Posts Tagged ‘IDS’

PMQs is no playground. Parliament matters.

26/10/2010, 09:50:47 AM

by Dan Hodges

Does the House of Commons matter? Not the institution per se. Temple of democracy or den of inequity? On that you pays your money, or Stephen Byers’ cab fare, and takes your choice.

The chamber itself. Amphitheatre. Cockpit. Arena of the absurd.

There is a fashionable perception that Parliament, in all its forms, is now an irrelevance. Purists bemoan the callow tenor of its discourse. Modernists its arcane, anachronistic traditions. The right sees a shell, gutted by the faceless bureaucrats of Brussels. The left an inflexible monument to establishment orthodoxy.

In a way, all are right. And all wrong. What happens in the Commons chamber changes nothing. But it influences everything.

Take last week’s CSR. One of the more widely covered political showpieces of recent years. Wall to wall live coverage on the TV news channels. Six, seven, eight pages cleared in the national broadsheets. Not a Chilean miner in sight. (more…)

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The new leader must learn a lesson from Cameron, says John Woodcock

27/09/2010, 09:55:23 AM

At a time when we are all rightly focussing on how to unite behind our new leader, I just need to say how bloody gutted I am for his brother.

I thought David Miliband was excellent before this contest began, and he rose significantly in my estimation as it progressed.

The Labour party, and ultimately the country, still need him. And, just as much as him, they need the people he inspired through this contest, and the ideas has brought alive.

But while I am so sad for David, I am filled with hope about the leadership that Ed will bring. A win is a win; and whatever the Tories may try to spin, the maths behind his victory and the manner in which he got there are ultimately likely to be of little interest to the public. What will matter to them is how he leads and how we respond from here. (more…)

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On yer bike, Duncan Smith

28/06/2010, 11:10:18 AM

Work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, is a weak link in the Tory cabinet (for that is what it is). He is neither as clever as he thinks he is, nor as clever as he needs to be. Both of which he is too stupid to realise. He is a series of accidents which are starting to happen. (more…)

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Monday News Review

28/06/2010, 08:06:43 AM

On your bike mark II

“Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls said yesterday Mr Duncan Smith was going further than Norman Tebbit. Mr Balls said: “The remarks suggest that he’s thinking of taking away the housing tenure, the right to a social house and saying you’ve got to move. “So actually he’s going further than saying on your bike. It’s on your bike and lose your home.” – The Mirror

“Labour leadership candidate Ed Miliband – who is backed by former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain – said the proposals were a retreat “back to the 1980s”. He said: “[What] he is saying to whole parts of the country is: ‘we have no hope as a government of getting work into your area so you are going to have to move out of your communities’. And that is frankly disgraceful.” – Western Mail

Cable cracks

“I hear from one of the other panel members that Vince Cable was deeply uncomfortable defending the VAT rise and the Budget and coalition in general on BBC1’s Question Time last week. I’m told that Cable, who has just been distancing himself from his party’s “VAT Bombshell” poster during the election, “simply got through it by a form of meditation.” – James Macintyre, New Statesman

“Up to half a dozen Lib Dem MPs are understood to have unofficially met Labour counterparts late last week to discuss co-ordinating their opposition.  Two early day motions protesting about the rise have attracted the support of almost 70 Labour MPs and Lib Dem MP Bob Russell has already threatened to vote against the Budget.” – The Daily Mail


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