Avery Hancock, Danielle Moran, and Amy Mollett take a look at the week in political blogging.
In the lead up to the public sector pensions strike, Liberal Conspiracy refutes the government’s notion that few union members voted for the action. Left Foot Forward notes that Boris Johnson and David Cameron both won elections with less of a turnout. As Michael Gove ramped up anti-strike rhetoric on Monday, The Staggers brings to light pictures of the education secretary striking in his early 20’s. Left Futures finds no support for Gove’s claim that the strike is only backed by hard-core lefties.
On the day of the strike, Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com has a good round-up of polling, saying that only 12% feel they will be affected a lot by the action. Interestingly, the Daily Mail’s online poll shows 84% of readers to support the strike despite the paper’s strident anti-union editorial line.
Peter Wrigley at Keynesian Liberal says that he has sympathy with some, but not all, of the strikers. Hopi Sen doesn’t agree with the strike, but as a Labour supporter, is reluctant to say why. Alex Hern at Left Foot Forward busts four myths about the strike, and Liberal Conspiracy suggests that unions need to dramatically shift their tactics.
Jeremy Clarkson’s comments on the BBC that all strikers should be “execute[d] in front of their families” received over 21,000 complaints, although 75% of Telegraph readers back him. Guido Fawkes believes that Clarkson has played the publicity game well and will be laughing all the way to the bank, despite unions looking to take legal action.
Definitely worth a look is this spoof video of Owen Jones attacking “public sector scroungers” after being “converted to a cause of righteousness” by the Daily Mail.
The economy and the Autumn Statement
Over the weekend, Bobby Duffy of Ipsos-Mori, writing for the Staggers, argues that confidence, not policy, is key to the success of the Autumn Statement, and the Tory Diary sets ten tests for the Chancellor.
Following the Autumn Statement, the Adam Smith Institute gives a thumbs down, The Coffee House summarises what you need to know, the Staggers emphasizes the loss of public sector jobs and Touchstone brands it permanent austerity. Left Foot Forward shows that the bottom 80 per cent will suffer regressive measures, as Nick Pearce of the IPPR suggests that Labour may end up thanking the Chancellor. The Tory Diary reports that only 29% of Tory members believe that the deficit will be under control by 2015, but Lib Dem Voice believes that Osborne has made the best out of a bad situation,
Left Foot Forward covers reaction from the Welsh, Northern Irish, and Scottish press to Westminster’s economic crunch week and summarises the devolved nations’ demands for growth.
Voters see George Osborne as “smug, arrogant and out of touch”, according to a new poll reported by the Tory Diary, as the Chancellor promises to do “whatever it takes” to reach his deficit targets.
The Liberal Democrats’ desire to show they care is causing cracks in the coalition, writes the Coffee House, while Lib Dem Voice warns that pushing party funding plans into the long grass may haunt all three party leaders. After PMQ’s on Wednesday, Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com wonders if it was the most venomous in years. George Eaton at the Staggers says that Ed Miliband used it to ‘come off the fence’ and defend public sector workers.
Left Futures puts the case for voting to create more elected mayors in English cities, while political betting.com wonders if Labour has the wrong candidate for the London mayoral election. Our Kingdom looks back to the AV referendum disaster, with a blog post breaking down how the ‘Yes’ campaign money was spent.
Iran embassy crisis
On Monday Jon Snow warns of deteriorating relations between Britain and Iran, and The Staggers covers students storming the British Embassy in Tehran while William Hague promises ‘consequences’.
NHS and social care
Touchstone brings a discussion of the future of care services and False Economy uncovers spending cuts for hospitals despite Cameron’s claim he isn’t cutting NHS services.
Marking World AIDS Day, The Staggers writes that in some areas of the country we are losing the fight against HIV.
Touchstone reports from the climate talks in Durban and urges Europe to push a sustainable new deal.