Week of Mar 17 – Mar 23

By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor,  USDR.

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

3-23-15

Why is Nigel Farage considered fair game?

If any other party leader’s family was hounded by a mob, there would be talk of a “crisis in democracy”. Not so when it’s Nigel Farage’s. Why is Ukip treated differently?

The 290 seat Conservative Government. 1) Cameron should be ready to negotiate with Salmond

In a hung Parliament in which the Conservatives are the largest party, he would need the minor parties – starting with the SNP.

Ed Miliband’s brother bother is back

Miliband finally got some good media coverage this weekend. Alas, it was David rather than Ed who was on the receiving end. The Labour leader’s brother was branded ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in a glowing profile in the Sunday Times.

The Left says life was better in the Seventies – what utter tosh

Claims that levels of poverty and inequality have grown worse are demonstrably wrong

Since the Coalition came to power, the average cost of a home in London has surged from £329,133 to almost half a million pounds

3-22-15

The Conservatives must not just rely on Miliband’s inability to debate

What bizarre arrangements have been reached for the election debates. It is hard to see why Ed Miliband agreed to take part in the debate between five opposition leaders, where he is in danger of becoming one challenger among many. One would almost think he wants David Cameron to emerge as the only serious candidate for the prime ministership.

Election debates agreement reached

Broadcasters say a deal over the TV election debates has been reached, with PM David Cameron taking part in one with seven party leaders but no head-to-head with Labour’s Ed Miliband.

Greece, austerity and reform

3-21-15

Renting your way to poverty: welcome to the future of housing

The housing crisis is already out of control, and no one in politics wants to help

The Royal Navy is Britain’s most effective means of promoting and defending itself

The Royal Navy is the most sophisticated, highly trained and flexible part of the British Armed Forces. Every day, it is on active operations at home and around the world promoting and defending British interests. In a world where value for money and dynamic flexibility are key, the navy provides superb value for money.

Starbucks wants to talk about racism? It will take more than a chatty barista to bring Britain together

Can a cup of coffee kick off such a sensitive topic?

You adore Prince Charles, America? Keep him

Without his biscuits, homoeopathy and Madonna-like dancing, Britain will struggle. But perhaps it takes a greater nation to appreciate this perennialist sage

Boris Johnson urges Tories to give more people the Right to Buy to show party’s commitment to less well-off

Millions of families should be given chance to own a home, Johnson says

3-20-15

A foreign nurse tells me that Brits don’t want his NHS job. He has a point.

Plus: Two policemen’s child abuse claims. Lamb for LibDem leader. Osborne for the Foreign Office. And: why won’t Waterstones stock more copies of Farage’s book?

The Lib Dem ‘budget’ is an embarrassment

Telegraph View: The Lib Dems necessarily compromised their principles when they entered the Coalition. Now their attempts to define themselves apart from the Tories seem empty and desperate

Will the shareholders of UK plc give George Osborne another five years?

The Chancellor will be hoping voters will act like traders who buy the rumour and sell the fact

What real reform of business rates would look like

Of all the measures talked up ahead of the Budget, the reannouncement of a ‘radical’ review of the business rates was the least concrete in content but the most important in potential impact on the domestic economy, and especially on business investment.

Budget 2015: George Osborne, the Chancellor that everyone – except Ed Miliband – could see coming

The Chancellor’s Budget went half way towards deflecting Labour’s attacks on the Conservatives

3-19-15

The lucky Chancellor’s 2015 Budget was a triumph of electioneering over economics

This was a grown-up, skilled performance from George Osborne. But he has ceded key ground to Labour, and the size of the state is still a big concern

This was the Chancellor’s least exciting Budget – and none the worse for it

Instead of Osborne the hare, we today got Osborne the tortoise. His gambit was to try to grind his way to victory.

Budget numbers

So the Chancellor shot a few of Labour’s foxes. First to go was the idea that the Conservatives will take the UK back to 1930s levels of spending. This is Labour’s favourite lie, based on confusing spending as a percentage of the economy with real levels of spending, which are currently nine times the 1930s!

Budget delivers single biggest conservation measure ever

In declaring the pristine oceans around the tiny Island of Pitcairn fully protected, the Chancellor has delivered the single biggest conservation measure taken by any Government ever. And he has done so at minimal cost.

Iain Duncan Smith: how private finance can revolutionise public services

Investors can cut reoffending and end rough sleeping though social impact bonds

Labour’s foxes: not so much shot as incinerated. Fleet Street’s take on the budget.

As the election looms, the papers are shifting back to their political comfort zones. But the consensus is that Osborne has drawn some of the sting from Miliband’s attack.

3-18-15

Murphy decries SNP attempt to abolish Barnett Formula

“We’re not looking for any sort of deal. The fact is the difference between Labour and the SNP is too big, and the gap has grown.”

When George Osborne stands up to deliver his Budget, this is what he should say

The Conservatives have a brilliant economic story to tell, but take it from a former Chancellor – there’s more work to be done

The Tories are more trusted with the economy, and have a more favourable leader – so why aren’t they running away with the election?

People are less likely to say that the Conservatives share their values, or stand for fairness

Economic optimism is returning. Will the Conservatives get the credit?

People think things are getting better, but that doesn’t always mean more votes for the Tories

3-17-15

Whatever happened to Nigel Farage, the defender of free speech?

Once upon a time there was a libertarian champion, who led a self-styled ‘People’s Army’. He stood up to ‘political correctness’ and was famed for his outspoken views that often got him into trouble with the ‘Establishment’ and the ‘mainstream media’ that he railed against. Yet look how far Nigel Farage has come.

Doing business in China can be dangerous

On a recent trip there, I saw first-hand the frighteningly powerful, intrusive state.

All this talk of deals and non-deals by our political leaders really does signify nothing

The problem is that leaders need to convey one message before the election and another one after, although not because they’re duplicitous

Why an inheritance tax break on main homes is fairer for ALL families

Family homes have long been exempt from capital gains tax, so simple common sense – as well as fairness – dictates that these properties should be spared inheritance tax, too

Manifesto

As we await the final version of each party’s 2015 Manifesto, I thought it a good idea to re read the Conservative 2010 version. That Manifesto placed most emphasis on the need for economic recovery. Most of the policy proposals for the economy were geared to helping generate many more jobs. Much of what was promised has been delivered, and much of that delivery has produced the desired results in terms of jobs.

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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.