Tomorrow, the former Lord chancellor Lord Falconer will table a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Lords to legalise and safeguard doctor assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults.
If enacted, it will prevent dying Britons from having to travel abroad to die, and prevent others who are either unwilling or physically or financially unable to make the journey from having to take matters into their own hands domestically. Read More »
Right-wing think tank Bow Group has admitted that the privatisation of the Royal Mail could see the price of a stamp increase and Post Offices in rural areas close.
In a letter to every Conservative MP, group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney said privatisation could endanger “the financial stability of Post Offices” in rural areas by separating Royal Mail further from the 11,500-network.
“It is likely to be deeply unpopular with the British public, prices will rise at a time we can least afford it, an amenity that many communities consider crucial will be removed and a sell off will also impact on the significant heritage of Royal Mail,” the letter read.
“The privatisation of Royal Mail is likely to swiftly form a poisonous legacy for the government now, and a poisonous legacy for the Conservative Party going forward,” it added.
Having gained notoriety for his bizarre polyamorous lifestyle, Michael Philpott shocked the nation after he was found to have caused the deaths of six of his children in a fire which he started deliberately.
Memorably, the case was jumped on by the right-wing press, with Philpott labelled “a vile product of welfare UK” by the Mail. The chancellor George Osborne even chipped in, saying the case raised important welfare “questions”.
The tragedy in the Bangladesh garment industry at Rana Plaza in Dhaka, which has claimed the lives of over 1,000 workers when a building that housed eight factories collapsed, has lead to outrage across the world.
Condemnation has come from all quarters. Governments, NGOs and customers who have been wringing their hands saying “we must put a stop to this – but how do we do it?”.
Those persons condemned include the building’s owner, (who went on the run and now faces with calls from workers for his execution); the owners of the factories; the builders themselves (now all under arrest); but also the Western customers, such as Primark, Mango and others who allegedly ignore abuses of millions workers in the garment industry in order to produce cheap clothing for sale in the West. Read More »
YouGov’s poll comes after data published by ICM in the Guardian which claims Ukip has an 18 per cent vote share.
So how could Ukip achieve this much of the national vote share? This figure, too, looks decidedly dodgy.
If we take 31.5million or 66 per cent of voters as a likely General Election turn out, Ukip would need 5,670,000 to reach 18 per cent. Of that 31.5million, if Ukip polled a uniform 20 per cent or 3,700,000 across the roughly 18.5million voters who might turn out from the UK’s shires, towns and small and medium cities and combined that with 12.5 per cent or one million from eight million voters in the major cities Ukip would then need 970,000 or 19.4 per cent from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to reach 18 per cent nationally.
Daniel John is a law student who writes on democracy and society since the 2008 financial crash
In my mind democracy is not so much a system of governance, but rather the result of a system of governance. It appears to me, and many others, that in the past three to four decades the word democracy, despite retaining its dictionary definition, in practice has become something else altogether.
The control of the systems and institutions that have a dramatic effect on all of our lives have been handed over to undemocratic and private institutions, such as the IMF and The World Bank for example; institutions that are something of a mystery to most people.
Since 2007 the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has published the “Democracy Index”. It aims to provide a snapshot of democracy worldwide and as of 2012, according to the index, democracy is at a standstill. The causes of democratic decline put forward by the EIU are probably not that revelatory; the lack of confidence in political institutions exacerbated by sovereign debt crises and political participation decreasing are no real surprise; but from this a depressing picture of sustained decline emerges, with no sign of abatement. Read More »
It’s interesting that, in his column for today’s Telegraph, Boris Johnson has cited the German economy as the measuring stick against which Britain should compare itself.
In his article Boris riffles through the pros and cons of EU membership and ends on the point that one of the consequences of Britain leaving the EU would be our recognising that “most of our problems are not caused by ‘Bwussels’, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure”.
The government has made two recent U-turns on public health issues. The first was on minimum alcohol pricing, plans for which were scrapped in March amid rumours of a rebellion by senior Tories including home secretary Teresa May.
Despite its popularity with health groups, minimum alcohol pricing wasn’t all that popular with the electorate, as the graph below shows. Half of those polled last week by YouGov for the Sunday Times opposed the introduction of a minimum price, compared to 39 per cent who supported the proposal.
It’s fairly credible to assume the government may have dropped the policy on the basis that it might cost votes.
A possible Conservative amendment to the Queen’s Speech condemning it for failing to include a bill advocating a referendum on EU membership would be a “venal act of self indulgence” that could be the beginning of the end of the Conservatives in office, a former Tory MP has claimed.
Writing on his blog, Jerry Hayes said that if the prime minister were to criticise the absence of legislation which would allow an in-out referendum, it would be “a thoroughly futile and pointless exercise” which would make the Tories “look like incompetent fools more interested in a stunt to save their own miserable skins”.
It would be “a gift to the Farangistas”, he added.
Two of Scotland’s biggest political beasts will be pitched against each other later today in the debate over the country’s future.
For the pro union camp, Gordon Brown will make a return to frontline political debate to launch Labour’s own campaign to keep Scotland within the United Kingdom, called ‘United with Labour’.
According to Scotland on Sunday, the former prime minister and MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, “is expected to argue that if Scottish Labour supporters vote to leave the UK it would mean abandoning colleagues in England to years of Tory rule”.
“Brown”, the paper reports, “will also suggest staying within the Union would mean it was far more likely that the Conservatives would be voted out at Westminster at the next general election, which would benefit Scotland as a whole”.