Week of Aug 14 – Aug 20

Looking at the news and opinion out of London eachday.

8-20-12

Be bold, Prime Minister, make Mr Cable your Home Secretary

A seismic shake-up of the Cabinet is the only option if the Tories are to revive their fortunes, argues PaulGoodman.

Fixing Britain’s work ethic is not the answer to this economic mess

It suits the Tory austerity narrative to blame ‘idle’ Britons for the recession rather than flaws in the modern labour market

How is the government getting on with deregulation?

In the Economic Policy Review  presented to Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne in opposition, we  recommended 33 specific items of deregulation. We also recommended that a Minister be responsible for constructing regulatory budgets, with a view  to cutting the total cost of regulations for business by £14 billion a year by the fifth year of a newgovernment.

A reminder – if we needed one – of the things that the Liberal Democrats are stopping

The Times’ Sam Coates has performed a great public service this morning by listing FIFTY unresolved tensions between the Coalitionpartners.

How to cut the cost of railways and keep fares down

Too many decisions about trains are made by engineers or people who like trains (e.g. Andrew Adonis). Trains get you from A to B, nothing more. They are well-suited to dense linear journeys, such as commuting or journeys between large cities. They are ill-suited to heterogeneous journeys, for which cars are moreappropriate.

8-19-12

Taxpayers’ money spent on lavish awards ceremony for “tenant participation”

Substantial taxpayer funding for social housing is being redirected from spending of practical benefit and passed instead to an organisation called the Tenant Participation Advisory Service. I couldn’t find its accounts on its website but it has 23 full time paid staff which implies its budget issubstantial.

Iain Duncan Smith in attack on BBC over jobless figures

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has accused the BBC of “carping and moaning” over joblessfigures.

There is an unhealthy division between children who can and cannot attend independent schools

Congratulations to all of those who organised our brilliant Olympic Games; to the 70,000 cheerful volunteers, to all the competing athletes and the millions of supporters. All of these evidenced what I have always believed, that the great majority of the British public are down to earth patriotcitizens.

The U-turn on social care is a small step towards a better Britain

Capping care costs will ease a terror felt by many. But leaders must beware: disaster lurks in promises the coalition can’t keep

The next Coalition u-turn on the horizon: rail fare increases?

Adding to the sense of Tory discontent with the Government’s rail fare increases, Priti Patel MP said on Sky News today that she wants Ministers to “do more” to help thesituation

8-18-12

Modernising the Conservatives

I was an early moderniser. In the  mid 1990s I felt the Conservative party needed to change.  The old fashioned approach based on supporting the pro European UK establishment in conjunction  with Labour and the Lib Dems  had led to national economic crisis  with the Exchange Rate Mechanism. The Tory brand was damaged by association with the high interest rates, decline in output and the boom and bust which our membership of the ERMcaused.

Honesty is the best policy for a Prime Minister who puts pragmatism first

David Cameron should borrow one of the Liberals’ great slogans and trust thepeople

Philip Hammond has seen the light over privatisation. Sadly, the government hasn’t

The army’s Olympic performance challenged the defence minister’s private ‘ethos’. So why is the government currently negotiating £4bn of new tenders – many in defence?

The Chancellor George Osborne is losing the argument on growth

The financial markets want wasteful state spending cut and will back investment ininfrastructure

The ‘Goldilocks option’ for Scottish independence would be so very British

Independence lite would not be one thing or the other. But it is starting to have appeal for unionists and nationalists alike

8-17-12

Government now plan to proceed with Dilnot cap on £35,000 care bills

In July, the Government published a Social Care White Paper.  It apparently decided against a cap on the amount that an individual will be charged by the state for social care. Now we have a u-turn. The newspapers this morning have been briefed that there will be a cap after all. It will be £35,000 – the figure proposed by the economist AndrewDilnot.

Young Tory MPs blame ‘lazy’ baby boomers for Britain’s economic decline

A group of rising young Conservative MPs claims that ‘idle’ British workers are damaging the economy by failing to compete with ‘grafting’ Asiancountries.

Tackle ‘lazy’ Britain, fellow Tories tell David Cameron

David Cameron was today challenged by rising star Tory MPs to tackle “lazy” Britain — and bring in tough new workreforms.

It’s not about posh – it’s about privilege

Emma Burnell urges the Labour Party to stop wasting time ‘bashing theposh’

Pussy Riot prove the only professionals in sight

From their perfectly pitched band name to their academic court statements, these women know exactly what they’re doing

8-16-12

We shouldn’t underestimate the electoral appeal of the Coalition not having made the economy worse

Politics is paralysed. I want to write about my schemes for the reform of welfare, or university funding, or healthcare, or prisons policy. But what would be thepoint?

Cameron’s Crush on Labour

He called Ed Milliband a “complete mug”, Ed Balls a “muttering idiot” and he told Labour MP Angela Eagle to “Calm down, dear”. Why is David Cameron so derogatory to those sitting opposite him? Based on his actions he should be sat withthem.

Why are Whitehall’s top mandarins running for the exit?

Unhappy civil servants are feeling undermined by ministers’ drive for more politicalcontrol

Fewer A-level students make the A and A* grade: a perfect result?

The 0.4% decline in top pass rates is a blip for now. Time will tell whether it represents something deeper, and what that might be

8-15-12

Here’s how we counter the BBC’s liberal bias

The Guardian-reading elite is waiting to hear from Right-thinking writers andcomedians

This is not the time to put the brakes on reforming the state

Private companies can deliver key services as reliably as the public sector, and at lowercost

Inflation: when the commute costs £5,000

Which has gone up more in the five years since the financial crisis began: wages or food prices?

Build it, and jobs, wealth and worth will come

Private investment in infrastructure and construction would help get us growingagain

Four objectives for David Cameron’s reshuffle

Over the next few days ConservativeHome will be looking at the looming reshuffle, the first and perhaps only big reshuffle that Mr Cameron will make in this parliament. Although my guess is that the really big one is actually a year or soaway.

8-14-12

A health service for all citizens really would be patriotic

There’s a new spirit of post-Olympics goodwill, and politicians will be expected to respond toit

After Capitalism: ‘In the anti-worlds of daily struggles the world beyond capitalism is to be found’ – video

Marxist sociologist John Holloway argues that a world after capitalism is already being imagined in struggles around the world.

Relaxation of Sunday trading will upset churchgoers, family campaigners and a good number of Tory MPs

When the Government first flirted with the idea of relaxing Sunday trading laws Paul Goodman was very unimpressed. Is this the most anti-Christian government in British history?, he asked. But it’s not just churchgoers who don’t like the idea. By 52% to 36% most Britons oppose further deregulation of Sundayopening.

Must the poor go hungry just so the rich can drive?

Sports stars like Mo Farah at No 10 will not change a simple fact: people are starving because of the west’s thirst for biofuels

True blue? It’s about belief not boating parties

BBC2’sYoung, Bright and on the Rightwasn’t an exposure of young Conservatism, it was justsad

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

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