Week of July 16 – July 22

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


Well-organised differentiation could help Cameron avoid Coalition break-up pressure

That senior Tories are urging David Cameron to break up the Coalition early so the Conservatives can fight the election unencumbered by those pesky Lib Dems is hardly going to dent the Prime Minister’s chillaxing this summer.

From firmness on internet standards to wobbliness on Crosby – Cameron’s Marr interview

David Cameron was chin-juttingly firm about many subjects in his interview with Andrew Marr. On child pornography, the main subject of the piece, he warned of “stronger laws” if the internet firms don’t act stronger themselves.


That question crops up again, when should the Tories split from the Lib Dems?

There are two particular reasons, at the moment, to discuss whether and when David Cameron should break the bonds of coalition. First, there’s the spirit of self-confidence that has descended on the Tories with the hot weather. Second, there’s the fact that so many simmering divisions between Conservatives and Lib Dems – benefits, Europe, Trident – have recently boiled over into the newspapers.

David Cameron, the social reformer, takes on the pornographers

The Prime Minister is challenging the internet companies to acknowledge their ‘moral duty’ to restrict access to hardcore pornography

Think again – the baby boomers had it tougher than young people today

Here’s a competition for you: ‘The most irritating discussion on Radio 4 in the past month.’ Answers in not more than 140 characters — but on a proper postcard, preferably written in fountain pen.

Crosby: Will Cameron adopt the ConservativeHome solution?

The Andy Coulson saga involves a trial.  The Lynton Crosby controversy does not.  This helps to explain why the latter is a classic Westminster Village story, with its complex calculations about conflicting interests and chinese walls.  (David Cameron’s strategist is a Party and not a Government employee, and even then only a part-time one.)


Falling crime statistics are an essential proof of concept for the Coalition – and a triumph for Theresa May

The news that the British Crime Survey has found crime levels at the lowest level since records began more than 30 years ago has been greeted with near-universal acclaim in today’s papers.

Are fracking tax breaks really necessary?

George Osborne is taking the ‘global race’ to a new level today. The Chancellor is not just allowing Britain to enter the fracking revolution by unveiling a shale gas allowance, he’s also offering the most generous tax breaks in the world for the exploitation. The allowance will mean shale production income will be taxed at 30 per cent rather than 62 per cent.


Three positive trade union campaigns for Conservatives

To say the trade unions have been in the news recently is an understatement akin to saying Norman Tebbit is a bit right wing. The Falkirk scandal, the further revelations about wider union power and Ed Miliband’s attempt to stem the crisis have all seen the Conservatives hammering Labour on charges of dodgy dealings and weakness in the face of union bosses.

We have to wean the country off the drug of immigration

Education and welfare reforms, not imported labour, are the way to solve our mounting debt

Fracking the village

What happens when talk of ‘exploratory drilling’ comes to a pretty corner of West Sussex

IDS, the one-man labour party – in the real sense of the word

The formidable Conservative backbench support for transferable tax allowances shows how crucial marriage is to Tory thinking about social policy.  It’s often accompanied by a preoccupation with the position of one-earner couples within the tax and benefit system, and a certain sympathy for universalism and hostility to means-testing


A health service that needs special measures

The Keogh review is yet more evidence that the NHS needs to change, and not along party-political lines

Good news for the Government in the new labour market statistics

The latest labour market statistics from the ONS contains five key pieces of good news for the Government

The Lynton Crosby question Number 10 can’t quite answer

It’s difficult to find a Tory MP who doesn’t think Lynton Crosby is making their party more aggressive and impressive. The Wizard of Oz has been a good thing. Most MPs think his tough-talking vision for how the party can fight Ukip and Labour rather than fighting one another has made a huge difference.

Fairer benefits

Iain Duncan Smith’s fresh ideas for updating the welfare state are welcome and will prove popular with voters 


Jeremy Hunt might have descended to the gutter over the NHS, but he’s taken Labour with him

Despite all the twitter chatter about more heat than light, a number of things have become over the past hour. The first is that Jeremy Hunt is, by a country mile the worst House of Commons performer in the government. He’s now fronted two major statements – on News International and today’s – and it’s been embarrassing to watch.

Zimmerman verdict: the American Left only likes juries when they get the result they want

There is almost nothing more emotive than a murder trial, particularly when it takes place in the United States and involves the shooting dead of a black boy on the basis of self-defence. Public sympathies are inevitably roused and divided on the basis of prejudices and predilections. That is understandable.

Don’t dismiss Bone and Hollobone entirely – a good idea is not always the same as a popular idea

Lord Ashcroft’s latest polling tests the more than 40 proposals put forward by Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone in their Alternative Queen’s Speech. He rightly points out that, in the national scheme of things, the idea that the platform is a mass vote-winner which would swing the General Election is mistaken.

People died in squalor in NHS hospitals. Yet Labour MPs, brimming with phoney rage, think this is all about them

It wasn’t just Mid Staffordshire Hospital. We now know that thousands of patients, in a dozen or more hospitals across the country, received seriously inadequate health care. The review by Sir Bruce Keogh suggests neglect and malpractice are widespread within parts of the NHS. So much so that the Health Minister has had to put many NHS trusts into “special measures”.


A hearty welcome for Renewal, the new campaign group designed to extend the Tories’ electoral appeal

Actually, there’s another word of the day – and that word is “group”. David Skelton’s campaign group Renewal, designed to extend the Tories’ appeal into areas like the North, properly launches this evening. The Forty Group, composed of Tory MPs in marginal seats, is publishing a list of policies designed to attract those voters floating in the centre of the political spectrum.

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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