Paul Linford thinks that the coalition will collapse before the right re-aligns, and Though Cowards Flinch has a critique of contemporary Conservatism, while Carl Packman at Liberal Conspiracy says that David Cameron will ‘fail’ to revive Conservatism.
Sam Dale at Labour Uncut wants Labour to begin the political fight back against the coalition, while Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com looks at Unite’s political director, Charlie Whelan’s support for Ed Balls in the Labour leadership race.
Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome has a round-up of public opinion on the coalition after the first 100 days in office, while Jon Bernstein at The Staggers looks at a less than perfect poll for the coalition.
Paul Linacs at Though Cowards Flinch is very concerned that the coalition may renege on some of the government’s aid commitments. Simon Hughes continues his contrary to the coalition stance by saying that there will be no pact to not contest seats in Lib/Con marginal seats, according to Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog.
Ben Fox at Left Foot Forward reckons that the recent appointment of Sir Phillip Green to head a Whitehall spending review will drive Vince Cable closer to resignation. James Forsyth at Coffee House has a short look at how the graduate tax might work in practice.
Iain Dale is unhappy at yet another coalition appointment of an ex-Labour Minister as a ‘Tsar’, this time in the form of Alan Milburn, who will be looking at Social Mobility. According to Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com, John Prescott calls Milburn a ‘traitor’, via Twitter. Jon Bernstein at The Staggers says that this appointment may ‘antagonise’ the right, as they may wonder why such an appointment did not come from their end of the political spectrum. Chris at The Blue Idea says that the appointment is ‘too far’.
John Redwood is happy to see that the Audit Commission is to be abolished, and Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting says that NHS Trusts will soon have more financial control than the devolved Scottish Parliament.
Peter Hoskin at Coffee House says that it is an important week for Nick Clegg, with David Cameron on holiday, as Mike Smithson, at politicalbetting.com, with history in view, writes that it’s very likely that support for the coalition will begin to go negative from now. Though Cowards Flinch is looking at the direction of Conservative thought and practice in the UK.
Peter Watt at Labour Uncut says that the new Labour leader will have to quickly define Labour’s ‘narrative’. Shamik Das at Left Foot Forward examines Labour’s declining vote share amongst certain important social classes, while Tom Hampson at Next Left has Ed Miliband saying that voters on low incomes deserted Labour in the last election. Samira Shackle at The Staggers says that any reductions in the number of people on the sickness benefit must be fair. John Underwood at Labour Uncut looks at a radical (but popular) one-off 20% wealth tax, as Guido reckons that Labour’s ‘swing left’ will make it electorally irrelevant. Kevin Meagher at Left Foot Forward talks the growing north/south divide.
Hopi Sen says that Labour shouldn’t sweat the coalition’s new advisers like Alan Milburn, as does Conor Ryan at Conor’s Commentary, while Labour Uncut makes the case for and against. Paul Sagar at Liberal Conspiracy says that Alan Milburn should be expelled from the Labour Party, Paul Linford takes a look at what Milburn’s motivation might have been, and Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting is unphased by the appointment.
David Taylor at Left Foot Forward critiques the coalition’s lack of leadership and ambition on aid. Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome reports that Andrew Lansley will seek to end mixed-sex wards in the NHS. Joss Garman at Left Foot Forward says that Chris Huhne may soon approve new coal power stations, which will put him at odds with many Liberal Democrat supporters, while Mark Pack previews the Lib Dem party conference (Samira Shackle at The Staggers says it will be awkward). Jess Freeman at Party Lines Blog says that Nick Clegg must do more to counter his critics. Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog says that Cameron and Clegg still ‘disagree’ on Trident.
Tom Harris MP at And another thing… is amazed at how much the cost of the AV referendum has risen according to Nick Clegg. Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com looks at a court case challenging Phil Woolas’ result in Oldham over false claims in election materials. Woolas only won that seat by 103 votes, so a new election could overturn that win.
Today, George Osborne begins an attack on Labour’s ‘deficit deniers’ according to Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome. David Blackburn at Coffee House says that Osborne has emerged from the shadows. Will Straw at Left Foot Forward opines that Osborne had an easy ride on the Today programme this morning while discussing the Conservatives’ cuts programme. George Eaton at The Staggers maintains that Osborne’s plans are regressive, and Guido says that he is the most popular Tory Chancellor ever. Tamsin Omond at Liberal Conspiracy rejects the ‘deficit denier’ label, saying that the disagreement is over the way in which the cuts are meted out.
According to Anthony Wells at UK Polling Report Labour and the Conservatives are now tied at the polls at 37%. Samira Shackle at The Staggers has details of Lord Pearson’s imminent resignation as UKIP leader, while Jess Freeman at Party Lines Blog is interested in who will now lead UKIP.
With the first 100 days of the coalition quickly approaching, Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy looks at support for the coalition and for Labour. Hopi Sen accuses the Conservatives of making a u-turn on their election promise not to cut the winter fuel payment for the over-60s – George Eaton at The Staggers has more. Chris Leslie MP at Labour Uncut has a list of 100 ‘regressive steps’ that the government has taken since it came into office, while Conor Ryan at Conor’s Commentary has a look at the first 100 days of the coalition, focussing specifically at the ‘worst’ things the coalition has done since it came to office.
