Week of Mar 10 – Mar 16

By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor,  USDR.

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

3-16-15

Seven policies for the Budget

Beginning and ending with deficit reduction – and aiming for a surplus.

Sixteen things we learned from Nigel Farage’s new book, The Purple Revolution

The Telegraph is publishing exclusive extracts from the Ukip leader’s autobiography. Here are the top things we’ve learned

This week’s Budget could be the last chance to decide the election

Plus a reminder of when Tolkien’s Middle-earth was desperately uncool

‘Voter apathy at university equals voter apathy in May’

Following a low turnout of student voters at her old university, Eleanor Doughty says voter apathy has got to stop – in higher education and in Westminster

Why does the IMF lend lots of money to Ukraine?

The IMF is busy lending to a European country in deep difficulties – and this time it is not Greece. It looks as if current IMF lending has just got more political, with the IMF acting as some banking arm of European Union expansionism and centralisation. It is lending to Ukraine.

George Osborne is right to extend pension reforms

Telegraph View: The reforms expected in the Chancellor’s 2015 Budget will offer a promise to millions of older people if the Tories win on May 7

3-15-15

Why my own Royal Society is wrong on climate change

A devastating critique of world’s leading scientific organisation by one of its Fellows

Politics is not a sport. You’re supposed to want to do things

The big issues get lost when politicians see winning elections as an end in itself, not a means to an end

‘No votes in defence’? The Tories should be ashamed

Talking about defence is not on the Conservative Party’s agenda right now. It should be

How to lose an EU referendum, by Nigel Farage

First, make Out-ism all about foreigners and dog-whistles on race. Then demand an instant referendum.

Chivalry is dead, long live common courtesy

If you’re on a date with Emma Watson and she offers to buy dinner, just grin and bear it

3-14-15

Tories have taken donations worth £2.5m since last election from industry, while several of biggest donors are members of party’s Leader’s Group

3-13-15

“We are warriors for the dispossessed.” Gove’s rallying cry for the Conservatives

The Chief Whip was speaking at the launch event of Tim Montgomerie’s Good Right project. His speech should be read and remembered.

A debate about Parliamentary sovereignty

On Tuesday I made the following speech in the House during a debate on the EU and national Parliaments. The crucial question I raised is how can our democracy flourish if the electors want changes that are illegal under EU rules? How can we claim to have a proper democracy, if on major issues like welfare, borders, migration and energy we have to accept what the EU has already decided?

3-12-15

The DUP’s offer in its own words: “a shopping list of desirable goodies”

Nigel Dodds sets out the party’s wish-list in the event of a hung Parliament.

The Lib Dems have spent years telling us they’re better than the others. So much for that

The Lib Dem donor scandal and the resignation of Ibrahim Taguri show how little all Nick Clegg’s grand moral protestations were worth

How elderly people are pushing up the welfare budget

For the nerds and nitpickers. One problem with writing about welfare spending is that no-one can quite agree what welfare spending is. I’ve used the DWP’s figures, which incorporate practically every benefit and tax credit you can think of, as well state pensions. Whereas the Treasury leaves out state pensions but includes public sector pensions and things called “personal social services”.

Labour’s arithmetic is way out- Conservative public spending is nine times the 1930s level!

When Labour says Conservatives wish to take spending back to 1930s levels they mean as a percentage of GDP, not in real terms let alone cash terms. However, it comes across as if they think Conservatives want to cut real spending back to 1930s levels. So what are the true figures?

3-11-15

The three urgent election issues on which the parties are silent

We are not having the big national debate about the constitution, public spending and defence and foreign policy that we need.

I suspected the ‘liberal’ fascists would eventually get Clarkson

I read that Jeremy Clarkson had been suspended by the BBC for ‘a fracas’ with a producer. We don’t know what happened yet – but that hasn’t stopped my phone ringing with requests for interviews from Channel Four News (natch) and, yes, the BBC – the producers beside themselves with glee.

We should be teaching morals and ethics in our schools

Before talking of grit and resilience, we should be challenging our children with the fundamental questions about how they live their lives

3-10-15

Don’t play politics with defence

Spending on the Armed Forces may not be a vote winner – but letting it fall below 2 per cent of GDP puts the country at risk

Debate on the EU work programme

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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.