Don’t believe the hype – the living standards crisis if far from over.
Glancing at the papers this week, or turning on the television news, you’d be forgiven for thinking that most Britons are living in a land of milk and honey thanks to the sterling work of chancellor George Osborne. “Cost of living fears groundless,” declared yesterday’s Daily Mail, while according to Guido Fawkes, Labour’s continued emphasis on living standards is “hilarious“.
Their arguments rest on a number of statistical releases that have come out this week – specifically inflation and jobs figures showing – which show that, after six long years, wages are finally catching up with inflation. Read More »
The secular legal system can uphold the rights of minority women forced to conform to patriarchal religious laws, writes Lejla Kuric
In a secular legal system, the right to hold religious beliefs is absolute. However, the right to manifest those religious beliefs is limited by the need to respect the autonomy and rights of others.
A religious or theocratic legal system, on the other hand, does not recognise such limitations – its notion of justice rests instead on the supremacy of its own revealed truths and the whims of the – invariably male – clerical authorities who interpret them. Read More »
In a wide ranging speech to be delivered in Belfast today, Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers will call for a new process to address legacy issues, with a “proportionate focus on the wrongdoing of paramilitaries”.
Arguing that so far too great an emphasis has been placed on wrongdoing committed by the state, she will use the speech to explain: Read More »
Almost one million people had to rely on a food bank for emergency food aid in the past year, according to figures released today by the Trussell Trust.
913,138 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust food banks in 2013-14, compared to 346,992 in 2012-13. According to the chairman of the Trussell Trust, these figures are the “tip of the iceberg”.
To put it starkly, in the sixth largest economy in the world almost a million people are now unable to afford enough to eat, a savage indictment of the coalition if ever there was one. Read More »
The fate of the UK’s nuclear weapon system will be decided in the next few years. Whether to renew Trident and what defensive posture to take will be the subjects of internal party debates when manifesto writing, when preparing for the NPT Review Conference in 2015 and when Parliament votes on the ‘Main Gate’ decision on Trident replacement in 2016.
But there have been some interesting stories about Trident in the press of late. Here are just a few: Read More »
It was a measure of how tedious coverage of the 2016 presidential race has already become that so much of last week’s news cycle in the US focussed on Hillary Clinton’s encounter with a stray shoe. Numerous outlets covered how Clinton handled the assault, as well as the identity of her attacker.
As it happened, Clinton’s brush with the offending footwear came just days after she made one of her most political interventions in months. Read More »
Don’t believe the coalition hype. The so-called ‘cost of living crisis’ is far from over, writes James Bloodworth
No doubt there will be a great deal of carping in the conservative press today about how we’re all feeling much better off now that the rate of inflation is finally set to fall below the rate at which wages are increasing.
Consumer Price Inflation was 1.6 per cent in March – down from 1.7 per cent in February, according to the Office for National Statistics, meaning that inflation is now at its lowest level since 2009. Who would argue that this isn’t welcome news?
Not us at Left Foot Forward, that’s for sure. But is it cause for celebration? Well no actually, for there are a number of powerful reasons to think that for most people the so-called ‘cost of living crisis’ is far from over. Read More »
Fresh from taking on Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage has called on Scottish first minister Alex Salmond to debate with him ahead of September’s referendum, arguing that UKIP is the only party offering true independence for Scotland, namely from the European Union.
Having earlier this week criticised the SNP for failing to give the people of Scotland a referendum on their membership of the EU, Farage has used an interview with the Scotsman to call on the Salmond to hold a one-to-one debate with him. Read More »
Poland’s is committed to the European Union, despite what David Cameron may like to think, writes Matt Broomfield
David Cameron will have been relieved to hear Polish minister for foreign affairs Radek Sikorski offering his support over the hot topic of EU reform last week.
“We are perfectly willing to help [Britain] fix some of the problems of the EU…”, he said in an interview in Warsaw. “You have a problem with the Working Time Directive – I have to tell you it applies to all countries just as much as it applies to you…We should be able to fix it, perhaps with a treaty change, perhaps without.” Read More »