Posts Tagged ‘Jon Trickett’

The Milibelievers are back to finish the job of destroying the Labour party

10/06/2015, 08:05:15 PM

by Renie Anjeh

It’s been over a month since Labour’s devastating, but entirely avoidable, election defeat. Ed Milband’s leadership ended in abject failure.  David Cameron is the first prime minister since 1900 to increase his party’s share of the vote and number of seats after a full parliamentary term. There are voices in the Labour party who understand the gravity of the situation.  Jon Cruddas warned that this is the greatest crisis that the Labour party has ever faced.

Alastair Campbell reiterated Cruddas’s warnings when he told Andrew Marr that the party is in “big trouble” and “may not be at the bottom”. Unfortunately, their political sagacity is not shared by a lot of the party especially the Milibelievers. Yes, the Milibelievers are not dead. They are not even sleeping. They are alive and well and finding their voice again.

Over the last five years, the Milibelievers have given us a litany of excuses to prove that Ed Miliband was destined for Number 10. “2015 was going to be a ‘change election’”, they told us. This meant that the rules of politics no longer applied. They even said that Ed was the Left’s answer to Margaret Thatcher and he was going to reshape the political consensus.

As we learned last month, the messianic prophecies of the Milibelievers turned out to be complete and utter rubbish.

But here they come again.

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Shadow Cabinet League: Reshuffle special

25/06/2014, 11:29:54 AM

by Alan Smithee

We are entering reshuffle season. Parliament is full of Labour MPs hoping Ed Miliband won’t put the black spot on them. For some shadow cabinet members, this is the end of the line. For others, they will cling on, their hopes of high office not yet dashed. At Uncut, we are nothing but loyal servants to Dear Leader, so our table may give him a few ideas as to who should be bumped off.

The recess and elections meant that May saw relatively low levels of parliamentary activity.  Sadiq Khan continued his good work. The relative success of the London results has boosted his chances of getting mayoralty nomination (even if his spectacularly poor Express article showed a lack of judgement). Chris Leslie had a busy media month, attempting to combat the Government’s narrative over the recovery and setting out how Labour would build long-termism into the economy. Hilary Benn and his team continue their strong media attacks on the DCLG, exposing the incompetence of Pickles.

Over at Progress conference, Chuka Umunna put in a smooth performance in his Q&A session with Jacqui Smith. This capped off a successful month where he rang rings around the Government over the Pfizer/AstraZeneca issue and bested the BBC’s notoriously tricky interviewer Andrew Neil.

Shad Cab May 2014 JPEG

Just behind Chuka, Caroline Flint and his potential leadership rival Yvette Cooper had contrasting months. Flint and her team had a slow month (aside from the mandatory campaigning). By contrast, Cooper made some good interventions, proactively generating stories over Labour’s policies towards the assets of criminals and exposing the government’s poor record on waiting times for victims of crime. In the media, however, she was understandably overshadowed by Theresa May’s audacious intervention at the Police Federation conference.

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The government is failing the most vulnerable – and doesn’t care

06/01/2012, 03:03:41 PM

by Jon Trickett

At the start of the New Year most of us look forward with anticipation and hope. But there are increasingly large sectors of the population who are to some extent excluded from those aspirations and dreams. For many, the stark reality of life today is one of great uncertainty, insecurity and anxiety about what the future holds.

Here in Britain a family faces being made homeless every two minutes. Every day more children are being pushed into poverty as a direct result of the Chancellor’s policies and 5 million households are living in fuel poverty, of which half owe more than £250 to their energy supplier.

Some will argue that the increase in the numbers of people who are socially excluded is the inevitable result of the recession. But the over-riding test for any government is how well it treats the most vulnerable in society and the truth is that the coalition’s policies are making the situation worse.

And they knew that this is what they would do.

This can be the only explanation why my opposite number in the cabinet office, Francis Maude, abolished the social exclusion task force.  A deliberate, cold hearted and conscious decision to remove the coordination functions within the heart of government to lead the drive against social exclusion.

There has always been a need to address social exclusion, but in these difficult economic times with young people, pensioners and families being hit hardest, it is more important than ever not only to understand the causes of social exclusion but also to find solutions.

