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May 21st, 2011

Demands for Ken Clarke’s head over rape comments, Cameron pushes NHS reforms and an elected chamber for the Lords?: round up of political blogs for 14 May – 20 May


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

May 21st, 2011

Demands for Ken Clarke’s head over rape comments, Cameron pushes NHS reforms and an elected chamber for the Lords?: round up of political blogs for 14 May – 20 May


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Chris Gilson, Paul Rainford and Amy Mollett take a look at the week in political blogging

Ken Clarke’s rape law reform remarks

Ken Clarke gets into an almighty tangle with his comments on rape, and the Coffee House wonders whether he has signed his own political death certificate. Ed Miliband is quick to jump on this issue at PMQs and The Staggers notes that he didn’t miss the open goal. Liberal Conspiracy blogs on the government’s twists and turns as the story unfolds, and considers whether rape is indeed rape in law.

The results of a YouGov poll conducted during the 48 hours after Ken Clarke made his comments show that 47% of those asked believe he should resign, as The Coffee House notes that another policy U-turn may be on the cards.

Grace Fletcher-Hackwood at Labour List believes that David Cameron should have sacked Clarke at “No it’s not”.

At Liberal Conspiracy, Emma Poole, a rape survivor, suggests that Clarke might redeem himself through not cutting domestic violence courts and adding charges to the act of rape. Angry Mob dissects Richard Littlejohn’s remarks on the debate.

Ed Miliband outlines why he was right to demand that Clarke be sacked in a comment piece for The Independent. The Coffee House notices the Labour leader’s newfound approval in The Sun.

Electoral Reform

David Herdson at ponders if the Liberal Democrats made the wrong call by pushing for the referendum as Anthony Barnett at Liberal Conspiracy picks up on the lessons emerging from the “debacle” of the Yes to AV campaign.

According to Ben Cobley at Labour Uncut, Labour must end its obsession with marginal seats in order to reengage with voters.

Guest blogging at Left Foot Forward, Rob Marchant finds that Scotland’s nationalist and independence might have a parallel with movements in Catalonia, while Jan Boucek blogging at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog, doesn’t reckon that Scotland is worth ‘our’ money. Ed Jacobs at Left Foot Forward takes a look at different scenarios for Scottish independence.

As Nick Clegg sets out his proposals for Lords reform (seen here at thetorydiary), but the Westminster Blog points out that the proposed “elected” chamber would still contain a fair few non-elected members. Lord Tom McNally at Liberal Democrat Voice sizes up the scale of the task ahead for proponents of reform.

The Coalition and the parties

Paul Goodman at thetorydiary examines why the government is missing its departmental targets and deadlines, according to its business plans.

Sunder Katwala at Next Left covers Vince Cable’s warnings of a ‘new tribalism’ at the weekend’s Fabian Conference, while The Blue Labour pamphlet was released this week and you can find a link to it here at Liberal Conspiracy.

Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary says that a new poll has found that Cameron could gain a majority at the next election – if can convince voters on the NHS and crime. Liberal Conspiracy breaks down Lord Ashcroft’s plans to deliver a ‘Conservative majority’ in 2015, and suggests ways in which Labour can counter.

The Queen in Ireland

Left Foot Forward looks at the security, symbolism and history of the Queen’s visit to Ireland. Hazel Nolan provides an eye witness account.

Foreign Aid Targets

Thetorydiary comments on another clash between Liam Fox and David Cameron as a leaked letter from the Defence Secretary challenges the coalition’s commitment to enshrine the 0.7% GNP target for aid spending into law. The Staggers ponders the political consequences of the spat and Liberal Conspiracy wonders whether this will prompt another U-turn from the PM.  David Taylor at Left Foot Forward writes an open letter to David Cameron to remind him of the importance of the 0.7% target.

The NHS and health reform

Mike Smithson at says voters are 4:1 against Andrew Lansley’s proposed reforms.

Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy wonders if David Cameron’s speech on the NHS will be able to avert the car-crash of the reforms, while The Staggers comments on Nick Clegg’s attack on David Cameron over the NHS reforms.

Daniel Elton at Left Foot Forward is worried that more competition in the NHS might push up healthcare costs.

The economy

New figures show inflation at 4.5%, largely as a result of tax and duty changes introduced in the last budget. In response, The Coffee House writes that inflation bites back and Liberal Conspiracy sense that this could spell disaster for the Chancellor. Tony Dolphin at Left Foot Forward argues that this news should not be the prompt for an increase in interest rates.

Guido Fawkes previews Saturday’s ‘Rally Against Debt’ in Westminster, though Political Scrapbook reports a disappointing turnout.

Peter Watt at Labour Uncut says that it is time for Labour to stop fighting the cuts, but Mark Ferguson at Labour List argues that the party would be finished if it followed this line.

Chris Dillow at Liberal Conspiracy has a few reasons why he thinks that Thatcherism is dead, at least in an economic sense.

Tim Horton at Left Foot Forward looks at efforts to co-opt the posters used in the ‘No-to-AV’ campaign to argue against the cuts, while the False Economy blog looks closely at new research showing how cuts will increase inequality between men and women.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the IMF

As Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigns from the IMF, Women’s Views on News report that Strauss-Kahn has also now been accused of hiring prostitutes whilst in New York.

Left Foot Forward presents the case for Gordon Brown taking over at the IMF, supporting the “leadership and vision” that he could bring to the role. The Coffee House think Brown’s chances are slim seeing as the coalition are steadfastly opposed to him.

And finally…

Left Foot Forward blogs on the Police Federation Chief’s accusation that Theresa May’s policies have sent the police force careering towards possible meltdown.

Helen Lewis-Hasteley at The Staggers looks at allegations that Energy Secretary Chris Huhne may have asked an associate to except speeding penalty points for him.

Michael Meacher at Left Futures is concerned that the government’s ambitious carbon reduction targets, made this week, will not be met.

Former environment minister Elliot Morley has been jailed for 16 months after claiming more than £30,000 in the expenses scandal.

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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.