Tag Archives: Conservatives

A month on, Sadiq Khan’s victory in London no longer looks mould-breaking. In fact it’s a welcome return to politics as usual

A month on, how mould-breaking does Sadiq Khan’s election as mayor of London feel? Yes, it was a historic moment: the first time that a Muslim was elected as mayor of a western capital city. The message it sends to … Continue reading

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Another reason why Labour’s 35% strategy was so wrong: the mysterious disappearance of the three-way marginal

A lot’s been said in the two weeks since the election about the folly of Labour’s 35% strategy – the theory that cobbling together its core vote plus a few ex-Lib Dems to reach a 35% vote share would be … Continue reading

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In the last days of the election campaign Labour should talk about three things: housing, housing and housing

“We are not in principle opposed to right to buy but the Tory plan doesn’t work,” said Ed Miliband at the leaders’ debate on April 15th. “Any plan based on right to buy has to mean there are more houses, … Continue reading

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Eight media myths about the 2015 election – and why they are wrong

I missed the start of this campaign: for the first ten days of April I was in France, in a house without Wifi or even a telephone. Coming back to the UK on April 10th I scanned the papers and … Continue reading

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Labour can take pride in its school rebuilding programme. Even if this one was finished nine years behind schedule  

Last Monday (November 3rd) I was at the grand opening of the John Roan School in Blackheath (the school lies in the ward I represented as a councillor until May 2014, and I used to be a governor there). Despite the big … Continue reading

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Seven months before an election Labour must inspire, surprise and provoke its supporters. Not patronise them

Labour Vice-Chair Michael Dugher MP (who’s been charged with “bringing the Obama touch to Labour’s 2015 election campaign”) sent me an automated “Hi Alex” email last week. “You might not realise it yet, but it’s pretty amazing just how much … Continue reading

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The approval of Mount Pleasant’s “affordable” flats at £2,800 a month shows the rot of our planning system

Mount Pleasant matters. Formerly a prison, it’s one of the few large, undeveloped brownfield sites left in central London. Few object to redeveloping the unpleasant wasteland behind the Royal Mail’s sorting office, where Second World War bomb sites are still … Continue reading

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There’s no need for Labour to be apologetic about a mansion tax

What’s the average annual household income in London? And what about the average property price? The answers – average household income was £38,688 in 2011 (the last year for which the ONS has statistics) and the average property price, even … Continue reading

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Memo to the Left: 1 Nationalism should always be viewed with suspicion. 2 Press freedom needs to be fought for. 3 And an independence referendum is not a conference workshop

A political leader who has spent much time cosying up to Rupert Murdoch faces difficult questions from a broadcast journalist a few days before a crucial electoral test. The leader accuses the journalist of “heckling” him.  The press conference has … Continue reading

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We should applaud Michael Gove’s departure – and understand why he lasted so long

Twenty years ago, as a student, I spent a couple of weeks doing work experience at the Times and met Michael Gove, then an up-and-coming Leader writer. I was – and arguably still am – a complete nobody and Gove … Continue reading

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