Thangam Debbonaire

The class pay gap

First published on Progressonline for ‘the Last Word’

Alan Milburn leading the way on social mobility, Clive Lewis’ campaign team, May’s US speech and Holocaust Memorial Day  – Richard Angell has this week’s Last Word

Alan Milburn is doing the Labour party’s job for it … again. His work on social mobility continues to chart a path towards achieving Labour’s historic mission: breaking the link between the postcode you are born into and where you end up in life. In fact, few in Labour other than Milburn have looked seriously at how to tackle social mobility in the United Kingdom. The only exception I can think of is Tristram Hunt’s work on character education, that he commended back to the party in his recent letter resigning from the House of Commons. Based on a report commissioned by the all-party parliamentary group on social mobility and conducted by the Education Policy Institute. Ed Miliband, who never gave a speech on the issue or primary or secondary education in all the time her was leader of the opposition, had such low regard for the issue ‘there was more in Labour’s 2015 manifesto on handrails in old people’s homes than education’, an extremely frustrated Hunt told a post-general election Progress audience. (more…)

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Calling it wrong

First published on the Huffington Post

Emily Thornberry, keen to prepare the ground for moving on from the ‘chaos and distraction’ of the leadership election, has written a very private message to all her Islington South and Finsbury Labour followers on Facebook, a message which managed to find its way to the Guardian. It contains a ‘plea’ to her ‘fellow MPs’ to ‘stop the internal division, unite as a party, and take the fight to the Tories together’. Given that Thornberry now occupies a senior position in the party, as shadow foreign secretary, her words matter for how the party regroups after the election result. (more…)