Of course issues surrounding social exclusion are multiple and extremely complex.  But this government’s spending cuts and tax rises are undoing much of the progress which Labour had begun to make.

The coalition seems to manifest an almost ideological drive to kick away the few existing routes out of poverty for many of the most vulnerable people. Pre-election talk of social mobility and “we’re all in it together” were unsurprisingly just part of a cynically-crafted illusion aimed at winning votes. (more…)

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The public bodies bill and sausages

01/11/2011, 08:47:52 AM

by Jon Trickett

There is a quote, whose origins allegedly range from Otto von Bismarck to an unknown Illinois state senator, that rings painfully true about the last year of the public bodies bill: there are two things you never want to let anyone see you make – laws and sausages. Quite. The process by which ministers have gone about reducing the number of quangos in the UK has been messy, and in many ways circumvented the norms of Parliamentary process.

I don’t disagree in principle with the aims of the bill. Indeed, in March 2010 we set out almost £500m of new savings by reducing the number of arms length bodies by 123 by 2012/13. Labour inherited 1,128 quangos in 1997 and axed almost 400 of them by the time we left office. There is certainly scope for consolidating them to reduce overheads but retain functions.

But the way in which this process has proceeded has been characterised by the same hasty, ill-thought-through approach to governing that we can see across all government departments.  The ideology of cutting without thinking, swinging without looking, with a lack of clear vision or philosophy on the functions of government, pervades the very core of this bill.

The majority of the bodies in the bill were set up as a result of reasoned and detailed debate in Parliament. The only appropriate way to consider abolition is with the same reasoned and detailed debate. Cabinet office ministers claim that detailed debate on each body will come at a later stage, but we know that secondary legislation isn’t typically dwelled on in Parliament to the extent that some of these bodies would deserve.

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Jon Trickett writes to cabinet sec for answers on Stunell

13/01/2011, 07:39:54 PM

Jon Trickett MP

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Sir Gus O’Donnell

Cabinet Secretary

Cabinet Office

70 Whitehall

London

SW1A 2AS

13 January 2011

Dear Sir Gus,

RE: Andrew Stunell MP

Thank you for your email dated 12 January in response to my query about Andrew Stunell MP’s conduct during the Oldham and Saddleworth by-election campaign.

You outline in your response that you “understand that he (Andrew Stunell) did not refer to the planned funding announcement during the visit”.

In the middle of a key by-election prompted by a Liberal Democrat court action and pursuant to a Liberal Democrat writ, this statement defies credulity.

Are you seriously suggesting that Andrew Stunell visited an empty property in Oldham on 8 January and made no reference to a planned funding announcement two days later about bringing empty homes back into use during his visit? (more…)

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Lib Dem minister forced to apologise in response to Labour by-election complaint

13/01/2011, 05:02:50 PM

Gus O’Donnell’s Email To John Trickett

January 12, 19.34

From: Gus O’Donnell
To: Jon Trickett MP

Mr Trickett

Thank you for your email sent on Monday evening about an announcement during a by-election campaign on new Government incentives to bring empty homes back into use.

I have looked urgently into the issues you raise.

The sequence of events as I have been able to establish is as follows:

Communities and Local Government (CLG) issued a press release on Friday 7 January announcing additional Government funding to bring empty homes back into use. The press release was embargoed until Monday 10 January. This was a national announcement which made no reference to Oldham and therefore would not be in breach of by-election restrictions.

Andrew Stunell visited Oldham on Saturday 8 January. As part of this he visited an empty property in Oldham that had been brought back into use by the Council. I understand that he did not refer to the planned funding announcement during his visit.

The Liberal Democrat Party issued a press release on Sunday 9 January, embargoed until Monday 10 January, referring to the Minister’s visit and highlighting new government incentives to bring empty homes back into use. This was timed to coincide with the issue of the Government’s press release.

Taking these events together, the Minister recognises with hindsight that his visit could have been associated in the minds of the public with a government announcement of additional funding, and has apologised for this.

Gus O’Donnell

Cabinet Secretary

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