Tag Archives: alan milburn

Baroness Tyler writes… Developing character and resilience in young people

The Social Mobility All Party Parliamentary Group have been working since 2011 to get an in-depth understanding of what it is that enables some people to get ahead in life whilst others fall behind and aren’t able make the most of their abilities and potential.

What became glaring to us through our report on “The Seven Key Truths of Social Mobility” published last year was the importance of so-called “soft skills”, an area all too often neglected in the social mobility debate. To shine a spotlight on this neglected area we held a Character and Resilience Summit yesterday in Admiralty House …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

The Independent View: There are now two main government narratives about child poverty

It’s been said that Margaret Thatcher’s governments did two things for poverty. First they increased it. Then they pretended it did not exist. As Alan Milburn prepares to makes his first speech as the Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility and Child Poverty on Tuesday, his task will be to help the Coalition avoid a similar, devastating, legacy.

The last government’s record was far from perfect, but Milburn should advise the Coalition to recognise the very real progress made and learn from the successes just as much as from the failings.

Some Ministers, including Lib Dems, have bizarrely trashed the last government’s

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Social mobility: new reporting coming but what is the real objective?

Tuesday sees the launch by Nick Clegg of a social mobility strategy for the government, including a new ‘report card’ to track the government’s progess.

The phrase “social mobility” is one I still don’t like. It is too much like that other inside-politics phrase “street furniture”. Councillors and council officers talk about street furniture works, improvements, strategies, investments and proposals with abandon but you never hear someone say, “I’ve just moved into my new flat and the local street furniture is lovely”. Street furniture matters, but falling into the habit of using an uncommon piece of jargon hinders understanding, …

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Social mobility and the Lib Dems: will Alan Milburn’s appointment help?

The weekend media was full of the news of Alan Milburn’s putative return to front-line politics with his appointment to a role advising the Coalition Government on policies to promote social mobility.

Reaction to the news has been mixed. John Prescott, never one to mince his words when he can mangle them instead, spat out that Mr Milburn was a “collaborator”. Conservative blogger Iain Dale was disappointed to see the Coalition’s big tent expanding to include a former New Labour cabinet minister: “One day they might actually appoint a Conservative.”

For the Lib Dems, Simon Hughes was more amenable to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

How to defeat a long-serving government: lessons from Australia

Cross-posted from The Wardman Wire:

Politics doesn’t just happen in the US

Australian politics should be a fertile learning ground for those interested in British politics. Whilst it does not have the West Wing glamorous scale of US politics, it shares the US advantage of a common language – which makes access to political information much easier than for other countries. Moreover, unlike the USA, it has the mundane – but vital – importance of having a political system that in core elements is the same as Britain (two houses of Parliament, leader of the largest party in the lower house gets to be Prime Minister, no elected person more senior than the Prime Minister).

Both Australia and the US have had a long period of right-wing political dominance (Liberals and Republicans respectively), during which time the right seemed to have largely shifted the terms of political debate, come to dominate the vocabulary of issues and seen off an opposition that was often split between those who urged moderation and the centre ground as the sensible response to defeat and those who saw that very moderation as timidity and the cause of repeated defeat.

In both cases, the right finally lost – John McCain in 2008, Australian PM John Howard in 2007. But whilst lessons from the previous Democrat defeats and then Obama’s victory in 2008 have been commonly discussed in the UK, Australian politics does not get much of a look-in, although former Labour Cabinet Minister Alan Milburn was a key advisor during the 2007 Australian election. What are we missing by failing to look more often to Australia?

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments



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  • User AvatarFrank Little 30th Jul - 9:56am
    What are the accruals and deferred income? I see that total has gone up. (I think I understand the concept, that this is money that...
  • User AvatarRoland 30th Jul - 9:40am
    >" The government is currently in the process of building 170,000 new social and affordable homes, whilst we have set out plans for a further...
  • User AvatarCaracatus 30th Jul - 9:20am
    Well for a party with an income of £7.3 million - one might have hoped that somewhere on the party website there would be an...
  • User AvatarKaren Wilkinson 30th Jul - 9:14am
    I came across this yesterday: "arguably, the most disturbing manifestation of the politicisation of parenting is the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act. This grotesque...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 30th Jul - 9:13am
    Chris I think the simple answer is no. My assumption is that Ed Davey simply buckled under the power of the nuclear lobby and Tory...
  • User AvatarAlistair 30th Jul - 8:29am
    Its not actually the government building most of these homes anyway is it??? What houses does the government actually build these days? Perhaps some MOD...