Week of Aug 12 – Aug 18


Looking at the news and opinion out of London each day.

8-17-14

Does the passion of Michael Gove still burn bright?

Exam results vindicate the former education secretary’s reforms – now his successor must keep that radical flame alive

Friends: The One with Ed’s Holiday Plans

Ed Miliband tries to address his image problem, in the latest episode of our political sitcom


8-16-14

What two years—and a free school—can do for exam results

For the first time in 32 years, the overall pass rate for A-levels has dropped, and the percentage of those achieving an A* or A grade has also dipped slightly. One part of the country that has bucked the national trend is Newham. And in particular, the borough’s London Academy of Excellence – a brand new sixth form free school.


8-14-14

Two political fundraising successes

Better Together declares it doesn’t need any more donations, and the Conservatives trounce Labour in the party stakes.

The international community needs to save Iraq before it falls beyond repair

This crisis is now at breaking point. Only international assistance can save lives

Jobs figures: good news on unemployment, bad news on wages

Today’s labour market figures have enough in them for both sides of the political debate to feel they’ve got something to run with. First, the jobs: the overall unemployment rate fell to 6.4% in the second quarter of this year, the lowest since the end of 2008. There are 820,000 more people in work than a year ago. The number of young people out of work is 200,000 lower than last year, which is the biggest fall since records began 30 years ago. And the Bank of England has just upgraded its growth forecast for the UK this year from 3.4% to 3.5% and from 2.9% to 3% for next year. Good news for the Coalition.

The Lawrences of Iraq

The realism of Dryden is a better guide to what to do next than the idealism of his counterpart.


8-13-14

Britain’s economy needs a little creative destruction

Many policies developed to negotiate the recession have backfired – higher interest rates might be the solution

A Conservative immigration policy

If Sir John Major was arguing that the values of most immigrants are Conservative ones, he was right. But to say so is not a policy. Here is one.

Ukip’s message resonates with Thurrock voters

Locals in Thurrock still talk about the lightning strike that years ago hit a business park on the north side of the Dartford Crossing, scorching a vast warehouse to the ground. Next May the UK Independence party hopes to deliver a similar thunderbolt by seizing the constituency from under the noses of Labour and the Conservatives.

Upsetting minorities will put David Cameron on a shortcut to oblivion

The Tories are torn between broadening their appeal and luring back Ukip supporters

Boris is back – and he has George Osborne in his sights

Can the Friends of Boris take down the Friends of George? Don’t bet against them


8-12-14

The work ethic of Iain Duncan Smith

The irony is that he is helping to lead a culture change in attitudes to work and welfare without the mass introduction to date of his Universal Credit.

If Mark Simmonds struggles in London on £90K, he might want to keep quiet about it

It is tough at the top, clearly. How else to explain the decision of Mark Simmonds, until Monday a foreign office minister, to resign. His complaint was not, as with Baroness Warsi, over government policy. Rather, he genuinely wants to see his family more. This, he maintains, he cannot afford to on the allowances that the government provides. “There clearly needs to be greater financial support for people to rent flats in London,” he told the BBC, “to enable families to stay together.

Nicky Morgan’s challenge: stop Gove becoming a useful bogeyman

Tristram Hunt announces today that he wants to put a stop to the policy of overhauling A-levels. That means that Labour isn’t going to do something that the Coalition says it is going to do. If the party wins next year’s General Election, it will not abolish AS-levels and will delay the overall reforms to consult further and allow schools to get used to the new GCSEs.

The era of the mega-bank is over – it’s time to let them fail

By seeking to beef up capital to prevent failure, regulators only further reduce the propensity to lend – just look at the devastating effect this is having on Europe


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Across The Pond is edited daily by Steve Parkhurst. Steve is a political consultant, a writer at his blog as well as a Senior Editor here at US Daily Review. Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveParkhurst

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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