Week of Feb 17 – Feb 23

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By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor,  USDR.

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


The pound scrapped. Grammar Schools too. Lord McCluskey in charge. The nightmare of a Miliband Government.

I believe we’ll win. But I could be wrong. So all this could be only a few weeks away…

The latest British teen girls to join Islamic State are not ‘missing’ – they’ve joined a murderous cult of their own volition

The lobbyist’s web still threatens the reputation of MPs, parliament and politics

Allegations that Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind were involved in the latest ‘cash for access’ scandal is a reminder of the threat that lobbying poses to both the reputation of parliament and politics. In 2011, as Liam Fox was caught up in the Adam Werritty scandal, The Spectator examined how the lobbying industry works and how it threatens to skew our democracy


The Telegraph only has itself to blame

Instead of investigating, the paper lashed out hysterically

The Tories’ ‘attack ads’ are cruel, flippant and unfunny

These YouTube campaign videos that ridicule Ed Miliband and Ed Balls smack of crass, elitist bullying

What future awaits UKIP’s libertarians?

It’s strategists are chasing the disaffected working class and the media is starting to write libertarianism out of the party script.


Cameron needs to stop pussyfooting around and address voters’ fears

In a direct comparison between Ed Milliband and David Cameron, the Prime Minister wins. But he lacks conviction as a leader

Ukraine crisis: Can the UK any longer aspire to a global role?

Would we not be better concentrating on the defence and well-being of our own backyard?

Greece bailout: Don’t be fooled by the idea that ‘Grexit’ is now impossible

Many experts think it’s only a matter of time, however often the can is kicked down the road

It’s crunch time again, but should Europe still fear a Grexit?

Whether the Greeks leave the euro or stay in it will be a mess – but at least Britain should ride out the crisis

45p income rate brings in much more revenue

The Treasury official figures said putting the 50p tax rate down to 45p would entail a loss of £100m of tax revenue. Instead, as some of us forecast, it has led to a surge in additional tax.

Are we psychologically prepared for the rest of the 21st Century?

ISIS, Putin, the prospect of an end to antibiotics…are we really prepared for how tough the coming decades might be?


Will the economy win the Tories this election?

Job numbers are good; tax revenues are not. But which matters most?

The Telegraph. The Barclay Brothers and Murdoch MacLennan should go.

Plus: Good on McVey. Bad on Putin. Arm the Baltic States. Circumcision is barbaric, full stop. The original Peter Oborne. And: Channel 4′s Leni Reifenstahl UKIP drama.

Labour’s in trouble over Ed Miliband’s tax hypocrisy

How can the Labour leader preach to David Cameron about tax-dodging donors when one of his own stands accused of promoting “tax avoidance on an industrial scale”?

George Osborne and Boris Johnson: Our six-point plan to make London the world’s greatest city

The capital urgently needs new homes, more jobs, major transport projects and investment in science and culture

If HSBC can help rich people avoid paying tax, why don’t they help the poor avoid paying their fuel bills?

I’ve got just the idea for the bank’s next move


Unemployment falls again

Voters may suspect that Conservatives only care about those at the top – but falling unemployment helps those stuck at the bottom.

On the campaign trail with David Cameron

The Prime Minister visited a primary school in Chester last week. Our political commentator went with him to see how the pre-election campaign was going

World fails to end as politician tells truth

As Esther McVey, a Conservative minister, says she’d like to be PM, James Kirkup wishes for more plain-speaking politicians

Tomorrow can be better

You do not make the poor rich by trying to make the rich poor. High tax societies do less well than sensible tax societies. Societies that welcome in rich people and companies and give them some freedom do better than societies that let jealousy rule. Cuba and Venezuela show what poverty socialism can breed. France has just demonstrated under Mr Hollande that high personal taxes lead to a flight of talent out of the country and less growth and prosperity, forcing him to cut the rates.

You MUST read TheGoodRight NOW

It’s a modern form of One Nation Conservatism. Harold Macmillan would have liked it.


Oborne’s resignation. The firepower is spectacular. But is it well targeted?

The weight of his new charge – that fewer truths are now told by the mainstream media – is greater than the evidence that supports it.

What do the charges Peter Oborne levels against the Telegraph tell us about the economics of newspapers?

At some publications, content is not always immune from commercial pressures

Everyone an owner?

The UK debate has been depressing during and after the deep recession of the last decade. There has been much discussion of how to share the diminished income and output, with rather less talk of how more people can own more and participate more fully in the economic life of our country. Recently there has been enthusiastic discussion of how to tax rich people and companies more, with no discussion of how more people can be well off and more can own and run their own successful companies.

Here comes The Good Right

Tim Montgomerie and Stephan Shakespeare’s new project is a radical, inventive and long-termist injection into Conservative thinking.


The Eurozone crisis is as much a political problem as it is an economic  one

Veterans of Eurozone crisis summits, hoping for another nail-biting drama, had queued to get ringside seats. But yesterday’s meeting over Greece with Eurozone Finance Ministers ended without result. And you shouldn’t be  surprised.

Grant Shapps MP: Ten reasons Labour must be  stopped

The Opposition would threaten economic  chaos.

Yanis Varoufakis has overplayed his hand and Greece will have to make a deal to stay in the  eurozone

Mats Persson says Greece’s Syriza government will have no choice but to cave in and accept a deal to remain in the single  currency

The politics of  donors

Sensible people want to hear from their politicians during an election about the plans and intentions they have for the next five years, if chosen to govern. People are quite interested in examining the record of leading parties in power, so there does have to be some discussion of the past to help form impressions of whether a party in government is broadly helpful, reliable and good at handling  crises.

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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

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