Week of Dec 2 – Dec 8

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


The Tories aren’t planning to run a £23 billion surplus in 2019/20

All the talk about the ‘colossal’ cuts to come if the Tories win re-election has been predicated on the assumption that the Tories are committed to running a £23 billion surplus in 2019/20. But this assumption is wrong.

Coalition wars: What are George Osborne and Nick Clegg up to?

If the Coalition started cohabiting earlier this year, it has now moved into the phase where the two parties are posting mean things about each other on Facebook and trying to get the kids to take sides. George Osborne has a grump in today’s Sunday Times about the emphasis that the Lib Dems want to place on tax rises to plug the gap after the 2015 election.

Men v May

Why do Boris, Osborne and Gove all converge to agree: Anyone But Theresa? Are sex and sensibility the explanation?

What will Ed and Dave want for Christmas (Part 2 of Christmas present?)


In their hearts, voters want a smaller state

Why has George Osborne denied that he wants to reduce the functions of the state?

Tories attack Nigel Farage over breastfeeding remarks

Ukip’s crisis is the Conservatives’ gain. Following Nigel Farage’s comments about ‘ostentatious’ breastfeeding, Conservative HQ have been promoting this graphic online, with a title noting that Farage is ‘making it up as he goes along’.

Was this the worst ever political blunder in our history?

It was on July 14 1998 that Gordon Brown announced that he planned to double public spending in 10 years.

Saving the planet is about leadership, not fashion, Mr Cameron

Climate change wasn’t mentioned in the Autumn Statement. Hardly surprising, but there is no bigger issue

Christmas present?

It’s that time of year when children agonize over their present list. The lucky ones get to visit Santa’s grotto to tell him in person what they want for Christmas. Our party leaders have been especially keen to meet  Santa this year  with a General election coming up. Their conversations have not gone quite as they hoped. When Santa came to Westminster he was in an argumentative mood. I have obtained a transcript for greater accuracy.


The very model of a political Chancellor

Osborne has achieved one of the most difficult things in his profession: renewing himself in office

The difference between real journalism and Russia Today

It looks like a news channel. It talks like a news channel. It says whatever Putin wants

Daily catch-up: trust in the American government, Thorpemania and more unexpectedly old words

Another selection from our cyperspace explorer, Captain Quirk


To target spending reductions at the young only would be to offend social justice

Bearing down on free bus passes, the winter fuel allowance and free TV licences might be symbolic – but it’s also important.

Stamp Duty

‘I’m called Sajid, I’m fiercely patriotic about our country’

Sajid Javid was on Question Time yesterday and gave easily one of the most confident and assured defences of the government’s immigration policy to date. In response to a question about British identity and the increasing popularity of the name ‘Mohammad’, Javid rebutted the notion that a name has anything to do with patriotism


George Osborne’s new stamp duty regime explained

If you’re buying a house, or thinking about it, there’s only one fact you need to know about today’s Budget: stamp duty is changing. Gone is the old system of thresholds, and instead it will be a percentage chunk of the value. And no, this ist a disguised tax graph – the Chancellor expects to lose more money out of this reform than any other.

Revealed: why Nick Clegg boycotted the Autumn statement

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg no longer wants to be seen sitting alongside David Cameron or George Osborne

George Osborne, Conservative

Some members of the Tory family think the Chancellor isn’t part of it. But the Autumn Statement showed that no-one is working harder for its future.

ONS confirms public spending has continued to rise in real terms

In 2010 I pointed out that public spending was going up every year of this Parliament in cash terms. I also forecast that this government would control the costs of public spending better than the previous government, so real current public spending would also rise. Most commentators, politicians and journalists thought this wrong and talked about the real terms cuts to come.


What’s Osborne plotting now?

Tories plan mysterious vote after Autumn Statement

Scottish Tories lead resistance to SNP land grab

Also: The latest dispatches from the devolutionary front lines; and Sinn Fein councillor arrested as DUP plot Belfast comeback.

‘Books or tablets? There’s no contest’

It’s sad when you see a child with an iPad, writes Eleanor Doughty, children should be encouraged to pick up a book and get reading


Gordon Brown is a giant. He has been followed by pygmies

Gordon Brown’s retirement as an MP will be cheered by his critics. But, says Tim Stanley, even if he didn’t quite save the world, he remains a man of unusual stature

It’s time for George Osborne to explain why lower taxes are so good for growth

Changing tax rates also has an effect on incentives to work, invest, consume and transact which need to be taken into effect when setting policy and budgeting

Why the Autumn Statement doesn’t matter

Osborne simply has no political room to do anything very much. The big decisions will come after the election – whoever is in office.

London is over…and it’s about time too

As a born and bred Londoner, Bryony Gordon never thought she would consider leaving the capital, no matter how much she moaned about it. But as new statistics show record numbers of young people are moving out, London may finally have reached tipping point

What could the Chancellor do to boost tax revenues?

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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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