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October 23rd, 2010

The return of ‘sound money’, Clegg is played like the fiddle, and everyone weighs in on the CSR- round up of political blogs for 16-22 October

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

October 23rd, 2010

The return of ‘sound money’, Clegg is played like the fiddle, and everyone weighs in on the CSR- round up of political blogs for 16-22 October

1 comment

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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


Left Foot Forward argues that Liverpool FC’s recent travails suggest that reform of the Premiership’s free market model must be a priority, and looks at whether the middle class welfare state should be defended.

The Institute for Public Policy Research offers its own deficit reduction plan, as Jim Pickard at the Westminster Blog looks at the future of affordable housing in the context of the forthcoming cuts.

Tribune blogs on news that one in eight British households now has an adult out of work.

Paul Linford wonders whether the North-East has lost its political voice.

UK Polling Report provides an update on voting intentions.


Jon Snow blogs on the brain drain from Britain to Asia that may follow severe cuts to university research funding, whilst Liberal Conspiracy consider why an increase in tuition fees will impact women more than men.

Meanwhile, Tim Montgomerie at The Tory Diary warns that the cuts will hurt more than many right-wing commentators care to reveal. Adam White at Liberal Conspiracy notes that although our economy has changed greatly since the 1920s, the same economic rules apply, in a comparison of cuts to public spending from that era.

Shadow chancellor Alan Johnson set out the long awaited Labour party approach to halving the deficit, suggesting that a tax on banks be maintained alongside increased to the banking levy, whilst accusing the coalition of resurrecting “Tina”: “There Is No Alternative”.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament make a case for scrapping Trident at Left Foot Forward.

As Nick Clegg scores a negative for the first time in personal approval ratings, Mike Smithson considers the likelihood of ministerial resignations in the coming week.


After appearing to endorse the independent candidate in the Tower Hamlets Mayoral elections, Labour’s London Major candidate Ken Livingstone may find himself in hot water according to Labour Uncut, but Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy suggests that expelling Livingston would be “political suicide” for Labour.

Women’s Views on News reports on the poverty gap facing women in old age, noting that the gap in pension funds between men and women will worsen under austerity measures.

Simon Beard at ResPublica argues that the Green Investment Bank must be “more than just a government grant” in order to be successful.

The Staggers comments on George Osborne’s “secret desire” to turn the UK into Germany, whilst the similarities between the UK and Sweden in terms of gender inequality are also discussed.

The defence cuts announced by David Cameron in the Strategic Defence and Security Review were commented on by many including Jon Snow, but the story which created the most interest across the blogging and news worlds however was the accidental revealing of information from the Comprehensive Spending Review by Danny Alexander.  Political Scrapbook comments on a series of similar gaffes.


Harriet Black burn at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog examines the Liberal Democrats’ and the Coalition’s new approval for more nuclear power stations.

John Snow at SnowBlog has a short blog about defence procurement.

The CSR of course, dominates blogging today. Mike Smithson at wonders if this is the day that will decide the next election. Sam Bowman at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog is against the ring-fencing of the NHS budget from the cuts to be announced today.

Alex Barker at the FT’s Westminster Blog previews that education will get a better settlement than defence, and John Redwood blogs on austerity and the possibility of 500,000 jobs in the public sector being lost by 2014.

Will Straw at Left Foot Forward, says that there is an alternative to Osborne’s cuts, and George Eaton at The Staggers says that for the right, the cuts aren’t big enough. Sunder Katwala at Next Left has an in-depth cuts discussion, as well as commenting on the ‘absurd lack of parliamentary scrutiny’, while Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy busts some CSR related ‘myths’. Paul Collins of War on Want and guest blogging at Left Foot Forward, suggests that a crackdown on tax dodgers would make cuts unnecessary.

Wat Tyler at Burning our Money leads into the CSR with some short comments (he’s happy about cuts to the BBC). Archbishop Cranmer takes issue with some of George Osborne’s spending priorities, saying he should scrap HS2, giving the funding to vulnerable groups. Conor Ryan at Conor’s Commentary blogs on the scrapping of funding for specialist schools, and later looks at education funding in general. Jon Lansman at Left Futures accuses David Cameron of reneging on an election promise to not cut front line services. Iain Dale welcomes the return of ‘sound money’. Will Straw at Left Foot Forward looks closely at the CSR document, and asks, ‘has the health budget been cut’? Jeff at Better Nation has a Scottish perspective on the CSR.

Hopi Sen says that the review will be not be pretty for already struggling families. Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome examines the fairness of the cuts – saying that the poorest people may be the second hardest hit. Michael Meacher at Left Futures finds that the brutality is in the small print, and Sunder Katwala at Next Left says ‘It’s regressive George’.

Joss Garman at Left Foot Forward queries the government’s green credentials given their cuts to DECC. Richard Exell at the Touchstone Blog of the TUC’s finds that Osborne has over-exaggerated the level of benefit fraud by nearly £4 billion.


Sunder Katwala at Next Left has ten examples of Osborne’s ‘sleight of hand’ in the Spending Review, while Chris Dillow at Liberal Conspiracy reckons that real spending cuts could be as much as double the projections. Iain Martin at the Wall Street Journal observes that George Osborne’s cuts have been ‘boxed in’ by a ring-fenced NHS and Overseas Aid commitments.

Mark Seddon at Left Futures says ‘Welcome to Austerity Britain’. George Eaton at The Staggers looks at the politics behind the Spending Review.

Tom Clougherty at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog thinks the government is being dishonest in its explanation of cuts, rather they are simply ‘deviations’ from pre-planned spending growth. Tim Montgomerie has the results of an interesting poll of Tory members over how the cuts are prioritised. Kevin Meagher at Labour Uncut asks if it is wrong to hate Margaret Thatcher. Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome says that Osborne’s spending cuts plans may be vulnerable; the pain may get worse as we get closer to the next election.

James Mills at The Staggers blogs on the axing of the Education Maintenance Allowance, and the effects on teenagers, and Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy says that the cuts may actually encourage divorce. Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog says a majority now want to see slower cuts.

Mike Smithson at finds that the Liberal Democrats are now polling at 10 per cent, their lowest level since 1997, while Iain Martin at the Wall Street Journal says that Cameron and Osborne are being playing Clegg ‘like the fiddle’ ahead of 2015.

Jon Lansman at Left Futures has a round-up of comment on Alan Johnson’s performance yesterday responding to the Spending Review. Laurie Penny says that the people of Britain have been let down by Labour.

Jessica Studdert guest blogging at Left Foot Forward says that Local Councils will be the biggest losers from the CSR.

Mark Pack takes an MP to task for not reading legislation.


Working Class Tory calls the CSR, a ‘fair budget’, and Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome has 20 reasons why the coalition is compassionate, but Will Straw at Left Foot Forward finds that the CSR hits families twice as hard as banks.

Nicola Smith at Touchstone disagrees with Iain Duncan-Smith’s vacancy figures; there are apparently 23 per cent fewer than he thinks. George Eaton at The Staggers blogs on why the IFS and the coalition ought to get along.

Stuart Wilson at Liberal Conspiracy has a thought experiment for the Liberal Democrats.

Dan Hodges at Labour Uncut says that the CSR was a political disaster for Labour, and Lisa Ansell at Liberal Conspiracy thinks that Labour should admit its part in the economic crisis.

Eamonn Butler at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog makes the case for privatizing marriage.

Cuts logo is courtesy of Eric Tastad and the Creative Commons.

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To access the Government Spending Review source documents and key commentaries, see the clickable list here.

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