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...
Chris Grayling doesn't know what's going on. Some might argue that this is true generally, but I'm talking about the "book ban". He didn't mean for it to happen, he didn't intend to deprive prisoners, and he doesn't have a good answer to the criticism that's being levelled at him. And the fuss is part of a wider and even more concerning issue.
Time after time, the once and never "Red Ed" goes out of his way to prove just how right-wing he is. He's signed up to Conservative spending plans, he's backed the welfare cap, he's supported workfare and he's backed the mantra of austerity. It's little wonder the unions are getting anxious about Labour's rightward drift.
It is a brilliant solution to reduce overpopulation and its results shows its effectiveness, but no more. Simply put, the costs of this solution, outweigh the benefits that it would bring. It worked in the past, but even the Chinese government has acknowledged the problems it's created and thus, step-by-step the one-child policy is being loosened.
A credible government needs a credible opposition. Only by having someone who can say "No. You are wrong, this is how we can do that better" can a government claim some legitimacy. It means that someone is keeping an eye on them. It's why dictatorships, usually remove all opposition. If there's no one to tell you you are wrong, you can do what you like.
After a lifetime of working in Britain, paying taxes and mandatory National Insurance contributions, many pensioners wish to spend their retirement overseas, often joining family, or returning to their country of origin. On the face of it this is a fair wish for those who have contributed to the economy for so long.
What groups that call for tackling the use of such words constantly fail to realise is that, over the course of time, language changes. Just as gay used to mean someone filled with joy or happiness, it has changed to refer to homosexuals and to describe something in a negative way. Language evolves with society.
CCTV technology has an integral role to pay in securing general welfare. The question for policy makers is how can we better integrate CCTV into national security policies without losing the individual's rights to privacy, determining who should have access to the footage and how long it can be kept on file for. This is a discussion which is only beginning and which merits serious discussion at all levels of society.
Britain has gone backwards in the last 10 years in its desperate attempt to prove that some drugs are really harmful: reclassifying cannabis [from C to B] and failing to reclassify MDMA down. Social sciences tells us that what we do makes little difference. We ban mephedrone and use doesn't go down. We've got to have acceptance that there's a value in at least trying to be rational.
In Newham, the borough I was born and raised in, over 3,000 young people are unemployed. Across Britain, one million young people are unemployed. We have been called the lost generation, the scarred generation, the hopeless generation. We are not 'generation y', we are generation 'y is it so hard to get a job?'
In a recent article for The Times, Tim Montgomerie declared that the green movement is finished, citing unaffordable subsidies, ineffective policies and cost as the reason that 'all over the world green politicians are presiding over... climbdowns' and turning away from a sustainable future. Such weighty statements were surely intended to catch the attention of his critics, and they have not failed to do so.
Students deserve better. That's why NUS is calling on the Home Office to developed clear service standards for their treatment of international students. They need to make it far clearer to applicants what costs and documentation will be required of them and to provide greater flexibility in the case of genuine mistakes.