Tory concession to young voters is too little and too reluctant

It’s also too obviously focused on the privileged young. The announcement that tuition fees will be frozen is pointless, coming as it does after a rise of £250 a year was introduced earlier this month. When tuition fees were brought in, by Tony Blair’s New Labour, they were pegged at £1,000 per year and means-tested. Considering the astronomical increases since then – mostly under the Tories – it seems clear that Mrs May’s party has already done its worst here. An increase in the repayment threshold will mean little to…

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Disgraced private companies could be handed powers of arrest by disgraceful Tory administration

Let’s not get hysterical just yet – the proposal is to give private companies like G4S and Serco the power to arrest people who fail to pay fines imposed by the courts. And we don’t know whether it will be approved yet. The consultation period, launched in August, has only just ended. It lasted less than two months, which seems a very short time period for such a plan. No powers would be taken from police. The idea is to privatise more civil service jobs – nearly 200 of them,…

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Boris Johnson is out of control again. Here’s why (as if you needed to see the reasons)

The longer Boris Johnson is allowed to remain in post as Foreign Secretary while stirring up division in the Conservative government, the more ridiculous that government becomes. His latest stunt, timed to be broken in the press right before the start of the Conservative Party Conference, was to announce – unilaterally, after no consultation at all with anybody other than his fevered imagination – four “red lines”, conditions without which he says Brexit should not take place. They are: Transition period must be a maximum of two years UK must…

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#Brexit buffoon Hannan bombarded with ridicule over ‘nicer home’ claim

There’s no need to have sympathy for Brexiteer Daniel Hannan, who publicised an Express article on Brexit (featuring comments from him) with the following tweet: Leaving the EU is a bit like moving to a nicer home. The move can involve stressful moments, but it's worth it. — Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) September 29, 2017 He got what he deserved: Sawing off one's own arm can be a terrifying prospect- but it's actually very liberating. Just do it. Trust me. — Scientists for EU (@Scientists4EU) September 30, 2017 Hands up…

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Now work has begun, the cost of repairing Big Ben’s tower has soared. Other worthy projects go without

If I’m reading this right, initial repair cost estimates were kept low to stop companies from artificially inflating their prices. But now we’re being told that the cost has more than doubled, based on “better” information. So what, exactly, was the point of the lower amount, which was only quoted to us all less than 18 months ago? And why was the announcement sneaked out quietly on a Friday evening – in the hope that nobody would notice? It seems like just another grubby attempt to hoodwink the general public.…

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Theresa May touts phony, crony capitalism. She wouldn’t know a free market if she was put up for sale on it

Theresa May’s attempt to lecture us all on the joys of capitalism is another howler in a series of blunders that should only end in her ejection from politics and the (self-)destruction of the political party she has been running into the ground for the last 14 months. This Writer hastens to add that this is not because she advocates free-market capitalism as the “greatest agent of collective human progress ever created”. I don’t agree with that sentiment but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with capitalism in itself; pack…

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Which Reporter’s Name Should Be Used as the Scientific Unit of Media Bias? | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

If it’s a choice between Nick Robinson or Laura Kuenssberg when devising a name for the scientific unit of media bias… It has to be The Rob, doesn’t it? Thinking about the Beeb, Nick Robinson and Laura Kuenssberg and their spurious protestations of objectivity and impartiality the other night, I remember one of the jokes going round Nazi Germany about Goebbels, Hitler’s notorious ‘Minister for Public Enlightenment’. There were a number of comments and nicknames about him. He was very promiscuous, so much so that he got the nickname ‘the Tadpole’.…

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Labour will rethink social security policy after conference vote

This is another example of shadow Work and Pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams showing what a star she is. Here is an MP who will stand up for jobseekers, the sick, the disabled, and anybody else in need of state financial support. And who do we get from the Tories? David Gauke. Read This Site’s article about him and the contrast is stark. A shadow cabinet member has supported calls by party members for Labour to come up with a stronger policy on reversing government cuts to social security spending. Debbie…

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Civil service head will investigate alleged breach of ministerial code by Boris Johnson

Yes, Jeremy Heywood is going to investigate the alleged misuse of public funds on an organisation whose aims are not those of the government. Don’t get your hopes up, though. You know the worst Mr Johnson will get is a mild slap on the wrist. He’ll probably think it’s foreplay. Boris Johnson has been accused of breaching the ministerial code in an “astonishing lack of judgment” by allowing the launch of a right-leaning thinktank on Foreign Office premises. The Institute for Free Trade (IFT), set up and headed by the…

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Firefighters’ union will stand up for Grenfell victims, even if the inquiry won’t

What a great announcement by the Fire Brigades Union – this has put the official inquiry on notice that it will not simply judge; it will also be judged. Firefighters who were called to the Grenfell fire were deeply affected – emotionally – by what they found there. If anybody is likely to know whether corners were cut and regulations that should have been followed were ditched instead, they will. And they will make their point forcefully. Perhaps one reason for this is the government’s treatment of firefighters themselves. It…

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