Week of May 20 – May 26


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

5-26-14

So, just how bad is it for Ed Miliband?

After a miserable few days for Labour following Thursday’s local elections, the party has leapt on a “super-poll” of marginal seats published by Lord Ashcroft. The findings suggested it is doing better in some of the marginals than it is in the rest of the country. If this is repeated at next year’s general election, Labour will win or become the largest party.

The three things keeping Nick Clegg safe

This weekend was always going to be an unpleasant one for Nick Clegg. The delay between the council results on Friday and tonight’s European Election count meant that the pain was going to be drawn out for the Liberal Democrats, giving activists plenty of time to vent their anger at the leadership.

Reflection On Conservative Party After The Elections

Yesterday, I had to speak to the Conservative Home conference on the future of Conservatism.

Now the BBC is censoring the word ‘girl’ – it really is in a different world

It’s beyond parody, isn’t it? Mark Beaumont, a BBC presenter, has made a documentary about the Commonwealth Games and during the course of it he was filmed grappling with a judo champion. After he was sent crashing to the floor he said: ‘I am not sure I can live that down – being beaten by a 19-year-old girl.’ Mr Beaumont is 31.

Ukip and Nigel Farage: How far they’ve come…

Eurosceptic politics used to be a lot like the famous scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, in which a group of revolutionaries – intent on bringing down the Roman Empire – sit in an amphitheatre discussing the various sects into which their movement has subdivided.

5-25-14

Teflon Farage has rained on Ed Miliband’s parade

A year before a general election, the leader of the Opposition needs to exude unstoppable momentum – Labour’s leader still lacks this

London-land can’t ignore this Ukip protest

Most voters see the major parties as members of a self-affirming, insular coterie

Whatever the European election result, Ukip has already won

Ukip has changed the shape of politics – for the better

I respect Nigel Farage, says George Osborne

The chancellor says he respects Nigel Farage but the UKIP leader does not have “answers to the country’s future”.

The way it conducted last week’s election campaign showed deep divisions and poisonous rivalries

The most shocking thing about young Ukip supporters: they’re normal

I went expecting to find mustard trousers. I found down-to-earth ex-Labour voters

5-24-14

How Nigel Farage gave British democracy back to the voters

Ukip has changed the shape of politics – for the better

London is Ukip’s worst nightmare

The local election results highlight how out-of-step London attitudes pose a serious dilemma for Labour and Tories

Now we can discern the haziest outlines of the next 12 months

Popular policies alone are not enough – Miliband must win voters’ respect

The local elections have shown that voters like leaders who are perceived to stand up for what they believe in

5-23-14

Fracking planned for Tory heartlands as report reveals billions of barrels of shale oil in southern England

Report to show vast potential for shale oil in the South as ministers unveil planned law change to allow fracking under homes without owners’ permission

Listen: what the people of Brixton and Chelsea think of Ukip and Farage

London is heading to the polls today and as expected, people have a wide range of views. Coffee House went down to Brixton High Street today to find out how people intend to vote, their views on Nigel Farage and UKIP. Surprisingly, there was no consistency and whilst some intend to support Farage, others were more apathetic.

David Cameron’s plot to keep us in the EU (it’s working)

I write this before the results of the European elections, making the not very original guess that Ukip will do well. Few have noticed that the rise of Ukip coincides with a fall in the number of people saying they will vote to get Britain out of the EU. The change is quite big.

E-voting doesn’t need to be perfect, just better than the current system, which itself isn’t immune to electoral fraud

5-22-14

No need to drag the Child Support Agency into things. Surely you can work it out amicably and save those poor taxpayers money

Theresa May stops the Police Federation’s taxpayer-funded subsidy

It’s the right decision for the public finances – but there’s a certain sense of justice for Plebgate, too.

That a Conservative can make criticisms proves there is a problem

5-21-14

Why people will be voting for Ukip this Thursday

Despite levels of media scrutiny and hostility unseen in recent political history, this Thursday up to 30 per cent of British voters will opt for Ukip. The odd thing is that the more outrageous the slurs made against them, and the wackier the members unveiled in the press, the more their popularity surges, perhaps out of bloody-mindedness; if a Ukip candidate was caught committing autoerotic asphyxiation dressed in a Gestapo uniform tomorrow the party would probably be on 50 per cent by the end of the week.

Church schools equip children to resist extremism

A rounded, Christian education sets pupils free

Nigel Farage’s failed fightback in Croydon

Ukip held a carnival in my hometown, and I found myself caught up in it. They’d enticed us to the Whitgift Centre with talk of a steel band, their large number of local BME candidates and a chance to see Nigel Farage.

Free schools are under attack because they are working

Labour and the Lib Dems compete for the votes of people who feel threatened by educational reform.

5-20-14

The facts and the fears of giving MPs and members the power to veto a 2015 coalition deal

Our ConHome surveys illuminate the realities of a more democratic approach.

The smears against Nigel Farage and Ukip have reached spectacular depths

Inevitably the lowest attacks have been saved until the week of the election. For months now the neat drip-feeding of anti-UKIP stories from Conservative Campaign Headquarters direct to the UK press has done everything possible to depict UKIP as a racist, xenophobic, bigoted party.

Housing supply. Why we need more garden cities

The alternative to building lots of homes in many places is build lots of homes in a few places: this would certainly lessen, or at least limit, the political penalty involved.

You have to wonder anew whether the politician’s ungodly resilience is a sign of strength, paralysis or delusion


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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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