Tuesday News Review

Tory right anger over Ireland bailout

The Euro-sceptics in the Conservative party including John Redwood and Douglas Carswell believe Britain is becoming embroiled in a situation which is likely to only get more expensive and fear it will damage their ability to take political power back from Brussels. In addition, the Adam Smith Institute said that the Government’s decision to offer around £7 billion in aid, including direct loans to Dublin, was a “bad deal” for Britain. Ireland has been forced to take the £77 billion economic bail-out in a deal designed to save the euro. As a non-Euro country, the UK was not obliged to contribute but decided to offer support amounting to the equivalent of £300 per household because of the close trading relationship with Dublin. – The Telegraph

The Eurosceptic pressure on the government was highlighted when Douglas Carswell, a prominent backbencher, criticised plans for Britain to provide around £7bn in loans to Ireland. “We shouldn’t be paying to help keep Ireland in the euro,” Carswell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “If we are going to pay to solve this crisis we should be helping to pay Ireland to quit the euro.” Osborne reached out to the Eurosceptics shortly after Carswell’s appearance on Today by indicating that Britain’s help for Ireland was on a bilateral basis and that he was hoping to withdraw Britain from a €60bn EU (£51.34bn) fund. “It is a bilateral loan to Ireland to reflect the fact that we don’t want to be part of a permanent bailout mechanism for the euro,” the chancellor said. – The Guardian

Ed’s back

Returning from two weeks of paternity leave, the Labour leader said shadow Wales secretary Peter Hain would lead a review which will report to next year’s annual conference. The commission will look at policy, the party’s organisation and its relationship with the trade unions. Explaining why he did not enjoy being out of power, Mr Miliband told MPs: “You see the Tories and the Liberal Democrats doing terrible things and it is frustrating. But opposition is about the long-haul and digging in.” Shortly after the weekly meeting of Labour MPs, an ICM opinion poll for the Guardian put support for Labour at 38% – the highest it has been since October 2007. The Conservatives are down three to 36% and the Liberal Democrats dropped to 14%, their lowest result in an ICM poll for nearly 10 years. – Sky

Labour has pulled ahead sharply in the latest Guardian/ICM poll, as both coalition parties lose support. The findings, published as Ed Miliband returns to Westminster after paternity leave, suggest only a minority of voters believe the coalition is taking Britain in the right direction. Labour support in a theoretical immediate election has risen to 38%, two points higher than last month and the best in any ICM poll since Gordon Brown cancelled the planned 2007 general election. Between them the coalition parties have shed five points. Conservative support has dropped three since last month to 36%, while the Liberal Democrats have fallen two points to 14%. The Lib Dem score is the lowest in the Guardian/ICM series since May 2001, and the lowest in any ICM poll since October 2007. – The Guardian

Vince vs. George

The simmering tension over banking policy between the Chancellor, George Osborne, and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, sparked back into life yesterday after Mr Cable issued a strongly worded statement in response to Mr Osborne’s suggestion that some of Britain’s proposed banking bonus reforms could be toned down. Mr Cable said in a statement: “Transparency is key to creating confidence in any commitment from our banks to behave more responsibly on pay and bonuses. Outrageous and irresponsible pay structures were a driver in our financial crisis.” It followed Mr Osborne’s suggestion that Britain might be better off promoting greater transparency internationally rather than going it alone. This could include ditching or watering down a plan that forces banks to publish details of bankers earning more than £1m.

Clegg distances himself from Labour

The extent to which the deficit is deepening fissures between Labour and the Lib Dem leadership will be exposed tomorrow when Nick Clegg claims the shortfall should not be seen as a catastrophe for progressive politics but a chance for renewal and for refocusing the role of the state. The deputy prime minister claims that Labour, under Ed Miliband’s leadership, is becoming the new conservative group of British politics, wedded to outdated ideas and stuck in an anti-pluralist rut. Labour, he says, is in danger of turning high marginal tax rates, a large state, and “snapshots of income inequality” into shibboleths. For old progressives, personified by Miliband, “reducing snapshot income inequality is the ultimate goal”, he maintains, and for new progressives it is “reducing the barriers to mobility”. – The Guardian

Leave a Reply