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Category: Politics

The End of the Party: The Rise and fall of New labour

The End of the Party: The Rise and fall of New labour

Here is the publishers blurb inviting and unsuspecting politics reader into buying this huge volume – Andrew Rawnsley’s bestselling and award-winning “Servants of the People” was acclaimed across all media as the most authoritative and entertaining account of New Labour and its first term in office. As one reviewer put it, ‘Rawnsley’s ability to unearth revelation at the highest level of government may leave you suspecting that there are bugs in the vases at Number 10’. “The End of the…

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The making of Modern Britain

The making of Modern Britain

The onset of a head cold from hell caused a frustrating retreat and between a streaming nose and eyes gave me a chance to read a Christmas present. I am a great fan of Marr whose writing is engaging and energetic!     Andrew Marr wrote this history of Britain, subtitled “From Queen Victoria to VE Day”, as the basis of a television series.His writing is flashy, with lots of eye-popping, jaw-dropping adjectives and over-excited generalisations!He asks urgent journalistic questions:…

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How do we treat people?

How do we treat people?

I remember that she was the most classless person I ever met. She treated everyone exactly the same, either as friends or as potential friends. She approached them with the same expectation that they had only been waiting for this opportunity to her the story of their lives. Which, to their surprise, most of them had. She cared not at all for her surroundings, but accepted each as yet another chance to talk to all the interesting people around her….

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Better Care for Dementia?

Better Care for Dementia?

Dementia services in England are not getting the priority that was promised, the National Audit Office has said. It urges the Department of Health to demonstrate that its dementia strategy, published last year, is not just words. The plans include action to boost early diagnosis and better patient and carer support. The NAO praises the ambition but asks whether they can be delivered. Care services minister Phil Hope welcomed the report but insisted the implementation plan was on track. ‘Very…

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The scandal of Care?

The scandal of Care?

Poor dementia care in hospitals costing lives and hundreds of millions Published 17 November 2009 People with dementia – who occupy a quarter of all hospital beds – are staying far longer in hospital than people without the condition who go in for the same treatment. This is costing hundreds of millions of pounds to the NHS, an Alzheimer’s Society report found today (Tuesday, 17 November 2009). Based on research involving 2,400 people,Counting the Cost: caring for people with dementia…

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Lawyers?

Lawyers?

I have always felt a certain amount of ambivalence towards lawyers – based on experience and a little envy at the sheer injustice of a society that pays them so much for their work! Imagine then the circumstances whereby I choose to buy a lawyers memoirs! Putting money in the direction where none is needed! This lawyer is perhaps an exception that disproves many of my prejudices?   Michael Mansfield QC – a radical, outspoken and risky sort of man…

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Christian Aid

Christian Aid

Travelling in and out of London has given me the time to look and see the power and possibility of advertising! I have been particularly impressed with Christian Aid and its campaigns – have you seen their work that directly challenges us to change the world! How often do we think from a global perspective?? So think on and here is the advert that made me think and act   Visit the Christian Aid web site and be part of…

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Pensioner Poverty

Pensioner Poverty

This shocking news report should move us all into some action:   Reform of the pensions and benefits system is urgently needed to tackle pensioner poverty in the UK, which is among the worst in Europe, campaigners said today. The call for action came after European commission statistics showed that 30% of over-65s in the UK were living on incomes far below the national average. That was the fourth highest level in Europe, according to the figures, with pensioners in…

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Brown’s Britain?

Brown’s Britain?

a bit long for a blog but very interesting!! Brown’s Britain is Bankrupt FRANK FIELD MP AND JEREMY JENNINGS   Daniel Johnson: Parliament is supposed to be the guardian of liberty, but it seems rather that its members have been taking liberties. The result is a great upsurge of righteous indignation, a demand for equality in the name of justice. The ruling class, the political class, deserve to be swept away — off to the tumbrils with them! It’s a…

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Ashdown and his Diaries

Ashdown and his Diaries

    The Ashdown Diaries Volume One 1988-1997 (Allen Lane 2000 £20 642pages) I have been meaning to read this for some time and finally discovered a copy at the bargain price of £4 in a second hand bookshop in Oswestry covered market. Waiting can yield great results for the patient! I confess that I did not read every word of the mammoth tome – but is was revealing and illuminating for a number of reasons. It begins with Ashdown’s…

