In a budget full of gloomy forecasts, downgrades, missed targets and broken rules, the gloomiest perhaps was the significant cut to productivity forecasts by the OBR. Significant because the lower forecasts for productivity are what has led to the lower growth forecasts, and significant also because George Osborne’s so-called Long Term Economic Plan has clearly failed to deal with this long-term problem which is getting much much worse on his watch.

Shabana speaking in the House of Commons

Article on Muslim Women in response to David Cameron January 2016 (First published in the Birmingham Mail)

I hate to break it to David Cameron. We Muslims don't spend half as much time thinking about him as he does about us. We're a bit busy getting on with our basically ordinary lives, going to work, picking up the kids from school, being excited about Star Wars. Life.

Maybe if he spent a bit more time among "us" rather than just thinking esoterically about our lives, maybe he would understand "us" just a bit more.

Stats from Military Court Watch, obtained from official Israeli sources.
As of end Nov. 2015 (latest available figures), there were 407 Palestinian children in Israeli detention facilities. Of those, 4 were children aged 12 or 13; 77 were aged 14 or 15; and 291 were aged 16 or 17.  Of the total, 5 kids were held under ‘administrative detention’ orders (i.e. without charge or trial, and usually on the basis of secret evidence).

Yesterday's manufacturing figures are bad news for Britain - and it's nothing to do with the global economy.

Yerday morning saw the release of the Office for National Statistics’ Index of Production bulletin for November 2015, which showed up a pretty dire situation as far as manufacturing is concerned. Although these figures received some comment, they passed largely unnoticed, I guess not surprisingly as much of the political agenda was dominated by the junior doctors’ strike.

Letter from Shabana to The Sun

The Sun Editor Tony Gallagher has agreed to meet MP Shabana Mahmood following the publication at the end of last year of a Sun front page which said "1 in 5 Brit Muslims' sympathy for jihadis". The story, which was published 23rd November led to thousands of complaints to the UK Press Regulator 

Shabana wrote on behalf of a number of MPs to ask for a meeting and highlighted a number of concerns about the article. In particular 

Shabana Mahmood MP has asked the Government to do more to help people in this constituency get back to work. Shabana has challenegd the Government to do more to identify the barriers to work at the beginning of an assessment so that  people get the help they need much quicker. This is better for the person seeking work and better for the state's finances too.