The most eye-catching proposals in Labour’s draft manifesto are the plans to renationalise the railways, the energy market and Royal Mail, and to abolish university tuition fees. Estimates of costings are difficult at this stage as the leaked draft is a menu without prices, but the party promises they will be fully costed. Railways What the draft manifesto says: A Labour government will introduce a public ownership of the railways bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways. In public ownership, we will deliver real improvements for passengers by freezing fares, introducing free wifi across the network, ensuring safe staffing levels and ending driver-only operation, and by improving accessibility for disabled people. Analysis: Polling shows that more than 20 years after John Major’s Conservative government privatised the old British Rail, many commuters and the public are open to the idea of giving the state another go. Recent … [Read more...] about Labour’s draft manifesto: key policies analysed
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Later this month two exhibitions will stir memories of perhaps the most rancorous and tragic episode in recent British art history. The Jewish Museum in London and the Pallant House gallery in Chichester will together stage the first British retrospective of the work of RB Kitaj since his suicide in 2007. The shows will also offer the first comprehensive look at the artist's painting in this country since a controversial exhibition at the Tate gallery in 1994 dramatically changed the course of the rest of Kitaj's life, and his art. That 1994 show, a landmark for a living painter, became known to Kitaj as the "Tate war", and letters and documents that have now come to light reveal that the phrase was not an exaggeration. What had been planned as the culmination and crowning glory of a life's work proved to be something quite different. On one side of the battlefield back then were the art critics of the British press, who seemed to have lined up to outdo one another in destroying … [Read more...] about RB Kitaj: an obsession with revenge
It is an irony of history that one of the little-remembered but key elements of Labour’s 1983 manifesto, infamously dubbed the longest suicide note in history, was a pledge that Britain would leave the European Economic Community within five years. Fast-forward to 2017 and Labour’s leaked draft manifesto, with its vows to renationalise the railways and Royal Mail, has already been attacked as “dragging Britain back to the 1970s” and predictably dubbed by the Tories as “the new suicide note”. The 1983 manifesto, The New Hope for Britain, was the product of the party’s labyrinthine internal processes. It included promises to cancel the Trident programme and to refuse to deploy US nuclear cruise missiles, to abolish the House of Lords, and to bring about “a fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people and their families”. Some of its policies, controversial at the time, look … [Read more...] about 1983 v 2017: how Labour’s manifestos compare
One of the guests at Meghan Markle's $500,000 baby shower is opening up about her afternoon with the Duchess of Sussex. Gayle King said on CBS This Morning that she and other guests were taught how to arrange flowers at the party, and that Markle then donated those arrangements to various charities. She also said that she could not reveal the gift that she purchased for Markle because the guest of honor did not open any of her presents, choosing instead to wait until she got back to London and was with Prince Harry. Markle flew out of New York just one hour after her shower on Wednesday on a private jet, marking the end of her first trip back to the States since her wedding to Prince Harry. Scroll down for video Hail Gayle: Gayle King shared details about Meghan Markle's baby shower on CBS This Morning, one day after she was one of the lucky few to score an invite (Markle above on Tuesday) Flower power: She said that guests at the event were taught how to arrange … [Read more...] about Gayle King reveals Meghan Markle and baby shower guests made floral arrangements that were donated to charity afterwards, and the Duchess did not open her gifts because she wanted to do it with Prince Harry
In the weeks before the election campaign began, the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, turned down a standing invitation to meet with the US media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose company, News Corporation, owns 70% of Australia’s newspaper circulation and Foxtel’s 24-hour news channel, Sky. “News Limited and Mr Murdoch shouldn’t take that as any view on him in particular,” Shorten told the ABC’s 7.30 program in January. “I’ll deal with their local management just as I deal with the local management of the ABC. But my real conversation is not with the rich and powerful in this country.” Wise or crazy brave? When Shorten picked up his Telegraph this morning, he might have been wondering. The paper had splashed on a story accusing him of omitting a key detail in a story he told about his mother, Ann, on Monday night’s Q&A program. He explained how she had been unable to study law and instead became a teacher on a scholarship so … [Read more...] about Is News Corp’s attack on Shorten’s memory of his dead mother the cost of shunning Murdoch?