PoliticsUK - 2001

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It has become obvious that Harold Saxon will do another for a headline. Headline Harry will stoop as low as possible to deal a political blow and he is unfit to be in high office. He uses the death of a young boy as a political stick to hit his opponents, he has stoked up division and protests by encouraging fuel strikes, he attempts to pass off the work of others and then he runs to the press to complain endlessly. For a man who wishes to be Prime Minister he acts like a little child with his toy taken away.
Headline Harry has made a lot of political noise about how leaders should resign if they don't carry the support of their party on every issue or if they have to reshuffle their cabinet. Given he is on his third Shadow Leader of the House and fourth reshuffle one could be forgiven for wondering why he hasn't reached for the pen and paper before now. Now that Tory backbenchers are voting against his own Opposition Day Bill will he finally stop chasing the headlines and put his money where his mouth is? If he believes that the Prime Minister should resign over every policy disagreement in the Labour Party surely the same should apply to him and his Tory Party?

Whilst Headline Harry continues to propagate mass-hysteria about something as innocuous as a planned White Paper on House of Lords Reform and a Senate of the Nations and Regions as he sits around waiting for the next populist bandwagon to jump on this Government are legislating to make people's lives better. Our Apprenticeships Act provides alternative routes through the education system for those who are less academically inclined allowing them to achieve their full potential rather than attempting to force a square peg into a round hole. The Apprenticeship Act is proof that whilst the Tories scream hysterically and fan the flames of populism there is a party out working for the good of the people, this Labour Government.

Nathan

General Press Cycle Week 5: The Senate, Tenant Fees & Crime... Again.
 
Labour: 23.5
 
Once again, this… wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. Your lows were much lower than the Tories (thank Mr. Trevitt for that, because he may undermine himself but he does effectively undermine you guys in the process), but the highs were higher too, promising more apprentices and actions on tenants (somehow you seized this agenda more effectively than the Tories, who proposed it, did!) make the public look at you and almost like you, despite everything else going on.
 
Also, what you also did effectively towards the end is begin to play the Tories at their own game towards the end. Is it a low blow? Well, yeah, but if they’re doing it, it’s not like they can criticise you for it, right?
 
Conservatives: 26.5
 
Of course the Tories won, for effectively kicking Labour while they were down. A bit more substance and a bit less style couldn’t hurt though, and could have made you win the round much more decisively – and, tbh, this critique applies to both sides, but make sure you’re moderate in your accusations. Calling someone a liar or corrupt is pretty serious, and sometimes you may not know the full extent of the situation – I advise people look before they leap.
 
Alwyn Thomas – “The Tories want the House of Lords to remain as a nice retirement home for their old hands and a reward centre for people who write them large enough cheques.” Your senate plans are under intense scrutiny by the press, but this still resonated. To be blunt, the Tories haven’t offered any practical concerns against House of Lords reform – just ‘it’s bad’ and ‘look at the humiliation the government faces because of these proposals’ – and yes, that hurts, but most people are so far indifferent to constitutional reform and they’ll need more than ‘the government’s in a bit of a kerfuffle’ to convince them it’s bad. Thomas, quite effectively, gives the public a reason to doubt the Tories’ intentions.
                                   
Elizabeth Tanner: “We must move past the time of landlords acting without recourse, and these amendments will ensure that legislation in from of the House is strong, robust and is capable of protecting tenants from cowboy landlords who seek to prey on unsuspecting tenants.” Ding, ding, ding! Remember how I said the government had lower lows than the Tories, but higher highs? This was the high: in the press Tanner, in a statement, took an issue the Tories wanted to capitalise on and made it her own.
 
Government scandals make media storms, and they make people angry. But never forget that politics at its core is about bread and butter issues – maybe, just maybe, it would’ve been best for the government to barely respond to the mudslinging and to focus on those, because this alone gained them the reluctant respect of some of the electorate.
 
