And now the backlash By Mike Phipps The panic is over. The neck and neck opinion polls that led the Westminster party leaders to make uncosted promises of greater devolution to Scotland and guarantees of bigger grant funding from the centre have unravelled within hours of the result. The “vow” to which party leaders committed offering extensive new powers to the Scottish parliament suddenly seems to be without a timetable - and locked in to a Cameron commitment to guarantee English votes on English-only issues. [continue...]
The end of the beginning? Thoughts on a referendum By Ewan Gibbs Hangovers are healing and the dust is slowly beginning to clear. The initial fallout is almost over. Alex Salmond has announced his imminent departure from the post of First Minister. Meanwhile schemes for devolution and constitutional changes across Britain are being formulated and are already under fire for not meeting ‘Better Together’s’ late campaign promises and mixing delivering them with long-term UK constitutional fixes. At this point these are very much my own tentative and personal thoughts. This is a contribution to consider where things go from here and how socialists should think about how we move on; it’s much more the beginning than the end of that. My advice would be to suspect anyone that claims to have a fully formulated ready-made answer. [continue...]
Labour Party Conference 2014: LRC Fringe Meeting Policies for a Labour Victory [continue...]
Stop the Privatisation of the Probation Service
Chris Grayling, currently Minister of ‘Justice’, is bidding for the title of the biggest rogue on earth. He is desperate to privatise the probation service, despite the repeated failure of past privatisations.
It costs £38,000 a year to keep someone in prison, more than sending them to Eton. Grayling’s predecessor Ken Clarke wanted to save the taxpayer a lot of money by rehabilitating criminals in the community. Good idea – rehabilitation has a better record at preventing reoffending than prison. But rehabilitation requires a properly funded probation service with trained professionals. Instead Grayling is determined to outsource 70% of probation service work to the usual suspects such as G4S and Serco. Probation chiefs fear the Tories plan to slash their budgets by £125 million - 25% - over the next four years. So this is all about saving money. [continue...]
NHS Privatisation by the Backdoor Disaster-looms-for-NHS_large-e1308062563878Evidence has now been leaked which proves that big healthcare corporations, including some of the biggest US healthcare multinationals, are now taking the lead in directing GPs’ clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in allocating the £80bn NHS budget at their disposal. The previously unknown Commissioning Support Industry Group (CSIG) has been seeking to win contracts worth some £1bn for advising CCGs on purchasing patient care. [continue...]
Outlawing Blacklisting is a Vote Winner Articles from the LRC TUC 2014 special By Dave Smith, Secretary Blacklist Support Group [continue...]
This is a free blogging space for LRC members. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the LRC.