The Independent (more…)

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Tom Copley says the Lib Dems are too soft for the hard budget

22/06/2010, 07:45:39 PM

Today’s budget was a typically Tory affair. Fresh from wielding the axe, George Osborne sat down to ecstatic cheers from Tory backbenchers delighted at his assault on the state.  The Lib Dem response was somewhat more muted. According to the Guardian, only one of their 37 backbenchers waved his order paper in approval.

Amongst the Lib Dem membership I imagine the response was even frostier. Lib Dem federal executive member, Richard Grayson, writes on Comment is Free that his party’s leadership has “abandoned the party’s centre left roots”. He is wrong – they have no roots to abandon. (more…)

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Fastest anti-budget protest?

22/06/2010, 07:28:29 PM

By 6pm this evening, banner-waving protesters were already massed outside Camden town hall in north London.

Surely, they must be the first to have taken to the streets against the budget?

Even more so, they won’t be last.

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John McTernan on Militant, muppets and the coalition budget

22/06/2010, 05:51:09 PM

Some commentators compare Danny Alexander to a missing member of the Sesame Street cast. While such disrespect may annoy and upset him, he’s lucky to be described in such cuddly terms. For when I listen to him and his Lib Dem colleagues, I hear echoes of something far worse and far more sinister – the Militant Tendency.

Admittedly there aren’t the hand gestures, but there is the absolute conviction of the convert to a totalising ideology. By which I mean an ideology that can offer an explanation for every woe. For Trotskyists, it’s capitalist monopolies that wreck lives; the solution: nationalisation. For the coalition, it’s debt; the solution – deep cuts in spending. (more…)

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