Week of Oct 27 – Nov 2

Read Time:5 Minute, 33 Second

By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor, USDR.

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


Why Lord Blencathra should chair the Joint Committee on the Investigatory Powers Bill

He passes the test both of having an insight into the needs of the Home Office and a record of robustly questioning legislation for which it is responsible.

A German led Europe

One of the most notable features of the modern EU is the growing dominance of Germany in its deliberations. This is inevitable as the Euro and the freedom of movement of peoples become central and often all consuming issues. Germany is the paymaster of the Euro and the generator of many of the jobs on the continent that people wish to move to.


There’s a strong moral case against tax credits – why didn’t George Osborne make it?

If you pay people to be poor, with out-of-work benefits or by topping up their wages, you lock them into poverty and kill social mobility

To deliver 517 manifesto pledges, Cameron needs to share power. Here are three ways of doing so.

Pledges on this scale cannot be delivered in this Commons without Conservative consensus. They can only be charmed – not bullied – onto the statute book.

If you want young people to vote, give them the handbook

Political education can help solve the crisis of non-engagement. It’s time we did it properly

I think I’ve found the perfect title for my Thatcher biographies

One of the best of P.G. Wodehouse’s works is The Inimitable Jeeves, which I have recently re-read. In order to impress his friend Bingo Little’s rich uncle, Lord Bittlesham, Bertie Wooster has to pretend that he is the romantic novelist Rosie M. Banks, whose writing Bittlesham greatly admires. The trick succeeds.


Five new taxes that British voters would actually welcome

If George Osborne is struggling to balance the books, he should try introducing these new taxes – and watch the revenues roll in

Jeremy Corbyn comes to Scotland and discovers he has nothing to say

When all else fails, I suppose, you can just plead for mercy. That appears to be the message emanating from the Scottish Labour party’s conference in Perth this weekend.

The two faces of Corbynism and why Labour is hiring controversial advisers

There are two faces to Corbynism. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are doing everything they can at the moment to appear reasonable, not radical, but behind the scenes they are starting to stuff their offices with figures from the hard left.

As the prime minister finally puts his negotiating position in writing, what does he want and will he get it?

The SNP will torture Jeremy Corbyn over his Trident fight

The Labour leader’s struggle to rally his party against the nuclear deterrent is a gift to Scottish Nationalists

Whatever happened to all the gurus?

Last Parliament, the Government seemed to be guided by academics and their books. This Parliament, less so.


Scottish Labour will struggle to emerge from its political wilderness

The nuclear issue is likely to be the dominant policy issue in Perth, and the SNP has long deployed it to outflank Labour on the left

What can George Osborne do to fix the tax credits mess?

The government needs to get thinking quickly about a new tax credits proposal that is acceptable to the the Commons and the Lords. George Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement in four weeks’ time and he has promised to outline the results of ‘listening’ exercise.

Should we charge Germany to sell us their cars?

I wish to reassure our German friends.  I see no need to impose a charge on Germany to go on selling us so many goods if we leave the EU.

Amazon and Apple – coated in Teflon, and too big to fail

The tolerance now granted to tech companies seems limitless. Their data servers remember everything; their users forget the gravest lapses


These unelected lords are damaging democracy – so why are Lefties cheering them?

It doesn’t matter what you think about tax credit cuts: to fawn over this medieval arrogance is to show your contempt for democracy

The Corbynites have only ever cared about foreign politics – they have no idea about Britain

How does Labour solve a problem like Jeremy Corbyn?

Cameron shouldn’t be allowed to break his tax credit promise. Here’s the solution

Governments lie in order to get elected. We tolerate it, but we shouldn’t. So how about a new rule: breaking a manifesto pledge triggers a general election


There will be no Lords reform, because voters don’t care

Yes, the House of Lords defeated George Osborne over tax credits – but nobody wants to change the rules of the game they won

What the Chancellor’s promise to ‘deal with’ the Lords could mean in practice

Downing Street has promised action on the constitutional issues raised by last night’s defeat – but what might it be?

Tax credits: see, I said this would end in tears

It’s Osborne’s fault that people are angry about tax credits. He should have spelled the cuts out in his manifesto

The Liberal Democrats have profaned their principles by blocking tax credits in the Lords

Lloyd George would leap from his grave if he saw how his heirs are behaving. The power of the Lords must be curtailed

Tax credits do need reform. Here’s where Osborne should start

We can see now that the unintended consequence of the policy was a surge in low-paid jobs


The Government is defeated in the Lords on tax credits. What next for Osborne, welfare reform and the constitution?

The savings still need to be made. The Government still struggles to judge Parliament’s mood. And why aren’t Bishops this angry about other injustices?

David Cameron faces much larger obstacles than the Lords to control the UK

Osborne’s Budget charter compels him to deliver a speedy surplus; the charter is the source of all his difficulties

Osborne prepares to face 1922 Committee as Tory anger at peers builds

It is difficult to exaggerate the fury in the Tory party at the House of Lords after last night’s double defeat.

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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

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