Austerity policies were an economic failure and a social disaster but the Tories still managed to win an election with them. The question of how this was possible is crucial if Labour or anyone else on the left ever wants to win an election again.
One has to wonder, when Cameron decided to dangle the hunting free vote carrot in front of a largely uninterested electorate, did he ever think he'd have to go through with it? The question on many people's lips is, why, given the current social and economic climate, is hunting topping the agenda again?
Having barely scraped back into Downing Street after fighting one of the dirtiest election campaigns in British political history, the Cameron cabinet is now putting the final touches on a Queen's speech that is likely to unveil one of the most radical - and dangerous - agendas that any government has sought to push through in decades. Now that the Tories are off the leash, the rights we take for granted every day - rights to privacy and free speech included - are under threat. Repealing the Human Rights Act and threatening to withdraw from the ECHR could well be nothing more than a warm-up act.
These plans do nothing but illustrate the government's lack of compassion, lack of perspective and ultimately their lack of will to genuinely address the economic anxieties of the people of Britain... This is a victory only for ignorance - a victory of rhetoric over logic, of posturing over compassion. It is a victory for those who seek to demonise immigrants, who seek to pull up Britain's drawbridge and banish diversity from our society.
We won't win 2020 through speeches or dinners in Westminster, we'll win in the sports halls and living rooms, offices and canteens, working men's clubs and school gates across the country. And I want this debate - about our party, our country - to be as wide and as engaging as possible. That means as many people as possible involved in the leadership election, not just a closed down or polarised contest... This is a real turning point for the Labour Party and the country - a do or die moment. No one should be giving up on a Labour Government in 2020. I'm determined we can win again. And this leadership election - focused on the future - must be the start of making that happen.
While commentators from both Right and Left continue to encourage the false belief that social democracy is still possible in the national context, the public's confusion and its disaffection with politics can only worsen. Meanwhile, I'll be working with our MPs to deepen parliament's and citizens' understanding of the need for global solutions. We'll let you know how we get on.
Middle-aged, white and male. The 'most diverse Parliament ever' is beginning to undermine this stereotype of politicians, but can the same be said of the new government?
You see, when you distil aspiration down you get a rather unpleasant residue. Aspiration, in the current political context, is essentially giving people an equal opportunity to be unequal. It's Capitalism's catchphrase.
Since the Conservative party "won" the UK general election on May 7th, people have taken to the streets across the UK in a defiant display of disenchantment with the electoral system and the austerity consensus of the major political parties. The prospect of 5 more years of crippling austerity has prompted many to reclaim the future of UK politics.
Not just for their own sake, but for the country's too, Labour must begin to force the window leftward for the first time in decades. The conflict between the few and the many is about to spill over, and Labour must decide which side they're on, before it's too late.
Am I really to believe that I now live in a society that is increasingly growing into a 'screw you, I'm alright Jack' community - I do hope not? But...
In short, Brexit would be economic masochism. Yet, it is the asset-rich who, for once, bare its fiercest consequences. It strikes me odd that the left don't consider this fact... Those of us who are passionate about social democracy should now very seriously consider voting for an EU exit.
The fight, however, is not yet over: we now need to get the support of a majority of the EU's 28 Member States before this important piece of legislation can be enacted. I hope that our own UK government will find itself on the principled side of this argument.
This is an enormous debate and affects countries far beyond the UK, but the recent UK election demonstrates clearly how the public are losing faith in a traditional approach to politics. Democracy can be difficult for most politicians to swallow, but if they don't listen to the people it's going to choke them all.
I called my sister last week for a chat. Her 6 year old son Frank was still awake despite it being past 9 o'clock. It had been an 'eventful day' my sister said and he was 'glued to the playstation' and just wouldn't go to bed...
With you as the front runner and likely successor to Clegg as Liberal Democrat Leader, I feel I ought to express some thoughts and make some points to consider moving forward after the party's decimation at the election.