No one made the case for elected mayors

May 31

This afternoon Michael Fallon and Ed Balls were on Radio 5, discussing the local election results. After a bit of Punch and Judy stuff, Balls was asked about the underwhelming demand for elected mayors. His response was, in tribal terms, a bit of a blinder: “David Cameron said it would mean Borises up and down the country – the...

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The most expensive boarding school of them all

May 31

‘“It’s all a joke. All I do with the parole officers is pretend to look like I care.” I remember how surprising I found Nathan’s words, five years ago now. I met him after he’d been released from Rochester – the first man I’d ever met in that situation. He’d been left with a £53 warrant, a license with a...

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This investigation is about more than Mark Duggan

May 31

Few people realise that the first riot in Tottenham didn’t happen in August 2011. It happened in the April of that year, in Northumberland Park, when a few police officers were attacked by a group of thirty or so men, after they saw a man being stopped by them. It got a couple of lines in the local press: it just wasn’t anything out of...

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The issues surrounding youth crime

May 31

We all love the idea of local solutions when it comes to dealing with crime. The left love it: only this weekend the increasingly admirable Stella Creasy’s Mayoral Youth Crime Pledge got an excited response from community leaders. The right love it: this morning Nick Herbert performed a volte-face of relatively shocking proportions –...

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Can Andy Burnham save our mental health services?

May 31

One day, when I was a teen, I started to cut myself, making thin little slits on my ankles and arms with a penknife. I stopped sleeping. I started to hear strange noises and voices in my head at night. Then I started to fall out with everyone at school; I found myself dipping into a weird sense of ecstasy: watching myself saying and doing...

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