Labour’s Future Jobs Fund was a roaring success. Tory Liberals who scrapped it have let down a generation

Labour’s shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms MP has responded to a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) impact analysis of the Future Jobs Fund, which shows the programme had a net benefit to society of £7,750 per participant. The Government looks like it is doing its best to hide this evidence – LINK

In contrast, the Government’s flagship Work Programme is not meeting targets – LINK

On the Andrew Marr show, David Miliband MP claimed that the Work Programme was all Programme and no Work.

Why I am voting No to AV this Thursday

This Thursday, I will be voting No in the referendum vote to change the way we elect our MPs.

I don’t see why people who voted for a candidate who came bottom in a contest should have equal footing with the votes of people who voted for the top two candidates. The principle of one person one vote, does not exist with AV.

AV signals a shift from favouring most popular candidate to favouring the least unpopular. MPs will not reveal their true beliefs and convictions as they would be scared that 50% of people in their constituency will not support them anymore.

Many find it hypocritical that the Labour Party and Conservative Party both use elements of AV to elect their leaders but the Tories and many from Labour are not supporting this system to elect MPs. However, using this system to elect your Party leader where voting is a vote among colleagues and there is a broad agreement with ideology between all candidates up for selection, and selecting an MP where people up for election have radically varying ideologies is completely different.

To put it simply, I have no worries whatsoever that someone who voted Diane Abbott in the Labour leadership contest in 2010 had equal value to people who voted Ed Miliband or David Miliband. But I have an issue when it comes to electing MPs and people who voted for the British National Party having their vote eventually counting for equal value with people who voted for either of the top two candidates.

I also disagree that AV will end safe seats for life. I believe that it will get end some seats being safe, but I also believe that it will create some safe seats. For example, if we take the results of Brent Central at the last election which you can see here (LINK), under AV, Brent Central is likely to be a safe Lib Dem seat once Tory votes are redistributed rather than a hotly contested marginal where MPs can genuinely be held to account.

I agree that there is a case to change from First Past the Post, but AV is the wrong change. I feel there are more proportional systems out there, like the one we use to elect our London Assembly which keeps the constituency MP to voter link on a First Past The Post basis, but also has a strong element of Proportional Representation with a top up list vote.

I could go on, but I hope this Thursday, you will all go out and join me in voting No to AV.

Was it a surprise Ed Miliband stood as a candidate in the first place?

Following the Labour Leadership result, the Willesden and Brent Times contacted me for my thoughts on Ed Miliband being elected new leader of the Labour Party. They did not publish them, so the comments may as well go to use some place, so I have been publishing my responses to their questions on my blog.

Did you expect Ed to put himself forward after David Miliband had done?

I couldn’t see why not. I think it’s a strong testament to the talent that we have in the Party that we were able to field 5 really good candidates.

Does the battle between the brothers undermine Ed as leader?

Following the Labour Leadership result, the Willesden and Brent Times contacted me for my thoughts on Ed Miliband being elected new leader of the Labour Party. They did not publish them, so the comments may as well go to use some place, so I have been publishing my responses to their questions on my blog.

Do you think the battle between the brothers undermines Ed as leader?

I think it makes him stronger. David has gracefully accepted the result and come out in full support for his brother as leader and I’m sure that those who supported David will also accept the final result and unite behind Ed.

Ed Miliband is the new leader of the Labour Party

After a long leadership contest, Ed Miliband was today elected leader of the Labour Party. It must have been difficult for all contenders and hats off to all who have proven that they are all assets to our party.

I for one am glad it is over as it allows for the Leadership candidates and their volunteers and supporters to move on from the contest and concentrate on providing effective opposition and challenging the unfair, unjust and discriminatory actions of this Coalition Government.

Ed Miliband is the change candidate. Untarnished by the Blair vs Brown battles, and a critic of some of Labour’s failings in Government, as well as a supporter of our successes and I fully support him as the new leader of our Party.