Labour did not overspend in office. So why do Labour’s leadership candidates keep saying so? | Notes from a Broken Society

Perhaps the most depressing aspect of the Labour leadership contest is hearing the candidates acquiescing in the myth that Labour in office overspent – and, by implication, accepting the Tory framing that Labour crashed the economy.  Of course it is more nuanced than that, but the outcome of the recent election shows that this is not a debate in which nuance plays much part. The simple fact is that Labour did not overspend.  In fact, as a percentage of GDP, New Labour spent less than Margaret Thatcher – an average…

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High Court Orders Benefit Cap Judicial Review | Welfare Weekly

  The high court has ordered an urgent judicial review into the benefit cap and its impact on disabled people and their carers, it has been announced today. A claim by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to have the case dismissed was unsuccessful and the High Court ruled that the case should proceed to a full hearing, no later than October this year (2015). The judgement comes soon after the Supreme Court ruled that the benefit cap breached children’s rights, meaning it could result in them not receiving…

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‘Would I be supported now?’ Stephen Hawking asks – ITV News

Jason Horton on Google+ writes: “What happened to free education for all? Where did it change from a tax payer funded system that benefits everyone by providing educated and trained workers that contribute to the economy to one where students are charged a fortune and the emphasis is on them paying back loans?” The answers are, of course: Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair happened. The change began in the late 1980s/early 1990s and has continued to this day – most notably with the addition of tuition fees under Blair and…

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Tax Research UK » Aspiration doesn’t do it for me, but care definitely does

The word aspiration does not do it for me. I have already explained that I do, of course, aspire to many thing, but in current political debate the word aspiration appears far too often to mean the gratification of the desire to consume for it to have any acceptable political connotation that I would wish to share. That has not, however, stopped it becoming part of the current centre ground debate in British politics. That is because, I have no doubt, this debate is playing to the personal consumption agenda. That…

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Nicola Sturgeon: I won’t share platform with David Cameron to stay in EU – Telegraph

Perhaps she reads Vox Political. This blog criticised Alex Salmond after he said he would campaign alongside anyone except “fascists and non-democrats”. Or is she making a covert claim about Cameron’s true political persuasion? SNP leader says she does not plan to campaign alongside David Cameron for a ‘yes’ vote in the EU referendum. Source: Nicola Sturgeon: I won’t share platform with David Cameron to stay in EU – Telegraph

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Nick Robinson had to resist urge to ‘roar with laughter’ when asked to become Labour spin-doctor for Ed Miliband – People – News – The Independent

This is precisely what is wrong with the Labour Party today. Nick Robinson is a well-known Conservative; there would be no point in hiring him unless Labour wanted to model itself more on the Conservative Party – and that would be a certain way to haemorrhage votes. Until Labour’s top table members learn that people want a choice – not two parties that are the same – Labour will continue to lose. BBC political editor Nick Robinson has revealed that he had to stop himself from roaring out loud with…

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Labour expels party member for expressing SNP support on social media | Politics | The Guardian

Quite right too. At least one Labour party member who expressed support for Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP on social media before the general election has been thrown out of the party, it has emerged. The party took the extraordinary decision just two weeks after the election via a letter, informing a “Mr McLean” of Labour’s membership rules and his consequent exclusion from the party until 2020. More worrying is this tweet by Jamie Ross, who publicised the letter but who clearly does not understand his own address: For clarity, Jamie should…

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Yvette Cooper attacks Labour rivals for ‘swallowing Tory manifesto’ | Politics | The Guardian

It seems somebody, at least, has been listening to what Labour’s grassroots supporters are saying. But is Yvette Cooper just paying lip-service to concerns over statements by Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall, or does she mean what she’s saying? We need to see far more commitment to Labour Party values – from all of them. Speaking on the BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, Cooper attempted to draw a distinction between her approach and those of the two other main hopefuls, Andy Burnham and Kendall, who have been quicker to ditch former…

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ESA death statistics may never see light of day – Benefits and Work

Benefits and Work has a rather pessimistic appraisal of the DWP’s appeal against my FOI victory on benefit deaths: Unfortunately, this is far from the final stage in the proceedings if the DWP are determined to avoid publication. If they lose at the tribunal they can then go on to the high court, the court of appeal and the supreme court. In addition, the government are now considering changing the law to give ministers an unchallengeable power to veto any freedom of information disclosure they choose. Given that there unlikely…

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