Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The Poliblogs 18th September 2007

Sabre rattling

Reading reports about Adam Price's extraordinary speech to his party's conference yesterday one is left wondering where exactly Plaid Cymru think they are going at a UK level. For some reason the text of the speech is not on the party's website nor that of Adam Price himself, however the gist of it seems to be that the nationalists are now setting themselves up as potential coalition partners with Labour at a UK level.

Peter Black

Mercer and Bercow explain their reasons for joining Brown's big tent

In two separate articles the two Conservative MPs who recently agreed to undertake advisory roles for Gordon Brown have explained their decisions.

Conservative Home

Is a Tory vote more progressive than Gordon Brown?

Our increasingly embarassing Prime Minister seems intent on playing infantile games at a time when the country needs some substance as his economic management begins to be very apparent.

Turbulent Cleric

Northern Rock: what if it doesn't work?

Thank you to Hank Paulsen, the US Treasury Secretary (and in the slanting afternoon light of the Number 11 stateroom I swear a dead-ringer for Richard Nixon), for reminding us that Gordon Brown is behind all this mayhem today. Poor old Alistair Darling has been the one out there trying to save Labour's economic bacon (he is Chancellor after all), but the Prime Minister is the one whose future is on the line. Explaining his confidence in Mr Brown, Mr Paulsen said: "He knows this stuff cold. Trust me. He's been around a long time."

Ben Brogan

Should savers be thankful that it’s conference season?

But is it the right decision? Should it be the government’s job to step in to safeguard people from their own investment decisions? Will it be setting precedents for the future?

Political Betting

Open Ended Taxpayer Bank Guarantee

Chancellor Darling has just announced that for the first time in British financial history the taxpayer is giving a 100% guarantee to depositors at a commercial bank. Having failed spectacularly to reassure Northern Rock depositors that he had things under control, he's hit the panic button.

Burning Our Money

On the line

Economic stability is the rock on which New Labour's election victories have been built. No wonder then that their opponents - in both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats - could not hold back their excitement at the possibility that that reputation might be destroyed by the sight of people queuing up to take their cash out of the bank.

Nick Robinson

Cameron's Hypocrisy on Northern Rock

Nick Robinson has noted in his blog how quickly David Cameron has backed away from blaming Gordon Brown for the problems at Northern Rock.

Labour Home

Stephan Shakespeare: Are our aspirant leaders engaged with the lives of ordinary people?

I’ve been banging on recently about the process of politics, arguing that the manner of policy development may be as important as the outcomes. My few readers probably find this theme tangential. But I think last week well illustrated my concerns.

Conservative Home

Should voting be made compulsory?

Greece’s Conservatives have retained their lead in the latest general elections. But how many people are aware that it is one of 32 countries in the world where voting is compulsory? Even in the fire-ravaged villages of southern Greece, where many homes remain without water or electricity, prefabricated containers were used as temporary voting centres. Despite the loss of homes, voters were still expected to perform their democratic duty.

Ellee Seymour

Spinning climate change

A recent study has cast doubt on the idea that Neanderthals were wiped out by climate change. This seems at first sight like a potentially lucrative seam for researchers. Lifetimes could be spent cataloguing all the things Neanderthals weren't wiped out by. But of course, there's a special reason why climate change had been identified as a potential case of their demise. It's a depressing reason. Climate change has become a societal obsession. In the future, looking back, I think this collective madness will take its place alongside Tulip Mania and the South Sea Bubble.

Freeborn John

My plan for Dave: Give Lib Dem incumbents a free ride

Just consider what would have been the consequence last time if two Tory candidates well known to this site, Iain Dale and Rik Willis had actually beaten the Lib Dems in North Norfolk and Sutton & Cheam? Labour’s overall majority would have been exactly the same.

Political Betting

This from Bloomberg. Not the headlines Davy wanted.

A Conservative Party panel examining how to improve the quality of life in Britain has concluded it may have been better under the Labour governments of the 1970s than it was when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.

Ridiculous Politics

Hammer the rich? If only Ming, or Gordon, meant it

'Hammer the rich!' At last a political leader has the nerve to say what pollsters find most people think. Good for Menzies Campbell. Were those words so hard to utter when the polls have said for years that top pay is "obscene"? But you won't catch Gordon Brown or his chancellor even whispering the thought in the dead of night. It may be seen later as one of Labour's great derelictions.

Polly Toynbee

Hammer the rich!

Yes, Polly's in the paper again today:

'Hammer the rich!' At last a political leader has the nerve to say what pollsters find most people think.

Tim Worstall

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