I do not want to sound like a flat earth swivel-eyed fool. I believe in the moon landings. I have seen behind the curtain and there is no lizards back there. I am absolutely certain however about the truth of a raging Cold War being waged online. I feel it, I am a target of it and have almost certainly been an agent of it albeit unwittingly. As have you.
On the face of it, Universal Credit is a good idea. The benefits system is ridiculously complex, simplifying it is common sense. Except people are not simple, they don't fit into boxes. My sister-in-law and my brother could not have more different needs, experiences and circumstances. The idea that one (fairly inflexible) thing could simply suit them both is a system designed by someone who has not met a very broad range of people. If the variation in my immediate family is so wide, imagine how many iterations are possible.
Because politics is so very predictable (and in fact not funny at all) I can already hear the PMQs exchange that with ensue. No doubt they will wheel out Theresa May to remind everyone that because she is a woman the Tories are better so na nah nah nah na. Sadly for the Tories having a woman PM seems to be the end goal rather than the thing that could be beginning of the change. The end goal is not a woman in the top job, the end goal is that all women get to progress.
The reason the women of 1997 saved my life was not because they handed me benefits, or 15 hours of free childcare to give me a break. It is because they allowed me to get out of my house and become something. What is lost in missed contributions to both the Treasury and society must run to billions of pounds. Thousands of missed opportunities for innovation, lifesaving medicine, beautiful things and technical revolutions. What could have been if only we'd thought to remember the women keeps me awake at night. What have we missed?
Jess Phillips is the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, elected in May 2015, and author of <em>Everywoman: One Woman's Truth About Speaking The Truth</em>. Here, she vlogs as part of The Huffington Post UK's All Women Everywhere project on representation of women in Parliament, the women politicians who changed the world for young girls like her, and why we need more women in power.
I campaigned to remain in the EU. My heart is with all of those worried by the result. I wanted to stay in the EU. I want a Labour government. I don't always get what I want, frequently great swathes of the country don't agree with me. Unlike David Cameron I don't just walk away when things don't go my way. I've got a backbone... Bring on all the messages I'll get after I vote about how I'm weak and feeble. Send me letters telling me I sold you out, gave in to the man. Nothing anyone can say will be close to how I've tortured myself over this. Let me assure you my conscience has been exercised.
I will not allow this report to be used to vilify my community as if all Muslims are the same - they are not and it's not what it says. I will use its findings to make sure I am not turning a blind eye to attitudes and cultures in my community that mean that some who live on my street are held back, hidden or isolated. I'll do exactly the same for all no matter what community they are from.
Using the exact tools deployed by Isis and other terrorist organisations before them, the alt-right have been grooming vulnerable young or isolated people online with fake mocked up videos of hatred. They have been finding people with no friends and offering them a brotherhood. Like every man who groomed a lonely teenage girl with the promise of love, affection and the gift of popularity, the racist fantasists followed the playbook and recruited en masse.
When Karen Bradley was elevated to Cabinet a space was left for a new Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime. This job matters to me. This job is the one place where violence against women and girls, modern slavery, and sexual exploitation sits in Government. This is the job I want when I play fantasy reshuffle.
I wish some of the things that have been said about me this week were true. I sound like a genuine sleeper cell badass. I wish that it wasn't just my principles, beliefs and my heart that guided me last week; if I'd had a ten point plan for dastardly duplicity it might have been more fun.
Reclaim the Internet is not about being the internet police, it is not about making loads of new laws to stifle what is a magnificent, progressive, usually jolly, environment. It is the start of a conversation with the public about what we can do so that all of our voices can be heard. It is a listening project to find out what we can do to limit the kind of behaviour which offline is totally unacceptable. We're trying to make sure that freedom of speech for all the amazing girls and women is not drowned out by faceless avatars. I want spunky women shouting up and facing honest to goodness debate and challenge. Not men with spunky names bullying women in to silence.
For those outside of the Westminster playpen, the dead cat strategy is basically a massive, usually insulting diversion from a political party's failings. So if your immigration targets are not met, scream something hideous about the migrant relative of your opponent.
Imagine you are five years old. Through the crack in your bedroom door you watch your mother begging your dad to stop while he kicks her again. You rush back to your bed and wait for it to stop. Eventually the house is quiet until tomorrow. This is the reality for too many children in the UK.
Day one of the Panama papers scandal was Cameron's chance to be a grown up. He had a chance to say that he had invested in offshore funds in the past. He had the chance to say sorry. Even better, he has the actual power to change his behaviour and commit to improving the regulation on this sort of avoidance... It is really, really hard to say if you've made a mistake. It takes courage. The UK Prime Minister had a chance to show courage, he had a chance to give us some faith in politicians. Instead he was a coward. A coward who cheats. Same old same old. We deserve better.
The sins of Cameron's dad are not his fault. True, but the Government are no strangers to damning the children of people who they think aren't doing their bit for society. Barnardo's, the Child Poverty Action Group and many others have all said that the Conservative Welfare and Work Bill will make poor children poorer. Policies such as only paying tax credits to the first two children in a family directly penalise children for the decisions of their parents. So In Tory Britain poor kids are paying the price for the actions of their parents but David Cameron doesn't have to?
There is one thing I think that we women have that our brothers should envy and replicate - we have each other. The relationships I have had with women are life-changing. It is hard to put in to words the awesomeness of female friendship, many writers have tried to get the depth of women's relationships to leap off a page or transmit on to our screens.
Now a new row has broken out at Oxford University, where I'm ashamed to say that some in the Labour Party society appear to be tolerating the intolerable. Everyday we hear stories of otherness, islamophobia and antisemitism, in full swing. People pitched one against the other, taxpayers pitched against benefit claimants, women against men. Refugees versus migrants. Everyday we receive our dose of "us" versus "them". Drip, drip, drip.
Today I will stand in the commons, with my Labour colleagues and do our job of reminding the other side to be nice. I will tell the story of lives saved in refuge and the lives lost without it. I will remind them that we don't all have a summer house in Cannes we can retreat to when hubby is being frightful. Nor can we just get a girl in to help if Mother can't get about anymore. Most of us don't have a private workforce to turn to when we are scared, or frail, ill or can't cope.
27/01/2016 08:03 GMT
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