2014 marks two anniversaries of great importance for Europe. One is the centenary of the beginning of the First World War; the other, a quarter century since the fall of Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the eastern bloc.
The gulf between rich and poor in post-Thatcher Britain is shocking. Vast cuts to public services, runaway privatisation, relaxed financial regulation, and the cutting of the top income tax from 83% to 60% (later to 40%), have turned the UK into one of the most unequal nations in the western world.
Over the course of the last year the media rediscovered its fascination with feminism- a movement that is now going through its fourth wave. An unprecedented amount of articles tracking the progress women have made towards achieving genuine gender equality was published this International Women’s Day. The statistics they contained demonstrate why feminism is still very much needed in modern society. One in three women worldwide will be beaten or sexually abused in their lifetime. Two women a week are killed by an intimate partner in the UK, and only 1% of the world’s property is owned by women.
The Homeless Link 2013 report on youth homelessness has found that over half of all cases are caused by a breakdown with parents or close relatives. It also found that rough sleeping amongst young people has risen since 2010, increasing by 15% in London alone between 2012 and 2013.
Hadleigh Roberts is a candidate to the European Parliament for the South West of England and Gibraltar. A graduate from Bath University and possessing an MA in interpreting and translation, Roberts works as a professional translator (French/Spanish to English) with experience in French, Spanish, UK and European Union (EU) politics.
With the current focus on Maria Miller’s expenses fiddling, it is easy to forget that MPs and other public figures are often tied up in scandal. The most recent example is that of the former deputy speaker Nigel Evans MP, who was recently cleared of charges of sexual abuse. The acquittal of Nigel Evans, hot on the heels of actors Bill Roache and Michael Le Vell, makes now an appropriate time to review how the UK legal system deals with cases of sexual abuse and rape.
The Labour Party is losing the fight to save the welfare state. In railing against coalition cuts, Labour seeks to paint itself as a warrior against injustice, protecting the most vulnerable in society. However by assuming the role of valiant defender for the poor, the party risks undermining the very institutions it is looking protect. Put simply it’s time for Labour to bury the moral crusade and get on with politics.
On the weekend of March 22, I had my first experience of door-to-door campaigning for the local government elections. We were supporting John Howard, an excellent local council candidate in Aldborough Ward, Redbridge. Winning a council seat for John at this year’s local elections would be a first step towards winning back the crucial marginal constituency, Ilford North, in 2015. At present the Conservatives have a 5,000 strong majority here.
Last Saturday saw the Young Fabians begin in earnest our campaigns programme, as we headed to Ilford North for some canvassing on behalf of Wes Streeting, the Labour candidate. For some of us, including myself, this was effectively an introduction to canvassing and an opportunity to experience the kind of door to door campaigning that is so crucial in winning votes and seats.
Labour are in trouble. The wave of post-Budget polls spelled bad news for the party, revealing its lead over the Conservatives to have tumbled to a single percentage point from a high of nine in early March.
The next edition of Anticipations focuses on the Labour Party's relationship with the European Union, and explores the challenges and opportunities it faces in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in May and beyond. Young Fabians Member Oliver MacArthur asks what more Europe could do to end the scourge of youth unemployment.
The next edition of Anticipations focuses on the Labour Party's relationship with the European Union, and explores the challenges and opportunities it faces in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in May and beyond. London Labour MEP candidate Lucy Anderson lays out what's at stake when Europe next casts its vote.
Received wisdom maintains that the UKIP vote is made up of disaffected, older Tories who are dissatisfied with Cameron’s socially liberal policies and relatively progressive stance on Europe. But look closer and you will see this is simply not the case. While UKIP does disproportionately draw support from Tory voters, polling has shown they can also boast substantial support from working-class Labour voters too.
The UK is in the midst of a housing crisis with demand dramatically outstripping supply. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, “Britain is heading for a property shortage of more than a million homes by 2022 unless the current rate of housebuilding is dramatically increased”.
Fabian leaflet 43 begins: “Vote! Vote!! Vote!!!” Its rallying cry against apathy reminds voters of the sacrifice of their forbears to win the franchise and asks them to “use what cost so much to win”. More than 100 years on and its message is no less important. Indeed, it has a renewed resonance at a time when political apathy, particularly amongst young people, seems to have become the norm.
This is a guestpost by Scarlet Standard blogger Emma Burnell as follow up to our writing workshop in February
Why I started blogging
I felt that I had something to say that was missing from the debate. I wanted to be helpful and offer my advice and expertise to the Labour Party but no one was banging down my door. Because I am a little bit gobby, I decided to create my own space and hope something came of doing so.
The following is a guestpost by Left Foot Forward Editor James Bloodworth as follow up to the Young Fabian writing workshop in February
My top 10 tips for writing and pitching:
1) Find out the name of the person you want to pitch to. Not ‘Dear Editor’ or ‘To Whom it May Concern’. Emails which begin like that will (and should be) deleted.
John Robert (J.R.) Clynes, born in Oldham on the 27th of March 1869, committed his life to trade unionism and politics, leading the Labour party during the breakthrough election of 1922, then becoming the Labour’s first Deputy Leader, and later Home Secretary.