By Tim Donovan Published 2 hours ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing As the Labour Party gather for their conference in Liverpool, there is a renewed focus on preparing for the next General Election, with much of it rooted in the capital. In parts of east London, a political struggle has begun, which could end with a more centrist Labour line-up in the area. A cluster of Parliamentary seats are up for grabs, many of them with sizeable Labour majorities. They are vacant due to sitting MPs either retiring or because local members have voted to open the seat up for re-selection. And they have become a battleground between the left and centre of the party, which is likely to test Keir Starmer's influence his and leadership of the party. Labour membership falls by 90,000, accounts show What is Momentum? London formed the bedrock of support for Jeremy … [Read more...] about Labour Party: The battle of the east London centrists
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Published 4 February 2015 Share close Share page Copy link About sharing The key events that led to the launch of two reviews into the way allegations of child abuse were handled in Westminster and wider society. Claims of an establishment cover-up of historical child sex abuse involving public figures, including politicians, prompted Home Secretary Theresa May to announce two inquiries in July 2014. One is an overarching inquiry into the way public bodies and other important institutions have handled child sex abuse claims. A separate review into how the Home Office dealt with allegations about powerful figures and paedophilia in the 1980s reported in November. What are the key incidents that led to these inquiries? 1982-84: Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens tells a newspaper he plans to expose eight prominent figures he says are paedophiles. The long-standing campaigner against … [Read more...] about Timeline: 1980s child abuse allegations
In 1977, I was in New Orleans to see friends for Christmas, but stayed through Mardi Gras. I was wandering the French Quarter that January when I saw a parade led by a brass band marching down Chartres Street, a crowd following. I had my film camera ready. I was next to the band when its leader, a young trumpeter, turned my way. I snapped one shot. When viewing the proof sheet, that image caught my eye. I made two 8-by-10-inch prints and kept them in a box that I dragged around with me for years. I always wondered who that young man was leading his brass band. Several years ago, a professional photographer friend from undergraduate school scanned the print and created a digital file so that I could have more prints made if I ever wanted. I had long ago lost the negative. All this got me wondering once again, who was the young man in the photo? Could he still be alive? Could I possibly figure out his identity? I did some sleuthing on Wikipedia that hinted that this … [Read more...] about Human Condition: Mystery solved; The trumpeter in the photo is New Orleans’ Gregg Stafford
By Brian Wheeler Published 24 September 2014 Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Ed Miliband says he wants a big national debate about all aspects of the British constitution. But you can almost guarantee one subject will not play any part in it. It used to be a position voiced in the Labour Party to be in favour of axing the monarchy. But it is not an opinion you will hear fall from the lips of many of the party's MPs these days. The Queen is too popular and elected politicians too toxic for republicanism to have much traction. Yet republicans do exist in the Labour Party. And some of them are attempting, in a tentative way, to get the debate started again. A new group, Labour for a Republic, met for the first time in Manchester on Tuesday evening, a few hundred metres from the party conference secure zone in a room above the Britons' Protection pub. … [Read more...] about The secret life of Labour’s republicans
We need a new approach for a new era, focused on growth,” announced the Chancellor , prompting hoots from Labour MPs, who like to remind everyone that the Tories have been in office since 2010. Yet what followed really did mark a new era. It felt as if the party that had rescued Britain in the 1980s was back after 32 years in Opposition. The stunning thing about Kwasi Kwarteng’s statement was not the amount of money he announced; it was his relentless, Terminator-like pursuit of growth. Forget the Labour charge that he is creating some sort of minimalist, Randian state. His Treasury is still hoovering up more moolah than Gordon Brown’s, let alone Nigel Lawson’s. Actual tax cuts – as opposed to the cancellation of scheduled rises – accounted for the teensiest sliver of Friday’s statement. By far the largest chunk was a new spending commitment, namely the energy price freeze, costing £60 billion. Then came the non-rises in National Insurance (£19 billion) and corporation … [Read more...] about At last, a new vision of a prosperous Britain – not one hooked on handouts and subsidies
