by Ben Duckworth / 24 Jan 2013 15:59
It should always serve as a warning sign of complacency when we think we know the order in which things will play out. Yesterday’s speech by David Cameron made clear his plans for renegotiation followed by a 2017 In-Out referendum. While we can all argue about whether this is a fantastic move or a huge strategic mistake, it superficially looked like Europe was an issue the Prime Minister could now file under Non-Urgent. The
by Alex MacDonald / 23 Jan 2013 14:57
Today the prime minister made his case for the future of Britain’s position in Europe: change, or Britain will leave. The PM spoke of five key reforms that he wanted to see inside the supranational body, which were: competitiveness, flexibility, reciprocal power flow between member states and the EU, democratic accountability, and fairness.
What we do now know is Miliband’s position on the European referendum. The leader of the opposition said: “My position
by Anoosh Chakelian / 23 Jan 2013 11:49
AdiEU, sang the PM to the European Union this morning: music to his Brussels-bashing backbenchers' ears (read: EUphoria), but acceptable to a sceptical yet change-averse public - the negotiating of Britain's membership, and an emphasis on reform allowing him to cry 'in' on the future in-out ultimatum (read: EUphemism).
But he couldn't quite look Ed Miliband in the eye today at PMQs, as he was pressed tenaciously on whether he'd campaign to leave
by Sadie Smith / 21 Jan 2013 10:43
I was musing recently to a friend of mine, who happened to have attended my south coast comprehensive - albeit twenty years before me - that I didn’t know any openly homosexual people during my schooldays. He looked at me in horror.
“Good Lord, no. Are you surprised? There are easier ways to commit suicide.”
Happily, things have changed for the better, by and large, in the intervening period. In 1998, the
by Ed Cox / 17 Jan 2013 15:30
The DPM claims that the first three rounds have created or safeguarded some 500,000 jobs and levered in a further £13bn into the national economy. But how many of those jobs and how much of that investment would have landed
by Anoosh Chakelian / 17 Jan 2013 14:59
“This isn’t a plan for a manifesto,” Greg Barker MP remarked to the intimate gathering of his fellow Tory modernisers and a few eager environmental journalists last Wednesday evening, “this isn’t even a plan for a plan.”
Cameron’s loyal energy minister was addressing a rather plush underground bar in the Mayfair offices of the Legatum Institute - what must be one of the swankiest of British politics’ independent think tank brigade.
by Alex MacDonald / 16 Jan 2013 14:08
Today’s PMQs' quick-worded duelling focused on the debate surrounding Europe. The prime minister is in a sticky spot on the continental issue due to the divide amongst the ranks in his own party; and even more so after a recent report found that 56% of Brits want to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership with the supranational power. This Friday, David Cameron is expected to announce plans of a
by Alex MacDonald / 15 Jan 2013 16:28
Today the international development committee is sitting to discuss the successes and failures of the foreign aid programme in Pakistan. The Islamic Republic, ranked poorly at 139th out of 174 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index of 2012, is expected to receive over £400 million pounds yearly from the British coffers by 2015.
Dfid has announced that foreign aid as a whole is
by Emma Burnell / 14 Jan 2013 15:29
The Lib Dems are not the party some of Labour’s soft left like to think they are. This is not to denigrate the Lib Dems in any way. Most of the people I know who share this opinion are – in fact – Lib Dems. It’s quite insulting to them to be held up in the imagination of others as a left wing party with an interest in civil liberties. They believe the Lib
by Anoosh Chakelian / 10 Jan 2013 11:42
The planning minister is making plans. Plans about homes.
But rather than just following the requirements of his job description, it seemed to his audience today at Policy Exchange, where he gave a speech in favour of developing on greenfield sites, a “simple if painful choice”, that he was on a somewhat more personal crusade.
Amid some intricate meandering around the minutiae of planning permission, talk of SSSI and AONB*, Boles’ personal
by Emma Burnell / 08 Jan 2013 11:38
When Labour announced plans for a new guaranteed compulsory jobs scheme - which would guarantee a job to anyone who had been unemployed for more that 24 months - the response from some quarters was as boring and snobbish as it was inevitable. Those horrified at the idea of compulsion usually managed to fit in the phrase “stacking shelves in Tesco” somewhere into their objections.
As if being a shelf stacker (or
by James Nickerson / 03 Jan 2013 17:21
The former health minister, Paul Burstow, has put forward what he states would be “brave and caring” politics in benefits and welfare reform, thrusting both Nick Clegg and David Cameron into potentially difficult positions. With the mid-term review being published next week, Burstow’s announcement seems poised to highlight this division in the coalition.
At the moment, the government is broadly in favour of and looks likely to put in place the Dinot