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Right-of-centre ideology has lost us the war in Afghanistan and much more besides
The ignominious retreat from Afghanistan is emblematic of a wider malaise that is afflicting Britain today

Will Hutton Guardian 28/12/14

Worse than a Defeat
James Meek

US army General Jack Keane speaking at a conference at Sandhurst in late 2013 about the twin debacles of Basra and Helmand:
“Gentleman, you let us down;
you let us down badly.”

Do you want the good news or the bad?

Make all state schools academies, says report by rightwing thinktank
Policy Exchange, set up by Michael Gove, says academy status is best way to equip schools for challenges ahead

Sally Weale - Guardian 23/09/2014

The carpet baggers are at the gates and
no - one (least of all Labour)
has anything to say.
Mr Gove and co have engineered
Their plan is almost complete.

Academise (Privatise) the lot
A mass conversion the only way
to avoid failure
under the new rigorous standards
reeding, riting and rithmatic.

They say it is clear that groups of schools need to
collaborate together and share best practice
conveniently forgetting that this is what
Local Authority CPD Departments used to do.

Levels have gone
Data is no longer obtainable
No-one will be able to compare
Fait accompli

In the wings
what we have all known for years
it’s a class and poverty issue
and this government above all others
wants to keep things as they are.


School’s quality does not affect gaps in attainment, research shows
Academic’s findings suggest disadvantaged pupils underachieve regardless of whether school is rated highly by Ofsted

Sally Weale - Guardian 23/09/14

and from the younger end


Half of children leave reception unready for school – report
Children from deprived areas more likely to fall short, potentially impeding their progress throughout life, says expert

Sarah Boseley - Guardian 23/09/14

When you read the
Policy Exchange Document
You know they have all the details and the arguments at their fingertips.

Labour’s thinking is nowhere.
Except of course they will probably agree.

One of Thatcher's Scams


Sale of the century: the privatisation scam
Privatisation promised to turn the UK into an island of small shareholders. It failed: the faceless state bureaucrats have been replaced by faceless (better-paid) private bureaucrats – and big foreign corporations. How did we get to this point?

James Meek - Guardian 22/08/2014


Stop picking passengers' pockets and bring trains back under public control
British rail fares, already the highest in Europe, are set to become higher still. This is a poll tax on wheels

Will Hutton - Observer 24/08/14

Illegitimate Debt


The French are right: tear up public debt – most of it is illegitimate anyway
Debt audits show that austerity is politically motivated to favour social elites. Is a new working-class internationalism in the air?

    • Razmig Keucheyan - Guardian 09/06/2104

Privileged abandonment


Why boarding schools produce bad leaders
The elite tradition is to send children away at a young age to be educated. But future politicians who suffer this 'privileged abandonment' often turn out as bullies or bumblers. A psychotherapist explains why

Nick Duffell - Guardian 07/06/2014


David Cameron's act of crass stupidity on Europe
Cameron has made a crucial misjudgment, simply to appease the City and his own jingoistic rightwingers

Will Hutton - Observer 11/12/2011

Economically Dysfunctional


Minimum wage: Seattle proves that the fight for decent pay can and must be won
The fast-food workers' triumph is a landmark moment. And where they have led, others will follow

Will Hutton - Observer 07/06/2104

Hoax Letter


Park View Academy hits back in Trojan horse row
Staff and pupils at Birmingham school have been left baffled and angry over its media portrayal

Daniel Boffey - Observer 07/06/2014

But the coalition get their way under the guise of combatting extremism


Downing Street launches snap Ofsted visits after schools extremism claims
Department for Education officials look to radically restructure Birmingham's state schools in a sweeping, city-wide shake-up

Andrew SParrow & Richard Adams - Guardian 09/09/2014

Lest we have forgotten


The coalition's attacks on the NHS will return us to the age of the workhouse
In 1926, Harry Leslie Smith's sister died of TB in a workhouse infirmary, too poor for proper medical care. In 1948, the creation of the NHS put a stop to all that. In an extract from his new book, Harry's Last Stand, he describes his despair at the coalition's dismantling of the welfare state

Harry Leslie Smith - Guardian 04/06/2014



Bank of England governor: capitalism doomed if ethics vanish
Mark Carney issues strong critique of City behaviour and warns of growing sense that basic social contract is breaking down

Angela Monaghan - Guardian 28/05/2104

Ahh responsibility for the broader system.
Again the coalition is doing the opposite.

