Posts Tagged ‘Jack Dromey’

Just because its in the Mail doesn’t make it wrong. Harman, Hewitt and Dromey need to provide some answers

24/02/2014, 05:02:08 PM

by Atul Hatwal

Another day, another front page from the Daily Mail on the links between the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) and the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) at a time when Harriet Harman, Patricia Hewitt and Jack Dromey held senior positions in the NCCL.

When the Daily Mail attacks Labour politicians there is a tendency to simply shrug the shoulders and move on. It’s in the nature of the beast, the Mail attacks the party because that’s what the Mail does. So what?

But that doesn’t mean everything it says is wrong.

In this case, the tone might be vituperative and the events almost faded into distant memory, but the Mail’s reports are backed up by hard evidence. Evidence that is difficult to ignore.

The most pointed allegations date from 1976 when Jack Dromey was a member of the NCCL executive and Patricia Hewitt was general secretary (Harriet Harman didn’t start working at the NCCL until 1978.)

In 1976 the NCCL made a submission to parliament on the Sexual Offences Act. In this paper are some extraordinary and inexplicable recommendations,

“(i) A person aged 14 or over should be legally capable of giving consent

(ii) A person aged under 10 should be presumed legally incapable of giving consent

(iii) Where both partners are aged 10 or over but under 14, a consenting sexual act should not be an offence.

(iv) Where one partner is aged 10 or over, the law should presume that consent was not present, unless it is demonstrated that it was genuinely given and the child understood the nature of the act.

(v) As the age of consent is arbitrary, we propose a an overlap of two years on either side of 14, so that, where the participants are 12 or over but under 16, a consenting sexual act will not be an offence.”

It might be that the NCCL’s parliamentary submissions were signed-off without recourse to the general secretary or the executive.

It might be that this particular paper was submitted without going through the proper processes, and Patricia Hewitt and Jack Dromey had no knowledge of it.

It might be any one of a range of reasons that could explain why they had nothing to do with the recommendations made in the NCCL’s parliamentary brief.


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Time for policy in the pub with Jack Dromey

23/05/2012, 03:06:07 PM

It’s that time of the month again. Pragmatic Radicalism is hosting a “Top of the Policies” session on housing, chaired by shadow housing minister Jack Dromey, tonight, in the pub. The fun and games will run from 18.30 to 20.30 upstairs at the Barley Mow pub, 104 Horseferry Road, SW1P  2EE.

The “Top of the Policies” debates are designed to make the floor accessible to as many Labour voices as possible: speakers have just 90 seconds to speak on a policy proposal of their choice, followed by three minutes of Q&A.

At the end of the session there is a vote for the top policy, prizes and the winner will go on to set out their idea in all it’s glory in an article right here, in the hallowed pixels of Labour Uncut.

Yes, wow indeed.

And failing all else, there are free refreshments. What more could you ask for?

See you in the pub.

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Wednesday News Review

02/03/2011, 06:28:56 AM

Steady on Dave

David “Child of Thatcher” Cameron straining to mimic the gung-ho Iron Lady is dangerous. Desperate Dave, badly rattled over the incompetent coalition’s mishandling of the Libyan crisis, has come out fighting and suddenly appears to relish a war of his own. He threatens to unleash fire and brimstone, a Flashman vowing to send in the bits of the armed forces he hasn’t sacked or sent to the breakers yard. Cameron talks of a no-fly zone while at the same time firing pilots and turning the lead aircraft carrier, an HMS Ark Royal he decommissioned, into a floating heliport on the Thames for City wide boys. And he’s off his Downing Street rocker if he’s considering putting British boots on North African soil. The quickest, surest way of uniting Libya – uniting it against Britain – would be to put the poor bloody infantry into Benghazi and Sabha and Tobruk to bomb a North African nation to freedom. So Cameron’s guilty of a catastrophic miscalculation if, behind the privacy of that famous black door at No10, he thinks for a second that Libya could be his Falklands, Colonel Gaddafi a General Galtieri to put to the sword. Spill British blood on the streets of Tripoli and Libya will be his Iraq, a conflict to destroy trust in Cameron as fatally as invading Mesopotomia proved for Tony Blair. Has Cameron learned nothing from recent history? Government “sources” are even briefing that Gadaffi has chemical weapons. The British response to the wave of unrest sweeping North Africa and the Middle East needs a cool head not a hot head in power. But it’s never too late to adopt a foreign policy “with an ethical ­dimension”, as Robin Cook put it. And there would be nothing ethical about Cameron sending young British men to die in a North Africa military adventure. – Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror

David Cameron has stressed that the UK and international allies must plan “for every eventuality” in Libya, though he appeared to play down suggestions that the UK might directly arm opposition forces. The prime minister said Britain’s immediate focus was to exert maximum effort to “isolate and pressurise” Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, during a brief press conference held with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who is visiting London. Pressed on the situation in Libya and the plans being put in place to ramp up the pressure on Gaddafi to step down, Cameron said it was the job of leaders and presidents to “look around the corner” and plan for every eventuality. He vowed that the Libyan people “would not be left to their fate” in the face of some “very immediate dangers” from Gaddafi. But pressed to give further details of comments made on Monday to the Commons in which he said that the government “should consider” arming the opposition, the prime minister applied more measured tones. But Cameron did not rule out the need for military action on the ground, if Gaddafi continued to use violence against his own people. European leaders are likely to meet towards the end of next week to discuss how to broaden and strengthen sanctions against the Libyan regime in an attempt to force Gaddafi to step down, according to the prime minister’s spokesman. – the Guardian