Michael Kirton – “The government must do better and fix the bill to ensure transparency and accountability are at its core; when it comes to the public funds, there cannot be expenditure without transparency.” I like sassy Kirton. He became a PolUK meme in and of himself for a reason – and of all your contributions the line about the government working backwards was good. But the Tories aren’t going to win an election (a press round sure – and you did) on style alone, and this one from Kirton was really good: an effective, reasoned critique on an issue that impacts people’s lives. So have a cookie with your influence point.
 
Additional Points:
  • Oh my god. You all bolded your press statements correctly! I love you all!
  • However, remember what I said – short and sweet. The press will tune out if your statement is too long. 
  • Back and forths are fun. And I don’t think this happened, but I want to put the warning out there before it does: don’t do a back and forth for the sake of it. If someone replies to you and adds nothing new/repeats themselves, it’s often best to say nothing rather than to add nothing new/repeat yourself. Feel me?
With the publishing of the investigation report into my actions, and that of the Government I have come to the sad and sobering decision to resign in my position as Member of Parliament for Cambridge. I never intended any harm by any of my actions, and I acknowledge that my personal involvements in the appointing of roles in various organisations related to the Department of Education can be seen as corruption although I maintain I have done nothing outside of normal behaviour nor without the support of the civil service. When I did get involved I truly believed I as supporting the public good by  supporting good people reach positions they would excel in.

I have informed the local party of my intention to step down and procedures will soon begin for seeking a new Member of Parliament for Cambridge.

Out of all this I wish to seek greater transparency in Parliament and reform of the whips office so future scandals are not covered up, even in the slightest.
As I have said all along throughout this scandal, Solomon Trevitt was 100% in the wrong and the Government was not. As soon as I knew what was going on I sent the relevant info to the Attorney General and the Prime Minister. What has happened over the course of Mr Trevitt's ministerial career has been unacceptable, as has the opportunistic vitriol thrown at myself, the Government and the Labour Party by the Conservative Party. If Headline Harry and his party had a single shred of decency they would apologise immediately for their proven misinformation. They have gotten so far wrong with their smear campaign they have shown again they will stoop to any level for a headline.
I would liken someone being caught in unethical behavior calling for more transparency to a bank robber asking why there were not more security cameras. Point taken, thief.
The Chancellor can sing as much as he wants about the outcome of the investigation to his hearts' content. What is more concerning is the Government silence on restoring trust in our politics. The Prime Minister has yet to accept ie decline my invitation for a meeting with the other parties in Parliament to address this issue and agree a cross party consensus moving forward. 

The message is simple, Labour can continue to criticise other parties as we have seen the Chancellor do, or they can put aside party differences by coming to the table and reach a consensus with other parties to restore the British public's trust in our politics, the choice is theirs.
Harold Saxon may wish to talk about cross-party cooperation now, it sure is interesting how completely uninterested in bipartisanship he was when he thought he could make a political scene out of it, now he's been caught with his trousers around his ankles he seems far more willing to talk. What we have actually seen this week is that Harold Saxon has no decency, for weeks and months he has called for my head comparing me to the vile corruption of Mr Trevitt as if I was somehow complicit in some bizarre cover-up. The report out recently not only shows that Mr Saxon was mistaken at best, it shows that I acted promptly and in full consideration of the law. He must apologise for his actions that tried to destroy several innocent political careers, reputations and maybe even livelihoods.

The Conservative Party's total opposition to any measure that would seek to bring more women into politics would be faintly amusing if it weren't so cynical and dangerous. Earlier this year their backbenchers conspired to remove women's reproductive rights from them by re-banning abortion in the United Kingdom, with only 10% of the House of Commons being women such moves by the Tories would have been able to succeed without a single woman voting for them if they'd liked. Women make up 50% of the population and have a wide variety of issues and problems facing them that men can never be fully in tune with, we must bring more women into Parliament to speak up on these issues, that is why AWS' are a good idea in the short to medium term to bring women into politics.
The Tory attack dogs are coming out of the woodwork on All Women Shortlists, but this is only making their absence elsewhere more noticeable. Where are they on Railtrack? Where are they on the single currency? Where are they now the report into Solomon Trevitt cleared the government of wrongdoing? Deafening silence. The Labour Party in government will pass All Women Shortlists into law, and we'll do everything else in our power to help the women of Britain. If the Tory Party have nothing to say on anything apart from levelling the playing field between the sexes in politics, then how can they really be trusted to govern the country?
The scaremongering from Labour over AWS is quite embarrasing. In the debate on altering the sex discrimination act Barbara Bond said 