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Thatchers Inheritance

Thatchers Inheritance

  Thatcher and Sons: A Revolution in three Acts (Allen Lane 2006) Simon Jenkins is a clever, insightful and careful writer. I read this volume after the considerable publicity following the thirtieth anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s historic election in 1979. It was one of those books that I bought a few years ago following reading an enthusiastic review in a Sunday newspaper. I tried a couple of times to read it but without success. Sometimes you need to be in…

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The Speaker

The Speaker

The Speaker (BBC 2 14th April 2009 8 – 9pm)   What makes for a good speech? How do those of us who are tasked to speak become better (more convincing) speakers? What is a significant speech? Young people from across the country are gathered together and offered an opportunity to speak in various places. They are given the chance to offer pre – prepared pieces and then put into large arenas to speak on a variety of subjects without…

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De- Baptism in a secular Britain?

De- Baptism in a secular Britain?

 A friend of mine from the States sent this news item – can it be true?   More than 100,000 Britons have recently downloaded “certificates of de-baptism” from the Internet to renounce their Christian faith. The initiative launched by a group called the National Secular Society (NSS) follows atheist campaigns here and elsewhere, including a London bus poster which triggered protests by proclaiming “There’s probably no God.” “We now produce a certificate on parchment and we have sold 1,500 units…

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Do not forget the poor!

Do not forget the poor!

G20 leaders must not forget promises to the poor – Religious Leaders Communiqué   In a communiqué issued in advance of the G20 meeting in London, they call on political leaders to consider the moral issues at the root of the current financial crisis, and to pay special attention to the needs of poor, marginalised and vulnerable people: “to forget their needs would be to compound regrettable past failures with needless future injustices”. Attention is drawn to promises made by the…

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Morals and Money……

Morals and Money……

I thought this worth reading as world leaders gather today in London   Interview with Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme ahead of G20 summit Tuesday 31 March 2009 The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams spoke with Jim Naughtie on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ program about the moral impact of the recession, ahead of the G20 summit in London. Listen to the interview & read the transcript. Jim Naughtie: Well as the G20 leaders start to arrive in London for their summit…

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Clementine Churchill

Clementine Churchill

Clementine Churchill by Mary Soames (Doubleday 2002)   One of the great wonders and advantages of second-hand book shops is the real sense of getting a bargain!  Don’t you love buying something at a fraction of its original price and somehow feeling that you are pounds in – only to realise, of course, later that the truth is that you bought something that you probably didn’t think you needed in the first place?  I can tell you when you’re packing…

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Pray for Zimbabwe

Pray for Zimbabwe

Here in Temple Balsall we know soemthing of the human cost of the present and longstanding unrest of Zimbawe as we have a number of resisdents who lived there and love its land and people.   The statement from Anglican leaders is a model of prophecy and Christian action –   The Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Alexandria, Egypt on 3rd February, 2009, heard first hand reports of the situation in Zimbabwe, and note with horror the appalling…

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Bringing Dementia out of the shadows

Bringing Dementia out of the shadows

  It is easy to knock the Government and I wonder sometimes if any of us really understand the complex and demanding nature of modern governance? Today I want to commend the Governments excellent initiatives around Dementia. Let me remind you about the plans. The ambition is to set up memory clinics in every town in England. The clinics will be set up in every English town and doctors will get extra training to recognise early signs, the health secretary…

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Hugo Young

Hugo Young

  Curiosity, Hugo Young argues, is the essential ingredient of the best journalism. The only way to understand any world, especially the ever complex, always churning, often deceiving world of politics, is to craft the right questions and then go in search of the answers.   It was when he moved from the Sunday Times to the Guardian that he found the full power of his voice, and it was from his twice-weekly platform there that he became the outstanding commentator of…

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Obama and the weight of expectation

Obama and the weight of expectation

          If you had to choose another job I wonder what that job would be?  Perhaps the move from being a teacher to a builder?  Out of the kitchen as a cook into a hospital as a nurse? Away from the desk to a more physical job where papers and computers do not dominate?  A job where you worked on your own?  Perhaps a job where you were your own boss – where everyone fitted in…

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