He emerged smiling – but this wasn’t the most comfortable of Parliamentary occasions for Alex Salmond. I’m talking about today’s session of questions to the First Minister.
EU referendum campaign needs better numbers
Sad to report there were no surprise faces around the inflatable ballot box installed in Victoria Gardens just now to mark the launch of the latest cross-party campaign for a referendum on the EU constitution reform treaty. Derek Scott is the chairman, Kate Hoey, Frank Field and Graham Stringer were there for Labour, Greg Hands, Mark Pritchard, David Heathcoat-Amory and Michael Gove (who refused interviews) for the Tories. The Lib Dem guy didn't turn up. UKIP wasn't invited.
Full employment: still a political priority
Full employment always used to be a basic tenet of the post-war consensus, not a transitional demand from outer space. Yet for the last three decades, it has effectively been written off as a policy objective.
Immigration to self: Do you have a helicopter pad?
I had a phone call today from Immigration, who opened the conversation with the question (with no preliminaries, and they didn’t say who they were until I asked): Do you have somewhere for helicopters to land?
Where next for the
We live in interesting times right now. September and October are traditionally the most volatile months of the year. All the problems with the credit crunch are working themselves through, but slowly and still more opaquely than the governments and central banks would like.
Why does anyone bother to vote?
Daniel Hannan questions the conventional wisdom about political participation. He argues that we should make voting harder rather than easier so that people value it more. He's obviously one of those Tories who are against weekend voting. While his suggestion is mischievous, there was wisdom in this Hannan observation:
Robert McIlveen: The centre ground should be on our terms
The Labour party, and much of the media, tell us we’re “lurching to the right.” Many in this party, and on this website, despair that we’re “charging to the centre.” Apparently David Cameron is doing both, neither or some combination of them, depending on who you read. But what is the centre that we are heading towards or fleeing from? Where is it and does it matter?
Dave's Big Idea, pt 7: Voluntary National Service
So, David Cameron wants to give all 16-year-olds the chance to spend their post-GCSE summer doing something useful, like community service or military training. He thinks about 650,000 people would take this up, but doesn't know how much it would cost. He is, however, fairly sure "It would save money in the long run by reducing crime and antisocial behaviou". Exactly hwo he knows this, I don't know.
A Tory Policy Everyone Can Unite Behind
David Cameron has got the best coverage in The Sun this morning that he has had since he bcame Party leader. The Sun highlights Cameron's excellent policy idea of encouraging 16 year olds to take part in a six week stint of 'national' service. It's not a stunt and it's extremely well thought out, as the article clearly demonstrates.
David Cameron's plans for 'national citizen service' are ambitious, but they are unlikely to attract the hard-to-reach kids he most wants to engage.
I Don't Care If It's Mr Cameron Proposing It, It's a Rather Good Idea
One of my pet policies, which i've always thought would be brilliant to see implemented, is the idea of a charity or volunteer work-oriented form of national service for 16-year olds. The name of "Citzen's Service" which Mr Cameron has attached to it is substantially better than any i could come up with.
The British government has no plans to hold a referendum on the new EU treaty, Miliband has declared. He was speaking to a joint news conference with his Spanish counterpart Miguel Angel Moratinos, prior to today's meeting of the foreign ministers in
LibDems should wake up and smell the coffee
For Ming just doesn’t work. He sounds and looks feeble and past it. His Commons performances are weak, his television soundbites limp. He hasn’t given his party any sense of direction. When Gordon Brown tried to mug the Libs by putting Paddy Ashdown in the Cabinet without offering policy concessions, Ming said he needed to think about it overnight. He has got to go.
ConservativeHome has been given an advance look at Warwick Lightfoot's manifesto for
The bendy own-goal?
It's no surprise that Ken Livingstone's rivals have seized on bendy buses as a genuine political issue.