Thursday News Review

Ed M offers freedom and flexibility…

Ed Miliband has pledged greater freedom for the Scottish Labour Party

“Speaking on a visit to the Scottish Parliament, Ed Miliband said Labour should “lighten up” and allow Iain Gray, the party’s Holyrood chief, to draw up his own plans. The former Energy and Climate Change Secretary also gave his backing to handing Scottish ministers limited tax powers but opposed the “full fiscal autonomy” demanded by Alex Salmond.” – The Telegraph

“Labour leadership hopeful Ed Miliband has called for every worker to be allowed to work more flexible hours. The shadow cabinet minister said the state needed to do more to raise people’s quality of life outside work, urging that markets should not be left to decide “what is acceptable”. He said employees in Britain worked “harder for longer” than anywhere else in western Europe. “This is not the good society we aspire to,” he told Labour activists in London yesterday.” – The Scotsman

Nature vs. Nurture

“All of this creates a dilemma for Labour, which Jack Straw pre-emptively tackled in dismal fashion by decrying “handwringing” in the Daily Mail. Those Labour leadership candidates who talk about pushing the political centre ground in a progressive direction now face a great test. Do they revert to the populist fearmongering of the Blair years? Or do they instead engage with the more enlightened debate which Mr Clarke has boldly unlocked?” – The Guardian

“Candidates for the Labour leadership took a more nuanced view of the row. Andy Burnham said it was better to spend money helping people get their lives back on track than to fund private companies to run prisons. Ed Balls pointed out that the government was poised to cut budgets for crime prevention programmes such as youth activities and programmes for teen pregnancy and drugs misuse.” –

 Time for a graduate tax?

“Labour leadership candidate Ed Miliband will tout his proposals for a graduate tax around campuses in the coming weeks. Writing on 26 June, he argues that “a levy, which would abolish fees but ask graduates to pay between 0.25 per cent and 2 per cent of their income over a 20-year period, could raise substantially more … than the current system”.” – Times Higher Education

“The news that two contenders for the Labour leadership, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, are talking about a graduate tax to replace tuition fees shows just how political the whole issue of student funding is becoming again, and how fragile the consensus on fees is. Or does it? These two men are fighting to become leader of their party. In fact, four out of the five candidates in the Labour leadership election have said they would support a switch from tuition fees to a graduate tax.” – The Independent

Revived “Englishness”

“Labour needs a “revived politics of Englishness” to restore its electoral fortunes, leadership candidate David Miliband has argued. But Mr Miliband rejected proposals for an English Parliament or a new tough-on-immigration message, and instead said the party should pin its hopes on strengthening the civic pride and economic resilience of English towns and cities.”

Labour on the up in Wales

“LABOUR believes it has a serious chance of winning an overall majority at next year’s National Assembly election after an opinion poll last night showed its support has dramatically increased. A YouGov poll for ITV Wales showed that in constituency seats, 42% would vote Labour, 20% Plaid Cymru, 19% Conservative, 12 % Lib Dems and 6% for other parties.” – The Western Mail

 And finally…

“Diane Abbott was scheduled to appear on BBC2’s The Daily Politics today with frenemy Andrew Neil (blogs Westminster’s stirrer-in-chief Guido Fawkes), but mysteriously cancelled the encounter. Scared of being asked about those taxi receipts again? Apparently not, explains her office: Diane has “a long-standing commitment to speak to some American students, but’s she’s happy to do the show and is looking at other possible dates.” Her fellow Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham will appear with Neil tonight, but we presume she’ll return to her £36,000pa spot on the sofa should she fail to win the leadership. “I don’t think she’s thinking beyond the campaign, to be honest,” says her spokesperson. A BBC spokesperson, on the other hand, tells us the corporation is expecting Abbott back after the summer recess. As are the rest of us.” – The Independent

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply