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August 27th, 2011

A grubby tax deal with the Swiss, a spike in female unemployment and the end of Gaddafi in Libya: round up of political blogs for 20-26 August


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

August 27th, 2011

A grubby tax deal with the Swiss, a spike in female unemployment and the end of Gaddafi in Libya: round up of political blogs for 20-26 August


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Chris Gilson, Danielle Moran and Amy Mollett take a look at the week in political blogging.

Libya Conflict

As rebel forces close in on Colonel Gaddafi in Tripoli, Mike Smithson at wonders when the ‘rebels’ will cease to be ‘rebels’ to the rest of the world. Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary says that David Cameron should feel proud of how the campaign has played out, but Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog says that he should not rest on his laurels. Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy wonders if the end of the Gaddafi regime strengthens interventionist arguments.

Guido is critical of Ed Miliband’s performance throughout the Libya crisis, while Political Scrapbook accuses Conservative MP Louise Mensch of ‘smearing’ Ed Miliband over the no-fly zone proposals last March.

Colin Talbot at Whitehall Watch discusses the challenge of rebuilding Libya from a public management perspective.

UK tax deal with Switzerland

Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK leads the charge against George Osborne’s Swiss tax agreement and Left Foot Forward argues that the move will castrate international attempts at clampdowns on tax avoidance. Liberal Conspiracy expresses astonishment at the deal but Conservative Home cautiously considers it a success with the potential to yield £5 billion for HM Treasury. The Spectator also welcomes the deal while attacking Labour’s earlier attempts to tackle tax evasion.

Nick Shaxon at Treasure Island says that Dave Hartnett, HMRC’s permanent secretary for tax, should resign for his continuous lapses in judgment.


The FT’s Westminster Blog notes that this week’s net immigration figures will not make happy reading for Theresa May, while Labour List warns Conservatives against promising the electorate prizes the party can’t deliver. The Spectator argues that David Cameron deserves flak for creating the wrong narrative and George Eaton at The Staggers writes that the PM will only stem net migration if he convinces Britons to leave the country. Meanwhile, Left Foot Forward highlights the misleading coverage of immigration figures by some centre-right newspapers.

The economy, cuts and unemployment

Liberal Conspiracy asks where the feminist frontline of the anti-cuts movement is, as the number of unemployed women in the UK reaches the highest level since 1988. Liz Bolshaw at the Financial Times considers the market forces and government policies behind the figures.

John Redwood muses on the costs of the credit crunch, while Will Straw at Left Foot Forward says that we are at the bottom of the OECD’s growth league table. David Blanchflower at the New Statesman calls on Osborne to stop sneering and create a viable plan for growth.

Adam Lent at The Staggers says that the Chancellor should consider intervening to rectify some of the UK’s skill and innovation deficits, and Cormac Hollingsworth at Left Foot Forward looks at how close we might be to an unemployment rate of 10 per cent.

The coalition

Dee Doocey at Liberal Democrat Voice is critical of the government’s recent ‘knee-jerk’ policy responses and Mike Smithson at looks at whether the ‘Bombardier effect’ is causing the Conservatives to lose support to Labour in Derby. Guido predicts difficulties for Cameron at the next election and believes he will be a one-term Tory.

Conservative Home’s Tim Montgomerie bemoans the influence of the Liberal Democrats on Conservative election promises, while The Spectator fears that Nick Clegg is dousing the Coalition with yellow paint. There is good news for the Liberal Democrats who have managed a 4 per cent increase in the latest Ipsos-MORI poll (according to and the FT’s Westminster Blog wonders if Nick Clegg is preparing for conference season by flexing his liberal muscles.

Riots aftermath

Zoe Gruhn at the Institute for Government blogs on the kind of leadership required to deal with the riots and Liberal Democrat Voice gives an interesting overview of Tony Blair’s recent analysis, believing that the former Prime Minister is a “much better, more intuitive communicator” than David Cameron. However, Michael Meacher at Left Futures says that both Cameron and Blair are ‘muddle-headed’.

Human Rights

The Coffee House reports on David Cameron’s declaration that he plans to fight the Human Rights Act and its interpretation, pointing out further coalition frictions. Conor Gearty writes that Cameron is desperately trying to claw back support by “getting the old Europhobes excited and annoying the Lib Dems”.

George Eaton at The Staggers looks at the recent Human Rights law challenge to Scotland charging fees to English university students studying in north of the border. Joseph Willits at thetorydiary says that senior Tories are very critical of the Scottish government’s proposals.

And finally…

Political Scrapbook notes that the e-petition to release the government’s documents on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster has now reached 100,000 certificates, meaning that is likely to be debated in the House of Commons.

Robert Peston blogs on news that Andy Coulson was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by News International after he started working for the Tories.

The False Economy Blog details how provide private health providers are banking on the government driving patients into their hands.

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.