Week of Oct 29 – Nov 4

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


Tax avoidance is not immoral

To say that avoiding tax – taking action within the law to limit the amount paid – is “immoral” is based on the idea that the state spends our money more morally than we do ourselves.

The big question with Ed Miliband’s living wage pledge isn’t whether it will work

Will Ed Miliband’s pledge on the Living Wage, made in today’s Independent on Sunday, work? Actually, that’s not really the most important question: the experience of the weeks following the autumn conference season is that you don’t actually need a workable pledge to be able to set the terms of debate.


Cameron’s 2014 nightmare

An NHS crisis. Romanians and Bulgarians. Farage on tour. UKIP top the Euro polls. And then…aaarrrgggh…AAARRGGH!

‘There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant’: MEPs discuss the limits of free speech

A document has been recently debated by the Civil Liberties committee of the European Parliament. It’s a good example of how well-meaning people, convinced that they are standing up for the underdog, can end up doing enormous damage to freedom, to equality before the law and, perversely, to the minorities on whose behalf they presume to speak.

Why do the Tories lead on the economy and leadership but trail overall?

One of the odd things about the polls at the moment is that the Tories lead on economic competence and leadership, traditionally the two most important issues, yet trail overall. There are, I argue in the column this week, three possible explanations for this polling paradox.


Business is more eurosceptic than self-appointed pro-EU voices let on

New polling from Business for Britain shows business leaders want a referendum, and the Single Market costs more than it is worth.


Welfare dependency isn’t Britain’s gravest economic problem. Pitiful pay is

If the government really wanted to cut its benefit bill, it would ensure that employers give their workers a living wage

Qualified teacher status – who believes what?

Should pupils in free schools and academies be taught by teachers without Qualified teacher status? This question has become the latest game political ping-pong involving all three parties. So much has been said it’s difficult to know what everyone believes.


On leaving the Guardian

Reporting the NSA story hasn’t been easy, but it’s always been fulfilling. It’s what journalism at its crux is about, and we must protect that

It’s obvious that the more you leave our enterprises unregulated the better they do


Tony Blair was doing his former-prime-minister routine the other day, at an event hosted by the excellent Mile End Group in London. These occasions always serve as a reminder that the Blair premiership was the most expensive training programme ever undertaken in history. Only towards the end of his tenure, when it was way too late, did he get the hang of being prime minister.

Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Miliband fails to repeat his triumph, but Cameron shouts too much

In a two-horse race, it is unsporting of the Prime Minister to show such open contempt for his rival


Five lessons from Ann Clywd’s report about NHS complaints

The Labour MP’s brave and moving report should make us rethink more than just complaints handling.

Labour has its sights trained on the laurel hedges of the suburbs

The Labour Party is targeting all its resources at a small group of voters who can swing the general election vote

British journalists lock each other up and throw away the key

The international scoop was that America’s National Security Agency tapped Angela Merkel’s mobile phone (along with the phones of many more world leaders). As the shock of the revelation has sunk in, most observers have grasped that the shrug-of-the-shoulder explanation that ‘spies spy’, doesn’t really work in this instance.

Why young women are going off the pill and on to contraception voodoo

Many twentysomethings are resentful of their birth control options, and so are choosing to use nothing at all

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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.

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