Dr Madsen Pirie, guest blogging at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog, reviews the first 100 days of the coalition government and finds that it has ‘outperformed most expectations’, while Paul Linford finds the government to be an heir to Blair and to Thatcher, and Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome looks at the dynamics of Clegg and the coalition.
Don Paskini at Liberal Conspiracy thinks that the government’s desire to introduce elected police commissioners may be an opportunity for the left. Dizzy Thinks is against a graduate tax and thinks that earnings are not necessarily linked to the degree you gain. David Taylor at Left Foot Forward looks at the concern of aid agencies over cuts to aid commitments that may be being planned by DfID. Tim Montegomerie at ConservativeHome makes a point of saying that William Hague will continue to highlight human rights abuses across the world, despite recent reports to the contrary.
Gordon MacMillan at Harry’s Place looks at the rumours that former Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy, may defect to Labour, while Iain Dale has some thoughts on Ed Milband’s involvement and David Herdson at politicalbetting.com reckons that Labour may have misplayed on the defection issue. Political Scrapbook has more info on how the story unfolded as well as Kennedy’s denials. Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy says that it was ‘unlikely’ that Kennedy would ever have defected to Labour.
Political Scrapbook charts Labour’s rises in the polls in Scotland. Welsh Labour is also doing well according to Daran Hill at Labour Uncut. David Blackburn at Coffee House says that it looks like David Miliband will win the Labour leadership in a few weeks. Tim Worstall is very much against Ed Miliband’s call for corporation tax discounts for those companies that provide employees with a Living Wage. Will Straw at Left Foot Forward says that Ed Balls is now likely to come third in the Labour leadership race, as Paul in Lancs at Though Cowards Flinch asks, ‘Is Ed Balls the new John Prescott?’.
Chris at The Blue Idea has a tongue-in-cheek accusation of copying for the Australians who are now facing a hung parliament, as the UK did in May. Iain Dale says that the anti-AV campaign starts now, while David Blackburn at Coffee House says that Nick Clegg may be sidelined in the pro-AV campaign. David Blackburn at Coffee House says that Nick Clegg doesn’t perform as well as David Cameron in Q&A sessions, while Politicalbetting.com has some revised figures on how the election would have run under AV – Lib/Con, and Lab/Lib coalitions would have been a real possibility.
Tom Harris MP at And another thing… wonders if it is not Nick Clegg’s (AV) referendum, then who’s is it? Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com says that it is unrealistic to expect Labour not to attack Nick Clegg. Peter Hoskin at Coffee House says that the next few months will be very important for Nick Clegg, with senior Lib Dems calling for more ‘policy wins’, while Iain Dale explores how the Lib Dems really feel about AV. However, Tom Harris MP at And another thing… does not think we will be facing a hung parliament at the next election.
John Redwood explores the concept of a ‘win’ for our forces in Afghanistan.
Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy discusses Boris Johnson’s apparent hypocrisy over double-digit pay rises.
David Blackburn at Coffee House says that Andy Burnham’s campaign is faltering, while Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy writes in support of Ed Miliband. Will Straw at Left Foot Forward says that Labour must stop targeting the Lib Dems and remember that their real enemy is the Conservatives, though Tom Harris MP at And another thing… says that the Lib Dems should expect these sorts of attacks now that they are in government. Michael Dugher at LabourUncut says that Labour should not count on a coalition implosion any time soon.
Ron Glatter at The Staggers says that the government is focussing on the Tory manifesto rather than the coalition agreement, while Peter Hoskin at Coffee House looks at the fairness of the coalition’s policies. Asa Bennett at Party Lines Blog says that a more coherent policy on immigration might have helped the Tories at the election, and Wat Tyler at Burning our Money says that Iain Duncan Smith must get benefit reform right
Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com looks at Ken Clarke’s popularity among Liberal Democrats. Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com says that the coalition’s net approval rating is now zero, while Guido sees the influence of Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell on coalition negotiations last May.
George Eaton at The Staggers looks at the likelihood of a ‘double-dip’ recession, and Tim Worstall reckons we should change the definition of poverty. Dr Eamonn Butler at the Adam Smith Institute’s Blog discusses a flat tax and benefit reform.
Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy says that thanks to the government’s cuts, the UK’s AAA Moody’s rating may be under threat.
Left Foot Forward and Liberal Conspiracy take a look at the IFS’s recent claim that Osborne’s budget is ‘clearly regressive’. John Redwood provides a spirited riposte to these findings, as does Paul Goodman at thetorydiary, although Sunder Katwala at Next Left suggests to coalition supporters that there is an alternative to ‘IFS denial’.
Katwala also explores the ‘equality landmine’ facing the Coalition whose approval ratings have turned negative according to George Eaton at The Staggers. James Forsyth at The Coffee House outlines five lessons for the Coalition that could arrest this slump.
The Staggers reports that the influential John Cruddas has endorsed David Miliband for the Labour leadership
Guido Fawkes explores the importance of controlling the idiom of the political debate in the wake of the IFS report, while The Coffee House examines Clegg’s fight back and Jim Pickard remembers a time ‘when the Tories praised the IFS’.
Liberal conspiracy reports that the Tories are selling access to ministers (a theme also explored at thetorydiary and by Jim Pickard’s Westminster Blog) and blogs on the contradiction ‘at the heart’ of David Miliband’s campaign to be the next Labour leader. Left Foot Forward quotes Ed Balls accusing the Milibands of ‘rerunning debates of the past’ and seeks to evaluate the contest as it enters its final stage. The Staggers suggests that John Cruddas’ endorsement of David Miliband has divided the left and Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com takes a look at how the Miliband brothers might approach the issue of Gordon Brown wanting to become shadow international development secretary
Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com looks at how upcoming media coverage might influence the Labour leadership election. George Eaton at The Staggers says that Ed Balls may be pitching for the shadow Chancellorship; Guido marks it as the end of his campaign for the leadership.
John Redwood takes issue with Ed Milliband that large public deficits will help to stimulate the economy, though Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy says that markets don’t reward spending cuts. Don Paskini at Liberal Conspiracy looks at the evidence and finds that higher benefit levels actually help people to find work.
Nicola Smith, guest blogging at Liberal Conspiracy says that Nick Clegg’s attempts to redefine ‘fairness’ are not convincing and Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome looks at Prime Ministerial security in Afghanistan.
Dizzy Thinks looks at the tactical acquisitions of some political domain names.
Guy Aitchison at The Staggers finds that there is still reason to be positive about the ‘Yes’ campaign in the AV referendum.