Week of July 23 – 29

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

7-29-13

Saying “Better Off Out” was once enough to kill a career, but now the taboo is shattered

It was not so long ago that openly talking about leaving the EU was enough to make people think you were quite odd. Indeed, on launching the Freedom Association’s Better Off Out campaign in 2006 I clearly remember several well-intentioned friends telling me that by doing so I was killing my campaigning career before it had started.

7-28-13

When party leaders depart from the script, all hell breaks loose

It is within the experience of even the humblest of MPs that those who oppose what you do will berate you with a great deal more passion than you will ever attract from those who support your plans. Any help you can give may be treated by its beneficiaries as no more than your duty; but the people on the other side will treat your unhelpfulness as a massive personal injury.

How can Theresa May persuade voters that net immigration really has been cut by a third?

Those opposed to the current level of immigration into Britain tend to divide into two main groups.  The first consists of those who believe that it reinforces a change in the character of the country for the worse: most members of this group will be relatively old and (generally) white.

7-27-13

Yes, pay of the one per cent is unfair. But worse: it’s rational

You don’t have to be a socialist to be sickened at the way executive pay is, once again, spinning into the stratosphere. Did the head of Burberry really need £16 million? And the head of Nationwide £2.6 million?

George Osborne is offering me a £75k bribe if I buy my council house. Should I take it?

The Chancellor has an indecent proposal for leftish council tenants like me

7-26-13

Treachery in UKIP?

‘Is there treachery at the top of Ukip? Westminster has been buzzing with the rumour that Party treasurer Stuart Wheeler has laid money on the Conservatives to win an overall majority in 2015. Can it possibly be true?

0.6% growth is good news – but we should be careful about how we use it politically

More good economic news for the Chancellor, following last week’s labour market statistics: the UK economy grew in the most recent quarter by 0.6%.

Economy: Osborne’s moment

If Labour wants a substantial critique of Osbornomics, it will need to do better than merely chant that austerity isn’t working

7-25-13

Two in three Free Schools rated Good or Outstanding in latest inspection results

These are early days, and only 15 out of the country’s 81 Free Schools have both been inspected and had results published, but two thirds of these have now been judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – which itself introduced a more rigorous inspection regime last September.

7-24-13

Labour’s problem is that its old leopards don’t want to change their spots

Alan Johnson’s interview with Total Politics highlights one of Ed Miliband’s two big problems for 2015. One is the influence of trade unions over policy, or at least the perceived influence. The second, which Johnson expounds on, is whether it is too much to ask voters to trust Labour again when its top team contains so many familiar faces from the last government.

Quantitative housing

The Government’s “Help to Buy” scheme is almost too successful, having been taken up by nearly 7,000 first-time buyers

If it carries on like this, the review of EU powers is set to fail – and here are four reasons why

When a Government announcement on the EU causes Liberal Democrats to celebrate and Conservative backbenchers to complain, it is never a good sign for eurosceptics. So it is with the newly published first batch of Balance of Competences (BoC) Reviews, which assess six areas of powers split between Brussels and Westminster.

7-23-13

David Cameron can’t say it, but the PM is set on another coalition

The electoral facts of life are stacked against the Conservatives, and the Prime Minister and his team know it

Ashcroft poll shows potential cost of union reforms for Labour – and the opportunity for the Tories

Ed Miliband was clear yesterday when he announced that he will run a special party conference next spring to vote through his reforms to Labour’s relationship with the unions that there would be a ‘cost’ to the party. Now we have the first indications of how great that cost might be.

A porn crackdown that ticks the right boxes

The PM is not censoring the web – he is merely giving parents a chance to protect their children

Alan Johnson: From poverty to parliament

His memoirs set out a tale of survival against the odds, a childhood in which one parent deserted him and the other died young, and a struggle with poverty. What do these experiences give Alan Johnson which other politicians don’t have?

Cameron limits internet porn: social conservatives in all parties will applaud

David Cameron’s speech about the control of internet pornography is a more astute and temperate piece of work than one would think from the attacks made on it. A note of hysteria is detectable in the charge that the Prime Minister’s reforms would turn this country into a totalitarian state.

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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