Calamity Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been mocked in the Commons over his decision to go on holiday while David Cameron was on an official overseas trip. Mr Clegg was forced to cut short a family skiing trip to the upmarket Swiss resort Davos to help tackle the crisis in Libya while the Prime Minister toured the Middle East. He also came under fire after saying he ‘forgot’ that he was running the country while Mr Cameron was away, prompting one Labour MP to ask: ‘What is the point of Nick Clegg?’ At Commons question time John Mann (Bassetlaw) said he was the ‘first Deputy Prime Minister in British history to fail to turn up to work when the Prime Minister’s abroad for a week. I think I am wanting to ask: what’s the point of Nick Clegg?’ he added. Mr Clegg told him: ‘In the end I spent I think just short of two days, working days, away last week and as soon as it was obvious that I was needed here I returned.’ Last week, when asked if he was in charge of the country by Metro, Mr Clegg was quoted as saying: ‘Yeah, I suppose I am. I forgot about that.’ – Daily Mail

Question Time with Nick Clegg was awful, grim, nerve-shreddingly ghastly. You yearned for him to wake up, sweat soaking his pillow, realising it had all been a horrible dream, a mother’s soothing hand on his brow. I wondered if the bullies felt some remorse. Did they ask themselves what it must be like for an innocent, vulnerable man to face such torment? Was there a twinge of conscience that they had made life so hellish for someone so unable to cope with their abuse? At the same time, do we not suspect that the victim covertly accepts, even welcomes, his fate? Mr Clegg seemed unprepared for what he must have known was coming, like someone playing on a railway track who is astonished to spot the 10.40 from Euston. It all started quietly, with questions about the plan for voters to recall an MP who has broken the rules. Labour’s Roberta Blackman-Woods wanted to know if MPs could be recalled by voters for breaking their promises and, if so, how many Lib Dem MPs . The rest of her words were lost in a delighted roar. Mr Clegg said the bill would deal only with “serious wrongdoing”. “Exactly!” yelled a dozen more Labour MPs. A Labour voice shouted: “Only two minutes left!” Bang on the hour, the Speaker ended the misery. – the Guardian

No cuts to the frontline Mr Pickles?

Unions and workers yesterday reacted with anger as £320million of cuts were approved by Birmingham city council. The Tory-Lib Dem authority has signed off the biggest cutbacks in council history, with 43 of 60 youth centres to close, children’s services cut by £69million, home care removed for 11,000 elderly and disabled residents and 2,500 job losses. Tracey Mooney, a day centre officer in the city, said yesterday: “This is a scandal. The public will be outraged when they are paying for the bankers’ crisis.” Other cuts will see £5.2million taken from organisations which help vulnerable pupils, while free school travel is being largely withdrawn. Adults who use social care fare no better, with £35million of cutbacks. Birmingham Labour MP Jack Dromey accused the council of “implementing cuts with glee”. He said: “These budget cuts are the biggest ever, but the council are the only ones smiling.” Low-paid workers in the city, the tenth most deprived part of England, will also be hit, some losing up to £3,150 a year. – Daily Mirror

The harshest spending cuts in Birmingham City Council’s 173-year history have been approved as Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors agreed to slash public services by £212 million. A long and rowdy council meeting heard claims that next year’s budget would unfairly hit pensioners, children and the poor, while leaving thousands of vulnerable elderly people to rely on the private and voluntary sectors for social care in future. At least 2,500 full-time council jobs are set to go over the next year, while staff also face pay freezes or cuts. By 2015, more than 10,000 full and part time council employees can expect to have lost their jobs or have been transferred to work for co-operatives. The city’s back office army of administrators – clerks and finance officers – will be cut by a third as improved new technology makes their jobs redundant. But council tax bills will be frozen this year, bringing some relief to hard-pressed householders. Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) drew jeers from a packed public gallery when he insisted that cutting spending would not necessarily lead to poorer services. Describing the budget as a cuts package was wrong because it implied “callous insensitivity”, he said. Opposition Labour group leader Sir Albert Bore said the budget meant “those with the least will suffer the most”. He proposed alternative methods of finding savings, including an 8.75 per cent pay cut for 80 top council officers and a 15 per cent pay cut for chief executive Stephen Hughes, who earned more than £200,000 last year. – Birmingham Mail

Is Ed onto something?

Ed Miliband is beginning to get somewhere. Labour is up to 43 per cent in the polls. So far that has mostly been the result of the unpopularity of the Coalition. But with Ed’s speech yesterday’s at the Resolution Foundation, Labour has found a chord that resonates. Quite simply, while most of us are getting poorer, those with young families on middle incomes are especially hard hit. And it is largely this Government’s fault. Obviously we need to reduce the deficit, and Labour has not put forward an alternative way of doing it. As George Osborne’s Guardian op-ed today convincingly argues, Labour’s overall stance is still about as realistic as a promise to give every six-year-old a unicorn. But while that is true, the Government has chosen to concentrate its cuts on middle-income families. Increasing VAT, cutting child benefit and EMA and allowing councils to cut services like libraries are all, individually, defensible policies. A 40 year-old man earning £44,000 with a mortgage and two children is not rich – in fact, he is quite average. Payments such as child benefit and EMA help even out that generational divide. And by cutting them, George Osborne has walked straight into the nasty-party trap. It is too late to reverse course; U-turning on forests is one thing, but on the entire deficit plan quite another. If Labour can come up with a credible policy that plays to young families on middle incomes, then George Osborne will have reason to worry. – Daily Telegraph

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