It seems to be the age of seven questions as Tony Blair once again acts as an uncomfortable sage for Labour and Ed Miliband. With Scottish Labour having just held its Annual Conference in Inverness this past weekend and the party’s Devolution Commission interim report out on further possible devolution meeting significant party opposition in parts of the trade union movement, it is time for Scottish Labour to assess where it is and what it needs to do to change and to start shaping the political weather.
Political destinies can be forged by a single decision; to go to war or keep the peace; to call an election or hope something turns up. For Ed Miliband and Ed Balls their destinies could be determined by whether they match Tory spending plans — or not.
New Report - Future Shock
As reported in the Guardian, Future Shock, authored by Matthew Sowemimo examines the powerful forces of political opposition that a Labour or Labour led government could face after the next General Election as it grapples with slow growth, the legacy of austerity and tensions over the European Union. The paper warns that Ed Miliband in Downing Street could be overwhelmed by political opposition from both the Left and the Right and go down to a heavy election defeat in 2020 unless it puts in place a strategy now to prepare for power. It goes on to argue that Labour has to foster a powerful social movement to drive through its economic reforms and that Ed Miliband has to win a clear electoral mandate for redistributing wealth to people on low and middle incomes.
Download and comment on Future Shock here
Mark Perryman from Philosophy Football reviews the best reading of the quarter
As the Thatcher funeral hoopla fades away and the focus shifts to the likely rout of the Con-Dems in the 2 May local elections the political landscape outside the Westminster bubble in the next few months is likely to be further shaped by the deepening impact of the cuts. Click below to read Mark's latest reviews.
Leave Our Kids Alone is a campaigning group that wants an end to all advertising aimed at children of primary school age and younger. Please take action to help us give children the space they need to grow up at their own pace.
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Life Under Thatcher: Share Your Stories
The legacy of Margaret Thatcher's tenure in political office will now be discussed at length. Those who will frame this debate though, are often far too concerned with the health of London. To contest this narrow view, we want to hear from you about what life was really like under Thatcher. This will provide a more balanced vision of her legacy.
We have created a mini blog to tell your stories, which you can view at http://lifeunderthatcher.tumblr.com
Please email us (email@example.com) with your pictures, short stories, comments and quotes about what life was like under Thatcher's rule and what you think her legacy is. We will then upload them and share your story. If you are too young to have lived at this time then why not ask your parents, friends or neighbours for their stories.
Every life is special and some people’s lives are extraordinary and hugely influential. Mrs. Thatcher’s life certainly was. Her legacy and her model of leadership will rightly now be debated in the weeks and months to come. It probably goes without saying that we opposed Margaret Thatcher’s ideology and her political vision. Britain is a much more unequal and divided nation as a result of her leadership. Nonetheless, it is still useful to ask the question, what can we learn from it?
We want to be free and we want to be secure yet we live in a world which has widening wealth inequality. We live in a capitalist system, which isn't much fun if you don't have any capital. The rich may have big pots of money, with their trust funds, their portfolios of shares and so on, and some of them don’t even have to work. However, the principle of a pot of capital can also apply to those at the bottom of the economic heap.
"April is the cruellest month": how true TS Eliot's words will ring for millions of low-income working age people reliant on benefits and tax credits as they face a raft of cuts this cold April. Cruel, too, has been the language of "strivers" v "skivers", which has framed much of the debate around the welfare benefits uprating (more accurately downrating) bill, which recently completed its passage through parliament.
Everyone loves a story, but the story of our welfare state is on course to be a tragedy unless we work together to re-write the ending.
To do this we need a strong vision, a viable alternative to cutting, constructive discussion and immediate action. To make this happen we’ve consulted anti-cuts groups, social justice organisations, charities and Compass members to produce this briefing, Social Security For All.