Is Britain broken and if so how do we fix it?

September 29, 2009

handcuffsMy Dad is always telling me about the good old days.

Born in Liverpool — a stone’s throw from the football ground Anfield — he grew up in a house that had an outside toilet and was freezing cold. His mother regularly bought food on tick and his idea of a good day out was a trip to New Brighton beach with a banana sandwich to eat for lunch. A Catholic, he suffered sectarian abuse on his way to school, where he was regularly beaten by the teachers. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Mandelson shows Brown the way

September 28, 2009

Peter Mandelson
There haven’t been many highlights from the podium at this year’s Labour party conference so far, but business minister Peter Mandelson pulled the cat out of the bag.
A rip-snorting rouser of a speech on Monday — full of gags and inspirational lines — has energised the party faithful and left commentators drooling.
It was just what Labour needed given all the negativity around the party at the moment.
Way behind in the polls, scrambling for policies that will capture the public mood and seemingly doomed to defeat at the next election to the opposition Conservatives, a week-long conference in sunny Brighton could easily turn into a painfully long few days.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown takes to the stage on Tuesday and must follow Mandelson’s lead if he is to convince the doubters in his own party and beyond that he has what it takes to reverse Labour’s fortunes.
Brown is not known for his imaginative speeches but he needs to find one now.
He did it last year — when plotters in his party wanted him out.
Can he do it again?

Live blogging the Labour Party conference

September 25, 2009

labour

The Labour Party conference in Brighton is crucial if the party is to start a revival that could give it a fourth successive term in office. As well as covering Gordon Brown’s big set piece on Tuesday, our team of three reporters will try to gauge party morale and give you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes beside the seaside.

On the road with Gordon Brown

September 22, 2009

gbThe Prime Minister is on the move — and I will be following close behind.

I’m Sumeet Desai, Senior Reuters economics correspondent and over the next couple of weeks I will be with Gordon Brown as he travels to New York to the United Nations general assembly and then on to Pittsburgh for the eagerly anticipated G20 summit.

from The Great Debate UK:

Brown must create Afghanistan war cabinet

August 27, 2009

richard-kemp2- Col. Richard Kemp is a former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan and the author of Attack State Red, an account of British military operations in Afghanistan published by Penguin. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Do you love the NHS?

August 14, 2009

The National Health Service (NHS) has endured a barrage of criticism from opponents of Barack Obama’s plans to push through a healthcare bill that would rein in costs, place constraints on insurance companies and expand health cover to 46 million uninsured Americans.

Should Britain hold another Iraq war inquiry?

July 31, 2009

Former civil servant Sir John Chilcot has been tasked with the latest inquiry into the Iraq war – the fifth – and has promised to investigate “as thoroughly, as fairly, as independently as we can”.

Was Norwich North just a local protest vote?

July 24, 2009

At 27, the Conservative candidate in the Norwich North by-election Chloe Smith becomes the youngest MP in the Commons.

Is 82 days a fair holiday for MPs?

July 23, 2009

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is gearing up for his holidays, which he is expected to take mainly in his Kircaldy constituency and the Lake District.

from Sean Maguire:

The raw and the crafted

By Sean Maguire
July 16, 2009

The Media Standards Trust has begun a lecture series on 'Why Journalism Matters'. It is disconcerting that it feels we have to ask the question. The argument put forward by the British group's director Martin Moore is that news organisations are so preoccupied with business survival that discussion of the broader social, political and cultural function of journalism gets forgotten. It is a pertinent review then, given the icy economic blasts hitting most Anglo-Saxon media groups, and notwithstanding the recent examples of self-evidently broader journalistic 'value' produced by London's Daily Telegraph in its politican-shaming investigations into parliamentarians' expenses.