Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome says that victories in local elections and the AV referendum show that David Cameron is a winner, while Daniel Elton at Left Foot Forward says that these successes may give him a headache in 2015. Meanwhile, Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com says that Labour’s current polling means that a 2011 election is unlikely. Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary has ten observations on the first anniversary of the coalition.
John Redwood reckons that the Liberal Democrat’s unpopularity is because of their stance on tuition fees, rather than them being a ‘human shield’ for the Conservatives, though Jon Stone at Liberal Conspiracy disagrees somewhat. Paul Linford ponders whether Nick Clegg’s only option now is to join the Conservatives, as Jonathan Hunt at Liberal Democrat Voice outlines why the coalition will bring nothing but misery for Nick Clegg’s party, and identifies his main task as trying to produce a ‘radical, redistributive and left-leaning platform’ for a fairer society.
Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome reports that David Cameron and Nick Clegg have stated that they expect the coalition to last, while Marcus Booth at Left Foot Forward says the issue of Scottish independence means that David Cameron could be the last prime minister of the UK.
Sunder Katwala at Next Left has three theories as to why the Yes to AV campaign failed, and Andy May guest blogging at Liberal Conspiracy reveals how the Yes2AV campaign malfunctioned behind the scenes in a highly interesting and cutting blog post.
Professor Robert Hazell of UCL’s Constitution Unit, guest blogging at Left Foot Forward outlines the 5 steps Scotland would need to take before it could become independent. Charles Hoare at polticalbetting.com asks, can the Union be saved? John Lansman at Left Futures says that it is time to bury New Labour in Scotland, and Matthew Pitt at Left Foot Forward sums up some lessons that Labour must learn if they are to change peoples’ perceptions.
The NHS and health reform
Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary says that if the government does not reform the NHS, it will never get the budget under control. Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy says that this week, Labour needs to get its act together over the NHS, while George Eaton at The Staggers charts a possible Clegg u-turn on NHS policy (Dominic Browne at Left Foot Forward says that Clegg is ‘playfighting’).
Eamonn Smith at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog urges the government ‘not to backpedal’ on NHS reforms. Jonathan Todd at Labour Uncut says that the NHS reforms have not paused, while Nick Robinson asks, who’s saving the NHS from who? Political Scrapbook wonders if Andrew Lansley is about to lose a SpAD, and the latest poll of Lib Dem party members show that 73% are unhappy with the government’s NHS plans… no wonder Nick Clegg looks so sad.
George Eaton at The Staggers looks at David Willetts’ proposals to allow rich students to pay for extra places at universities, saying that the coalition cannot favour the richest students, while Dave Osler at Liberal Conspiracy says that these policies will not help to boost social mobility. In a very quick, u-turn Willetts backed out of these proposals, saying that university access is based on the ability to learn rather than to pay.
The economy and the banks
Jonathan Derbyshire at The Staggers reminds George Osborne that the UK is not Portugal in terms of its economic situation. Shamik Das at Left Foot Forward reports on some of Ed Balls’ recent critiques of the government’s economic policies, and Sunny Hundal at Left Foot Forward wonders when the Tories will admit that their growth strategies are not working.
According to Faisal Islam on Economics the great [economic] stagnation is here, with rising prices, inflation and low growth.
Dominic Browne at Left Foot Forward writes on the thousands of disabled people that took to the streets this week to protest ‘savage’ cuts to their benefits. Laura Woodhouse at the F-Word Blog writes, advocating fairer pay for the royal cleaners.
Samira Shackle of The Staggers reports that David Laws has been found guilty of breaching ‘around six’ expenses rules, which may hurt his chances of returning to the government.
Matt Cavanagh at The Staggers says that immigration is back as a ‘political football’.
The blogs were alight following the ‘Coalition Commemorative Calendar’ on the Labour home page, which highlights the major failings of the coalition’s first year.