Prevent – Time for a major review and fundamental rethink

by Diane Abbott

diane_68By Diane Abbott MP

Increasingly, the evidence is suggesting that the Government’s Prevent Strategy – aimed at countering radicalisation and making us safer – doesn’t work on either count. In recent weeks it has become clear that this is also the case when it comes to tackling the worrying rise in far-right extremism.

Commenting on the recently released figures, Security Minister Ben Wallace MP recently told the House of Commons that not only is “the Prevent strategy is seeing a growth in far-right referrals,” but that “in some areas of the country, these Prevent referrals outnumber those about the other parts we are worried about.” Continue reading →

Lessons of Richmond Park

by Mike Phipps

zac_goldsmith_mp_at_a_new_conversation_with_the_centre-right_about_climate_change-2What can be read into the by-election result at Richmond Park? A 23,000 Conservative majority has been turned into a narrow win for the Lib Dems and a lost deposit for Labour. One blogger drew the comforting conclusion that this was down to the anti-Corbyn characteristics of the Labour candidate. Well, maybe.

In reality, this was obviously a contest more about Brexit than anything else. Constituents in this area voted by 70% in the referendum to Remain in the EU. Since then, the Lib Dems have championed the minority Remainers, a plausible option for a minority party, promising a fresh referendum. It is far more difficult for Labour to offer this and stand a credible chance of winning the next general election – but the Lib Dems have no serious ambitions to do this. Continue reading →

The Richmond by-election and what it means

by Peter Rowlands

zac_goldsmith_mp_at_a_new_conversation_with_the_centre-right_about_climate_change-2Last week’s by-election in Richmond was the second resounding success for the Lib-Dems, after Witney, in using a by-election to demonstrate the breadth of opposition to Brexit, and it places them in a strong position to lead and promote such a campaign, despite having few MPs, and limited resources, certainly compared to Labour.

I don’t particularly wish to discuss whether Labour should have stood or not. I was personally opposed, but there was an argument for doing so, and it fortunately did not prevent a Goldsmith defeat, which it might well have done. What is clear is that there was a large Labour tactical vote for the Lib-Dem candidate, including quite a few members. Continue reading →

The defective anti-elitism of the Blairite elite

by David Osland

greedy BlairFor the second time in my life, I am watching firsthand the arrival of a new political dispensation. After growing up under the post-war social democratic consensus, and spending most of my adult years contesting various shades of neoliberalism, it looks increasingly as if populism will see me through to collecting my bus pass.

Britain has, at least so far, been spared the nastier manifestations of the phenomenon. Dramatic as the changes wrought by Brexit will surely be, there is currently no credible prospect of a politician of the stripe of Le Pen, Hofer or even Donald Trump becoming head of state or head of government. Continue reading →

Diane Abbott calls for ‘major review’ and ‘fundamental rethink’ of Prevent strategy

by Newsdesk
diane_68Yesterday evening Labour Home Secretary Diane Abbott called for a ‘major review’ and ‘fundamental rethink’ of the governments Prevent strategy. Abbott spoke at a meeting of the Students Not Suspects campaign, a joint initiative by the National Union of Students alongside activists from the NUT and UCU. She becomes the latest senior Labour figure to call on the policy to be reviewed, after her predecessor Andy Burnham and former Home Affairs Select Committee Chair Keith Vaz.

Continue reading →

Who is Paul Nutall?

by Phil Burton-Cartledge

16308386333_bcbb6ef438_bWho’s that knight on a white charger? Why, it’s none other than Paul Nuttall, Eddie Hitler look-a-like and the latest leader of our purple friends in the United Kingdom Independence Party. His election by a landslide suggests a desire on the part of the party’s much-reduced membership (of which, 15,500 out of 33k cast a ballot) to put the recent period of fracas and farce behind it. But more significantly, and unlike the hapless Diane James, Tory-in-exile Suzanne Evans, and homosexual donkey anecdote man, Nuttall is the man with a plan. To put the UKIP jigsaw together again (his words), they’re going to go all out and concentrate on the northern working class Labour seats. It’s a “big open goal” as far as he’s concerned, and plenty of the media agree. Despite evidence of a declining brand, there are plenty only too happy to talk up this threat. Continue reading →

Win for Labour as rise in immigration tribunal fees scrapped

by Newsdesk

cf396f1397427954fdb06c2c3fa3862d_400x400Labour celebrated an important victory on Friday, as the Conservative government took another U-turn by scrapping their proposal to increase immigration tribunal fees by up to 500%. This comes after campaigning by the Labour Party, and overwhelming public opposition to a government consultation on the subject.

Fees for a tribunal to deal with asylum or immigration cases had risen from £80 to £490, a decision taken by previous Justice Secretary Michael Gove.  Continue reading →

We Were their Flowers in the Dustbin: 40 Years of Anarchy in the UK

by Mark Perryman

flowers-in-the-dustbin-master40 years ago today The Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK was released. Philosophy Football’s Mark Perryman remembers 

For some of us of a certain age it still seems like yesterday. For others it is something to breathlessly boast to our children, or grandchildren, that yes, we were there. 26th November 1976, the Sex Pistols release their debut single Anarchy in the UK and for as long as the record  (remember those?) was on the turntable (ditto) it was as if the world had changed, forever.  Continue reading →

Hammond’s programme differs from Osborne only by degree

by Phil Burton-Cartledge

16045157947_266ff71d05_bCompare and contrast. A confident figure seizing the moment and pledging a radical remaking of Britain. Yes, Theresa May looked formidable on the steps of Downing Street in July. She had stolen Labour’s 2015 Manifesto and she was going to get away with it. Wind the film forward to November, and her chancellor gets up and lays out a programme that differs from his predecessor’s by degree, not kind. And it comes covered in the Prime Minister’s ultra-cautious thumb prints. Continue reading →

Peter Willsman reports from Labour’s November executive 

by Peter Willsman

Willsman1National Executive Committee 22 November 2016 (‘Away Day’)

After several very tense and fractious set-tos there was clearly an effort made to have a tranquil NEC for a change. There was nothing faintly controversial on the agenda. The whole ‘Away Day’ was reminiscent of one of the Maharishi meditation sessions. Before reporting on the 22nd November NEC, there are two other meetings to quickly cover first.

National Policy Forum Report, 19-20th November

First, a brief report of the National Policy Forum (NPF) at Loughborough University, 19th and 20th November. The NPF was also calm and studious, as delegates hurried to workshops based around the 8 new Policy Commissions: Continue reading →

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