Strong scrutiny is essential to good legislation. This Government have demonstrated a track record of ducking, diving and dodging scrutiny. If the Government truly believe in the programme they are implementing, they should not be afraid of proper debate, and should be able to demonstrate greater respect for parliament and for democracy.
The tests for the spending review are clear: will it make working people better off and deliver a much-needed focus on growth, skills, productivity and infrastructure; or is it business as usual with a short-sighted spending review, underpinned by the Chancellor's fiscal fundamentalism and delivering little beyond false economies.
Living Wage Week is a time to take stock of the low pay challenge that confronts a growing number of working people in the UK - and think about what more can be done to tackle it. Despite the many living wage victories, the outlook is bleak.... Against this backdrop, we should see George Osborne's 'national living wage' for what it is - an enhanced minimum wage. And while it would be churlish to deny that it will do some good (it was after all a policy that was swiped straight out of Labour's 2015 manifesto), we need to recognise three big flaws in the government's way of going about things that reveal the weakness of its approach to tackling lowpay.
PMQs today made it pretty clear: Corbyn is starting to employ that headmaster stare. Today, it went from a rather stern warning look to a full-on, narrow-eyed, flashing-gazed glare at the Tory front bench who promptly erupted from muffled laughter to full-on cheers, accompanied by the classic chanting of "Ooooh", which reminded me all too strongly of schooldays seated in front of a well-intentioned but sadly incompetent supply teacher.
We need to win back those workers who walked away from us in May this year. Jeremy and Angela can do that by being clear that by working together the UK will prosper and thrive. By having policies that means growth is fairly shared, that there will be decent, stable jobs and apprenticeships for their families. That is how we will begin the process of a fight back from the general election defeat and forward to Labour wins in those elections to come next year.
it is important to recognise that changes need to be made in Westminster too, and England's voice should be strengthened when it comes to English only matters. However, David Cameron has proposed fundamental Constitutional changes, and is proposing to introduce them in two weeks' time, using a little known parliamentary procedure... This is no way to make profound constitutional change. It is an outrage the Government thinks it is.
Today I am entering the race to be Labour's deputy leader because I believe I can help us to recover, rebuild and win in 2020... Over the course of this campaign I will travel the country to listen to the people who did the hard graft in this election. We need a root and branch review - not of our navels - but of the practical things we need to do to make our party stronger. I'm not standing in this election to be a commentator, I'm standing in this election because I want to fix the problems we have and help us move forward as a united Party. Together, we can win in 2020.