Posts under ‘Whitehall’

Governance deficit – the burning issue entirely absent from the Queen’s Speech

by Michael Meacher.

Three related things became apparent on the day of the Queen’s Speech which show what is seriously wrong in the running of this country, but which got not a peep in the government’s legislative programme. They all relate to the key issue of governance in each area where the deficit of accountability is greatest – […]

Whistleblowers do more to hold governments to account than parliaments

by Michael Meacher.

Whistle-blowers are worth their weight in gold, though governments certainly don’t think so. Some of the most important things we’ve learnt about the nature of the societies we live in have come exclusively from whistle-blowers, without whose help the democratic holding of governments to account in critical areas of policy would have been impossible. The […]

Facing eviction by Christmas, by publicly owned banks with no public service ethos

by Michael Meacher.

When because of the bankers’ crash RBS, Lloyds, Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley went bust and were taken over by the State, one of the worst indictments of the Blair-Brown governments – copied and exacerbated further by this current Tory government – was that the losses were borne by the taxpayers, but they continued […]

The great high speed white elephant

by Phil Burton-Cartledge.

High Speed Rail 2 is a massive white elephant, a £50bn boondoggle of a project as out of time as it is over priced. Yet, despite this I am a little sore that the bid Stoke-on-Trent put forward for a station got dismissed out of hand. Were it on the basis of a competition in […]

Removing means of collecting union subs is ‘blinkered political attack’ by the Tories

by Jon Lansman.

The Tory plan to end the collection of trade union subscriptions through salaries is a “blinkered political attack“, the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) says. In his speech at the Conservative party conference today, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the system known as check-off is being stopped at short notice in the Home Office […]

Public appointments process needs major shake-up

by Michael Meacher.

Amid all the hysteria over the referendum a few other events are worth noting below the radar, though obviously on a much lesser scale. Two appointments and one non-dismissal have been notable in this last week alone, though these are only the latest examples of a long decline in proper accountability in this country. After […]

Between frenemies: what are those British values anyway?

by Jon Stubbings.

As the fiasco over Birmingham’s schools continues, what’s really going on in Whitehall? As “overheard” by JON STUBBINGS Cameron: Now then Michael – what’s all the fuss about this school in Birmingham? I thought you hated Muslims. Gove: Yes David, of course I do – you know that I’ve turned down way more applications to […]

For “better politics”, Labour must start at home

by David Pavett.

I thought that the Labour party’s recent “Education and Children” document was waffle-filled, tendentious, misleading and often wholly wrong. But even that did not prepare me for Labour’s consultation document “Better Politics”, which is aimed at the 2015 manifesto (amendments to be in from constituency parties and affiliates by 13th June). To be fair, the […]

Break up the banks, or face another crash

by Michael Meacher.

Banking was the subject of a House of Commons debate yesterday. MICHAEL MEACHER spoke, and here we publish an edited version of his contribution: The government’s contribution to this debate seemed to me to be almost totally devoid of any new, serious content. The record of the banks over the past five years has been […]

This week’s spooks hearing proves urgent need for independent inquiry

by Michael Meacher.

To call it a grilling would be unfair to fried fish. It was a soft-centre velvet-glove exchange between decent establishment chaps which only confirmed just how feeble and inadequate the present system of so-called oversight of the security services really is. As spy chiefs came before parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), it is incredible […]

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