How to Solve a Problem Like Maria

Less than a quarter of Britons trust MPs. This worrying fact was published in an IPSOS/Mori poll in December 2013. If you polled the same people today, that figure would be below a fifth, thanks to the renewed scandal Maria Miller has brought to the Commons. Our perfectly innocent (according to the PM), Culture Secretary, made a minor mistake in the expenses she claimed to pay her mortgage interest, to the tune of £45,000. All the British public got in return was a 32 second apology, and Mrs Miller repaid a paltry £5,800 of the money she 'mistakenly' claimed.

School for Creative Startups; Take Note Mr Gove

Despite superficially positive figures regarding unemployment coming out in the past few months, let's be clear, there is a massive employment crisis in the United Kingdom. We have unemployment at 6.8%, with a further 500,000 people in work being underemployed and a shocking 2% of the workforce on zero hours contracts with no certain earnings from week to week. This is not a stable situation for the nation, for working people or for the economy.

Katie Hopkins; the Worst of Middle Class Britain

Time and time again, Britain's favourite rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins stirs up controversy by spewing bile on daytime TV or on her Twitter feed. Hopkins can't be overly committed to her business; Katie Hopkins LTD is worth less than £0, so she must use her time in some other manner, primarily, creating controversy for controversy's sake. Much like the Weeping Angels, which cease to exist when you look away, Hopkins too ceases to exist when not in the forefront of the public consciousness; she needs the oxygen of publicity. Her business prowess is obviously limited, otherwise her business might have positive net worth, thus she turns her 'talents' to being Britain's premier caricature of bigotry, her productivity measured in terms of people she offends and groups she belittles.

Andy Burnham, Save Our NHS!

Our healthcare system is in crisis. Since 2010, the policies of our coalition government have inflicted huge damage on our National Health Service, and unless we act as a nation to remedy this, the damage to our NHS could prove to be irreversible. Over the past 4 years, our NHS has seen real terms cuts in its budget, which though in absolute terms is roughly unchanged, inflation has eroded its value. This government has been the first to cut the NHS budget in real terms over the course of a parliament ever. Even under the IMF-enforce austerity of the 1970s and the Thatcher government we did not see a real terms cut over the course of a Parliament. Since 2010, the NHS budget has increased by 9%, yet inflation from 2010 to present has been over 13%, meaning our NHS has had a 4% real terms cut over this Parliament,

Labour Should Engage the North Too

Political engagement is the issue du jour on the first day of the 2014 Labour Party conference in Manchester. In her speech to open the conference, Angela Eagle MP, she discussed her experiences whilst campaigning to save the Union in Scotland. She said a lot of Scots are simply sick of Westminster, sick of the British Parliament. In it they see little relevant to their lives, instead, they see a political class that looks the same, sounds broadly the same and does not represent them. However, this is not just the view of Scots, across the rest of the UK, disengagement with the political system and Westminster is rife.

A Flat Atmosphere at Labour's Conference

There has been a flat atmosphere this week at the Labour Party Conference. New and exciting policy announcements have been few and far between, there has been very little to galvanise the grassroots eight months before a general election. It is likely that the most memorable announcements from Manchester this week will be Ed Ball's plans to commit to no borrowing for capital spending and to extend freezes on child benefit. Not exactly policies to create a triumphant mood that will carry Miliband into office.