Week of Sept 2 – Sept 8

Read Time:6 Minute, 8 Second

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


50 Questions if Scotland votes Yes

We hope and believe that No will win, and that these inquiries will come to nothing. But it is necessary to put them.

Ten days to save the Union with Scotland

Cameron and Brown join forces to persuade Scots to stay British as Yes camp forges lead

Come in Britain, your time is up.

How do you kill an idea? That is the Unionist quandary this weekend. For a long time now the Better Together campaign has based its hostility to Scottish independence on the risks and uncertainties that, unavoidably, come with independence. This, they say, is what tests well with their focus groups.

The unions hated Gove because he actually cared about social mobility

There’s an interesting interview in The Guardian this weekend with one of the most famous teachers, or ex-teachers, in Britain, Katharine Birbalsingh. You’ll probably know her. She’s the woman with fabulous hair who got a standing ovation at the Tory Party conference for a speech about a broken education system – ‘it’s broken because it keeps poor children poor’ – which confirmed the existence of ‘a culture of excuses, of low standards”.


I am not standing for Ukip to cock a snook at the Conservative Party

Constituents come first, ahead of any electioneering. I was bang in the middle of a meeting about poster design yesterday, when a gentleman from Holland on Sea popped in. He wanted to know if I had managed to sort out his PIPs (personal independence payments) yet.

We are witnessing a stirring display of political engagement

Katharine Birbalsingh: I regret telling Tories education system was broken

Teacher returns with new free school four years after party conference speech she says ruined her life and left her jobless

Anti-war Ed Miliband will have to confront Isil if he wins

The Labour leader won his party’s support partly for opposing the Iraq war, yet if he wins the election, he may find another Iraq war in his in-tray – the symmetry is epic


The Tories are in civil war. If that doesn’t change, they’ll lose

Some Conservative MPs are planning their careers on the assumption that the election is already lost

David Cameron has had a bad week, but the Tory train is still rumbling along

It’s over. David Cameron is staring into the abyss – again. The Conservative Party is in the midst of a civil war – again. The next election is Ed Miliband’s to lose – again.

Boris back on top in future Tory leader two-horse race

Post the announcement of his intended return to the Commons, the Mayor’s support is up by eight points.

How Eurosceptics will squeeze Cameron

Douglas Carswell’s defection gives others on the Tory right new leverage – and they’re not afraid to use it

François Hollande is revealed as a snob – something more common on the Left than you might think

As well as being a bore, a fornicator and a nincompoop, François Hollande stands accused of being a snob. His former mistress, Valérie Trierweiler, has revealed – along with other peccadilloes too excruciating to recount here – that the man who publicly professes to loathe the rich privately despises the poor. The son of a solidly bourgeois home, Hollande apparently sneered at Miss Trierweiler’s humbler origins, and referred privately to the underprivileged as “les sans-dents”: the toothless.


Ed Miliband is even more confused than David Cameron over what to do about Isil

And what of Labour? As David Cameron struggles to define his position on confronting the Isil threat, where does Ed Miliband stand? As ever, the answer seems to be in several places at once. There are two distinct elements to the debate about how to respond to events in Iraq and Syria. One relates to their implications for the domestic terror threat, the other to direct British military intervention.

David Cameron can chart a course past Nigel Farage the revolutionary

Ukip wants Labour in power to see it fail, but the Conservatives are the only serious option

Making defection threats would only weaken Tory eurosceptics

Our opponents try to smear us as untrustworthy and unreliable – it would be stupid to prove them right.

Government loses ‘bedroom tax’ vote

The government has just lost a vote in the House of Commons on the ‘bedroom tax’/removal of the spare-room subsidy/underoccupancy penalty/Size Criteria for People Renting in the Social Rented Sector (the correct, if rather clunky, name). There was a three-line whip from the Tories on the vote, but the Lib Dems had decided they would support their colleague Andrew George’s bill to exempt those who cannot move to a smaller home, or who are disabled and live in an adapted property.


Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: hostilities suspended as Cameron and Miliband unite in the face of terrorism

Only the points of order raised against John Bercow by three Tory MPs struck a partisan note.

Scottish Labour MP Jim Murphy on his three-month Better Together tour of the nation as he seeks to persuade voters against choosing to go it alone

Scottish ‘Yes’ vote could cause eurozone-style currency crisis, Goldman Sachs warns

Economist at bank warns of ‘severe consequences’ of vote in favour of independence

A majority of Party members now support intervention in Iraq

Though only a small minority still back sending in ground troops.

OMG! A good idea from Nick Clegg!

Can it really be true? Of course it involves splurging loads of our cash but, still, he’s going to do that anyway – so he might as well spend it on a good cause.


An open letter to Matthew Parris. And a question: does the Conservative Party really want to survive?

The quarrels, resentments and grievances of the long years since 1990 could collapse “the oldest and most successful political party in the history of the world”.

The Carbuncle Cup, an award run by architecture magazine Building Design, invites readers to nominate the best example of “really bad architecture”


Cameron’s anti-terror statement sets out autumn battles

So, after the horsetrading of the past few days, the Conservatives appear to have won their battle to add relocation powers to the terrorism prevention and investigation measures.

The four Cabinet Ministers who believe that Britain should leave the EU

Michael Gove, Philip Hammond, Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling.

A thundering row on the right

It’s open warfare at the Times between two leading lights on the right – the newspaper’s former Comment Editor Tim Montgomerie and longtime columnist Matthew Parris, who held no punches in his Saturday column in the paper.

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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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