The economy and the eurozone
The False Economy blog notes that the cuts are now starting to take effect, and the figures are terrible. Nicola Smith at the TUC’s Touchstone Blog wonders if falling living standards are inevitable as Clare McNeil of the IPPR, guest blogging at Left Foot Forward, argues that the economic outlook is getting bleaker for the North, Wales, and Scotland
Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK argues that only immediate nationalisation of the banks will restore any hopes of recovery and Left Foot Forward speculates that the Chancellor is preparing to U-turn on economic cuts and introduce ‘plan A+’. Paul Goodman writing for thetorydiary calls for the Coalition to embrace David Laws once again and allow him to head the drive for growth. Duncan Weldon provides good and bad news on the UK’s trade balance.
The Economist’s Bagehot warns British Conservatives that the current Eurozone crisis should not be seen as a golden opportunity and Faisal Islam notes that politicians are floundering in the face of the coming economic storm. Paul Mason muses on the possibility of a German ‘Marshall Plan’.
The Vickers Commission
There is a great deal of comment this week on the report of the Vickers Commission into reforming the banking system. Samira Shackle at The Staggers examines what the report means, while Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog has a ten-second guide. Jonathan Todd at Labour Uncut says that Labour would go beyond the Vickers recommendations, and Joe Cox at Left Foot Forward reckons it lacks bite.
Dick Newby at Liberal Democrat Voice says that the report is a victory for the Lib Dems, while Tim Shipman at the Mail’s Chapman & Co argues that the report is a favour to George Osborne, given that its 2019 implementation date will avoid a showdown with Vince Cable.
Jon Snow wonders why, so far, no bankers have been arrested.
The coalition and the parties
Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary looks at the Guardian’s leak of Conservative plans to woo back female voters, while Laura Woodhouse at the F-Word blog suggests how the goverment could really support women.
Anthony Painter writing for Labour Uncut considers the Purple Book to be a clear expression of democratic republican sentiment while The Staggers warns that the party must be wary of becoming a conservative force stuck in the 1990s. Samira Shackle at Left Foot Forward says that a new poll shows that voters just cannot ‘see Ed Miliband in power’. The Staggers writes that party leaders must target the “strivers” to ensure success in the next election.
TUC Conference and the Unions
Faisal Islam looks at this week’s TUC Conference, prediciting that there will be a call for mass public sector strikes later on this year. After Ed Miliband is booed at the conference, Samira Shackle at The Staggers says that was his intention – potentially giving him a wider appeal outside of the union forum. Andy Newman at Left Futures is rather upbeat about Miliband’s performance.
Paul Goodman at thetorydiary says that we should be very afraid – the boundary review is coming. After the review is leaked on Monday, there is much speculation about who the losers will be (Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com says one might be Nadine Dorries). On Tuesday morning, The Staggers has a round up of what the changes might mean for each party (Anthony Wells at UK Polling Report has the numbers too). Stephen Tall at Liberal Democrat Voice finds that only 7 our of the 57 Liberal Democrat MPs are unaffected by the changes.
Conor Ryan at Conor’s Commentary finds the boundary review and reduction of MPs from 650 to 600 to be pointless. With the fall in MPs, Liberal Democrat Voice’s Mark Pack is keen to see the number of Ministers reduced as well.
In a comment piece in The Independent, Andreas Whittam Smith writes that 9/11 left a legacy of dictatorial and dysfunctional government in the UK, in a powerful look back at the events following the attack. thetorydiary cover David Cameron’s acceptance that Britain and the US lost some “moral authority” over their response to the attacks.
Guido looks at allegations concerning George Osborne and cocaine use from the 1990s and Matthew Barrett at thetorydiary ponders David Cameron’s missed opportunity to be a KGB agent. Ballots and Bullets find that the phone hacking scandal has caused the public’s trust in journalists to crash but faith in politicians has improved.