New Year’s Honours: Almost 30 Tory Party members or supporters receive awards amid accusations of cronyism

If there is to be an honours system in the UK – and This Writer believes there should – then it is clear that it should be independently-adjudicated (although the FCA and IPSA show there would be issues there). Nominations from political parties would need to be judged on whether they were for real service to the UK, or merely for service to a political organisation. The row over the honours system being used to reward Conservative Party ‘cronies’ is set to be reignited with the revelation that almost 30…

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Banking culture inquiry shelved by regulator FCA

Oh, is that right – there “may have been a political motive”? The only way the halting of this inquiry can be justified is if the FCA has decided to drop the preamble and go straight for the prosecutions. Does anybody here think that’s what’s going to happen? No. It’s just another allegedly-“independent” organisation proving itself to be nothing of the kind. The City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has shelved plans for an inquiry into the culture, pay and behaviour of staff in banking. The FCA had planned…

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Labour MP Simon Danczuk suspended over explicit text message allegations

Danczuk has been a poster-boy for Labour’s far-right, and a highly vocal critic of Jeremy Corbyn, since the latter became leader of the Labour Party. While the suspension concerns his personal – and not his political – behaviour, it can only impact on the credibility of those who have been rebelling against Mr Corbyn’s leadership. MP Simon Danczuk’s membership of the Labour party has been suspended following allegations he sent sexually explicit messages to a 17-year-old girl, the party has announced. In a statement the party said: “The general secretary…

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Yesterday’s man speaks: ‘Divisive’ Corbyn will wreck Labour’s chances, says Mandelson

What a lot of codswallop. Jeremy Corbyn’s policies are very, very far from being “hard left”, as this relic of Labour’s truly-divisive venture into neoliberalism wants to suggest. In fact, by doing so, Mandelson is showing where his own sympathies lie: with the Conservative Government. He is a symbol of the privilege that should never have been allowed to seep into Labour’s psyche – and that caused the party to haemorrhage votes between 1997 and 2015. His claim that “Corbyn’s key instrument of power is unique in the party’s history…

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Experts criticise George Osborne over flood protection funding

The big question is, what would be done with this extra funding, if Osborne found it? George Monbiot’s recent Guardian article highlighted the kind of defences that we know would work – but where is the will to see them created? George Osborne has been accused of jeopardising Britain’s crumbling flood defences over the past five years by prioritising cuts to the deficit, and has also been warned that infrastructure spending may need to rise sharply to adapt to climate change. The warnings from leading academics came as parts of…

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Oliver Letwin memo borders on criminality, says Darcus Howe

“If a black man had said something quite like that he’d have been called into Scotland Yard and and he might be charged with incitement to riot. It is bordering on criminality,” said Howe, who was a prominent figure in black rights campaigns in the period the document was written. In a statement, Letwin said: “Following reports tonight, I want to make clear that some parts of a private memo I wrote nearly 30 years ago were both badly worded and wrong. I apologise unreservedly for any offence these comments…

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George Osborne’s labour market policies ‘will backfire and hit pay growth’

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional association for human resources managers, argues today that pay growth is … likely to slip back in 2016 to just 2 per cent, as employers pass on the additional costs from the Chancellor’s new national living wage (NLW) and apprenticeship levy on to their workers in the form of lower pay increases than they would otherwise have received. “With inflation close to zero some employers will try to manage these costs by restricting pay rises for their better-paid employees,” said…

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The 5 most shocking quotes in Oliver Letwin’s ‘racist’ memo

A five-page letter written to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1985 has given us insight into David Cameron’s current policy chief and key Cabinet minister Oliver Letwin. He and fellow Tory aide Vernon Hartley Booth wrote a memo to Mrs Thatcher advising how to respond to social unrest and rioting in inner city black communities across Britain in the 1980s. Here are the five most shocking quotes the pair used: 1. ‘Discos and drugs… vandalism and decay’ “[Lord] Young’s new entrepreneurs will set up in the disco and drug…

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‘Not very Jedi’: rumours of ‘revenge reshuffle’ by Corbyn dismissed

This is not proof that a shadow cabinet reshuffle won’t take place. Mr Dugher is simply saying that Jeremy Corbyn won’t reshuffle with “revenge” as his motive. The point, further down the article, that Mr Corbyn wants the party to speak with “one voice” suggests that he will want to eliminate dissenters who refuse to promote the line agreed in shadow cabinet meetings. You see, while “revenge” really isn’t very “Jedi” (as Star Wars fans will know from the fact that George Lucas changed the title of the sixth film…

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Zac Goldsmith mayoral campaign investigating ‘Islamophobe canvasser’

Here’s more potential embarrassment for the Conservative Party. Let’s bear in mind that – at the time of writing – this allegation has not been proven. If it is, it puts the Tories firmly in UKIP territory – and we know how this kind of thing has benefited that party’s campaigns. Zac Goldsmith’s mayoral campaign team is investigating a claim that one of their canvassers made an Islamophobic remark about the Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan. The unidentified man was said to have been distributing leaflets for the Conservative candidate when…

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