Owen Jones: Stop the sneering – Ed Miliband’s best route to young voters is Russell Brand | Owen Jones

The Labour leader is trying to reach young people who feel politics has little to offer them. And Brand has 10 million followers on Twitter

Here’s how the media world works. It discriminates not on the basis of talent, but on the basis of how much wealth your parents have. Unpaid internships and expensive postgraduate qualifications act as filters: no wonder, according to a government study last year, over half of the top British journalists are privately educated in a country where 93% of us attend state schools. All too many of these commentators live in a bubble, patting each other on the back, largely agreeing on the big political issues of the day, quibbling only over nuances. They see themselves as sober, grown-up, mature commentators, and those who deviate from the status quo as rather immature, childish and predictable.

Related: David Cameron mocks Ed Miliband over Russell Brand interview

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Anthony Hilton: Japan’s economic recovery is an example to us all – Evening Standard


Evening Standard

Anthony Hilton: Japan’s economic recovery is an example to us all
Evening Standard
Anthony Hilton: Japan’s economic recovery is an example to us all. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is introducing measures to help small business grow (Picture: Reuters). Anthony Hilton. Published: 28 April 2015. Updated: 14:26, 28 April 2015. When

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Dave Hill | The Guardian: Diane Abbott: defending Hackney North with half an eye on City Hall

One of London Labour’s best-known politicians should easily hold her seat before moving on to the tougher fight to become the capital’s next mayor

Thanks to the outstanding Hackney Citizen newspaper, hustings were held at Dalston’s Arcola Theatre on Sunday, one for each of Hackney borough’s two parliamentary seats. Labour will win both comfortably, which may suggest that the hustings were a waste of time. They were not. If anything, the difficulty of the other parties’ tasks made it all the more important that their arguments were heard. That’s democracy, a precious thing. What’s more, showing up meant I saw the national leader of the Animal Welfare Party do her stuff. Beat that.

I was, though, mostly there to hear what Diane Abbott had to say. She’s been the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987 (and has therefore represented me in the House of Commons since I moved from Homerton, which lies in Hackney’s other parliamentary seat, to Clapton in 1992). She might not be doing that job for too much longer, though. Abbott would like to become London’s next mayor and has said that after the general election she will formally enter the contest to be selected as Labour’s candidate to fight for City Hall in 2016. That selection contest will begin in short order after the big national vote on May 7.

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Dave Hill | The Guardian: Brixton’s anti-gentrification protest: identifying the problems is one thing, fixing them is another

The Reclaim Brixton demonstration expressed fears that the area’s character is being diluted and displaced. But the Foxtons estate agent is unlikely to go away, and the people it sells houses to won’t stop coming, argues Dave Hill

On paper, stopping gentrification is easy. At last Saturday’s Reclaim Brixton demonstration in south London, a list of solutions was written on three wide lengths of the stuff, taped to a wall in Windrush Square. Most focused on housing and the policies of local, Labour-run Lambeth Council: “Build more houses for working people”; “rent caps”; “Lambeth to stop evictions”; Lambeth to “prioritise repair of estates over ‘regeneration’”. Someone expressed the wish for a council scheme to protect small businesses deemed representative of “the community”. There was also an assertion, echoed throughout the day, that “Lambeth is not for sale”.

These missives expressed the views of specific local campaigns, but also illuminated the force fuelling anxieties about gentrification in many parts of the capital – the rising value of property and land and the rapid social changes this is driving.

Whose moral ground is the higher?

This is about big politics and I don’t think an individual council can solve it

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