Tuesday News Review

Budget fall out

“Is Labour losing out on a star? Yvette Cooper has just impressed the Labour benches with a tour de force of a speech in the Commons in which she picked apart the budget for imposing “savage” cuts that are “nastier” than anything introduced by Margaret Thatcher.” – The Guardian

“Andrew George, the Lib Dem MP for St Ives, who tabled the Budget amendment, has told colleagues he does not want to trigger “nuclear war” in the party. But the Lib Dem leadership will be concerned that a rebellion may grow. Labour has begun targeting Lib Dem MPs with high numbers of poor voters. Ed Miliband, the shadow energy secretary, said it was “shameful” that the Lib Dems had supported “the most right-wing budget I can remember”. – The Telegraph

“Ed Balls, the Labour leadership contender, said last night: “Nick Clegg and Vince Cable warned of a Tory VAT bombshell in the general election but are now helping to deliver it. So it’s encouraging that two Lib Dem MPs have stood by their principles and voted against the most unfair and regressive tax rise of all.”” – The Guardian

The contest rumbles on

“Ed Miliband has set out his case for “values” over “management” in politics in a ten minute interview for the BBC’s Daily Politics. In it, he says that he is a politician of the “centre ground” but that he is in politics to “shape that centre ground from the left”. He adds that it wasn;t just people “on the left” who were outraged at the banking crisis, for example, and claimed that he could reach out beyond Labour’s traditional core vote.” – The New Statesman

“The Labour leadership debates rumble on and now look likely to generate more light than heat. Despite the acres of coverage, one shadowy and influential group’s views remain untested: the special advisers (SpAds) who tirelessly work to ensure their master’s voice makes the 8:10 slot on the Today programme, among other things […] Some are working unpaid while they wait to find post-election jobs. The SpAds with funding are jockeying for position in the leadership race.” – The New Statesman

“LABOUR members in the North-East got the chance to question the five leadership candidates on the big issues facing the party on Saturday. More than 450 members of party branches throughout the region attended the event at the Great North Museum, in Newcastle, to hear from South Shields MP David Miliband, his brother Ed, former Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls, former Health Secretary Andy Burnham, and Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott.” – The Northern Echo

Harriet stirs it up

“So what’s Harman’s game in playing the hawk all of a sudden? Could be that she’s merely mixing it between Cameron and Defence Secretary Liam Fox, a relationship that is reportedly very tense.  But might it be that she has spotted what is indeed blindingly obvious: that with Cameron having now positioned himself on the appeasement-minded left, there’s a yawning great vacuum where the defence of western values — aka conservatism — used to be? A shrewd Labour politician will realise that, while Labour would without any doubt commit electoral suicide by moving further to the left, it can reap dividends by shifting to the (ahem, whisper it very quietly) right.” – The Spectator

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