Leaked letter opens the floodgates

First published on Progressonline

David Cameron has made a pig’s ear of it again. A leaked letter that he is pressuring his local council to resist the worst implications of George Osborne’s cuts is either confirmation that Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity politics is catching on or that the prime minister has no idea what the implications of his own policies are in his own back garden. You decide.

Either way – Labour has seen the chink in his armour and is pressing its advantage. Jonathan Ashworth – member of parliament for Leicester South and shadow Cabinet Office minister – was straight on Cameron’s flagrant disregard of the Ministerial Code as he offers up use of the No 10 Policy Unit to provide free consultancy to his local struggling Tory council. (more…)

Cutting waste or wasting potential?

First published on ProgressOnline

It is undeniable that the terrible cuts of the Lib-Con coalition are focused on the young. Our country’s potential lies in the hands of our young people and this government should be offering them helping hand not holding them back.

To date we have seen the Future Jobs Fund axed, the baby bonds abolished, 10,000 student places erased and free swimming for under 16s cut, cut, cut.

None of these are cuts to waste, they all waste the potential of those we should be cherishing most. What is deeply regrettable is that all of these cuts could have been prevented. (more…)

With spending cuts ahead Labour must be honest with the electorate and follow three guiding principles to set us apart from the Tories

First published on Progressonline in the Young progressives column

The result in Norwich North is yet further confirmation that Labour’s Mr 10% campaigns and the investment vs cuts message is going down like a lead balloon. It finally appears that Lord Mandelson and others are trying to manoeuvre a new message, so what should it be?

The public have a strong sense that the public finances are in bad way (whether we got there for good or bad reasons) and that someone will need to make the difficult choices to put them back on track. Cameron plays to the reality for most British families who have to live within their means and resonates with those who personally borrowed too much and feel punished as they desperately try and bring their personal debt into manageable and sustainable measures. Their view is that the government should do the same. (more…)