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After Paris, More Vigilance!

Friday 20th November: The attackers may be social outsiders, the problem may be failed integration, but the only response can be sustained vigilance, says Professor Robert Tombs.
Once again France is faced with an Islamist terrorist attack, the second in Paris in under a year. That against Charlie Hebdo in January was targeted against blasphemers. The seemingly indiscriminate attack last Friday was also targeted - according to the statement later put out by IS - but this time against ‘hundreds of apostates gathered in a profligate prostitution party’ in the ‘rotten alleys’ of ‘the capital of prostitution and obscenity’ - in other words, young people indifferent to differences of race, religion and gender having a good time in a mildly bohemian part of Paris. I am reminded of the failed London car bomb placed outside a nightclub in 2005 ‘to kill slags’.

Britain and the EU - A Wild Ride to Political Union?

Friday 13th November: This week the prime minister’s proposals for renegotiating Britain’s relations with the EU reached Parliament, opening the nation's debate on what next. Here, one of Britain's most distinguished parliamentarians, The Rt Hon John Redwood MP, explains that for the Eurozone, the future is political union. But that destination is one to which Britain does not want to go. As John Redwood writes: 

Private Rights v Public Snooping

Private Rights v Public Snooping -
Protecting the Individual with a UK Bill of Rights

Come Clean with the People ... And Parliament will give you a fair ride!

That’s the message for the government from parliament’s vote on tax cuts.
Monday 2nd November: A week is a long time in politics, as Lord McFall notes following the House of Lords rejecting the procedure adopted by the government to get the tax credit cuts through.  The problem for the government was that it sought to avoid a proper parliamentary debate and so emerged with a bloody nose –not on the substance but because it sought to avoid normal channels of debate. Here Lord McFall, who chaired the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee during the last Labour government, reflects on the message from Parliament and the country.
There he was, walking tall but now walking small. Yes, indeed, for George Osborne a week has been a long time in Politics. And how did this fall come about?
Forget the nonsense of a constitutional crisis, both the speaker of the House of Commons and the distinguished former clerk of the House of Common, Robert Rogers, now Lord Lisvane, have been explicit in stating that the constitutional angle raised by the government is a hullabaloo.

When Parliament Speaks...the Government must listen

When Parliament Speaks ..

…the Government must listen


Friday 30th October: This week the House of Lords voted against the government’s proposals for cutting tax credits.


A debate in the Commons followed, and a vote was carried with no opposition, backed by MPs of all political colours. The House of Commons thereby sent an unequivocal message to the chancellor: the welfare bill CAN be cut, but without punishing hard work. This was not ‘party political’. Nor was it a vote against welfare cuts or the reform on which all agree. 


In this week’s blog The Rt Hon Frank Field MP, who tabled that Commons motion explains how the chancellor can have his cake and eat it. He will be followed next week by Lord McFall, who formerly chaired the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee to explain what lay behind the vote in the Lords, Frank Field writes:


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