Thursday, 23 August 2007

The Poliblogs 23rd August 2007

Why the state won't shrink

The CityUnslicker asks, mournfully, "Will taxes ever be cut in the UK?"

In my view, not by any significant amount, the reason being that people expect the state to do more now than they did, say, thirty years ago. This was an insight gained through my brief experience of working in the public sector.

Pub Philosopher

Have the Newbie's Been Promoted Too Early?

I'm doing some research for an article I am writing for Parliamentary Monitor magazine (published at the party conferences) and I have calculated that of the 52 Conservative MPs elected for the first time in 2005*, a massive 30 of them now have positions on the front bench - three of them in the shadow cabinet.

Iain Dale

Cameron fails to convince Tories of his electability

Writing in today's Independent, Michael Brown suggests that David Cameron has failed to even convince his own team that he can win the next General Election.

The main evidence for this is the comparative inactivity of the Tory front bench with that of Labour during the summer of 1996:

Peter Black

Conservatives ARE the Agenda

I had said some time ago that I felt it was complacency on the part of "Team Cameron" that led to the shaky start to the Brown Premiership for the opposition. Whereas the LibDems took the novel approach of saying and doing nothing - which, to be fair, has paid off - the Conservatives got themselves tangled up in all sorts and ended up 10 points behind the polls.

Little’s Log

Tories will fight next election on social - not economic – issues

David Cameron gives a revealing interview to today's Yorkshire Post in which he puts social breakdown at the heart of the Conservative pitch for the next General Election:

Conservative Home

Louise Bagshawe: Reasons to vote Conservative

Moving house is always a stressful thing. In our case, we are this week preparing for a move into the constituency. I was always clear that being a parliamentary candidate meant total commitment to the area you hope to represent. Our family story is just one amongst thousands – Conservative activists giving up their time, knocking on doors, standing as local councillors, donating, writing to the local paper, marching for their local hospitals, serving in their Associations, even starting blogs! We are a team. And when we are united we are an unstoppable team.

Conservative Home

The Sick Man of Europe

Yesterday, evidence was presented that confirmed that Britain is once more the sick man of Europe (see table above). Despite record increases in NHS expenditure since Labour came to power, British cancer mortality rates still rank amongst the lowest in Europe. The Lancet Oncology Journal claimed, on the basis of their figures, that the government's cancer plan introduced in 2000 in England (2001 in Scotland) was not working. Cancer charities have since cited the absence of proper radiotherapy services as a major cause of poor survival rates. Tellingly, the report called for a "fundamental assessment of the ways in which the NHS operates".

Philip Lee

Loose interpretations

Andrew Anthony scores several direct hits in his critique of the liberal left, but he should try to develop a deeper understanding of true liberalism.

Will Hutton

Is Labour about to lose its poll lead?

Could Nick Palmer be right about the next round of surveys?

In a post last night Nick Palmer - the Labour MP for Broxtowe and the first of any party to contribute to Politicalbetting under his own name - made an extraordinary prediction about the next round of polls.

Political Betting

The Tories' 'dodgy' hospital dossier?

The Tory leader is - yet again - on the defensive, this time over the accuracy of his party's list of proposed hospital closures and downgradings .

As per usual the problems for Mr Cameron have come mainly from within. Henry Bellingham, the shadow justice minister and MP for Norfolk North West, told the BBC that the Queen Elizabeth hospital in King’s Lynn should not have been “singled out” for inclusion on the Conservatives’ list. “Obviously a mistake has been made and as the local MP I wasn’t consulted on this and I apologise unreservedly to the staff of the hospital,” he said.

Labour Home

Sharpen Up!

Arthur Ma discusses his disapproval of David Cameron.

Now I know it’s hardly my place to berate Our Dear Leader ™ but David Cameron really ought to sharpen up. With the amount of gaffes he is accumulating he is turning out to be more like Bush than Blair.

18 Doughty Street

Mickey Mouse degrees are just the job

OK then, let's have a good snigger. Let's all look at the list of these so-called degrees, and sneer at the pathetic delusions of the students who are taking them. In the saloon bars of England, it is by now a settled conviction that the university system is riddled with a kind of intellectual dry rot, and it is called the Mickey Mouse degree.

Boris Johnson

No certainties

The German leader, Angela Merkel is making her first visit to No 10 during Gordon Brown's premiership. (You might remember it's not the first time they have met as leaders - Gordon Brown raised a few eyebrows by choosing to go first to Berlin as PM, rather than across the pond to visit George W Bush).

I'm told the two leaders are discussing health matters in the developing world. But what is not officially on the agenda, and what at the beginning of the summer Gordon Brown didn't really fancy talking about either, is the draft EU reform treaty.

Nick Robinson (Laura Kuenssberg)

Are we out of step on Europe?

Gordon Brown has rejected calls for a UK referendum on the replacement for the EU constitution, despite it being called for this time by labour supporting Unions.

There was one important quote in the BBC report which led me to think the party is out of step on Europe and needs to get its message across loud and clear. The line was:

Norfolk Blogger

Norman Lamb and Facebook: descent into farce

OK, this started off rather seriously - someone faking a Norman Lamb MP profile on Facebook. It then got rather bizarre when the computer used to send emails out from the linked fake Homtial address was also used to post comments from eight different aliases to this site trying to shift the blame to UKIP, Labour and the Liberal Democrats (but never the Conservatives).

Lib Dem Voice

A month of silver linings

From the absence of John Reid to the elimination of ITN gimmicks, August hasn't been all bad

David McKie

1 comment:

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Iain Dale has some competition then?