Posts Tagged ‘John Denham’

At least Ukip’s EU and immigration policies are consistent. John Denham can’t even manage that.

03/06/2014, 01:47:18 PM

by Atul Hatwal

John Denham’s article about immigration on Labour List yesterday was a disgrace. Not because of his anti-immigration stance – it’s perfectly possible to disagree with a view without believing it to be disgraceful – but because of the incoherent politics at the heart of his argument.

Within the Labour party, two distinct groups have now emerged on the anti-immigration side of the debate.

One is consistent and has a coherent case, albeit with potentially major deleterious economic consequences. The other is muddled and guarantees a disastrous electoral denouement for Labour. John Denham’s post was a case study in the latter.

The starting point for the first group is scepticism about the EU. There is a legitimate case to be argued for applying the same entry rules to all migrants, whether from the EU or outside and that if the EU does not change on freedom of movement, Britain will withdraw.

Central to this argument is an acceptance that a British exit from the EU is likely.

When Angela Merkel visited Britain in February she made the German position on reform of freedom of movement abundantly clear, “freedom of movement is intended to allow people to work in different countries, not immigration into social systems.”

There might be some tightening of access to benefits and public services for EU migrants but no fundamental change in freedom of movement across the EU.

Given the government’s own figures indicate that only 4 in every 100 EU migrants claim Job Seekers Allowance, it’s a fair assumption that benefit restrictions will have virtually zero impact on the net flow of EU migrants into Britain.

It’s evident from what MPs like Frank Field, Kate Hoey and John Mann have said in the past that they are prepared for a British withdrawal from the EU and there is a small but growing group within the PLP who take this view.

This is broadly also the official Ukip position. Stripped of the inflammatory and racist language sometimes used by Ukip representatives, it has the merit, at least, of being internally consistent and demonstrates clearly how EU migration would be reduced.


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Pluralism isn’t a choice for Labour, it’s a necessity

05/12/2012, 05:30:25 PM

by Kevin Meagher

One of the curiosities of devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is the way in which the institutions look nothing like Westminster.

Whether it was a Freudian rejection of the hyper-tribalism of the Commons chamber and Westminster’s self-regard, the model for the devolved bodies has ensured a more pluralistic form of politics, with more grown-up politics the result.

That’s something Westminster village dwellers are not used to. Here, politics is still shaped by student union politicking and the public school debating society.

Yet all parties are coalitions of people with a wide range of views who happen to coalesce around broad themes. Is there really much of an issue of principle, therefore, to seek agreement with people outside the tribe if the ends are mutually satisfactory?

Enter Labour for Democracy, launched in Westminster last night and led by MPs Paul Blomfield and John Denham. The group seeks to make the case for inter-party working, particularly on big, expensive, long-term, cross-cutting issues like social care, pensions and climate change. As the website blurb puts it:

“The tough decisions that we will face, and the need to build wide support for radical change, demand a new approach to the way we do politics.’

It adds: ‘The days when over 95% of the electorate voted either Tory or Labour are long gone. Increasing support for smaller parties, switching between parties and differentiation between local and national voting reflect the changed approach of the electorate.”

By 2015 the age of majoritarian government may well indeed be behind us. There is nothing to guarantee Labour will win a general election victory outright (alas) and the party needs to get its collective head around that prospect.


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Shadow cabinet league: End of season awards special

29/07/2011, 07:00:58 AM

by Atul Hatwal

School’s out for summer and after a roller-coaster July its time to look back on performances over the past parliamentary year.

And as is traditional at the end of the season it’s time for some prizes.

Uncut is proud to be awarding prizes in four categories – 2010/11 league champion, top media performer, top House performer and most improved all round performer.

In keeping with Uncut’s Corinthian traditions, it’s not the monetary value of the prize that counts, but the popular recognition.

Handy, since this being a blog, these are virtual prizes and not worth a penny.


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The week Uncut

11/06/2011, 02:42:29 PM

In case you missed them, these were the best read pieces on Uncut in the last seven days:

Dan Hodges says it’s time for Labour’s flat earthers to get real

Matt Cavanagh on Cameron’s lies and betrayal on knife crime

Michael Dugher says the NHS changes tell us all we need to know about Tories

Peter Watt looks at Labour’s funding challenge

John Denham says Labour needs relentless focus on private sector growth

Anthony Painter reviews the Master Switch by Tim Wu

Atul Hatwal says our message on the economy isn’t cutting through

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Labour needs relentless focus on private sector growth

08/06/2011, 07:00:36 AM

by John Denham

Over the last few months, Ed Miliband has set out three key challenges facing the country:

The problems faced by the “squeezed middle”, on low and middle incomes, who feel that the rewards of working hard are too little compared to those whose stellar salaries are not matched by results.

The threat to the British promise; our expectation that our children will enjoy better lives than we have done, because we cannot now pay our way in the world and create opportunities for them.

And the need to strengthen our communities, recognising that in myriad ways, not least in the way workplaces and working lives have changed, our confidence in a society of strong social institutions is being eroded.

We cannot deliver for the squeezed middle, revive the British promise or deliver strong communities without building an economy which looks and feels very different, with more opportunities to get better jobs.

We have developed an economy that is dangerously dependent on too many low skilled jobs. We cannot promise a better future for the next generation unless we can pay our way and create the skilled, well paid jobs which make the most of, and properly reward, their skills and abilities.

In building a different and stronger economy, the growth and jobs we need will be private sector growth and private sector jobs. The next Labour government will need to have a relentless, single-minded focus in creating the conditions for private sector growth. That means creating the conditions in which companies compete within fair markets and make profit by being the best in those competitive markets.

The Tory-Lib Dem notion is that support for market-led growth means that the ideal state is one in which government does as little as possible. In truth, markets are inevitably and unavoidably shaped by what governments do, and by what government doesn’t do.


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Shadow cabinet: vote for John

30/09/2010, 06:08:55 PM


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