I think being a locally focused MP is almost like cabinet career suicide. Off the top of my head I can't think of anyone in the cabinet now or in the shadow cabinet whom are there purely to represent their local constituents.
Ed Miliband's policy is ill-conceived, based on the widely held assumption that employers recruit migrants rather than invest in their UK born workers. As with much recent immigration policy, it is based on opinion rather than evidence. More importantly, it fails to recognise a real issue in the under-utilisation of migrants' skills.
Miliband's speech was strong on recognising the problems that society faces: his enthusiasm for meeting "real people" on his walkabouts can leave him in little doubt that the crisis many face is a real one. But a nine pence an hour real increase in low wages over the five year term of a Labour government is no substitute for the far more radical solutions that will be necessary to achieve the social justice for which he clearly yearns.
Yes, the conference in Manchester has had a certain air of expectation that Labour will win in 2015. There is not, however, the excitement that one would expect at the Labour conference preceding their entry to government, and Miliband's speech did not inspire in the way a man giving his last speech as Leader of the Opposition should do.
When a party conference comes to an end it is too easy simply to remember it by the impact, or otherwise, of the Leader's speech. Ed Miliband's 'so-so' performance should not mean that Labour 2014 conference should be consigned to history straight away.
As with the Scottish referendum, so with climate: there are two options - change, or be changed irreversibly. The consequences of either have sod all to do with politicians, but in the latter the entire planet is screwed.
Ed Miliband is right to say of a raise in wages that 'It is about saying that this country does not work for millions of working people and we are going to change it.' He needs to follow his own argument to its logical conclusion.
Across the UK, children have been the biggest winners, their lives having been transformed on every level by the HRA. Victims of crime and sex offences in particular have also been significant beneficiaries of the HRA. And the other identifiable group whose lives have been altered beyond recognition has been the gay and lesbian community.
The Prime Minister thinks he has got away with the "greenest government ever" lie. Nobody else does. Our air is more polluted, more homes are at significant risk of flooding and more species are in decline because of this Government's failure.
Vote 'no' for your future, and the future of your children, your grandchildren. Vote 'no' in solidarity with your friends and family across the UK. Vote 'no' to live in a safe, stable and prosperous nation. Vote 'no' to have the best of both worlds. And vote 'no' to be proud to be Scottish and proud to be British. Make the patriotic decision, and say 'thanks, but no thanks'.
Which party will put families and all generations first? The answers will become more evident in the next three weeks.
Scotland can do us all a favour and help relegate to history all the centralised, top-down control. As if only the nice parts of London mattered. But it won't be easy. Scotland already has the problem of being an economy that is massed around its central belt. But that will not be solved 400 miles south.
We have been talking about localism for years. 'The time has come to disperse power in Britain more widely', said Cameron and Clegg in the 2010 coalition agreement. From Whitechapel to West Lothian, it's time they acted upon that sentiment.
Time and again over the last four years we've pressed the government to support our plans for a victims' law. Repeatedly they've refused to do so, going so far as to attack our plans. Just last week in the House of Commons chamber ministers were given the opportunity to back a victims' law - an opportunity they didn't take. Back in July Chris Grayling even attacked Labour's victims' law, saying "the opposition always talks about laws". So this weekend's sudden conversion by the government to the need for new 'laws' - a victims' law - is a little surprising. After all, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Of course if the government are sincere about their new found passion for victims, it is to be welcomed, but it is little wonder many are cynical.
f governments fail to act in closing tax avoidance schemes and loopholes, there is a strong possibility that future profits resulting from lower taxes will simply end up in the pockets of senior managers in a tax haven, far out of reach of the British government and certainly not going towards helping the 1 million people who now rely on emergency food hand-outs. It is time for Labour to Act.
Labour, and in particular its leader Ed Miliband have an enormous problem. It has played a large role in Scotland's Referendum and if left unaddressed will continue to have massive implications in next spring's general election. The fundamental problem is this; they have become skin crawlingly creepy.