Shares, bonds, commodities such as oil, even gold and its supposed digital rival Bitcoin: all dropped in unison on Friday as fears of a global recession , not to mention Vladimir Putin’s escalation of the war in Ukraine, unnerved investors everywhere. The American dollar, still the world’s ultimate “safe haven” asset, was about the only thing to gain; other currencies, especially the pound as investors gave the thumbs down to Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget, lost value against the greenback. This is how the day played out. The pound The most dramatic development yesterday was the crash in the value of sterling. At the start the day it bought $1.125 but had fallen to $1.116 at 9.30am, about when Mr Kwarteng started to speak. It fell sharply over the afternoon to a low of $1.089 at 5.30pm before a slight recovery to $1.09 – a fall of 3.1pc. A month ago, a pound was worth $1.18, down from $1.37 in mid-January and $1.44 at its post-Brexit-vote peak in April 2018. It … [Read more...] about It was the day when everything fell – except the dollar
Published 8 September comments Comments Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Prime Minister Liz Truss has ruled out using further windfall taxes on energy companies to fund measures to help people with their gas and electricity bills. "I am against a windfall tax," she told MPs on 7 September. "I believe it is the wrong thing to be putting companies off investing in the United Kingdom just when we need to be growing the economy." A windfall tax on the UK oil and gas sector was introduced on 26 May. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP are calling for it to be extended. How high could my energy bills go? Shell profits nearly triple as oil prices surge What is a windfall tax? A windfall tax is a one-off tax imposed by a government on a company. The idea is to target firms that were lucky enough to benefit from … [Read more...] about What is the windfall tax on oil and gas companies and how does it work?
Getting your children into science, technology, engineering and maths is pretty important these days. But that doesn’t have to mean boring worksheets and playing with an abacus. There are so many toys out there to teach kids the skills they’ll need for the future, from robotics to coding. Combined with story-telling, problem-solving and music, these educational gizmos will keep kids entertained for hours – and make sure they learn something in the process. Coding Critters MagiCoders Ages 4-8 These cute Coding Critters bring creative, magical and screen-free coding to STEM. Each programmable play set is built around an adorable robot dragon or unicorn, and a colourful wand with directional buttons. A combination of a spell button and a storybook-style spell book with coding commands triggers a variety of modes such as dance and fetch. Buy for £44.99 from WHSmith. Agent Asha Gift Pack Ages 7-11 The Children’s Spy Agency tries to get kids into … [Read more...] about Educational but not at all boring toys to give your kids a head start in STEM
Have you wondered why you love a particular song or genre of music ? The answer may lie in your personality, although other factors also play a role, researchers say. Many people tend to form their musical identity in adolescence, around the same time that they explore their social identity. Preferences may change over time, but research shows that people tend to be especially fond of music from their adolescent years and recall music from a specific age period – 10 to 30 years with a peak at 14 – more easily. Musical taste is often identified by preferred genres, but a more accurate way of understanding preferences is by musical attributes, researchers say. One model outlines three dimensions of musical attributes: arousal, valence and depth. READ MORE: A deep dive into the public Spotify profiles of New Zealand’s MPs Why the first time you hear a song is special, according to science What music do psychopaths like? More Justin Bieber, less Bach “Arousal is … [Read more...] about Why do you like the music you like? Science weighs in
By Reality Check team Published 1 day ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Related Topics Reality Check The government has confirmed it is ending the ban in the UK on fracking , a controversial technique that involves drilling and using liquids at high pressure to release shale gas. In her first speech as prime minister, Liz Truss said: "We will get spades in the ground to make sure people are not facing unaffordable energy bills." She has pledged to increase domestic energy production with more oil and gas from the North Sea as well as fracking. And the new Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs on 22 September: "We also need more secure and cheaper supplies of gas, which is why we are going to issue more licences and why we are looking at shale gas." He has said the government expects to award "more than 100 new licences" for oil … [Read more...] about Would more UK gas actually bring down prices?