Chris Gilson, Paul Rainford and Amy Mollett take a look at the week in political blogging.
Iain Martin looks at what is wrong with the Conservatives’ branding of their conference as thetorydiary provides a rolling record of the weekend’s policy announcements. Michael Gove continues to shake up the education system with new discipline rules, and there is news of the announcement that higher rate taxpayers will lose child benefit.
As Ireland’s budget deficit balloons to 32% of GDP and its credit rating is threatened with being downgraded, Political Scrapbook recalls George Osborne’s claim that the country was a “shining example of the art of the possible”.
The Coffee House suggests that David Cameron is more ideological than he appears and wonders whether certain Liberal Democrats are to the right of their Coalition colleagues. Meanwhile there are rumours that Ken Clarke is in the firing line. Andrew Rawnsley at the Guardian thinks that the Tories are still struggling to come to terms with the new order.
The Staggers writes that cuts to child benefit will hit women the hardest, a claim supported also over at Liberal Conspiracy, and at Women’s Views on News. Mark Pack blogs on news that major welfare reforms are set to go ahead.
Next Left argues that “Red Dave” must follow “Red Ed” to the centre ground on inequality and considers what the latter should do about high income earners. Meanwhile, Political Betting has both good news and bad news for the new Labour leader who Left Foot Forward says could become the Tobin Tax’s greatest champion.
The Tribune comments on the likelihood of far right MPs being elected to parliament in the UK, following the Sweden Democrats win of 20 seats at the general election, the latest in a series of victories for extreme right parties across Europe.
Liberal Conspiracy suggests that Britain can no longer afford to rule the seas and reports that a majority in Britain believe in man-made climate change. The Adam Smith Institute Blog calls for a legalisation of drugs.
Working Class Tory blogs on the use of the term ‘the national interest’ and its heavy use at the Tory party conference.
Dizzy Thinks is not pleased with George Osborne’s cuts to the child benefit scheme, announced today. Sunder Katwala at Next Left says that the Tories and Liberal Democrats have broken their campaign promises with this cut (as does Will Straw at Left Foot Forward), while Iain Dale says that it is a cut that ‘even Labour should support’. George Eaton at The Staggers calls it a ‘political gamble’, and Iain Martin at the Wall Street Journal asks if the Tories have ‘forgotten the middle.
Cath Elliot, blogging at Liberal Conspiracy says that the government’s proposed child benefit cuts are ‘an attack on women’. Hopi Sen looks at the numbers and finds that the savings from these cuts may not be great. Chris Dillow at Stumbling and Mumbling is wary of Iain Duncan-Smith’s proposed ‘universal benefit’.
Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome says that David Cameron is enjoying the ‘best ever’ ratings with the Tory grassroots. Samira Shackle at The Staggers says that the Tory grassroots love Boris Johnson as well. Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com reflects on the general election five months on, specifically at the Conservatives ‘brand’.
George Eaton at The Staggers has an update on the Andy Coulson phone hacking scandal, while Shamik Das at Left Foot Forward is concerned at the lack of media coverage of the affair.
Peter Wrigley at Keynesian Liberal examines speculation on world food markets. Tim Worstall looks at the UK and EU law, and Mark Pack previews the government’s relaxation of copyright on public information. Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog is concerned that the High Speed Rail Bill will be a long time coming.
Michael Dugher at LabourUncut blogs on defence cuts. Will Straw at Left Foot Forward warns against following the Irish model of fiscal consolidation.
Jeff at Better Nation looks at the possibility of a Scottish Conservative/SNP coalition, while Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy tracks high-earning MPs.
Sunder Katwala at Next Left looks at prison reform.
Peter Wrigley at Keynesian Liberal has little sympathy for the middle classes who will lose their benefits. George Eaton at The Staggers asks if this is the coalition’s 10p tax moment (Dizzy Thinks says it isn’t, and Iain Dale ponders if David Cameron will change his mind on the policy). Chris Dillow at Stumbling and Mumbling argues that the benefit is not spent on children in any case. Sunder Katwala at Next Left has some sightings of champagne at the Tory party conference. Samira Shackle at The Staggers says that Iain Duncan-Smith has had a ‘big win’ on welfare reform with his speech today.
Jeff at Better Nation thinks it might be time for the coalition to give single parents a break, and Sunder Katwala at Next Left reckons the to-be-announced married couples’ tax break will not be very well received either. Hopi Sen agrees, saying that the tax break will do little to reduce the deficit. Jon Snow at Snowblog has some reflections on the Tory conference.
