Chris Gilson, Danielle Moran and Paul Rainford take a look at the week in political blogging.

Party politics

The FT’s Westminster Blog wonders whether the Greens could capture the support of disaffected Liberal DemocratsPolitics Home notes that David Laws’ comeback is under way, and Political Betting wonders whether the coalition has become a loveless marriage.

The FT’s Westminster Blog argues that the revelations from Alistair Darling’s book have blunted Ed Miliband’s best line of attack, as the Labour leader avoided taking on the PM over the state of the economy at the first PMQs of the new season. Mike Smithson at ponders whether Labour can win an election ever again without support in Scotland.

John Redwood deconstructs Tory stereotypes, while elsewhere, Conservative Home is not convinced that David Cameron will square up to his deputy in a fight over human rights. George Eaton at The Staggers says that there will be no government u-turn over its new planning reforms. In light of attempts to detoxify the Tory brand in Scotland, George Eaton at The Staggers wonders if it is now the end for Scottish Conservatives. Ed Jacobs at Left Foot Forward reckons it’s a gift for Alex Salmond’s SNP.

Education policy

Thetorydiary’s Matthew Bartett starts the week by looking at Michael Gove’s warnings of an ‘educational underclass’Liberal Democrat Voice suggests that education policy is becoming the key dividing line in the coalition, and backs Nick Clegg in his defiance of Michael Gove’s agenda for profit making. The Spectator nods approvingly at Cameron’s proposal to cut benefits of parents of children who play truant from school.

Health policy and the NHS

As Nadine Dorries’ attack on abortion policy is comprehensively beaten in a vote in the Commons, Liberal Conspiracy warns that the fight isn’t over yet.

On the eve of the Health and Social Care Bill debate, Shamik Das at Left Foot Forward argues that the NHS is not safe in David Cameron’s hands. The False Economy Blog covers the Campaign for Freedom of Information’s argument that the NHS reforms may constrict the public’s rights to information about how it is run.

The Government decided to lift the lifelong ban that prevented men who have sex with men from donating blood, although Benjamin Butterworth at the the LSE Equality and Diversity blog argues that the new rules remain discriminatory.

The economy

As worrying growth forecasts indicate the strong potential of a double dip recession, Faisal Islam at the Channel 4 Economics Blog argues that this is a deeply perilous moment for the coalition’s economic policy, and Duncan Weldon urges the Chancellor to change course.

Left Foot Forward notes that this is the slowest recovery since the great depression. Daniel Carey-Dawes at Liberal Conspiracy suggests that mutualising the banks is the best way to prevent future bail-outs.

50p tax rate

Duncan Weldon takes to task the economists calling for an end to the 50p tax rate, noting that there are other much more urgent economic problems that need to be addressed, although Labour List asks for a more developed debate.

Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK is strident in his defence of the maintenance of 50p rate, arguing that those calling for its abolition are more concerned with hoarding wealth than creating it. The Coffee House believes that while the Chancellor may privately wish to abolish it, such a move could present political difficulties. Owen Jones at Labour List believes that the debate should not be focusing on how to cut taxes, but how to raise them for the rich.

Liberal Conspiracy outline three reasons why lower taxes would damage the economy and Liberal Democrat Voice argues that now is not the time to lower the 50p tax rate, but Labour List think that such a move could become a valid option next year.

Chilcare and poverty

The JRF blog discusses childcare, jobs and poverty, noting that the final design for Universal Credit could make or break the Government’s goals on child poverty over the next few years.


Conservative Home calls on the Tories to take a hard look at family policy to prevent either the Lib Dems or Labour from seizing the initiative. Left Foot Forward argues that rising childcare costs cannot bode well for the state of the economy.

And finally…


The Staggers looks at British opinion in the decade since the twin towers fell.

Conservative Home’s Tim Montgomerie calls for a campaign to create two million jobs within five year

The Coffee House says that Cameron is facing an energy price headache, as The Tory Diary notes that electricity, gas and petrol prices are top of voters’ concerns.

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