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Archive for December, 2011

In this morning’s Guardian Maurice Glassman the intellectual “Guru” behind Blue Labour was decrying the fact that there are top few politicians from a working class background in today’s Labour party. Glassman was making his lament whilst speaking in support of the Labour diversity fund (LDF). A fund designed to help Labour candidates from less affluent backgrounds cope with the costs of running for office.

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Time to stand back, take a deep breath, close your eyes and count to ten.  Now open them.  Do you see anything different?  Thought not.

Cameron’s veto is perhaps the biggest – and best – spin operation in modern politics.  By doing nothing, but saying a great deal, Cameron has united his backbenchers with him against the EU but, sadly, kept us within a ridiculous status quo in the European Union.

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The Telegraph reported this week that the Government is drawing up plans to impose a minimum price per alcohol unit as a means to counter ‘binge drinking’. The plan could mirror Scotland’s currently policy, with all alcoholic drinks having to be sold at a price that averages 45p per alcoholic unit. The intent of the measures is shown by the quote carried in the piece from a ‘well placed source’. “The minimum price is really designed to push up the cheapest alcohol prices, which cause the most damage, rather than an across-the-board rise. The Prime Minister is very concerned about protecting traditional pubs”. This is all rather wearisome. Such a measure would indeed drive up prices for the cheapest drinks, so hurting those on small incomes who just want a relaxing drink.

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There is something about the great British train, both underground and overground, that makes it the ideal setting to showcase the best and worst features of society, like a window into soul of the nation. The video of ‘that woman’ hurling racist abuse at one of her fellow passengers on a London tram last month, for example, has to date been viewed over 120,000 times and the culprit arrested and charged with racially aggravated harrassment. FYI, I would definitely put this into the worst features category just in case you were wondering.

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Just rewatching The King’s Speech now that its being shown on Sky and once again I’m torn. The story of Prince Albert struggling to meet the expectations of those around and dreading the ultimate promotion should his feckless brother let him down is one of the more interesting psychodramas of Britain’s first family. Firth as the Prince and Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue are utterly convincing in the majestic patient-common doctor dynamic. So convincing that one can forgive the many pieces of dramatic license taken to maintain forward momentum and keep the plot simple.

Where the film falls down badly is when it comes to the crunch point of the Abdication.

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You may have seen this rather witty image being bandied about the internet today:

It’s another sad attempt to equate the economics of the governance of modern, highly developed economies such as America with an individual citizen struggling to balance their incomings and outgoings as justification for the sado-monetarist. This is very stupid nonsense. The existence of Government is the recognition that people are interdependent and need an outside agency to coordinate, regulate and protect this civil society. Therefore to pretend that the Government an island unto itself, whose only legitimate preoccupation is balancing the national check book  is wrong. Government cuts to spending does not exist in a vacuum, the Government is after all the biggest single employer, customer and benefactor in all western economies. So you cut Government spending you cost workers their job, businesses their contracts and citizens their entitlements. That loss of economic output then echoes through the economy as a magic bullet, reducing private sector activity and tax receipts.

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Welcome

Welcome to ‘It Could Be Said’ a new blog on politics and current affairs. We hope that you’ll enjoy the comment and analysis our contributors will be providing on both domestic and global politics over the next few weeks. One of the things we’re excited by is that unlike other blogs we have no set political perspective, with our writers coming from across the spectrum of beliefs. To prove it in this introductory post we thought we’d give you their Political Compass scores.

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