When the letter arrived a few months back telling me that I was to receive the Political Studies Association's 'Parliamentarian of the Year' award, to say it was a surprise would be an understatement. It's an honour and a privilege. Being in Opposition is difficult and it's tough - and in a second, unelected Chamber with limited powers it is certainly a challenge. But it's a challenge we have to meet.
Childcare is a critical part of modern infrastructure. As vital in getting parents into work as any train line or motorway, yet we don't hear the same long-term, national rallying calls for similar levels of investment.
Rape is a very serious crime, but yet one of the most under-reported and under-convicted crimes there is. It exists in abusive relationships, it exists in marriage. For many women, is traumatic beyond description, and it is shameful. How vile that this government would consider putting a woman, who may already feel extremely vulnerable, in the position where she had to confess to a government official that her child had been born as a result of rape. I very much hope that the government has realised the mess it has gotten itself into, and I want them to scrap the two-child policy.
Today Universal Credit hardly exists in the real world. In 2015-16, 4.5million households were meant to be receiving it. But in reality only 140,000 people - mostly singles without children - are currently on it, despite expectations that UC will be operational (for simple cases at least) in all Jobcentres by April next year.
By the time this blog is published it will be all decided: Britain will/won't be at war. It feels very strange writing that. Maybe it should feel remi...
George Osborne's defeat over proposed cuts to Tax Credits in the last week of October is the first major defeat for the Cameron government, and as such it is also a significant puncturing of its inflated hubris and wholly imaginary 'mandate'.
The Autumn Statement provides a second bite of the cherry for a Chancellor to clear up the mistakes they made in their budget earlier in the year. We...
Today's headlines will surely carry a bevvy of negative headlines surrunding Jeremy Corbyn. After all, the day does end in a "y". Behind the ongoing m...
The savage losses faced by working families fly in the face of any claim to be a 'one nation' government, or one that has working people at its heart, or David Cameron says that work will be rewarded.... The Chancellor simply can't just proceed with his original plans... The smart move would be to drop the changes to the threshold and taper altogether and focus on getting employers to pay the real living wage of £8.25 a hour or £9.40 in London. That is what would make a real difference to the lives of millions of low income working households struggling to make ends meet.
At the risk of feeding the collective hysteria that characterises public perceptions (or prejudices) of welfare spending, benefit cuts have not yet been one of the main contributors to the coalition or Conservative governments' austerity agenda.
The whirlwind passage of the Government's Welfare Reform and Work Bill continues this week, its feet momentarily touching the ground in the House of Lords. Anyone worried about the disturbing implications for single mums will watching the Lords closely, hoping the Bill gets the rough ride it deserves.
I want to do a surgery swap with David Cameron. This week good old DC showed the world just how little he knows about how his government is affecting his own area in Oxfordshire. If he had had the day I have had, he might rewrite the foolishly blinkered letter to his council leader.
Two months on - and despite much media coverage being relentlessly anti-Jeremy - we can see that the new way of doing politics Jeremy stands for is starting to shift the political landscape in Britain, shaking the Government on key issues (most notably cuts to working families' tax credits) and bringing new support to the Labour Party.
We have abused our world for so long that we take it for granted that there is no other way to behave. We like things as they are and we learnt to love lies. Lies are good for you - they make you feel better. We are the last generation who can stop climate change and save the world from mass extinction. James Lovelock guessed that by the end of this century there would be only one billion people left. He thinks we're too late to stop it because we are too stupid. Scientists all agree we must act now, they are not sure how much time we have and if time has run out.
Labour will always put those on lower and middle incomes first. That's why we will restore the tax credits that families in Scotland lose, once the powers to do so are devolved... If the SNP do not vote for this motion to restore the money lost from tax credits it will confirm once and for all that the politics of grievance is more important to them than helping working families in Scotland.
Why then, I started to ask myself, is George Osborne so hell-bent on cutting tax credits for working people? Every report has concluded that even with the increase in minimum wage and tax-free allowance, families will still be worse off.