Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in political blogging.

The parties

On Christmas Eve, Political Scrapbook says that the police are urging the Crown Prosecution Service to bring charges of speeding and perverting the course of justice against Chris Huhne, all in relation to accusations that his now estranged wife allegedly took Huhne’s points on her license for speeding in 2003. Mark Pack says that Nick Clegg’s ratings amongst party members are recovering, but are not yet back to 2010’s levels. Robin McGhee at Liberal Democrat Voice wonders why Nick Clegg is being quite so wrong on House of Lords reform; he worries that it might lead to the reformed Lords being seen as more legitimate than the House of Commons, while Joshua Dixon says that the reform must be taken.

Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary says that 2011 was the year of the right, that 61% of Tory voters reckon that an early election would produce a majority for David Cameron, and that the Conservatives no longer need to be bashful about their core beliefs – there is a link between greater popularity for the Tories and doing ‘conservative’ things.

At Dale & Co, Peter Watt says that the Labour Party is now only ‘speaking to itself’, and needs to look outward to re-engage with the electorate, as Robin Ramsay at Liberal Conspiracy looks at Labour’s city problem. Guido Fawkes reckons that Labour’s membership has flat-lined under Ed Miliband (while Sean McHale at Liberal Conspiracy thinks he could learn from Barcelona’s footballing). Chris Dillow at Stumbling and Mumbling has an interesting critique of Ed Miliband’s ‘managerialist’ ideology. Eoin Clarke at The Green Benches looks at the impact of Labour’s four main supporting websites.

On Christmas Day, Atul Hatwal at LabourList gives the 12 Christmas rules of Opposition. On Wednesday, Samira Shackle looks at the scale of the challenge facing Labour in 2012, as well as new Policy Network pamphlet that says that Labour must avoid falling into the ‘tax and spend’ trap. Eoin Clarke at The Green Benches says that for the first time in four years, Labour is actually receiving more party funding than the Tories. Len Duvall at LabourList says the countdown to the London Mayoral elections in May next year has now started – it’s one of Labour’s most important campaigns.

Anthony Wells at UK Polling Report looks at ‘voodoo polling’ over Scottish Devolution. Jon Bernstein at The Staggers says that the referendum on independence for Scotland (predicted for June of 2014), may end up being a ‘double defeat’ with Alex Salmond and the SNP only achieving the so-called ‘devo max’.

The economy

Nicola Smith at the TUC’s Touchstone Blog says that recent polling shows that the public does not agree with the government’s economic approach, but on the other hand, that the case for progressive policy interventions has not yet been made.

John Redwood says that without lower UK taxes, some parts of central London will continue to be for other countries’ rich to enjoy. Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK reports that last October’s tax deal with Switzerland is now being renegotiated.

The NHS and reforms

Richard Blogger at Liberal Conspiracy looks at what the coalition’s announcement this week that it is planning to let NHS Trusts raise up to ½ of their income from private treatment might mean for trusts and patients. Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK says that the NHS cannot be replaced by the market.  Trevor Cheeseman at Left Foot Forward says that the NHS reforms are a solution in search of a problem.

Dave Osler at Left Futures says that the coalition’s proposed minimum price for alcohol is really a surrogate tax on the working classes. Ewan Hoyle at Liberal Democrat Voice disagrees, maintaining that it would be a bold example of evidence based policy.

And finally…

Douglas Carswell at Talk Carswell says that 2011 has been a good year for Tom Watson, Adam Holloway, Stewart Jackson, Select Committee chairmen, and the Speaker, John Bercow.

Tim Jones at The Staggers says that the UK could meet the 0.7 percent of national income aid target if we cancelled the debts owed to us by countries like theSudan andIraq.

Finally, at the very end of 2011, Anthony Wells at UK Polling Report says that the polls this year have been ‘mostly static’, Henry Manson at looks at the tests that 2012 might bring for the party leaders, John Redwood wants a new spin on the EU, and Owen Jones at LabourList says that unions have a big task ahead of them in 2012.


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