Week of Feb 24 – Mar 2

By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor,  USDR.

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


Smug Germany

Its insistence on austerity measures in Southern Europe means that a Grexit and Greek debt repudiation remain likely.

Why did the IMF lend so much to Greece?

In 2010 the IMF lent Euro 30 billion to Greece as part of a much larger package to support the ailing economy. The IMF explained at the time that it had lent 3200% of quota, well over its normal limits for a country in difficulty. It gave Greece “exceptional access to IMF resources”. The IMF cited the need to prevent the crisis spreading to other parts of the EU and to defend the Euro.

The UK is rolling out the red carpet for President Peña Nieto, but his security forces have blood on their hands

There’s been a six-fold increase in the number of reported torture cases in the past

We can download information. But we can’t download experience – and we need it.

Modernity, quickness, and digital ability are all vital, but so is the wisdom and understanding of the older worker.

Are the Conservatives losing their nerve?

With the polls refusing to budge and even David Cameron said to have doubts about the Conservative campaign, James Kirkup describes the Tories’ brittle confidence

This election demonises the weakest

Someone has to rescue us from the complete madness of the immigration red herring being the major issue in this election


Why austerity policies may not work in the Eurozone

The Eurozone’s disciplines have been nicknamed the politics of austerity for good reason. Each state is meant to keep its budget deficit down to 3% of GDP – way below the large cyclical deficits the UK, US and other single currency areas allowed themselves in the great recession. Each state is meant to keep its total amount of borrowing to below 60%, though most of them have given up on that idea.

Zac Goldsmith: How my dad saved Britain

If you’re grateful not to be in the euro, it’s James Goldsmith and his ‘rebel army’ you should thank

Why an SNP surge at Westminster could mean the end of Britain

Scotland’s political earthquake isn’t over, and the rest of the UK doesn’t yet understand the consequences

Stephen Crabb’s big day

Raised by a single mother on a council estate, and a devotee of social justice, the Welsh Secretary has been making waves.

Make sure we stop the next Jihadi John

The unmasking of “Jihadi John”, the notorious fighter with the so-called Islamic State, raises troubling questions for Britain’s anti-terror effort.

No one wants to fight a national campaign. This will be the least general election in years

With each party uncompetitive in large parts of the country, expect a regionalised campaign in which leaders talk past one another

The time is right for a minority candidate running for Mayor

With white Britons leaving the capital and Ukip pushing hard, the main parties need London’s ethnic voters on their side


How Cameron’s jobs miracle ate his immigration target

The embarrassing truth is that David Cameron did not think carefully about this pledge to take net immigration into the ‘tens of thousands’. The pledge originated in a Thick-of-It style farce: it was an aspiration mentioned by Damian Green, then immigration spokesman, that caught media attention

You want pupils to learn about profits, Prime Minister? Here’s a way in which they can do so.

A proposal from the ConservativeHome manifesto.

Before rushing to criticise Malcolm Rifkind, do you know how much being an MP can cost?

Aside from the impact it has on your life, getting elected costs tens of thousands of pounds


I would vote for the Coalition – it ought to stand in May

The two parties within the government have missed a trick, to their mutual self-harm.

Please, Ed Balls – spare us the bedroom details

When will politicians learn to never discuss their sex lives in public?

George Osborne’s northern powerplay

James Kirkup explains the policies and politics behind the Chancellor’s plan to empower northern cities

Until or unless we leave the EU, we stand no chance of reducing net immigration to “tens of thousands”

Our membership, the Coalition and Britain’s growth rate have holed Cameron’s pledge below the waterline.

A Candidate’s Diary: Abuse. A child’s toys. Dog faeces. A broken door bell. I meet a voter whose support I don’t want.

“Why is your kid not at school? If you’re going to mess your life up, go ahead – but at least give your lad a chance, eh?”


Pregnant at 16? Who’d want that on their CV?

Tumbling teenage pregnancy rates offer yet more proof that this is a sensible generation, argues Rachael Dove

It’s hard to believe that the Bethnal Green trio don’t know what they’re doing

The Tories must not abandon independent schools

Gove’s drive to extend to the state sector the freedoms enjoyed by fee-paying schools should be extended to allow academic selection.

Should we believe the opinion polls or the betting markets?

Plus a cartoon, a quotation, a book review and a very long article about commas

How Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s 40 year political career ended in 48 hours

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former foreign secretary, has given in to pressure and announced that he is standing down as an MP at the next election after cash for access allegations


As the electorate ages, young people are becoming less and less of a political force but there are some seats where they remain key to the result

Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s downfall creates a Conservative vacancy in Kensington. Send for Andrew Strauss

Kensington and Chelsea, the greatest prize in Conservative politics, is now up for grabs. The Tories should pick a real star.

Why Natalie Bennett doesn’t need to do the sums on policy

To be fair to Natalie Bennett, she took the rather admirable step of apologising on the Daily Politics for being so woeful in her car crash interview with Nick Ferrari this morning. But the whole episode tells us a lot about how the Green party views its appeal to voters.

Fairness between the generations

Stephen Tall: Some farewell advice

My last ConHome column addresses the same topic as my first: If I were a Tory, here’s what I would do.

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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.