Tom Harris MP at And another thing… has a look at how much constituency sizes matter to the final result. Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog says that David Miliband is pro the AV referendum, but won’t commit to campaigning for it.
Mark Pack looks at the financial squeeze facing the MoD – Trident and helicopters may face cuts. PaulinLancs at Though Cowards Flinch deconstructs Tory rural housing policy. Iain Martin at the Wall Street Journal charts a shift in Conservative thinking, now generally in favour of quantitative easing.
As results day approaches, Bagehot at The Economist reignites the debate over grade inflation, while NUS National President Aaron Porter, guest blogging at at Labour Uncut, discusses the damaging long term effects of the shortfall of higher education places.
Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome applauds the Coalition’s decision to ‘take the axe to middle class benefits’, while Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy takes Cameron to task over election time promises made concerning winter fuel allowances. John Redwood makes the Conservative case for equal opportunities and responds to Simon Hughes’ suggestion that Lib-Dem backbenchers should have a veto on coalition policies by arguing that, in the interests of fairness, Conservative backbenchers should have one as well.
Marjorie Smith at tribunemagazine.co.uk questions the continued relevance of the Lib-Dems in the coalition and talks tactics for Labour who are shown by recent evidence published at Left Foot Forward to be neck and neck with the Tories in the polls.
SNP Tactical Voting discusses the North-South divide and the potential impact of the forthcoming cuts in Scotland.
The Staggers looks ahead to the Coalition’s next 100 days
Peter Wrigley at Keynesian Liberal is happy with the coalition’s achievements in constitutional reform in its first 101 days. Peter Hoskin at Coffee House looks at middle-class benefits. Sunder Katwala at Next Left has some thoughts on how David Cameron might be able to justify breaking his election promises to the electorate. Liberal Conspiracy has a letter from an audience member from a recent CameronDirect event asking for a better answer to a question she asked on the night. Will Straw at Left Food Forward takes Cameron to task on the apparent reneging of his promise not to cut the winter fuel payment. Iain Dale says that we can no longer afford middle class benefits such as the winter fuel allowance as Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting says that flat pensions might help to deliver greater social mobility. Guido tracks the recent attacks on the new Conservative party treasurer, David Rowland.
Billy Bragg guests posts on Labour Uncut with his advice to Labour, though Paulinlancs at Though Cowards Flinch says that Labour doesn’t need his advice. Tom Harris MP at And another thing… says that it will be hard for future Labour Ministers to sit at the same Cabinet table as Nick Clegg, and Hopi Sen agrees.
Political Scrapbook charts a potential political miscalculation by Nick Clegg at a children’s centre yesterday. Sally Hunt at The Staggers says that universities Minister David Willetts’ comments that students should ‘aim lower’ due to the lack of university places will not have gone down well with Nick Clegg’s recent commitment to social mobility.
Will Straw at Left Foot Forward has a look at the historical popularity of Labour’s Chancellors. Vincent Moss guest blogging at Labour Uncut is cynical about the transparency of the refurbishment costs at 10 Downing Street. Sarah Mulley at The Staggers pleads for a more robust debate on immigration, while Dan Hodges at Labour Uncut says that Labour must reassess its position in the immigration debate.
George Eaton at The Staggers discusses the Lib Dem rebels’ distaste at the appointment of Phillip Green to advise the government and Shamik Das at Left Foot Forward sheds some light on Green’s tax avoidance, though Sunder Katwala at Next Left says that tax avoidance will get easier before it gets harder. Mark Pack looks at the development of the Lib Dem parliamentary party.
Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com ponders what the continued survival of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi will do for the SNP’s re-election chances, and Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting is wondering why it is still big news.
Jonathan Isaby at ConservativeHome looks at the state of the Tory party at the activist and member level. Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome discusses the government’s ministerial, special advisor and ‘Tsar’ appointments. Nicole Smith at Left Foot Forward investigates some odd figures on workless households from the DWP, and Guido questions the VAT rise. Matt Owen at Left Foot Forward says that benefit sanctions (as the Home Office may be considering) for drug addicts will not work.
Peter Hoskin at Coffee House says that Ed Balls should step down from the Labour leadership race and support another candidate, while Sally Bercow, guest blogging at Labour Uncut has some advice for the next Labour leader: “‘fess up, stop spinning and start inspiring”.
Clifford Singer at Liberal Conspiracy looks at the resurrection of the government’s spending challenge website, while James Forstyth at Coffee House surveys the reaction to James Brittan’s appointment as trade advisor. Asa Bennett at Party Lines Blog uncovers over 1,000 pieces of unimplemented legislation by the government since 1997.
Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com looks at Nick Clegg’s defence of the Lib Dems’ part in the coalition, George Eaton at The Staggers has more. Aaron Porter, president of the NUS and guest blogging at Liberal Conspiracy, asks for action from Nick Clegg on education.