Week of May 12 – May 18

By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor,  USDR.

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

5-18-15

The next Labour leader should remember the ‘politics of envy’ never work

Andy Burnham may be the trade unions’ favourite candidate for Labour leader but he is already distancing himself from some of Ed Miliband’s worst populist nonsense. This is what he said in today’s Observer: ‘We have got to get away from things that look like symbolism.

How to use, and extend, this window of opportunity

So far, we have been lucky in our opponents. But it is down to us to keep the momentum going, and keep the other parties in disarray.

Labour’s turf war has barely begun

Len McCluskey’s got a fight on his hands to stop the unions walking away from Labour forever

What kind of a renegotiation do we want with the EU?

I do not want the UK to play New York State to Euroland’s USA. I would rather we played Canada. The Euro area is rushing towards political union. It has to take more powers to the centre, and redistribute tax revenue more fairly around the zone. The UK does not wish to join that. That is why we need to negotiate a new relationship, based on trade and friendship, that excludes us from political union

5-17-15

The Left is as noisy as ever – how about listening for once?

Despite failing to intimidate the country into voting their way, the hard-line activists would still rather shout dogma than engage in reasonable debate

Andy Burnham isn’t just the unions’ candidate, he’s the Tory candidate too

“I’m the change candidate,” said Andy Burnham, settling down to the consolidation phase of his leadership bid. Chuka Umunna is out, so he is now the bookies’ favourite. He faces a conundrum: the brains of Labour want to tack to the centre, the money (ie, the unions) want to keep it to the left. So how can he keep both happy?

Will David Cameron turn out to be a shy green after all?

Having hugged those huskies, he barely spoke about climate change as PM, but things may change yet again

A modern Labour Party must shake off the unions

Telegraph View: Unite has claimed too many scalps. With Jim Murphy out and the Labour leadership contest looking like it might lean leftwards, the modernisers need to step in

5-16-15

George Osborne to hold SECOND Budget of year – and expect the axe to fall on welfare

Mr Osborne said: “On the 8th of July I am going to take the unusual step of having a second Budget of the year.  “I don’t want to wait to turn the promises we made in the election into a reality.”

The Surplus Trap. A new Benefits Trap. Osborne prepares a welcome for Labour’s new leader

Dividing lines were one of Brown’s weapons. The Chancellor is turning them against Labour with a vengeance.

Inside the Milibunker: the last days of Ed

The Labour leader’s court kept its fantasy alive right to the end

At the election, we lost support in areas that were previously described as our heartlands

Will the last one in Labour please turn out the lights?

First Dan Jarvis dropped out, now Chuka Umunna – Labour’s new generation are dropping like flies just when they are most needed

5-15-16

Labour didn’t lose because it was too Left-wing. But it will lose again if it becomes too Right-wing

Orthodoxy says Miliband ran his campaign as a socialist and that Labour needs to swerve Right. Neither proposition is supported by the facts. Labour should ignore Left vs Right platitudes and talk about morality instead

Thousands of claimants found work after benefits cap, says minister

More than 20,000 people whose benefits have been capped have subsequently found work or claimed less housing benefit, the government has said, as it paves the way for far deeper cuts in welfare in the months ahead.

A message to Jon Cruddas and Labour: challenge, construct and connect

The Labour Party needs to do a better job in future of challenging their opponents’ narrative rather than working from within its frame

It’s a law of our natures, to applaud where we already approve, and deride where we don’t

5-14-15

Labour lost because it could not face up to its role in the crash

The Labour party paid a heavy price in the 1980s for failing to come to terms properly with the events of the late 1970s, and it was only when Tony Blair came along in 1994 that the party began to have an honest reckoning.

Does Patrick O’Flynn actually want a new leader for Ukip?

Patrick O’Flynn has surfaced to explain his remarks about Nigel Farage and the team around him. On Sky News, O’Flynn denied he was gunning for Farage’s position, describing him as ‘my political hero’, but blamed a ‘couple of people in his inner circle’ who he said are ‘wrong ‘uns’

Clegg can still lead… a CONGA: Nick and Miriam dominate the dancefloor as Lib

Dems hold a political wake after defeat

We need a new kind of politics: a vote every five years is not enough

The barriers between politicians and ordinary citizens must come down in order to achieve true democracy

Why are we so shy of celebrating British achievements? Cameron must learn from Modi

Foreigners respect and admire Britain more, it seems, that we do ourselves. It’s time to start banging the drum for the Made in Britain marque

Shopping-basket politics have left us much poorer

There has been no shortage of soul-searching in the aftermath of Labour’s defeat last week. Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and the Other Miliband Boy have all helpfully lined up to say: “Told you so!” Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall have thrown interestingly-shaped hats into the ring. However, it’s an insight from another possible leadership candidate that caught my eye.

5-13-15

It’s time to make a radical offer to the old coalfields

For economic, moral and political reasons we should introduce a new generation of Enterprise Zones to heal the wounds of the 1980s.

It was the working class, not the middle class that sunk Labour

Labour’s next leader must hold onto and increase our middle class vote, reaching out to working class voters, and mobilise Labour identifiers who did not vote Labour.

Labour’s path back to power is tougher than you think

A putative list of Labour’s targets reveals the scale of the party’s challenge.

Why the Labour party can’t blame biased coverage from Sun, Mail and Telegraph for its general election downfall

Common sense would suggest that the right-wing press helped swing the general election for the Conservatives. The Sun, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail are the three leading newspapers in their markets and were all stridently pro-Conservative and anti-Labour in much of their political news coverage and comment in the weeks running up the election.

Clegg comes across as affable, trustworthy and relaxed –  a combination many official Britons find nigh-impossible to muster abroad

Labour is doomed without a leader who appeals to England

Labour mistook its navel for the nation and wrongly thought Englishness was for xenophobes. Now Scotland has gone and the Left must pick up the pieces

It was not the Tory modernisers wot won it

The Tory triumph was a victory for Conservative modernisers, apparently. That’s the theory presented by Lord Finkelstein in his, as ever, beautifully-written column for The Times today. I can see what Lord F is getting at, and the Cameroons and Osbornites are understandably excited that their chaps have been vindicated.

5-12-15

Will Ed and David’s relationship put off potential Labour leaders?

David Miliband has just given a brutal interview to BBC News in which he took a few more words to say ‘I told you so’ about the way his brother led the Labour party. Some of the worst lines were about their relationship, with David saying of Ed that ‘we remain in touch’, as someone might talk of a former colleague who they occasionally email, and that the two ‘remain brothers for life and that’s something that has to be kept’.

Now Cameron can detoxify the Tories for a generation

This election was the endorsement of the centre ground. Time for the Prime Minister to finish the project he began almost a decade ago

Why David Cameron’s election victory is good news for Washington

Foreign policy barely featured in the 2015 UK General Election campaign. But this was an election with important consequences on the world stage, not least for the United States, Britain’s closest friend and ally. It would be fair to say that much of Washington (or at least anyone paying attention over here) breathed a collective sigh of relief on both sides of the political aisle when it became clear that David Cameron had won re-election.

I want people to know the real reason I was there staring at an armed police officer

A Tory win put paid to Labour’s controversial pledge but there is still great unfairness in the property tax system

The election when first past the post lost

One part of the result is crystal clear even before polling day: our electoral system no longer functions

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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.