EU Referendum vote
At the weekend, Conservative Home’s Tim Montgomerie argues there won’t be an immediate referendum if Monday’s EU motion passes but that the move would strengthen the British hand in Europe. The Coffee House fears that Cameron’s response to the EU motion will end in a massive split in the Conservative party, although Jonathan Jones disagrees. The FT’s Westminster Blog sees David Cameron appeasing rebellious backbenchers by hinting that future EU treaty changes will repatriate power from Brussels. Labour Uncut draws parallels between Cameron’s and Major’s euro crises.
Thetorydiary discusses polling that shows 64% of Tory voters believe that Cameron doesn’t want to change the EU-UK relationship, while The Staggers argues that this is a crisis of the PM’s own making. Left Futures’ guest blogger reveals figures that the UK public concern over Europe is overstated, while Guido Fawkes finds that 70 per cent of the public wants the vote. Left Foot Forward gives five reasons why the Common’s Euro vote is not Cameron’s Clause IV moment.
After the vote, The Coffee House discusses the implications of 43% of Tory backbenchers defying the government, and thetorydiary outlines how the PM could repair some of the damage to his party. The majority of Cameron’s rebels were incoming MPs from the class of 2010. Left Foot Forward provides the full list.
The FT’s Westminster Blog argues that the rebellion shows the eurosceptic streak in the new Tory intake. Tim Farron MP writing at Liberal Democrat Voice condemns anti-patriotic Tories who are putting their obsession over Europe ahead of their real duty to fix the economy and Hopi Sen advises the PM that if he wants fewer rebellions in future, he needs to abolish his whips. James Chapman at the Daily Mail’s Chapman & Co says that Iain Duncan Smith may resign if forced to vote against his eurosceptic principles again.
The Tories rallied around Cameron at Wednesday’s PMQ’s, writes thetorydiary with only one question on the referendum directed at Clegg, while Owen Jones at Labour List argues that the Left can’t allow criticism of the EU to be the sole preserve of the Right. Liberal Conspiracy writes that Caroline Lucas has outflanked Labour on the EU question and Jonathan Roberts at Labourlist thinks that pro-Europeans must make their case before time runs out. Glenn Gottfried at Left Foot Forward wonders whether the public at large really cares about Europe at all.
UK Polling Report has Labour 2 points over the Tories at 38 per cent, the first time Labour has shown below 40 since the September conference season (the gap increases to 7% by week’s end according to Mike Smithson at polticalbetting.com). The Staggers reports that support for the small parties is surging, with UKIP on 6 per cent. Mike Morgan-Giles at Left Foot Forward calls on Labour to make itself the party of freedom.
Liberal Democrat Voice discusses a leaked report that indicates the Tories are ready to push for a roll back of unfair dismissal regulations. The TUC’s Touchstone disparages such proposals as a licence for ageist employers. On Thursday, Samira Shackle at The Staggers says that Vince Cable has rejected the suggestion.
Political Scrapbook lists 19 authorities that are forcing women to bear 100% of job loss impact, and the TUC’s Touchstone Blog warns that millions of families could lose significant council tax benefits under plans to run local authority-run benefit schemes. Gideon Skinner at The Staggers charts the waning support from women for the Conservatives in recent years.
Left Foot Forward covers Nick Clegg’s apparent turn-around on changing voter registration laws, which guest author Tony Burke claims would disenfranchise the left.
Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy appeals for unions and economists to give the occupy movement a helping hand in providing an evidence base for their grievances. Richard Murphy outlines why St Paul’s at the very heart of the debate on the protest. Left Futures writes that Labour has an opportunity to take advantage of the ‘Occupy LSX’ movement with ‘running against the city’ just the symbol they need.
Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary is concerned that capitalism in danger, and that the Tories must support a capitalism on the side of small businesses and consumers. Richard Murphy offers up a manifesto for tax justice, and attacks the idea of a flat tax for the UK. On Friday, The Staggers writes that the FTSE 100 directors have had a 49% pay increase last year, whilst average wages rose only 2%.
Faisal Islam interviews Bank of England’s Martin Weale on how the Eurozone crisis is likely to shrink the UK economy. On Thursday, Left Foot Forward’s Ben Fox muses as to whether the Eurozone is out of the woods after the ‘haircut’ deal.
The Staggers suggests that we should be talking less notice of noisy Tory backbench dramas, and pay attention to the push in Scotland for a referendum on independence. Left Futures also considers the future of Scotland’s devolution.