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Is that the best you can do? EPA/Andy Rain

Clueless Labour plotters need to learn the rules of opposition

If we’ve learned anything from Labour backbenchers over the past four-and-a-half years it’s that being in opposition can seriously damage your cognitive abilities. At least, that appears to be the only…
See? Some people still like him. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Voter survey shows Miliband panic is overblown

There is a wobble going on in the Labour party over Ed Miliband’s leadership. A number of Labour backbenchers are said to be becoming increasingly nervous about retaining their seats in next year’s general…
Is anything less acceptable? LIVING WAGE

The living wage may cut poverty, but not by very much

In the UK, according to the Living Wage Foundation, some 1,000 firms have pledged to offer a living wage, including household names like RBS, ITV and SSE. Earlier this week the annual rate increase was…
Over half of Australia’s imported goods come from the Asia Pacific, which has 78 million child labourers, including these three in a Bangladesh balloon factory. EPA/Abir Abdhullah

Global supply chains link us all to shame of child and forced labour

The fragmentation of global production has dramatically increased the length and complexity of supply chains. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that more than…
Swivel eyes on the prize. Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Two by-elections, one winner: the rise and rise of UKIP

The results of the by-elections that have just taken place in Clacton and Heywood and Middleton are virtually impossible to spin for either the Conservatives or Labour. Predictably, each side of Britain’s…
“Just as long as we don’t have to call it The Nicola and David Show.” Andrew Milligan/PA

Could the Scottish National Party join the next UK government?

After the 2010 UK election, some individuals urged Labour to try to form a rainbow-style coalition with the smaller parties in the House of Commons. According to the maths, several potential groupings…
Making plans with Nigel. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Farage squares up to Labour in bid to broaden UKIP vote

Nigel Farage entered Doncaster racecourse to give the first of two speeches to the UKIP annual conference against a backdrop of Olympics-style inspirational house music. The soundtrack was appropriate…
What did you get? Niall Carson/PA Wire

Permanent revolution of A Level exams helps nobody

A Level results are in and as teenagers pore over their grades, a record number will be able to take up places at university. The results – which show a small decline in the overall pass rate for the first…
State-owned East Coast train pulling into London King’s Cross. Matt Buck

Renationalise the railways? That’s the last thing we need

So the mountain has rumbled and given forth its usual platitudinous mouse. Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pronouncements confirmed longstanding speculation that his party has plans for rail. In particular…
I’m doing a straw poll. How much would you pay? Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

Universities need more than a pledge to reduce student fees

I’m an unabashed political junkie. Who’s up, who’s down; who’s in, who’s out. Yet it’s fair to say that pretty much all the day-to-day policy spinning, posturing and firefighting rarely percolates outside…
It can take some time for women to come to terms with the conceptual as well as physical change of giving birth. Remy Sharp

One body becoming two: how women experience childbirth

There is a substantial literature on labour and childbirth in medical, midwifery and social scientific research. But we still don’t know much about how labouring women experience that pivotal time when…

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