Let's start with one heretical thought: competition is disastrous in our education system and should be abandoned as a guiding principle. Instead what we need is cooperation - an informal co-operative of pupils, teachers, parents, communities working together to help achieve the best possible outcome for each pupil.
Dear Mr. Field, I read your letter in today's Observer with some dismay. If ever it was the time for the Labour Party to stand united, take on UKIP and reclaim its base, it is now.
Today, two of the major UK business organisations delivered more good news on the economy. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) announced the best UK growth figures in May since 2003, and the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) upgraded its forecast to 3.1 per cent for 2014, the highest rate since the 2007 crisis...
In the aftermath of local and European elections, Labour party introspection began immediately: in particular, criticism of the party's direction, its attitude to UKIP in both sets of elections, the coherence of its message, its policies and their presentation, and, last and most, criticism of Ed Miliband...
The BBC asked me this morning if the arrival of Ukip (and even darker parties such as the Front Nationale) in Brussels would be disruptive. I agreed that it will be. But disruption, creative chaos, real change, is just what our stale, failed political system needs, just as the angry voters, lashing out or expressing frustration by either voting Ukip or staying at home (as 63% did), need to be offered hope. Our political future doesn't look like the past. Happily.
If Ed doesn't get himself some new Public Relations drones, it might be one of the few options open to him come the next election. I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that's something that no-one wants to see.
We can all have a bad day at the office, but when the Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, had a really bad day in the TV and radio studios by not knowing much about food shopping bills or anything at all about the Labour Party Leader in Swindon - he didn't just sound unconvincing - he broke a number of important rules of politics and of media interviews.
The inept clairvoyant of news This week has proven that in a land of lily-livers, the man who doesn't look that yellow is king. So it is for Nigel Fa...
If they are going to get bigger the questions are going to get tougher, having had two decades to prepare for this it's remarkable they seem so disorganised. If they feel this is a hatchet job, a smear campaign, well get use to it because you're in the big leagues now and the less you're made of s**t the harder it is to smear you.
The three largest parties haven't taken on Ukip, but all too often pandered to it, seeking to pull back Ukip voters by outdoing it in rhetoric and policy. This is not only morally wrong, but politically stupid. By pandering to Ukip's stance on immigration and Europe, the three largest parties have helped to make its claims that immigration has "caused" low wages, has "caused" housing shortages, has "caused" crowded hospitals and schools seem plausible... It's not surprising that Ukip's nasty, simplistic recipe of 'blame the foreigner' has got traction.
If there is one thing worse than Euroscepticism or Europhilia it is Euroignorance. Pretending the European Parliament doesn't matter is a foolish and very British error.
The first issue with chasing after the Lib Dem vote is that it's probably largely futile at this point. The vast majority of 2010 Lib Dem voters who aren't going to be voting for them in 2015 will have made their minds up on what they're going to do next time by now. That's because they decamped from the party, en masse...
Because social housing - having been handed to unaccountable private landlords - is in such short supply, it is now available only to those in the most dire, desperate need. Every other tenant is in the hands of unregulated rental agents who are seemingly infinitely creative in their ability to dream up new charges.
For far too long, the talk in Westminster has been only of the possibility of a majority government, against that of a coalition. Minority government is the elephant in the negotiating room. "All options are on the table," says one of the Labour leader's closest shadow cabinet allies. "We won't be bounced into a coalition."
Last week, the Labour Party revealed how it intends to reform the private rented sector if successful in its bid to win next year's general election. In short, Miliband's plan is to make three-year tenancies the norm, cap rents and ban extortionate letting agent fees for tenants
If there is one thing that is totally predictable, it's that no-one can foresee what the future holds. So while plans and strategies are essential for any venture, there has to be room for flexibility and adaptability to be successful.