Top 5 political ailments
This morning The Times brought you this breaking news:
President Bush was treated for Lyme disease after he developed the characteristic “bull’s-eye” rash that marks the beginning of the tick-borne infection.
Here are five great political ailments:
Let's hear it for the Lib Dems
The third party deserves some credit - we have done well by them in recent years, and they should glory in the offence of being amateur.
Pity the People of Poplar
So unsurprisingly George Galloway has abandoned the people of Bethnal Green and Bow at the first opportunity and announced his intention to move one seat over to Poplar and Limehouse where he'll be standing against Schools minister Jim Knight.
Cameron needs to be ready if he calls for £21bn in tax cuts
According to this morning's Telegraph, David Cameron is set to "throw down the gauntlet" to Gordon Brown on tax and may be preparing to fully endorse John Redwood's proposal for £21 billion in tax cuts. If true then frankly it's probably a good thing, however, I sincerely hope that Team Cameron are preparing themselves fully for the political PR campaign from Labour that they will be fighting against which will go something like this.
Redwood advocates European approach to the EU?
This morning's Sunday Telegraph has details on John Redwood's forthcoming policy review announcements which will free up business and be the equivalent of cutting business taxes by £14bn. Plans include scrapping IR35 (I know a few contractors who will like that), repealing the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act along with a wholesale review and reduction in Health and Safety regulations. As well as giving companies more freedom to make people redundant.
Cameron caves into right wing again - Are the Tories insane?
John Redwood has been granted his tax cut policy which he has been dreaming of. A deregulation package, to be announced by the Tories next Friday, would give businesses a £14 billion saving, which Redwood says "would be a tax cut by any other name".
The Odds on an October Election
The YouGov poll this in this morning's Sunday Times is the latest which shows a widening lead for Gordon Brown. I detect the beginnings of a bandwagon in the media for an October election. The Sunday Times leader column is headlined GO FOR IT GORDON. It concludes...
The bounce in Mr Brown's poll ratings show he should have nothing to fear by going to the country. We shall see in the next few weeks whether he has the nerve to do so.
Public trust of Ming Campbell is growing - while half the public now distrust Cameron
Today's IPSOS Mori poll gives some interesting numbers on the trustworthiness of the party leaders.
Half those surveyed now think David Cameron is not trustworthy.
In comparison this is only 34% for Ming Campbell.
It’s TEN Gordons from YouGov
A new YouGov poll for tomorrow’s Sunday Times has Labour 10% ahead and the vote shares back at 2001 general election levels.
These are the shares compared with the last YouGov poll at the end of July - CON 32% (nc): LAB 42%(+1): LD 14% (-2)
So the big change has been a drop in the Lib Dem share to 14% - a level they were at in June. This is the second worst position for the party since the general election.
Punters not convinced by YouGov’s 10% Labour lead?
Before the 2005 general election there was not a single period when Labour had the poll leads it is enjoying today when the Commons seat spread betting markets were showing anything other than that Blair was heading for a substantial majority.
Looking over the records an average Labour poll lead of about 6% prompted the markets to show a Labour majority in the 70-100 seat range.
Yet today with an average of more than 6% and one respected pollster recording a 10% Labour margin the current average spread price on the party’s general election performance suggests that Brown will be about 12 seats short of an overall majority.
What happens when you are down
When you are ten points down in the polls everything you do is seen through that prism. So whenever the Tories announce a policy or talk about a topic, the media examine it for evidence of whether or not David Cameron is trying to shore up his right-wing or not. Everyone is looking to see if Cameron will follow Hague and Howard and tack back to the right if the polls continue to go against him.
Is election speculation just part of Brown's grid?
There seems to be a lot of talk this morning about whether Labour can afford a snap election. Actually, snap election talk is the current
The Brown Bounce and the return of the Vulcan
Remember when the Tories were ahead in the polls and those same polls reported that, if Brown became P.M. then the Tory lead would widen? Well, the “Brown bounce” appears to be holding. The YouGov poll for The Sunday Times puts Labour 10 points ahead on 42% (the Lib-Dems are on a measly 14% which does not augur well for Ming the Monotonous). Brown seems to have gauged the Bush summit correctly: 71% see him as less close to Bush than was Blair. 65% say Brown is doing well as Prime Minister compared to 17% who say he is doing badly: a positive rating of 48%. The Ipsos-Mori poll in Saturday’s Sun showed 69% saying that Brown was the best leader to deal with emergency situations such as foot-and-mouth and floods compared to just 10% for Cameron.
Will Gord U-turn over the referendum?
The second part of today’s Ipsos-Mori poll for the Sun asked about whether there should be a referendum on the EU treaty and how people would vote.
The above are the findings to both questions - an overwhelming majority wanting a referendum and a much closer view on what voters would do in the event of such a ballot.
The hard message for the government is that this issue is not going to go away. All the Sun’s political coverage seems to be tinged with this issue.
But could Gord get away with a change of policy? He would be lauded by the Sun but would, surely, lose out in other ways given his opposition until now. It’s a hard call.
ID Cards / National Identity Register procurement begins - which company directors fancy risking 10 years in prison?
The Identity and Passport Service and the Labour government public relations and media spin machine would have you believe that it has started on its cumbersome National Identity Scheme Procurement Process
However, as we noticed, and as the NO2ID Campaign point out, this first phase of the procurement only deals with the replacement and upgrade of the existing IPS passport and visa issuing infrastructure, something which they would be doing without any ID Cards or National identity Register anyway.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has produced a "mythbuster" document on the new
constitutional reform treaty.
Headed, "EU Reform Treaty: 10 Myths", the format offers statements purporting to represent criticisms of the treaty, with a rebuttal under each. As might be expected, it is a mixture of truth, half-truths, downright lies and propaganda. We'll look at each in turn, in separate posts.
Terror or protest
I am sure that the vast majority of people in this country want to see anti-terrorism laws used for that purpose. Indeed the government is increasingly seeking a consensus for ever-stronger laws to deal with this threat and providing that an evidence-based case can be made for them and they are balanced and proportionate then I will support this process.
Lib Dems - soft on crime?
Hunter agrees with Mark Oaten when he says that one of the advantages of quitting politics is that you get a chance to say what you really think. But, in doing so, Oaten has confirmed what we all feared: the Lib Dems are the criminals' friend.
The 'soft' sell
The idea that A-level students should get extra points for taking maths or science is absurd. Humanities subjects are equally - if not more - valuable.
What does Socialism mean in 2007?
When the fall of communism began in 1989, and then the Soviet Union fell in 1991, so people began to say that, socialism, as we knew it (even though I wasn't alive then), was dead.
Parties on the left scrambled for the centre. Bill Clinton for the US Democrats, Jean Chretien for the Canadian Liberals, Romano Prodi for the Italian The Union coalition, Gerhard Schroeder for the German Social Democrats, Helen Clark for the New Zealand Labour, and Tony Blair for the UK Labour, were noted examples of this new wave of centrist leftist parties being elected.
More from YouGov’s Sunday Times poll
There were a large number of other areas touched on in the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times: