Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Brennan’

Protest songs come to #Lab14

20/09/2014, 11:00:10 AM

by Kevin Brennan

Edwyn Collins told us that there are too many protest singers and not enough protest songs. The great English protest singer, Billy Bragg, came to the view that social justice would be best advanced by breaking up the UK. Obviously this is not a view I share because it would have split our great Union. I’m referring of course to the UK music phenomenon that is MP4, including our ex-Runrig keyboard player Pete Wishart MP of the SNP.

MP4 is the world’s most successful (and possibly the only) cross party parliamentary band.  We don’t do protest songs as our differing political views might result in a mixed message, but we agree on the power of people making music whoever they are. We released our album Cross Party – available on iTunes and Revolver Records with self penned soon to be classics such as “Stone in My Shoe” and “Rock and Roll Heaven”.

We should not be confused with another MP4, a dance-rap group from Hong Kong whose releases include a self-titled six-track EP featuring the song “Lao Dou Mi Suo Qie (Don’t Do Drugs My Dad).”  They call themselves MP4. we ARE MP4!

It’s only 6 months until Ed Miliband will become the next Labour prime minister. Now is the time to put some musical fire into our Labour hearts, and rock and roll soul into our Labour campaigning.

MP4 members are otherwise engaged but I will be performing solo acoustically for a short set at the UK Music event at Party Conference on Tuesday 23rdSeptember from 19:30 in the Midland Hotel (Derby Suite). Come along, comrades

I’m doing this with UK Music, the trade body for the music industry, because of the good work it does.  It exemplifies the responsible capitalism that we in the party advocate. Last year it launched a Skills Academy with the CBI to increase apprenticeships and diversity in the music industry. It is ending exploitative practices and has produced a Code of Practice with Intern Aware. It is opening doors of opportunity to young people from every walk of life and it recognises that social justice and business success go hand in hand.

Labour Invite (2)


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Gove’s narcissistic dogma 1 – Evidence 0

28/01/2013, 08:57:26 AM

by Kevin Brennan

Last week’s announcement by Michael Gove that AS Levels would no longer count towards an A Level grade was a classic example of making policy based on dogma not evidence.

Back in 2010 Michael Gove announced his intention to get rid of AS Levels. They were originally introduced to give students a chance to study a broader range of subjects in year 12 (the old lower 6th). Students could decide to specialise in year 13 by dropping one or two subjects, but still have a good AS qualification to show for it. If they carried on, their AS mark could contribute to the final A Level grade in that subject.

One objection to AS Levels was that because of modular testing students in year 12 faced exams very early on, before having matured sufficiently. This was dealt with by getting rid of such early assessments which also discouraged entering early assessments just to ‘bank’ a mark. This was a reasonable reform to AS.

But Michael Gove was left with a problem that despite his stated intention to scrap AS Levels altogether, it was clear that he had very little support for his plans.

The right thing to do would have been to retain AS Levels as modified, but instead he has chosen to render them largely irrelevant by removing their ability to act as a building block to A-Level.


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Shadow cabinet “vote for me” letters

15/09/2010, 09:29:16 PM

The shadow cabinet race is well under way, and a welcome distraction from the leadership contest. The decisions have been made and confirmed. The nominations must be in by Wednesday 29 September and the canvassing has begun.

So far we have seen “vote for me” letters from:

Roberta Blackman-Woods

Kevin Brennan

Chris Bryant

Barry Gardiner

Helen Goodman

Tom Harris

Meg Hillier

Huw Irranca-Davies

Sadiq Khan

Ivan Lewis

We will keep posting over the coming days until we, like Bob,  get tired of them:

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Shadow cabinet: Vote for Kevin

15/09/2010, 03:12:30 PM

We have recieved four of these already.

From: BRENNAN, Kevin
Sent: 15 September 2010 15:01
Subject: FW: Shadow Cabinet Election

Shadow Cabinet Elections
Help shape Britain’s progressive future

Dear friend,

This is to let you know formally that I will be a candidate for the Shadow Cabinet.

At the first PLP meeting after the General Election I said that we would be fooling ourselves if we thought that the coalition would last months rather than years.  I hold to that view, and to the belief that we need to think strategically about our path back to power.

The Coalition’s strategy is to emphasise the pain, to lower expectations and hope that, like in the 80s, Labour will be divided.  Even with higher unemployment they calculate that sufficient voters will be relieved to have survived the recession and still be in work, and that this will win them re-election.  Combined with the rushing through of partisan constitutional changes, they hope to consign us to opposition for at least two terms.

If we are going to thwart them we need to set out a strong positive alternative to their politics of fear, as well as exposing how their policies are damaging Britain.

We need a powerful, united and strategically focussed Shadow Cabinet team to counter their plans, containing colleagues capable of taking on Government Ministers in the Commons, the media and the country.

As well as having been Head of Economics in a Cardiff, I have been in the Party for 31 years, was a local councillor for 10 years and ran Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan’s office and campaigns.  I came into the House in 2001 and led the campaign on behalf of Allied Steel and Wire workers which led to the setting up of the Pension Protection Fund.  I was epolitix Disability Charity Champion of the Year 2004 for my work on Muscular Dystrophy.   Comprehensive School

Until May I was Minister of State for Apprenticeships, FE, Skills and Consumer Affairs at BIS.  I have also served as Minister for the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office, as well as Children’s Minister at DCSF.  Prior to that I spent two years serving in the Government Whips’ office.  I established a reputation across the House as a strong campaigner and performer in all these roles.

I believe that I have a lot to offer to the party in opposition too, and have got stuck into the new government from day one.  I hope that you will give me one of your votes in the upcoming contest.  Please call me on xxxxxxxxxxxxx if you would like to ask me anything.
Best wishes


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