Showing records 71 to 80 of 353
Article - 12 March 2012
Frank has today begun an attempt to get the Syrian president and Government before the International Criminal Court to answer for their crimes against humanity by launching a new E-Petition. But he needs your help.
Article - Published in Reform, The next 10 years - 01 March 2012
In ten years Reform, more than any other body, has changed how politics works in this country. An obsession in believing that more money is the answer to practically every problem is giving way to a debate that increasingly focuses on outcomes.
How these outcomes are achieved is likewise becoming a secondary issue to most people. This change in the debate has been so pronounced that it is easy to underestimate just how dramatic it has been. Fighting an election, for example, on league tables of expenditure will soon be the pastime of only a fast disappearing political breed. Reform has given focus to the voter’s demand that politicians should never forget that they spend not their own money but that earned by taxpayers.
Article - Published in ResPublica - 29 February 2012
Much of the previous government’s time was spent on reforming our constitution. In none of the background papers, nor in the subsequent debate, did any Minister set out the principals which underpin British democracy and how the proposed reforms would strengthen our democratic institutions.
Much of our constitution has over the past decade been remodelled out of all recognition. But reforms have been undertaken absent mindedly with respect to how they have affected the democratic principles that form the political culture of this country. Reforming the House of Lords offers what might be the last opportunity to reform part of our constitution by principal rather than by mere fashion.
Article - Published in The Liverpool Echo - 27 February 2012
You may have noticed the Prime Minister is beginning to devote more of his time to the Scottish Question. He was up there recently wooing voters with a pledge that he would be prepared to concede even more powers to a Scottish Parliament.
Article - Published in The Liverpool Echo - 13 February 2012
THE Liverpool City Region's Child Poverty and Life Chances Commission published its first report last week, but will it make any difference? Will it lead to real change? The commission was established by the City's Regional Cabinet and they asked me to chair it. I wrote about the commission's birth in an earlier column, but in this column I want to concentrate on one aspect of the report.
Article - Published in The Times - 10 February 2012
The 903 children reported to have been taken into care last month ("Children in care at record as parents given fewer chances", Feb 9) are but the tip of an iceberg of cruelty and neglect.
I recently asked three headteachers in my constituency how many families of children who came to their school they would not wish to live with themselves if they were children and, if the budgets were unlimited, how many children would they take into care that day. Their answers were 40 and 20 per cent
Article - Published in The Liverpool Echo - 06 February 2012
LABOUR learned one big lesson from the £26,000 cap on benefits debate. The Tories did not.
Let me rewind the film. Last year, the Tories introduced a huge Welfare Reform Bill. It had one main aim - to change attitudes about work.
Large numbers of claimants want to work and are denied the chance. But there are also many claimants who have never worked and do not show much sign of ever doing so.
Article - Published in The Liverpool Echo - 23 January 2012
THE most common complaint at my surgery comes from decent families living in
rented housing who feel that the welfare state not only works against them, but
penalises them to boot.
They work hard, pay their taxes and have brought their children up well.
These families, who are sometimes desperate to move home, find that they
never get a look in when houses in decent areas come up for reallocation.
I am introducing a new Bill tomorrow which is a direct response to these
Article - Published in Pensions Week - 23 January 2012
A final domino has fallen. Shell, the last FTSE 100 company offering new
recruits membership of its generous final salary pension scheme, has announced
the offer is no more.
Article - Published in The Liverpool Echo - 16 January 2012
SCOTLAND is lost. That is my conclusion unless the Government is prepared radically to rethink its strategy.
All the main parties in Westminster are basically English parties. Even the Lib Dems, who rely disproportionately on the Celtic fringe for representation, owe most of their presence to English MPs.
And yet the English voice is hardly ever heard at Westminster. All three main parties wish to speak in terms of Great Britain.