Week of June 18 – June 24

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


Spending review: All departments settle

All departments have now reached agreement with the Treasury in the spending review. Vince Cable’s Business Department, which was not expected to settle until the last possible moment, settled earlier this evening bringing the round to a conclusion.

Goldsmith: What does Cameronism mean?

Once the poster boy for David Cameron’s ‘vote blue, go green’ campaign, the pin-up turned rebel might not even be a Conservative MP after the next election.


All three parties should publish ‘red lines’ for 2015 coalition negotiations

Both Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg delivered speeches to their party faithful today about being realistic about 2015. Miliband’s speech, briefed as ‘tough’, was the latest in his series of attempts to tell voters that they can trust him: he wouldn’t borrow more than this government… well, no more ‘day-to-day spending’, which is his way of saying he would actually borrow more for capital projects.

How to heal the hospital scandals

Six out of ten people don’t trust the NHS, according to today’s Sunday Times. So why doesn’t David Cameron tear up his commitment to the service, as its critics urge, and commit the Party to ushering in a system based on insurance or payment – like some of those used by other European countries which yield better results?


Am I politically correct enough to stand for Ukip?

A few weeks ago I drove to Market Harborough for my test as a potential Ukip candidate. The process was very thorough. There was a media interview section, where one of my examiners did a bravura impersonation of a tricksy local radio presenter (he even did the traffic bulletin beforehand).

The Alternative Queen’s Speech – the full list of 40 rebel Bills

Today’s Telegraph reports that, having camped out in the Public Bill Office for several days, a group of Conservative MPs have tabled a raft of Bills intended to form an Alternative Queen’s Speech. The backbenchers involved are all familiar rebel faces – Chris Chope, Peter Bone, Philip Hollobone and David Nuttall.

The Government should speed ahead with an 80 mph limit

The splash in The Times this morning is taken from their interview with the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, who is shelving the plans of his predecessor, Philip Hammond, who said that raising the speed limit “would bring hundreds of millions of pounds of economic benefits from faster journey times.”


Whatever happened to the Tories’ green agenda?

Back, back before the last election, David Cameron seemed rather like Bruce Dern’s Lowell in Silent Running (1972) – he’d kill for those trees. You could put him in a spaceship, with only some flora and a pair of huskies for company, and he’d hightail it to Saturn and beyond in the name of the environment. “They’re not replaceable!”


Who is sovereign?

Yesterday in Parliament several weighty EU documents were considered by the Commons. It was a timely reminder of the huge scope and breadth of the EU project. It underlined how much power has already gone to Brussels, and how much more they need and want to complete their Euro union.

The Tories are still flummoxed by social media

The Tory party is currently offering a campaigning masterclass on James Wharton’s Private Member’s Bill. As Coffee House revealed last night, any member of the public can sign up to co-sponsor the backbench legislation, and the party has spent a great deal of time squaring backbenchers on the wording of the bill to prevent further amendments clogging it up unnecessarily.

The Tories will never triumph with five chairmen at the helm

The party organisation is a total mess – but London Mayor Boris Johnson could restore clarity


Exclusive: Tories go public with EU referendum bill

The Conservatives will table James Wharton’s Private Member’s Bill for an EU referendum tonight for publication tomorrow. Coffee House has exclusive details of the changes to this piece of legislation, and a clever new plan by the party to make the most of this backbench bill as possible.

Statistically speaking, politicians place too much faith in figures

Data is a useful tool, but over-reliance on it means major problems are too often ignored


School choice is not a scandal: Gove nails Twigg’s rum brand of localism

Michael Gove is naturally having some fun with Stephen Twigg’s schools speech. The Education Secretary has responded to Twigg’s plan for ‘parent academies.’

David Cameron offers £1 million to solve world’s biggest problem – whatever it is

David Cameron is offering £1 million of taxpayer’s cash to anyone who can solve the world’s biggest problem – whatever that might be.

What David Cameron’s decision to keep Sir George Young as chief whip tells us

Tory MPs have long assumed that Sir George Young would be shuffled out of the job of chief whip at the next reshuffle. The 71 year old had, after all, been retired from the Cabinet with honours last September only to be recalled and made chief whip following Andrew Mitchell’s resignation.

Borisstan: the independent city state and docking station for global wealth formerly known as London

What would the British capital look like in the future if it broke away from the rest of the country?

Why Ed Miliband is going to be the next Prime Minister

Do the maths. It will be quite hard for Labour not to be the largest party after the next election, says Stefan Stern.

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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