Author Archives: Vittorio Trevitt

The Independent View: The upcoming election in Israel: the dawn of a new progressive era in Israeli politics?

For political progressives, the upcoming Israeli general election on the 17th of March may prove itself to be one of the most decisive in that country’s history, with most polls conducted in recent weeks pointing to a narrow victory for the centre-left alliance between the social-democratic Labor Party and the progressive liberal Hatnuah party. Not only would this mark the first time since 2001 that Labor has led an administration, but it will be one in which both liberals and socialists will be able to influence the drafting and passage of government legislation in the new Knesset, possibly marking the beginning of a new era of social-liberal reform in the State of Israel.

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The Independent View: The need for a new economic alternative

Mountain roadThe social impact of the measures introduced by the Coalition Government, as I highlighted in a previous article, has demonstrated the failure of a strategy based primarily on austerity, and lends credence to calls for an alternative economic strategy close to the heart of the rank and file of the Liberal Democrats, based on encouraging growth through measures such as tax cuts and increases in the minimum wage to stimulate consumer spending, and investment in public works such as roads, hospitals, and schools to create jobs and boost industrial activity.

Criticisms have been levelled against those who call for expansionary, Keynesian-style measures to encourage growth, arguing that the additional output generated would not yield enough tax revenue to finance tax reductions or higher government spending.

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The Independent View: The Coalition Government’s economic strategy – time for a rethink?

Credit: Freefoto.com

The global financial crisis of 2008 has left Britain facing one of the most difficult periods in its economic history, as characterised by falling real wages and deepening poverty amongst the poorest members of our society. The actions taken by the Coalition Government since taking office in 2010 have arguably done little to tackle the social consequences of the economic downturn and have, in fact, exacerbated these problems, casting doubts on the validity of the government’s economic strategy as a whole.

Business groups have expressed a lack of confidence in the Coalition’s shambolic handling of the economy during much of its time in office. In November 2012, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation awarded the government 5 out of 10 points in its record on creating jobs and opportunities, noting that the government’s decision to cut back on work experience in schools and careers advice could reduce the prospects of young people entering the workforce, while a senior Conservative politician in April 2013 accused George Osborne of caution and timidity by not taking bolder measures in restoring the country’s economic health. The Coalition’s economic strategy also came under fire a year ago from the IMF, which drew attention to the country’s lacklustre economic performance, with output 3% less than it was in 2008.

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The Independent View: Could the USA’s November mid-term elections herald the return of the long-fabled “Liberal Hour”?

USA Flag - Some rights reserved by freefotoukThe November mid-term elections in the United States will be vital for the future of the Democratic Party, as it not only seeks to retain its control of the Senate, but possibly reclaim the House of Representatives after four years under Republican control.

If it wishes to do so, the Democrats must be clear in what it stands for in social policy, and carry out a programme of major liberal reform that fulfils the promises of hope and change that Barack Obama evoked amongst so …

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The Independent View: Pierre Trudeau and the Just Society – lessons for Canadian liberals today

Canada flag License Some rights reserved by archer10 (Dennis)The general election expected to be held in Canada next year will be a decisive one for the Lib Dem’s Canadian counterpart, the Liberal Party of Canada, as it faces the prospect of returning to office after more than eight years in the political wilderness.

With a recent poll showing the governing Conservatives trailing behind the Liberals, the party’s leader Justin Trudeau stands a good chance of becoming the first Canadian Liberal prime minister since 2006.

However, if Justin Trudeau …

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The Independent View: Remembering Willy Brandt, the chancellor of change

Willy BrandtThis May marked the 40th anniversary of the resignation of Willy Brandt, chancellor of West Germany from 1969 to 1974, in the wake of a political scandal in which a close aide was revealed to be a spy for East Germany.

Despite the way in which he was forced to leave office, Brandt and his government (a coalition of socialists and liberals) left behind a legacy of radical reform that had turned West Germany into a fairer society, and remains an inspiration to progressives today.

Elected in 1969, Brandt inspired many people with his calls for greater democracy and experiments in the domestic sphere. Over the next five years, Brandt’s socialist-liberal government did much to meet people’s expectations for change.

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The Independent View: Lester Pearson and the triumph of progressive change in Canada

Canada flag License Some rights reserved by archer10 (Dennis)For many progressives, America’s northern neighbour Canada has long been associated with progressive social change, with successive governments of the past century introducing such policy innovations as universal family allowances, supplementary pensions, and free health care. 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the election of the innovative Liberal government of Lester Pearson. Holding office from 1963 to 1968, the Pearson Government implemented a programme of social reform that not only led to the emergence of Canada’s contemporary welfare state, but arguably …

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  • User Avatarexpats 17th Jun - 10:06am
    .............Depressing to read #ClimateChange deniers appear to be biggest funders of both Johnson & Hunt campaigns; yet not surprising......... Ed, perhaps you'd like to comment...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Jun - 9:39am
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/23/thomas-mair-found-guilty-of-jo-cox-murder Fake news reports that the murderer was mentally ill are wrong because all murder suspects are interviewed by psychiatrists. If he had been mentally...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Jun - 9:19am
    Please also comment on a stationary municipal dustcart idling for an hour while residents bring garden waste. The entire system needs to run for heating...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 17th Jun - 9:07am
    Mr Clarke, of course, was also a student at Nottingham HS. So was Ed Balls. An old friend of mine, who was IC rugby at...
  • User AvatarAdrian Sanders 17th Jun - 8:47am
    OnceALIbDem - His appeal to be readmitted is being heard next Sunday by the Party's Standards Committee.
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 17th Jun - 8:26am
    Ian Warren has calculated from the Euro results that we might win 97 seats. Our sight on 50 would be wasting a unique opportunity. I...