If Ed Miliband could only read five blogposts each day, he’d read these ones…
Thought it was about time I put my views on the record about the weekend media coverage of DNA testing and the Joanna Yeates’ murder case….
Just to get one thing straight first of all…. The media coverage was not initiated by me. I don’t press release things to the national media, and I don’t try to get coverage anywhere outside my local area. I’ve always found it very unedifiying when MPs in areas hit by tragedy attempt to make political capital out of it, and gain publicity for themselves, e.g. by making very public visits to the bereaved parents, or making kneejerk calls for this, that or the other. There have been a number of young men tragically killed in gang fights/ stabbings in my constituency over recent years, and whatever help I have been able to give, has been behind the scenes. Indeed, my concern at being seen to be ‘bandwagon-jumping’ has probably stopped me from raising the issue in parliament as much as I should have done. And so, apart from re-tweeting requests from Bristol friends of Joanna Yeates when she was still missing, I had not commented on the Joanna Yeates murder at all. – Read more
Last week was the week when we – finally – dealt with head-on the subject of Labour’s economic legacy. And we seem to have been debating it ever since, because it’s perhaps the most important subject which will define a lot of the next 4 years. It’s complex, as Steve Richards argues and, paradoxically, there are two seemingly contrary arguments being advanced which are both right (or so it seems to me).
Ed Miliband is in a bind. He is tied to a fiscal policy that the public believes was profligate and irresponsible. His strategy so far has been to defend that record to the best of his ability. That is not enough. It may be time to switch tack.
The debate is homing in on the question of whether Labour was spending too great before the 2007 turbulence. And actually if you pull out the figures the answer is marginally on the side of ‘defend the record’- on the face of it. Current spending was in deficit ahead of the crisis though not catastrophically so- 0.3% of GDP in 2006-2007. The public sector net debt was lower than in 1997 at 36.6%. – Read more
This morning’s ComRes Poll, which reports a healthy lead for Labour, a lead for the conservatives on economic management and an apparent decline in Ed Miliband’s personal rating is understandably the cause of many a puzzled look in Westminster.
If the Tories lead Labour on economic competence, and Ed Miliband’s personal rating is declining, wherefore this increased Poll lead, eh?
What is going on? – Read more
Next week, the Localism Bill gets its second reading in the House of Commons. In all the furore about spending cuts, relatively little attention has been paid to this bill’s radical proposals for creating directly elected mayors in 12 big cities in England.
To drum up interest, Andrew Adonis has embarked on a tour of the cities that will decide in referenda in 2012 whether to have elected mayors. He is a longstanding supporter of the concept and was one of the few voices in the last Labour government to argue for a radical expansion of powerful, directly elected mayors to the big cities outside London. – Read More
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