Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in political blogging.
On Sunday, Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com looks at the widely differing results from recent ICM and YouGov polls – ICM has the Conservatives 6 points ahead of Labour, but YouGov has Labour ahead by 3 percent.
After David Cameron’s recent speech promoting Christian values, Eoin Clarke at The Green Benches says that he is a hypocrite, given the past of some of his MPs. Peter Wrigley at Keynesian Liberal suggests that we aren’t a Christian country, in any case. LabourList’s Darrell Goodliffe says that Ed Miliband should challenge Cameron’s preaching head-on, by defending Britain’s secularism as the cornerstone of our democracy.
Mid-week, Paul Goodman at thetorydiary looks at Eric Pickles’ row with Danny Alexander and the unions over his last minute changes to pension negotiations. Mark Pack says that Lib Dem members back changes to pensions, but oppose making strikes any harder. Michael Meacher at Left Futures reckons that the public pensions row is far from over.
Liberal Conspiracy covers Tory MP Aidan Burley’s comments on the ‘Third Reich stag party’ he attended that led to him being sacked as a PPS – Burley says he “should have left [the party] earlier”.
Rob Marchant at LabourList reckons that 2012 may be a ‘year to fix the [Labour] party’. Nigel Fletcher, writing at Dale & Co says that Ed Miliband’s appointment of Tim Livesey as his new Chief of Staff is a sign that he is getting serious. Adam Richards at LabourList casts a critical eye on Ed Miliband’s recent media performances, while Eoin Clarke at The Green Benches thinks that Labour is much more united now than it was this time last year, and for Sunny Hundal at LabourList there is little chance of a new Labour leader anytime soon. George Eaton at The Staggers looks at Ed Balls’ approaches to the Liberal Democrats to form a new coalition, now, not waiting until the next election.
John Lansman at Left Futures looks at the contest for the Scottish Labour Party leadership, and the new leader – Johann Lamont. James Maxwell at The Staggers says that Lamont will have to develop a coherent political alternative to the SNP, and make Labour relevant in Scotland again. Commenting on outgoing head of the civil service, Gus O’Donnell’s comments this week that keeping the UK united will be an ‘enormous challenge’, George Eaton at The Staggers says that far few in Westminster have thought about what an independent Scotland would mean.
David Herdson speculates on who might succeed David Cameron (and how), should he ‘go under a bus’. George Eaton at The Staggers looks at which e-petitions have gained traction and which have fallen flat; more people seem to care about how benefits are uprated than capital punishment. Matthew Barrett at thetorydiary looks at Cabinet Office Minister Frances Maude’s new powers which will enable him to speed up his ‘bonfire of the quangos’.
David Skelton at Liberal Democrat Voice responds to Nick Clegg’s speech earlier in the week, which launched his ‘Open Society’ initiative, saying that while he made good points about social mobility, now is not the time to make the case for constitutional reform – the electorate just isn’t interested at the moment.
As the year draws to a close, Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary discusses the coalition’s 20 biggest achievements of 2011, while Eoin Clarke at The Green Benches has the Conservatives’ 10 ‘most brutal deeds’ of the year.
Leveson and phone hacking
After Piers Morgan’s evidence to the Leveson enquiry into phone-hacking, Guido Fawkes reports that 96% of people who took a realtime website poll do not believe that he was telling the truth. Political Scrapbook has coverage of Morgan’s ‘squirming’ performance.
Eoin Clarke at The Green Benches has some ideas to recoup the estimated £174billion in evaded taxes, higher penalties for dodgers, and a media campaign to stigmatise them, while Richard Murphy, guest blogging at Liberal Conspiracy, looks at tax dodging in the City of London. Tuesday saw the Public Accounts Committee’s report into how HMRC treats taxpayers. Liberal Conspiracy’s Sunny Hundal says that the report, which shows that HMRC has failed to collect £25 billion from large corporations, is a vindication for the UKuncut movement.
Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy says that the UK’s debt problem is one of bank debt not government debt. Alex Glasner at LabourList says that Moody’s warnings this week are a sign to George Osborne to change policy, while Duncan Weldon at the TUC’s Touchstone Blog says that the lower growth forecasts announced by the Treasury this week means that the deficit will be even more difficult to reduce. Michael Meacher at Left Futures ponders why Labour is not getting its economic message across.
Ben Norman at Liberal Democrat Voice looks at the government’s response to the Vickers Commission on banking, and says that while reform is needed, we must be mindful of ‘too many cures’. Josh Ryan Collins of the new economics foundation, guest blogging at Left Foot Forward, says that implementing Vickers will not stop another crisis.
Britain and the Eurozone
John Redwood looks at ratings agency row between France and the UK, while Douglas Carswell at TalkCarswell wonders if we actually vetoed the EU-treaty, given that the UK is still part of the negotiations. Rafael Behr at The Staggers says that the Liberal Democrats are using the veto as an opportunity to ‘dial up their differences’ with the Conservatives, but Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary says that some Conservatives are concerned at Nick Clegg’s ‘petulant’ reaction to the EU veto. Kiran Stacey at the FT’s Westminster Blog wonders if it is time Clegg to back an EU referendum. Ben Mitchell at Left Foot Forward wonders if the left should just give up on the EU.
Carl Quilliam at Liberal Democrat Voice wonders if former MPs should be allowed to keep their parliamentary passes.
At Left Foot Forward, Frank Spring looks at the challenges facing Kim Jong-un inNorth Korea, following the death of his father this week.
Alex Hern at Left Foot Forward says that the best way to get in touch with an MP is not to Tweet them, but to write them an old-fashioned letter.
All Helen Lewis-Hasteley, guest blogging at the F-word, wants for Christmas is ‘presents that aren’t bloody pink’.