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John Prescott’s shameful legacy

While the world debates the legacy of Tony Blair’s tempestuous leadership – 10 years on Wednesday – the legacy of his ridiculed deputy leader will come under far less scrutiny when he steps down. After all, what is there to say? What remarkable achievement has marked John Prescott’s term in office, one of the highest in the land, which limped from one...
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Meet Veronica, a reformed alcoholic

My name is Veronica and I am a reformed alcoholic. And I don’t want it to happen to you too, which is why I have trained as a therapist and launched a training programme. There has been considerable media coverage about Alcohol Concern’s idea recommending the prosecution of parents who allow under 15-year-olds to drink. However, I don’t believe prosecuting adults this way is...
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A day of human rights

Today I shall be in Cambridge participating in human rights debates, including ‘honour’ based violence against women, secret detention, children’s rights and the Israel-Palestine conflict. What better time to raise the mysterious disappearance of BBC reporter Alan Johstone which is causing increasing concern. Expert speakers will include activists and policy...
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Some green reasons to quit the Strasbourg travelling circus

If saving £200 million a year is not good enough reason to stop the ridiculous European Parliament’s travelling circus sitting in Strasbourg to simply appease the French, then how about on grounds of saving carbon emissions. A green study of the European Parliament’s two-seat operation, including environmental costs, transport and energy’, has shown this wasteful journey...
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Planning a Greek trip

I would like to take my mother Loula to Greece for a week next month, back to Thessaloniki, her birthplace. I’m planning to book a hotel via the internet and wondered which online site you would recommend for flights. I doubt I will be as lucky as Maalie and find a 1p flight which he has paid each way for a trip to Finland (read the comments). One of my favourite films is Shirley...
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Green is the new black

Who says celebrity endorsement doesn’t work?  I would have liked one of these £5 eco-friendly bleached cotton shopping bags too, but there was no way  I was going to get up early and queue,  even if Reese Witherspoon, Lily Allen and Alicia Silverstone carry them around. I’m delighted that these bags carry a simple green message to encourage the...
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Tears of joy turn to tears of sorrow

I send my deepest sympathy to our fearless campaigning MP Richard Bacon whose tears of ecstatic joy have turned to tears of unimaginable sorrow within the space of two days. On Monday, Richard’s wife gave Victoria gave birth to their first child. Tragically, his mother-in-law Elizabeth Panton died yesterday on a visit to see their baby son Rollo in a horrific accident. Doctors...
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Labour’s leadership row hots up

Daggers are already all but drawn in Labour’s leadership contest, with would-be contenders Michael Meacher and  John McDonnell publicly rubbishing each other’s claims. A campaign has also been launched on facebook called Stand Down Meacher by Labour blogger Grimmerupnorth, and has 125 members so far. It supports McDonnell as the only credible left candidate...
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Meeting my blogging hero

One of my first blogging heroes was – and still is – Neville Hobson and I am really looking forward to meeting him this evening for the first time when he speaks at this PR Unspun event in London. Neville is a master extraordinaire in the social media field, and is very much into virtual marketing. I am also looking forward to meeting Jacqui White, online communications...
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Sir Christopher Evans and the witch-hunt

I wonder if the Labour Party has returned the £1 million loaned to them by the benevolent Cambridge entrepreneur Sir Christopher Evans, who waits to hear whether charges will be made against him in the cash for honours row. He has hotly denied any wrong doing and believes there was a witch hunt against him, and has been waiting for Labour Party to repay his loan. Of the police investigation, he...
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EU laws crack down on internet trade

Are you familiar with consumer protection law in Lithuania or Romania? What about Spain or Greece? This may be a new requirement of EU legislation, which SmallBizPod highlights today – and could have a significant impact on small businesses who trade online. In a nutshell, it is all very well if you’re a multinational with an international legal department,...
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Robert and the EU treaty

  My MEP Robert Sturdy has a letter in today’s Times challenging the reasons for Tony Blair’s refusal to hold a referendum over the EU treaty. With Gordon Brown widely predicted to be Blair’s successor, I wonder if  Blair wants to push this through quickly as he knows  Brown has a much cooler approach to Europe – and we don’t even know what...
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Today’s "warm hearted" Russia

 A guest post by James Higham The historical moulding of the modern Russian Perhaps I’m not the one to ask about Russia on a number of  counts: as foreigners, Tom and I are both relatively sheltered, the mindless bureaucracy tends to be taken care of by those we’re associated with, we live better than the average citizen and we are eternally an object of interest. Forever...
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Road pricing trial and its sweetener for motorists

 Government plans about how it should trial its controversial road pricing scheme, despite protests from more than 1.8 million people who petitioned against it, is already having problems. My nearby city, Cambridge, is one of the cities lined up for this. Yet plans so far appear to be very poorly thought out, with the Government said to be looking for volunteers to try out its proposed...
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