Quote:But I must say in all my years campaigning against sexism, racism, and homophobia, I've heard nothing from the Member for Hexham nothing from the Member for Henley, and nothing from the Member for Ruislip Northwood. When I was campaigning on behalf of Barbara Castle and the Equal Pay Act, I wasn't joined by any of them, when I was campaigning to get the Race Relations Act passed in 1976, I wasn't joined by any of them, and when Section 28 was passed just over ten years ago the outcry from the party opposite was non-existent, let alone comparable to the hissy fit they are throwing over this legislation.



The Equal Pay Act was passed when I was 10 years old and The Race Relations Act was passed when I was 16 - I apologise for my lack of comments on that, and do offer my deepest apologies that Barabara was not joined by me on any of these campaigns, however she would not have even known who I was, let alone heard what I said.

And as every one knows, I fully support Section 28.

Asking where I was, and why I did not speak in favour of an act on Equal Pay when I was 10 years old is a very dirty tactic indeed.

One Conservative backbencher does not equal many conservative backbenchers. If Labour are to assume that the entire of our backbenchers as a plural support banning abortion, we'll just assume that all former Labour government officials give jobs to their bedmates.
I offer my apologies to Charles Kinbote for not taking into account his youth and inexperience when it comes to All Women Shortlists and tackling discrimination in general, but my broader point still stands: the Tories are in no place as a party to lecture me or any other Labour member about discrimination, especially as in the more recent debates surrounding oppressed minorities, specifically Section 28, they are either missing in action or full-throatedly in favour of it. The facts are these: only one party can be trusted to stand up for minorities and oppressed people in this country, and it certainly isn’t the Tories.
For a party who claims to be experts on crime, I was intrigued to hear that the Conservative Party didn't contribute a single word to the International Criminal Court Act debate. This bill seeks to help with the enforcement of the most serious of crimes which happen in the modern world. Evidently, the Conservative Party don't want the United Kingdom to be united with our allies in enforcing the crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. They might want to stand together with our allies but we wouldn't know what their position is.
Barbara Bond, regardless of what she says, asked where I was in the fight against discrimination in regards towards equal pay and race relations. She attempted to claim that I, and two other members, had been silent in the 1970s on these issues - the fact that i was a teenager does not seem to bother her at all. She specifically asked where we were during these campaigns, and only when her gaffe is brought up, does she say she meant the Tories in general.

The thing is, by supporting an AWS, she, and Labour do not support equality - she supports discrimination in favour of women, she supports discrimination against men. If any registered political party has an All-Women Shortlist, in a constituency, and a male member of that party who lives in that constituency wishes to stand, he will be told he isn't allowed - that is not equality, that is discrimination against men.
With the support of my friends and family, I have announced that I will seek the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party. I believe we need a robust conversation about the future of our party. I am excited about the potential to engage with party members across the whole of Britain and to have frank conversations about the issues that face them. I am absolutely confident that whatever the result of this contest we shall move forward together, united in our determination to build a stronger, fairer Britain.
Had an absolutely tremendous time speaking with party members in London and Birmingham. I'll be headed to Manchester and Leeds soon. Having a pint, talking local issues and kitchen table politics is the best way to engage with our members!

Nathan

General Press Cycle Week Six: Trevitt Report, All Women’s Shortlists & Other Shenanigans.
 
Labour: 27
 
Overall, you seemed to win the overall debate this week – the Trevitt report made you look good (or, to be more accurate, didn't make you look bad!) and you hit the Tories well over their hysteria, AWS’ may be debatable but it’s always a good little thing image wise you can point score over the Tories and somehow your Deputy PM resigning and the following contest has been a relatively tucked away affair. There were a few slipups (Barbara Bond and the Ford strike thing have – despite the overall strength of her message – come to mind, and also trying to paint the Tories as anti abortion seemed wobbly), but you still come out on top.
 