Inclusive Capitalism


IMF chief says banks haven't changed since financial crisis
Christine Lagarde tells London conference banking sector is still resisting reform and taking excessive risks

Angela Monaghan - Guardian

Which of course the coalition is engaged in doing the exact opposite.

Pre WW1 levels of inequality


Capitalism simply isn't working and here are the reasons why
Economist Thomas Piketty's message is bleak: the gap between rich and poor threatens to destroy us
Thomas Piketty interview: capitalism just doesn't add up

Will Hutton - Observer 12/04/2014

Labour's just not there.


The budget: Osbornism holds sway. It needs a bold response
Ed Miliband must now take a risk and voice a real alternative

Observer editorial - 23/03/2014


Just about sums it up


Who's to blame for the crisis, bankers or benefit claimants?
Class is the real dividing line in British politics, but politicians only talk about the middle class. That will have to change

Seumus Milne - Guardian 16/01/2014

The Just War


Michael Gove blasts 'Blackadder myths' about the First World War spread by television sit-coms and left-wing academics

  • Education Secretary says war is represented as a 'misbegotten shambles'

  • But he claims that it was in fact a 'just war' to combat German aggression

The guns that were silent are now firing again.


Michael Gove's intervention ignores the complexities of conflict
The education secretary is playing politics with the past, but its lessons are more profound

Observer Editorial - 04/01/2014

But perhaps his comments will allow people to understand why the EU is so important to us.


Labour condemns Michael Gove's 'crass' comments on first world war
Tristram Hunt says education secretary's attack on 'unpatriotic' views is a shocking attempt at political point-scoring

Toby Helm, Vanessa Thorpe and Phillip Otterman - Observer 04/01/2014

  • Michael Gove has hit out at TV shows and historians who depict the first world war as a "misbegotten shambles". But does satirising or criticising the great war really denigrate ordinary British soldiers, as the education secretary claims?


First world war: an imperial bloodbath that's a warning, not a noble cause
Tory claims that 1914 was a fight for freedom are absurd – but then history wars are about the future as much as the past

Seamas Milne - Guardian 08/01/2014



Buy-to-let property supremo shuts door on housing benefit tenants
One of Britain's best-known landlords, who owns nearly 1,000 homes, has sent out 200 eviction notices

Emma Lunn - Guardian 04/01/2014

Mendacious Politicians


We must all share the blame for our 'useless' politicians
Brave would be the candidate who dared to remind citizens of their responsibilities to the democracy they live in

Polly Toynbee - Guardian 31/12/2013

Quickly followed by Mr Fox

Liam Fox: 'Wasteful' NHS should not have funding ringfenced
Senior Tory urges David Cameron to drop commitment at next election, arguing performance of health service does not justify it

Guardian 02/01/2014

and this the man who claims 3p travel expenses

Should Liam Fox have put in an expense claim for 3p?

Guardian 07/10/2013

But he’s a Thatcherite and look where that got us.

Liam Fox calls for Tory return to Thatcherism
Rightwing former cabinet minister urges party to fight next election on platform of tax cuts, privatisation and deregulation

Guardian 26/04/2013

But he’s been banging on about her who should not be named for some time now.

Buttering us all up for the next election presumably.
Quietly ignoring the fact

7,000 key NHS clinical staff made redundant amid enforced cuts
Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA, says £20bn savings drive to blame, as doctors and nurses are made redundant

Dennis Campbell - Guardian 31/12/2013

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