The economic gulf between what we pay our vital frontline National Health Service staff and who I consider the far less vital administrators who sit supposedly "above" them never fails to amaze me. We learned a week ago that three temporary NHS chiefs were paid salaries between £210,000 and £305,000 last year by a deeply-indebted hospital.
McDonnell's views on austerity, as well as reflecting a substantial body of opinion throughout the country, can rightly be said to represent conventional Labour party thought. Which party would want for its shadow chancellor someone whose economic philosophy was out of kilter with its mainstream?
Austerity is a political choice not an economic necessity. When the Chancellor rose to his feet at the emergency Budget in July, and when he does so for his Spending Review in October, what is being put forward is an ideologically-driven rolling back of the state. The analysis published today by the TUC reveals how the Budget gives money to the rich, but takes away from the poor. This is the Conservative project, dressed up in the post-crisis language of budget deficits and national debt for extra impetus. Inequality doubled under the Thatcher government, and her heirs seem to be doing all they can to ensure that legacy is extended.
Aylun Kurdi There are times when you see a noticeable shift in public opinion, and sometimes a simple image can be all that is needed to trigger it...
Prime Minister, I hope hope you hug your children a little tighter tonight too. They are beautiful little people, just as were Aylan and Galip, and the countless lives needlessly lost before them. Use the power you have, and make a change, but don't you dare tell me that we cannot afford to put our shoulders to the wheel of humanity.
The musical highlight this year was Grace Petrie and the Benefits Culture who roused a damp Monday night crowd with their politically charged folk songs. Grace Petrie is the musical soul of Corbynmania. Heartfelt catchy tunes delivering lyrics of love and protest which sum up her generation of politically engaged youth who despise the political establishment.
It wasn't being 'too left-wing' that did for Labour; it was the belief that, so far as it was desirable to fight on the economy at all, the objective had to be one of aping the Tories on 'fiscal responsibility', for which read deficit reduction for its own sake.
Social security has been capped and cut over and over again in the last five years, and the pattern has already been continued in the new parliament when George Osborne set out his plans for more pain in his emergency July budget.
It may well make the left feel good to return to bleating on about nationalisation and raising taxes and spending like a sailor on shore leave but the world and Britain in particular has moved on from those days. The Labour Party can, if they want, return to the politics of the 1970s, but Britain will not be joining them
Cutting this budget is incredibly short-sighted. £200million saved now will result in massive expenditure and massive suffering in the future. Unfortunately these cuts are already coming and getting into a lather about it now is unlikely to change that.
Forgive the diatribe and the finger pointing but the election result was a shock yet not one big enough that appears to have shaken sense into people. People are now even starting to question whether electability matters? I can only assume these people live very comfortable lives.
The number of renting households forcibly removed from their home by bailiffs has increased again over the last year, as part of a 47% increase in families struggling to keep a roof over their head since housing benefit cuts began.
The austerity economics at the heart of this Conservative Government are about far more than welfare cuts. They reflect a socially divisive and economically damaging. attempt to drastically reduce public services and to reshape the relationship between the citizen and the state.
While Cameron may pacify us that there will be no switch to an insurance-based model (although he wants to "turn the NHS into a fantastic business"), ...
What do the next five years hold for the NHS? The pre-election jamboree is quickly evaporating. The promise of billions more in funding now feels like a distant sound-bite. The Daily Telegraph recently set the tone with a front page headline in which Jeremy Hunt declared that the NHS now has enough money and will have to make do. However, all the talk on funding in the election debates completely missed the point.
I don't like it, and have marched against it, but City Hall is going to face further austerity up to 2020. We need to come up with creative responses ...