I have always believed, perhaps naively, that in a democracy, if a system is shown to be manifestly unjust and unfair, then those who have the power to address the problem will respond positively. Action will then follow to address the grievance. Alas, this often is not the case.
This Parliament must be the Left's Bildungsroman, its coming of age, its transformation once more into a powerful and compelling political force: the human and environmental devastation that awaits should we fail is simply too high a price to pay.
What kind of country do we live in? This must be at the back of the minds of everyone listening to or reading the Queen's Speech, but is it the wrong question? Shouldn't we be asking what kind of world would bring us happiness?
In his first speech following the election, the Prime Minister said that the Conservatives would govern 'as a party of one nation, one United Kingdom'. But just how far across the UK does his government actually stretch?
Dear Labour Party, The past three weeks have not been happy ones. As a previous life-long supporter of the party who voted Conservative for the first time on May 7th, I hope the following to-do list is constructive. A strong Labour party is vital to an effective, healthy democracy and to ensuring that the Conservatives deliver on their election promises. So here are five next steps:
During the campaign, I met so many people desperately in need of a change of government. People whose basic rights were viciously undermined by the coalition, people forced to live their lives in an unnecessary state of struggle. We didn't just need a change of policy, but a radical change in the attitude of the government.
It simply isn't the case that young people don't care. When given a say over really important decisions on the way the country is run people will turn out to vote. We saw it in the Scottish referendum where people's passion and enthusiasm meant the numbers voting reached almost 90%... Labour is a party that believes in progressive change. We don't accept the status quo. We cannot continue to tolerate such a sharp difference in the numbers who vote between older and younger generations. But we also need to give younger people something to vote for. And there is no bigger issue on the horizon than a say on our whole relationship with the European Union.
As the Labour party embarks on its path back to power following a second general election defeat, it has to do so by embarking on a pro-business and pro-aspiration agenda. Labour should embrace the achievements of its most electorally successful leader ever, Tony Blair, and build upon New Labour by creating a progressive party which is able to defeat the Tories in 2020.
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.