Joel Suss, Managing Editor of the British Politics and Policy blog, takes a look at the week in UK blogging. 

Bad polls for Miliband and Labour cause panic

A series of polls early in the week showing Labour falling to second behind the Conservatives caused panic in the Labour camp at the beginning of the week, with some pointing to Miliband’s atrocious favourability ratings and others to a lack of strategy as the culprit. LabourList looks at the speech by Ed Balls last night which signaled the party may begin to focus more on the EU, with the shadow Chancellor detailing prospective reforms.

Meanwhile, David Axelrod, the American campaign guru, arrived in the London for his first face-to-face meeting with Ed Miliband and Labour insiders. Some of those in attendance made a point of saying that Obama’s senior adviser will not attempt to give Miliband a make-over, despite what many might expect. With glee, Guido Fawkes pointed out that Axelrod spelt Miliband’s name wrong in a Tweet following the meeting.

Michael Gove, explaining his free school policy (Credit: Regional Cabinet CC BY 2.0)

Michael Gove, perhaps explaining his free school policy
(Credit: Regional Cabinet CC BY 2.0)

Michael Gove and free schools

The past week has seen the coalition marriage hit choppy waters, with controversy centred around Michael Gove’s free school policy and Nick Clegg’s free meals.

Labour has jumped on the opportunity to denounce both parties, claiming the free school policy was misguided to begin with. But Annie Powell, writing on Left Foot Forward, doesn’t think Labour has done enough to press Gove for answers regarding allegations by the LibDems that he raided £400 million that was intended to provide school places for the disadvantaged. At the Spectator’s Coffee House blog, Natalie Evans argues that free schools are revolutionising state education.

Over at The Conversation, Alan Wager says we need to prepare for a year of leaks, as the general election approaches and the parties jostle for position.


John Smith died 20 years ago this week

Mark Stuart, who wrote a biography of John Smith, ask what would have happened had John Smith lived on Nottingham University’s Ballots and Bullets blog. Over at The Guardian, John McTernan writes about John Smith and the need for a politics of ‘decency’.

And finally…

On the PSA Insight blog, John Driscoll argues that, contrary to popular belief and statistics from the ONS, young people in the UK do have an interest in politics.

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