Darling surely has to go
It was always said during the Blair years that the worst job in politics would be Chancellor under Gordon Brown. After ten years in total control of the Treasury, there would be no way that Brown would tolerate a mighty Chancellor - let alone one of near equal status. Darling, when he began, was touted as being essentially a safe, dull pair of hands. Having risen without a trace through cabinet, Darling would be unexciting but competent. His talent for keeping his departments out of the news was just what Brown wanted.
Getting there slowly
The government has finally done what it should have done months ago with Northern Rock; but many questions remain
Hague set to replace Osborne
He may be a smug git but give Vince Cable his due, not only has he demolished the Tories almost amateurish proposals for Northern Rock, he's almost certainly ended George Osborne's tenure as Shadow Chancellor. Osborne has never before looked so out of his depth as he did today. Cable's comment that the Shadow Chancellor was in danger of castrating himself as he straddled both sides of the fence summed up the incoherent strategy adopted by the Shadow Treasury team ever since the Northern Rock crisis began.
The Government is right on Northern Rock
And tremendously courageous, in my view. In this day and age, even much of the left, including myself, is decidedly dodgy about nationalisation. My brand of social ownership and democratic control is a decentralist one; though if government didn't have a role this would be little more than foolish economism. I still think however that the role of the state is not to own resources, but to secure ownership and distribution of those resources across society.
Northern Rock and the case for extending social ownership
£25bn here and £25bn there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money. It has been absolutely apparent for at least five months that nationalisation represents the only realistic means of safeguarding the astonishing sums of taxpayer cash shovelled into Northern Rock to rescue the bank from the consequences of managerial incompetence. Finally Alistair Darling has gotten the message. The erstwhile bearded Trot himself has brought the UK’s number five mortgage lender within the ambit of proletarian property relations. Only another 199 of the top 200 monopolies to go and Britain becomes a workers’ state, comrade.
In defence of Darling
Remember, the Northern Rock crisis was not caused by the government. In light of that, the chancellor has done a pretty good job
Has anybody thought about Scotland?
One can only revel in the disarray experienced by the "colleagues" as they struggle to come to terms with the self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo. Continually vaunting its unity, whenever a crisis emerges, the EU somehow always fails to step up to the plate, each nation state adopting its own position until a formula is found to paper over the cracks and give some uneasy semblance of common purpose.
Why the Archbishop got it wrong
Whether Rowan Williams is a good man or a bad man; an intellectual or an academic; a highly sensitive soul or a machinating demagogue or whether or not he deserved the tabloid-led backlash is irrelevent to the position that he took when he delivered his speech, Civil and Religious Law in England: a Religious Perspective.
What are Cameron's Conservatives for?
Gordon Brown stood for the leadership of the Labour party on a platform that argued that the renewal that was undertaken in order to gain power needed to be repeated if Labour was to keep power. The fact is that by successfully occupying the centre ground, by modernising and reaching out beyond its own activists Labour ended up turning the Tories into a replica of what it used to be itself – a party with a narrow base, a party obsessed about the wrong things and a party seen as old fashioned and out of touch.
What are TfL hiding?
Last week Mike Smithson broke the story of a BPC investigation into an Ipsos MORI poll carried out for Ken Livingstone. In the Evening Standard today Andrew Gilligan picks up Mike’s story and has got some comment from John Curtice and Ben Page of MORI. The story begins back in December with this press release from the Mayor’s office, claiming to show that a poll for Transport for London showed two thirds of respondents were in favour of the new emmissions based congestion charge.