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11.04.14

Embracing the contributory principle for public services is how Labour’s offer can be big, bold and affordable

I had this on Labour Uncut earlier this week.

In early January, Uncut reported on Andy Burnham’s “defining vision for health … pooling central government health budgets with local authority social care budgets to offer a joined-up approach to looking after our elderly. It makes eminent sense but carries with it a big uncosted price tag”.

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03.09.13

A tale of two very different Guardian interviews: Darling and Burnham

I had this on Labour Uncut a few weeks ago.

Decca Aitkenhead reported this weekend on Andy Burnham telling her that Labour must shout louder or risk election defeat. Some twitter reactionsuggests that this would help Labour on the doorstep. As with Chris Bryant’s Monday morning Today appearance, we might wonder, however, whether it is content more than volume that is causing Labour to fail the Daz doorstep challenge.

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21.03.11

Win, lose or draw for Labour

I went to the Progress political weekend and wrote about it on their blog:

In two separate sessions at the Progress political weekend Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy both said that Labour needs a draw on the deficit and a win on growth. Spooky. It was almost like they were singing from the same hymn sheet.

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21.03.11

Win, lose or draw for Labour

I went to the Progress political weekend and wrote about it on their blog:

In two separate sessions at the Progress political weekend Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy both said that Labour needs a draw on the deficit and a win on growth. Spooky. It was almost like they were singing from the same hymn sheet.

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11.10.10

Review of “The British General Election of 2010″

I reviewed “The British General Election of 2010” by Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley for Labour Uncut today.

“The characteristic virtue of Englishmen is power of sustained practical activity and their characteristic vice a reluctance to test the quality of that activity by reference to principles.”

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12.08.10

Race for the prize: Ed Rendell and Andy Burnham

“Theirs is to win if it kills them, but they’re just human with wives and children.”

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30.07.10

Between swivel-eyed, small-state evangelism and defending the status quo

I had the piece below published on Labour Uncut on 28 July 2010:

Rahm Emanuel never wastes a crisis and neither does the Tory-Lib Dem government. The Thatcherite ends which this government use crises to advance would be anathema to President Obama’s chief of staff. Idealists who cheered Obama’s election have been frustrated by subsequent pragmatism. David Cameron, in contrast, has been much more of an ideologue as Prime Minister than previously; though one more concerned with the low cunning of making his beliefs real than with their principles.

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01.04.09

The people's football club

So, it wasn’t an April fool. Alan Shearer really is to be Newcastle manager. Nothing could have made “the best fans in the world” happier. But Shearer has rightly been critical of Mike Ashley. There must be doubt as to whether Shearer will remain as manager over the long-term if Ashley remains as owner of the club. 

Newcastle has previously given us “the people’s bank” – Northern Rock. Barcelona’s co-operative model of ownership is probably the closest that football has got to the people’s club. Andy Burnham has spoken warmly of this. So has Geoff Mulgan on the much smaller scale of Ebbsfleet United. If Ashley’s ownership is the bar to Shearer staying, then the obstacle to a long-term period of management from Shearer would be overcome by deploying Barcelona’s co-operative model and giving us the Premiership’s first people’s club. This might prove that Newcastle’s fans are, indeed, the best in the world.

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01.04.09

The people’s football club

So, it wasn’t an April fool. Alan Shearer really is to be Newcastle manager. Nothing could have made “the best fans in the world” happier. But Shearer has rightly been critical of Mike Ashley. There must be doubt as to whether Shearer will remain as manager over the long-term if Ashley remains as owner of the club. 

Newcastle has previously given us “the people’s bank” – Northern Rock. Barcelona’s co-operative model of ownership is probably the closest that football has got to the people’s club. Andy Burnham has spoken warmly of this. So has Geoff Mulgan on the much smaller scale of Ebbsfleet United. If Ashley’s ownership is the bar to Shearer staying, then the obstacle to a long-term period of management from Shearer would be overcome by deploying Barcelona’s co-operative model and giving us the Premiership’s first people’s club. This might prove that Newcastle’s fans are, indeed, the best in the world.

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13.01.09

Statues in the centre of new housing estates

Some might think that Andy Burnham tried to fuse incompatibles in socialism and culture in his address to the Fabian Society tonight. However, Tony Crosland produced some memorable lines on culture in one of the greatest socialist tracts that this country has ever produced.

“We need not only higher exports and old-age pensions, but more open-air cafes, brighter and gayer streets at night, later closing-hours for public houses, more local repertory theatres, better and more hospitable hoteliers and restaurateurs, brighter and cleaner eating-houses, more riverside cafes, more pleasure-gardens on the Battersea model, more murals and pictures in public places, better designs for furniture and pottery and women’s clothes, statues in the centre of new housing-estates, better-designed street-lamps and telephone kiosks, and so on ad infinitum. The enemy in all this will often be in unexpected guise; it is not only dark Satanic things and people that now bar the road to the new Jerusalem, but also, if not mainly, hygienic, respectable, virtuous things and people, lacking only in grace and gaiety”.

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05.10.08

Labour Party Conference Diary

Saturday 20 September, Labour Party Conference Diary

Train heave on to Euston”, once sang one of Manchester’s favourite sons. My reverse journey began with a blizzard of Cabinet Ministers: Hilary Benn, suited and booted, and seemingly fretting about his ticket; John Hutton, relaxed in both dress and in his ability to emerge from a long queue at W. H. Smith’s with a newspaper in time for his train. He may have read the Mirror editorial proclaiming that Labour faces “one of the most important conferences in its proud history”. Many of the pivotal moments in Labour’s history have been forged in the fiery furnace of conference. So the journey north was charged with anticipation and occasion.

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