Northern Rock Progress?
I'm told there will be a meeting between Treasury staff and investment bankers Goldman Sachs (the firm tasked with looking into possible options for the beleaguered Northern Rock) either today or tomorrow. Does this signal that steps are about to be taken to nationalise the bank?
Brown's nationalisation nightmare
Iain Martin’s column this morning on the political dangers to Gordon Brown of nationalising Northern Rock is essential reading. As Iain argues, the danger for Brown is that Northern Rock could destroy his reputation for economic competence and set in the public mind the idea that he—unlike that nice Mr. Blair—is too left wing for modern Britain. One senior shadow cabinet minister tells Iain that: "It's very him,"...” It’s what people think he came into politics to do all along: nationalise banks."
Is Hain being shown the exit?
Gordon Brown was quite specific on ITV: Hain's failing is not incompetence, it's an incompetence. By that he presumably means that in every other respect he's a top minister. Brown Central is lavish in its praise of the way he handles his brief, and other ministers report (with some bafflement) an atmosphere of keen support for him in No10.
80 Tory MP's reported to the electoral commission
I guess this goes to prove that the donations issue is a can of worms. I think, personally, that Labour are trying to up the ante, but in doing so are likely to put more pressure on themselves rather than easing the pressure on Peter Hain, Harriett Harman and the rest.
Labour should learn from Hain and Harman
I spent this morning leafletting in the Labour marginal seat of Westminster North, where Karen Buck is the MP. Thousands of leaflets were delivered in that marginal seat today, yet I can't help feeling that the work done by the grassroots on the ground has been more than offset by the politcal blow in the national media from Peter Hain's deputy leadership election arrangements.
It's time to defend public schools
I had the privilege of attending Tonbridge School. Without doubt I had access to a high quality of education as well as incredible opportunities in terms of sport, music, drama and other extracurricular activities on offer. For better or worse, Tonbridge is largely responsible for the man I am today (cue barrage of feeble and illiterate insults from anonymous trolls).
What should be asked of the independent sector?
With the Charity Commission recommending that private schools should do more for the "public benefit", public school headmasters are at odds over whether or not they do enough already. As Melanie Phillips has already noted in a must-read Spectator blog post, the first shot was fired by the headmaster of Wellington College, Dr Anthony Seldon, in yesterday’s Independent. Seldon claims that the independent school system is helping to perpetuate "educational apartheid" (i.e. the inequality between the independent and state sectors):
Vote Clegg Get Brown
I have been exchanging views with Mr. Cicero`s songs , quite an erudite blog from a Liberal perspective but as partisan as Liberals usually are whilst holding their noses at the partisanship of others. In doing so I have synthesised some of my complaints about the Liberal Party( as Clegg now calls them). I find as we are all socially Liberal more or less the differences are stark only abroad especially on the EU. On domestic policy they are somewhat to the left old the Blairites in reality and cannot be taken seriously as Libertarian when they want to take all your money away and redistribute it to worthy causes of their own choosing.
Tit for tat reporting damages politics
I can’t help but see the news that two Labour MPs have reported 80 Tory MPs for non-declaration of donations as just revenge for the Tories pursuing Peter Hain. Maybe there will be something in it, but from what I can see it all looks above board. All parties get money from unincorporated associations, which are completely innocuous not for profit bodies that receive lots of small contributions from loads of different people.
Evening Standard: “It’s no contest - Paddick must be Mayor”
There was a boost for Brian Paddick’s London mayoral campaign today, when Evening Standard columnist Nirpal Dhaliwal gave the Lib Dem candidate his whole-hearted endorsement:
Latest Scottish Voting Intention
Earlier in the week there was apparently a new YouGov poll of Scottish voting intentions in the Scottish Daily Express. The topline voting intention figures, with changes from the last YouGov poll, are - for the constituency vote - CON 14%(+2), LAB 29%(nc), LDEM 14%(+1), SNP 38%(-2) and for the regional vote, CON 13%(nc), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 12%(-1), SNP 30%(-4).