Week of Mar 31 – Apr 6

By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor,  USDR.

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


Tories convinced ‘moment of maximum danger’ has passed

On Thursday night, David Cameron didn’t eviscerate the competition. But nor did he suffer any damage and that, to Tory high command, meant that it was job done.

Can the Tories hold on to their early lead?

The PM must flesh out his party’s manifesto to stop the Milibandwagon gaining momentum

Money-back Monday? Or just another miserable start to the week?

It may just be another electoral slogan, but it risks undermining the Tories’ Great Promise.


A time of celebration and compassion

Telegraph View: Easter is a story of pain followed by joy. For after the crucifixion comes the happy resurrection

Class war vs the free market: haven’t we been here before?

With his attack on businesses and casual labour, Ed Miliband has turned the clock back to the Eighties

Never before has Scotland been quite this deluded

With just weeks until polling day, Nicola Sturgeon has supplied fresh momentum to the SNP’s general election campaign

We need to be convinced that politicians care about society as a whole and see beyond sectional interests

The poll that could mean the end for Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage’s career is on the brink. Aside from his solid performance in the TV debate last week, the Ukip leader isn’t focusing on the party’s national standing. All that matters to Farage now is South Thanet and making sure he is elected as the constituency’s first Ukip MP. But the seat is not a sure win and fears have been spreading throughout the party about what would happen if he fails to be elected.

The Union’s future is more important than a Conservative election victory

For Cameron to tear up his election grid and pledge Home Rule for Scotland wouldn’t help his re-election drive. But it might just help to preserve the United Kingdom


The relentless march to a more united Europe

This week Mr Hollande assured Mrs Merkel that the French local election results would make no difference to France’s economic policy despite the poor showing for his party. He confirmed that France would try to  stick to the Euro disciplines. In practice France is finding it too difficult to hit the deficit target, but apparently wants to.  Meanwhile France and Germany signed up to further joint projects to reinforce the merging of their two economies within the Eurozone and its common framework. Both of them played down the threat to the Euro from Greece, saying they wanted the experts to make more rapid progress assessing Greece’s latest policy offering, and claiming  to be relaxed about the Greek visit to Moscow.

Ed Miliband has been badly outflanked from the Left

The leaders’ debate saw Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru and Natalie Bennett of the Greens all gang up against the Labour leader

Don’t let the Prime Minister’s smokescreen of praise for our health service fool you

Jesus’s suffering spurs Christians to serve the common good

Even for those in the most desperate circumstances, such as war-torn Africa, the Easter message brings hope


Ed Miliband could have won the election last night. Now, it’s Cameron’s to lose.

The Sun’s front page today has a picture of Ed Miliband saying: “Oops, I just lost my election”.  That’s an exaggeration: I’d say the election is still 50/50, pretty much where it was last week. And realistically, that’s the best David Cameron could have hoped for.

Leaders debate 2015: How well did each of the party leaders do?

Janet Daley, Dan Hodges, Mary Riddell, James Kirkup, Iain Martin, Will Heaven and Asa Bennett give their verdict on how the leaders performed

We asked three of our editors and contributors to give their takes on last night’s seven-way political battle

The media and the debate


Politicians beware! Voters are now more clued-up about the public finances.

It’s one of the most significant developments of this Parliament, and a consolation during this fraught election campaign.

Whose side are we on now in the Middle East?

When I and others opposed UK military intervention in Syria, we did so in part because we did not see a side we wished to be on. We were no admirers of Assad, spun then as the demon dictator,  whom Mr Hague wanted to oust from office. We were told there were moderate opposition forces who could take over and run  a western style democratic government, if we helped them dislodge the dictator.

Is Ukip’s sinking vote about to put David Cameron back in No 10?

Nigel Farage’s party has been drifting in the polls. Could this be decisive on May 7?


A toxic lack of trust is blighting Tory and Labour campaigns

David Cameron should be racing away with this election given the good economic news

Prosperity and the capital’s election battle

It has become a commonplace that London is a very different place to the rest of Britain; that seems to be true in politics too — in surprising ways. The race nationally may be a dead heat at present but as YouGov’s poll for  this paper shows today, Labour is well ahead in the capital, leading the Conservatives by 11 points, 45 to 34. Meanwhile, Ukip is markedly weaker here than in many parts of the country, at just eight per cent.

Business is sounding the alarm over Labour

View: Ed Miliband will find it hard to shake his party’s reputation for profligacy when business leaders so mistrust him

Public spending – the longer perspective

Most of the time Labour wrongly claims Conservatives cut spending. Maybe Labour claims are an appropriate topic on April Fool’s day.  These claims usually become more extreme and absurd at election time. I thought a few facts might help inform the debate.

Westminster sneers at Joey Essex because it is a closed shop of know-it-alls

Well, at least Joey Essex has given bored pundits something to talk about today. He pitched up at a press conference with Nick Clegg, and took a selfie with the Deputy Prime Minister, which will certainly add to Clegg’s collection of useful props he hopes might win him a few more votes.

It’s time for class hatred to be banned by law

Why is discrimination on the ground of the family into which you born less unfair than discrimination on the ground of the colour of your skin?


All-or-nothing simplicities are going to blight this election

If only political leaders could say immigration versus economic dynamism is a difficult balance to strike, or that NHS reform is nearly intractable

The Brexit debate

Last Thursday morning I debated Brexit with Alastair Darling at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research where we are both Governors (an honorific post).

If I Were Prime Minister: Every civil servant would be held accountable by their own civilian ‘buddy’

Our series in the run-up to the General Election – 100 days, 100 contributors, but no politicians – continues with the businesswoman and founder of Editorial Intelligence

Despite its booming success, London still leans to the left

The capital may appear to be the engine of growth but for many residents basic services are being neglected

How Labour’s election broadcast star supported Arthur Scargill’s Socialist party

Tonight Martin Freeman will take on a starring role in the latest Labour election broadcast. In the short film, the Sherlock actor says that for him ‘there’s only once choice’ and that’s Labour. Alas for Labour, that hasn’t always strictly been the case.

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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.