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November 13th, 2010

Forced labour for the unemployed, students take to the streets, and Cameron treads a fine line in China – blog round up for 6-12 November


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

November 13th, 2010

Forced labour for the unemployed, students take to the streets, and Cameron treads a fine line in China – blog round up for 6-12 November


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Chris GilsonAmy MollettAvery Hancock and Paul Rainford take a look at the week in political blogging

Weekend: 6th and 7th November

The Staggers examine Iain Duncan Smith’s claim that “almost everyone” can find work, despite jobseeker’s allowance claimants outnumbering job vacancies by seven to one in London. In Hackney, the figure is twenty four to one.

This follows the news that benefit claimants who refuse to accept job offers will be required to work full time cleaning up litter and undertaking basic manual labour, as covered by thetorydiary.

Mike Smithson at Political Betting considers Ed Miliband’s options, as Labour now risk being portrayed as the party that supports the “work shy” if they oppose Duncan Smith’s plans.

The Tribune covers the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance and the negative implications this will have for teenagers already facing tripled university tuition fees.

At Open Democracy, Guy Aitchison notes how the campaigns leading up to the AV referendum are shaping up.

Left Foot Forward discusses the importance of the concept of aspiration for Labour, noting how fears of debt and poverty are now bound up with it.

Monday 8th November

Left Foot Forward note the continued use of exaggerated claims about the cost of housing benefit in briefings given by the Department for Work and Pensions.

David Lammy and Will Straw blog for The Staggers, also covering housing benefit reforms and the disastrous course the coalition have taken so far.

Thetorydiary consider the results of a survey of 1500 Tory members, of which 74 per cent expect the Clegg-Cameron alliance to last a full term or almost a full term.

Anna Coote of the New Economics Foundation outlines why the idealistic goals of Cameron’s Big Society will be impossible to realise under the cuts to public services at Left Foot Forward.

Tuesday 9th November

Left foot forward applauds Harriet Harman’s decision to kick Phil Woolas out of the Labour party for producing misleading campaign leaflets, and UK polling report finds that 71% of the public think that the courts were right in expelling him from Parliament.

Staggers thinks Cameron would prefer a Liberal Democrat victory to strengthen coalition unity and calm the party’s backbench rebellion.

George W. Bush’s memoirs have been published, in which he said ‘waterboarding’ suspected terrorists saved Londoners’ lives.

Political Betting wonders what his claims will do to the civil liberties debate. Number 10 confirmed that waterboarding does constitute torture.

Speaking of human rights, the prime minister and a trade delegation are off to China. The BBC’s Nick Robinson believes that while David Cameron will raise the case of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, the political reformer who is languishing in a Chinese jail, he is unlikely to discuss wider human rights concerns.

Julia Manning at CentreRight hoped the prime minister would raise the issue of ‘gendercide’ and women’s rights more broadly.

James Purnell told the Times he suggested the idea of a universal tax credit to Gordon Brown before Iain Duncan Smith picked it up. But Staggers thinks both have failed to answer whether welfare reform is possible at a time of high unemployment.

Harry’s Place looks at the British National Party in its last gasp and explains how Nick Griffin has successfully steered the party into oblivion.

Wednesday 10th November

Polis offers an alternative account of the student protests at Milbank over rising tuition fees. Political Scrapbook showed that nine major newspapers used the same image of one ‘window-smashing anarchist’.

Tory Diary was not impressed with Nick Clegg’s first appearance at the Dispatch box for today’s PMQ’s in which he was hounded by Harriet Harman on university finance. Labour Uncut thinks it’s the graduate tax, and not Vince Cable (or Clegg) that is stupid.

Sunder Katwala at Next Left writes that in welfare reform, carrots deliver more results than sticks.

Westminster Blog found evidence that in Britain AV is less popular than first-past-the-post which is less popular than PR.

Cameron at the G20: Left Foot Forward thinks the prime minister should focus on our EU trade defecit rather than exports to China and India.

Touchstone reported that the TUC and a number of aid agencies have urged the Prime Minister to prioritise job creation at the G20 meeting this week in Seoul.

The Robin Hood Tax Campaign has also written to Cameron to press him to push for a financial transactions tax for banks.

Thursday 11th November

Working Class Tory is critical of some of the coverage of yesterday’s student riots, while Guido Fawkes accuses the National Union of Students of having less than peaceful motives, and Will Straw at Left Foot Forward says that the protests are a distraction from the coalition’s cuts to the Education Maintenance Allowance.

Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome says that Iain Duncan-Smith’s welfare reforms explain why the Tories are currently popular. Iain Dale says that most people support the reforms.

Richard Exell at the TUC’s Touchstone blog shares his thoughts on the welfare White Paper, and finds two major problems with the proposals.

Iain Martin at the Wall Street Journal says that welfare reform of this nature is not easy, and Nicola Smith at Left Foot Forward writes against the proposed universal credit.

Mike Smithson at blogs on the divisions within Labour over Phil Woolas’ recent suspension.

John Redwood has a five-point plan to promote economic growth.

Jon Snow at Snowblog examines the housing crisis.

George Eaton at The Staggers critiques what they say is Nick Clegg’s ‘dishonest’ defence of his u-turn on tuition fees.

Mike Smithson at asks if we are celebrating the coalition’s 6-month anniversary.

Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome says that the government’s EU referendum lock is not strong enough.

Marcus Roberts at Left Foot Forward finds that the delay in the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent programme is an inevitable result of the coalition’s compromises.

Friday 12th November

The TUC portray the G20 negotiations as lacklustre and with many lost opportunities, while Nick Robinson reminds us that we were warned not to expect great results.

Commenting on the furore surrounding Conservative councillor Gareth Compton’s tweet calling for the stoning of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Iain Dale notes that words have consequences.

The Staggers wonders whether the coalition’s promise to protect the NHS will backfire.

The Adam Institute Blog (laughably) calls for the abolition of the minimum wage.

The Westminster Blog ponders the electoral consequences of the Liberal Democrats’ broken promises on tuition fees and pensioners benefits.

The Coffee House pinpoints certain key features of the welfare White Paper.

Left Foot Forward deconstructs Spectator editor Fraser Nelson’s attack on the 50p tax rate.

Though Cowards Flinch picks up on an admission by David Cameron that Labour did not leave the country as bankrupt as previously suggested.

Tribune calls for an end to the royal prerogative, while a comment piece written by Ed Balls argues that the Big Society is a big con

Mark Pack investigates what William Beveridge had to say about benefits and compulsion to work.

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