Conservative: 23
 
Not a massive loss – it’s just you didn’t seem particularly victorious. The Conservative Party needs to build more of an overarching vision, and have something positive to espouse. Some pretty good attacks, and Sir Harold Saxon’s call for cross party cooperation does make him seem more mature and might be a good start to tackling some of his image problems – but it’s hard to have the public buy it’s not a complete stunt when it’s announced first and foremost in the media.
 
 Influence Points Awarded to:
 
Charles Kinbote: “If Labour are to assume that the entire of our backbenchers as a plural support banning abortion, we’ll just assume that all former Labour officials give jobs to their bedmates.” Owch. And just as I thought the Trevitt report couldn’t ever really be used to hit Labour hard…
 
Callum Finch: “Evidently, the Conservative Party don’t want the United Kingdom to be united with our allies in enforcing the crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.” A bold claim, even if the Tories’ action (or lack of) was a huge, huge political faux pas – but it still resonates that the Tories don’t really care and aren’t contributing. So this hurts.
 
Alwyn Thomas: “If Headline Harry and his party had a single shred of decency they would apologise immediately for their proven disinformation.” Hurts. It’s a lesson to the Tories that you don’t seize on every opportunity to attack your political opponents, and you have to be measured and calculated because this is politics – the report has made them look a bit silly and despite Saxon not contributing, his call for more cross party cooperation around the issue is a little undermined. This kind of anger itself might almost border on being slightly unstatesmanlike – but considering the accusations that were hurled at you, could anyone really blame you?
I have just wrapped up the end of my Deputy Leadership campaign at a final event in Tooting. There is no better place to end my campaign than right at home. I've had an amazing opportunity to meet people all over Britain and talk about the future of our party and our country. I have no idea what the result will be, but I know we've started a national conversation within our party about how to carry on John Smith's legacy and build on a solid foundation. I'll be taking a much needed day to relax and spend time with my family.
Missing: Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
Reward if found: A functioning opposition and a healthy democracy

The House of Commons is the Mother of all Parliaments, but a Parliament is only as good as the parties that reside within it. Whilst the Government continues to push bill after bill into the Chamber and push bill after bill through into law the Conservative Party continue to be nowhere. When the Government proposed a bill on international crime, the International Criminal Court Bill the Tories were nowhere, not one single backbencher or Shadow Minister rose to speak on the subject. Good Government needs an opposition to keep it honest and to hold it to account, when the Government is unchecked and unchallenged in the House it is not a good thing, I don't care which party is in Government. The Tories made such a fuss about protecting our constitution and our sovereignty, they have made a mockery of it in their recent lack of appearances in legislative debates in the Chamber. Sort it out Harold.
The Chancellor talks about how there has been no opposition, yet we were the ones who introduced the tenant fees act. When it came to the five tests debate in the house , Myself and the Shadow Chancellor outlined a valid argument on the Euro. The Chancellor instead decided to throw his toys out of the pram and raise a point of order, when the speaker ruled against him, he sulked. I also invited the Prime Minister to talks with other parties on restoring trust in our politics, with this weak Prime Minister more interested in fluffing up his answers rather than just saying yes.

There is one thing that is clear, this Government is led by a weak Prime Minister who cannot give you a straight answer on anything and we have a Chancellor who cannot speak for the Government, its time for strong leadership , but you won't find it in this Government.
It is laughable that Headline Harry thinks what he has been doing is leadership, let’s look back at some of his greatest hits: he spoke to a picket line of protestors willing to let the country run out of fuel, he pledged a 3% cut on fuel duty only to trash our entire budget surplus on a 6% cut just to get one up on the Government, he said without remorse that he believes in Section 28 as good legislation, he introduced one piece of legislation that was weak and required amending, then allowed plagiarised amendments to be accepted when refusing the very same amendments. This ‘leadership’ has occurred alongside his and his party’s inability to speak on the legislation passed by this Government and issues facing our country today all the while he rushes to the press to bemoan the Government. If Headline Harry wants to see an example of weak leadership, I suggest he consults a mirror.
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