Joel Suss, Managing Editor of the British Politics and Policy blog, takes a look at the week in UK blogging.
Legal aid and operation cotton
A judge ordered a stay in the proceedings against five defendants charged with fraud due to the failure in finding them adequate legal representation. The significant cuts to legal aid, initiated by Chris Grayling, the first Justice Minister in over 300 years to have no background in Law, was the reason behind the inability for the defendants to get representation.
On his FT blog, David Allen Green discusses the implications this ruling will have on future cases, as well as commenting on the political implications: David Cameron’s brother, Alex Cameron, was the lawyer arguing for the stay on behalf of the defendants. For the New Statesman, Adam Wagner places this in the context of deteriorating commitment to the rule of law that is a consequence of having a politically appointed Justice Minister with no law background.
Piketty does London
Thomas Piketty, the economist who has just published a book looking at widening levels of income and wealth inequality, has been annointed a ‘rock-star economist’ by many following the remarkable success in sales of his new book. This week he was in London making the rounds. At the LSE, he gave a seminar on his work (which can be listened to here). He was also fêted at The Guardian and grilled by Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight. Meanwhile, Emran Mian of the SMF provides a critique of his claim that inequality is bad for economic growth.
Miliband proposes ‘rent control’
Ed Miliband announced proposals to reform the housing rental market this week. The Conservative Party quickly seized on his remarks, calling them Venezuelan-style price fixing. Martha Mackenzie of Shelter sees this as a turning point while Daniel Knowles at The Economist argues that this is a play by Labour for the tenant vote. For a good, critical evaluation of the proposals, see Hopi Sen’s article here.
Simon Wren-Lewis looks at the rhetoric of recovery versus the reality of the UK’s economic performance in the last few years on the Mainly Macro blog.