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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Leadership - the days ahead...
Jon Sopel
Jon Sopel
Presenter
The Politics Show

Hello again...

Hard to believe, but the Labour deputy leadership contest is entering its final week.

The six Deputy Leadership candidates

Do you remember that ridiculous Downing Street memo suggesting that Tony Blair, in his final weeks, should do a final UK tour leaving the audience gasping for more?

I wonder whether people will be begging for more from the six in the contest to be Gordon Brown's deputy. No? No, I didn't think so.

Caring childcare?

Baby's feet
Childcare in Labour's hands?

Is Labour's childcare policy harming our children?

One of New Labour's proudest claims is to have done much to help young families.

Its strategy has been to encourage mums back to work after their children are born.

To tempt them, they've introduced Sure Start, working tax credits, voucher schemes and free part-time nursery places from the age of three.

But psychologist, Oliver James, believes many young children are distressed by their time in nursery and that New Labour's strategy is a "men in skirts" version of feminism - vigorously hostile to parents being at home when their children are small.

The Politics Show follows Esther, from Manchester, on her first day back at work. Her daughter is four-months-old and it's her first day at a nursery.

She'd love to have stayed at home longer - but she can't pay the mortgage without her salary.

Her statutory maternity leave would be 112.75. She says that's not enough to make ends meet.

For Esther, it is a very emotional day indeed.

Family Party

Harriet Harman
Harman: Labour - family friends..?

David Cameron thinks he can position the Conservatives as Britain's family friendly party.

This week, he promised to make 'flexible working' a right for every parent in Britain.

And this is the party that used to sound like the political wing of the CBI!

One of Labour's Deputy Leadership contenders, Harriet Harman, believes she's the candidate best placed to stop Cameron in his tracks.

She'll be with me in the studio - defending her party's claim to be the friend of the family.

Back from the dead

Tony Blair
Blair - not in the political shadows yet...

This week, Bob Monkhouse came back from the dead.

Four years after he died from prostate cancer he "appeared" in an advert raising awareness of the disease that killed him.

A bit of clever editing of old footage was all that was needed.

And it appears that the same thing is true of the so-called Euro Constitution.

In 2005, the European Constitution was stone dead after it was rejected by the French and Dutch.

But now it's back.

It's been re-edited, re-branded a "mini-treaty" - but many of its original features remain intact.

This week, Tony Blair will be in Brussels negotiating the details.

It's his last summit as Prime Minister.

And while they're signing Tony's leaving card, all the other European leaders will be wondering how Gordon Brown is going to react.

As usual, the Politics Show's Europe correspondent, Paola Buonadonna, will be able to tell them what to expect.

Waiting for Gordo

George Osborne
Osborne - how the Tories will duck and dive in the ring against Brown

On Sunday 24 June in a special edition of the Politics Show, I'll be talking to Gordon Brown.

It's the day on which he will be confirmed as Leader of the Labour Party and the next Prime Minister.

Effectively, it's his first interview in the top job.

So how are the Tories going to take him on? What's their strategy?

How are they going to avoid being crushed by that "big, clunking fist"?

The Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, will be telling me of their new thinking.

The Barker Gallery: Blair's legacy... The Great Leveller



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