Jonathan Isaby at ConservativeHome previews Ken Clarke’s announcement of a 40-hour working week for prisoners, but Samira Shackle at The Staggers says that the Tory right is not yet convinced.
John Redwood pushes for more growth-related plans from the government.
Working Class Tory looks at the government’s ‘Cabinet of leaders’, as Mark Pack says that House of Lords reform is slipping off the agenda.
Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com looks at polling over child benefit cuts. Sunder Katwala at Next Left reckons that the marriage tax benefit cut shows that the child benefit cuts are ideological, and Guido Fawkes muses on getting the middle classes off welfare. Samira Shackle at The Staggers looks at what the proposed ‘Universal Credit’ might actually mean for the poor. Don Paskini at Liberal Conspiracy has a way Ed Miliband might rebut the government’s child benefit cuts.
With David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative Party conference today, John Redwood outlines what he wants to hear. Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome is looking for an agenda of ‘growth and reform’. Iain Dale wonders why there are not more MPs at the conference. Post speech, Iain Dale calls it ‘powerful, meaty’, ‘forgettable’ by Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome, Samira Shackle at The Staggers says it is a ‘dogged’ pursuit of civil society, Will Straw at Left Foot Forward says it is a ‘cutback on truth’, and Nick Robinson calls it an ‘appeal for national unity’. Hopi Sen notes its similarities with Tony Blair’s first conference speech as Prime Minister.
Nick Keehan at Labour Uncut warns Labour against going ‘soft’ on sentencing.
Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy says the polling looks bad for Ken Livingstone in the London 2012 Mayoral race.
Ippr’s Tess Lanning, guest blogging at Left Foot Forward makes the point that by 2011, there will be 4.6 unemployed people for every job vacancy.
The day of the results of the shadow cabinet election sees much speculation on who will fill the final 19 positions. Yvette Cooper tops the Left Foot Forward readers’ poll of candidates, with Ed Balls and Andy Burnham coming close second and third.
The final results were (with their votes)…
Yvette Cooper (232)
John Healey (192)
Ed Balls (179)
Angela Eagle (165)
Andy Burnham (165)
Alan Johnson (163)
Douglas Alexander (160)
Jim Murphy (160)
Tessa Jowell (152)
Caroline Flint (139)
John Denham (129)
Hilary Benn (128)
Sadiq Khan (128)
Mary Creah (119)
Ann McKechin (117)
Maria Eagle (107)
Meg Hillier (106)
Ivan Lewis (104)
Liam Byrne (100)
Labour Uncut has a short profile of each of the winners, and John Lansman at Left Futures points out that nearly half of the Shadow Cabinet are women.
Rumours whispered at the Financial Times suggest that the Coalition is considering slowing the pace of the austerity drive as part of a strategic attack on Labour, presented under a rhetoric of “reprofiling” the cuts. Sunder Katwala at Next Left looks at Labour’s options now on child benefits, while Ed Miliband finally reveals his stance on the reforms, positing that they have created “huge anxiety”.
Dave Riding at Political Scrapbook has an interesting take on David Cameron’s speech yesterday.
Controversy over child benefit reforms continues to shine through from across the political spectrum, with Tory Diary arguing that child benefit must not be rolled into the Universal Credit system, and Labour Uncut doing their sums to show how middle class single mothers will fare particularly badly. Next Left consider the major confusions over child benefit which are yet to be finalised by the cabinet.
Tim Finch of the ippr guest blogs at Left Foot Forward to discuss of a coalition electoral pact for 2015.
Polis at the LSE investigates the myth, menace and meaning of an increasing online community.
Nick Robinson tries to make sense of Alan Johnson’s appointment as Shadow Chancellor as does The Coffee House, Conor Ryan, Liberal Conspiracy and The Staggers.
Michael White evaluates Jeremy Hunt’s assertion that families on benefits should limit the number of children they have, and Liberal Conspiracy says that our priority should be free childcare not child benefit and launches a defence of the middle classes, while NUS President Aaron Porter argues that Cameron’s next big fight with the squeezed middle will be over tuition fees, while Left Foot Forward explores the Tories’ “irrational fear” of Scotland and Wales and reports that 60,000 Green jobs will fall victim to the Coalition’s cuts.
The Coffee House asks how Ed Miliband should respond to the child benefit reform and thetorydiary lists five problems with the Big Society. Jon Snow takes a look at David Cameron’s ‘radical Euro nuke plan’. ResPublica argues that drunkenness is a social problem, not an economic one. Dave Hill explores London’s housing crisis
Harry’s Place digs a little deeper on David Cameron’s favourite Tory activist.
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