Author Archives: Joe Otten

Theatre review: King Charles III

Picture Charles III, risen to the throne after a lifetime of waiting, ready to be consulted and give his advice on affairs of state, finding his views ignored and being unwilling in good conscience to give royal assent to a bill to regulate the press.

Posted in Op-eds | 7 Comments

Margaret Beckett reports on reasons for Labour’s defeat

Dame Margaret Beckett a former deputy and acting leader of the Labour Party has reported her findings on the reasons behind Labour’s loss of the election in 2015. We need to understand this dispassionately, alongside the reasons for our great losses, some of which will overlap.

Firstly, five reasons that Beckett doubts.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 58 Comments

Nick Clegg launches cross-party commission on inequality in education

This morning Nick Clegg launched a cross-party initiative to examine the causes and effects of inequality in education at primary and secondary schools in England and Wales. We know this is a topic close to Nick’s heart and a core theme of the Liberal Democrats’ contribution to the coalition government through the Pupil Premium and free school meals for infants.

Nick Clegg Q&A 12

This follows initial research by the Social Market Foundation revealing regional disparities compounding the known socio-economic disparities, with London doing best and Yorkshire, tragically, doing worst. Sheffield was recently reprimanded by Ofsted over primary school performance, with many other local authorities in the region receiving similar letters, according to the Yorkshire Post.

Posted in News | 47 Comments

Tim Farron on junior doctors’ strike

Tim Farron has commented on today’s strike over shift patterns, patient safety and pay.

Tomorrow’s strike is the result of the Government’s serious mismanagement of negotiations with junior doctors. Healthcare professionals, patients and the public have been let down.

Throughout this process, the Government seems to have focused more on political point scoring than engaging with junior doctors in a respectful way which recognises that they are dedicated public servants, who work extremely hard, caring for people in need.

The Government must urgently resume talks with the BMA and stop their megaphone diplomacy. Our NHS and everyone who relies on it, deserve much better than this.

Posted in News | 25 Comments

Farron calls on Cameron to put national interest before party management on EU

Party leader to allow his frontbench team to campaign for a different position. Will Labour ever be united again? What do you mean this isn’t about Labour? Oh. This is the announcement that ministers will be able to campaign against the government at the referendum.

Tim Farron is demanding that Cameron shows the courage of his convictions.

David Cameron should have the courage of his convictions and make the case we all know he wants to make, that by staying in Europe, Britain can thrive.

The Prime Minister is failing to lead his own Government, let alone the country, putting his

Posted in Europe / International and News | 11 Comments

The role of profit in ambition for housebuilding

We have planning permission for around 8000 units granted and unstarted in Sheffield, and numerous brownfield sites which are considered unviable for development. The authority is in danger of not meeting its housing land supply, and a green belt review is looming. This is a northern perspective, and I daresay the issues are different in the south.

Now a common feature of the planning system as it operates in practice seems to be the negotiation between planners and developers to add conditions and extract gains from developments to serve public interest goals, such as:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 24 Comments

Sincerity on both sides of air strike vote

For me, the arguments for and against air strikes against Daesh in Syria are finely balanced, and there is no surprise that reasonable people have come to different views. I am stunned that with the SNP against, Labour split down the middle, and (the BBC predicts) 15 Conservative rebels, we might be the most hawkish party.

I am very glad that Erbil was saved in August 2014 with help from US air strikes when Daesh were rampaging across northern Iraq. Had the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, population 1.5 million, fallen, the death toll and consequences for the region would have been horrific.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 18 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMalcolm Lewis 11th Feb - 8:31am
    There are some good points here as to why the UK would be better off to remain in, as you say, the areas of the...
  • User AvatarDenis Mollison 11th Feb - 8:08am
    Chris_sh - I still think that "horse-trading" is a pejorative term hiding a faulty argument. Parties themselves are coalitions - particularly under FPTP where disparate...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 11th Feb - 8:06am
    Why did we say nothing about the Tories' European bedfellows in the European election campaign in 2014?!?!?!?!
  • User AvatarAllan Heron 11th Feb - 7:54am
    Is Tim "against delay"? He acknowledged he was comfortable with and edging towards September when this was discussed at the weekend. He didn't think having...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 11th Feb - 7:50am
    Roland, Are you sure about student loans? Just one other thing. I wish those mainly young doctors on the picket line would look less cheerful....
  • User AvatarPeter Parsons 11th Feb - 7:31am
    For NHS staff with families of school age Saturday is one of the only two days in the week where they have the opportunity to...