Poll for today: Recognising Palestine

Much though this blog maligns the BBC News website, it does come out with the occasional scrap of news, such as the fact that MPs are to vote on a backbench motion to officially recognise Palestine as a state. “Labour backbencher Grahame Morris will present the motion on Monday as MPs return to the Commons,” the report states. “The motion has the full backing of the Labour shadow cabinet, the BBC has been told. “The vote is symbolic and would not change government policy but could have international implications.” It…

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Mr ‘Political’ goes to Westminster, looking for justice

Congratulations are due to Labour MPs John McDonnell and Grahame Morris, who have persuaded Parliament’s Backbench Business Committee to agree that a debate on the ‘WoW’ petition will take place in the House of Commons, early in the New Year. Responsibility now falls back on the British people to make sure our elected representatives do not squander the opportunity, as the Commons Work and Pensions Committee squandered its chance to hold Iain Duncan Smith to account for his own, and his department’s, statisticial inaccuracies. The petition, on the government’s website,…

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Dilemma for private bosses as Labour unveils transparency plan for public service work

A Labour government would make private companies who provide services at the taxpayers’ expense obey public sector transparency rules, it has been revealed. The change means firms and charities that sell services to the state – for example, all the private companies now working in the NHS – would lose their right to commercial confidentiality. The Freedom of Information Act would be extended to cover them and they would have to reveal their commercial secrets if a FoI request required them to do so. If enacted, this is likely to…

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How private firms take unfair advantage over the public sector to get government contracts

Did you know that £1 in every £3 spent by the government goes to an independent or private-sector service provider? If you also recall government ministers bemoaning the fact that £1 in every £4 spent by the government was borrowed, as they said very often during the first year or so of the Coalition, and you bear in mind the fact that all private companies must make a profit, you’ll come to a fairly damning conclusion. Did you know, also, that private companies – while free to hide behind commercial…

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Why do private companies in the NHS get commercial confidentiality?

Let us hope Grahame Morris’s 10-minute rule motion – on the unfair advantages enjoyed by private healthcare firms working in the NHS – does not get swamped by the coverage of the Transparency of Lobbying Bill that resumes its unwelcome journey through the Parliamentary process after it. Vox Political does not have the exact wording of the motion, but it seems likely it will follow a similar line to the Private Members’ Bill that Mr Morris put down last December, winning the support of 111 fellow MPs. You will notice…

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