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Middle-class squeeze

12 March 2008 11:02

As Howard Reed put it earlier, public finances are so tight that the there won’t be many winners from today’s Budget.  And all early signs indicate that the winners will… Continue reading

0 Comments

Is the roof coming down?

12 March 2008 10:17

Is this an omen? Those who were watching the live Sky News at 8.50am may have heard scaffolding coming crashing down above the entrance of 12 Downing Street. Needless to… Continue reading

0 Comments

Budget 2008: Will the Budget winners come from the top or the bottom?

12 March 2008 8:50

Alistair Darling’s first budget is an opportunity to re-establish his and the Government’s credibility after a turbulent few months. It will also be an opportunity to define his own agenda… Continue reading

5 Comments

Lest we forget

12 March 2008 8:38

Lest we forget: in the midst of today’s Budget-mania, pause and consider that the Lisbon Treaty, a sweeping package of reforms to our relationship with the EU, cleared the Commons… Continue reading

7 Comments

The Clinton Obama fight turns ugly

11 March 2008 21:25

Over on Americano, a look back at a particularly vicious set of back and forths between the Clinton and Obama camps and a look forward to tonight’s primary returns in Mississippi.… Continue reading

0 Comments

US CentCom Commander resigns

11 March 2008 20:36

Admiral William Fallon has resigned as CentCom commander over a magazine profile–that he cooperated with–that pitted him against the White House’s hawkish Iran rhetoric. In a statement, Fallon said: "Recent… Continue reading

1 Comment

Budget 2008: Combating child poverty & helping the environment

11 March 2008 19:13

Devising this year’s Budget can’t have been easy for the Government. On the one hand, a slowdown seems likely over the next year or so. Two intertwined factors — tightening… Continue reading

9 Comments

Budget 2008: Live coverage

11 March 2008 18:23

Tune into Coffee House tomorrow for live coverage of Alistair Darling’s Budget speech from 12:30pm.  Throughout the day, we’ll have anaylsis from Matthew d’Ancona, Fraser Neslon, Martin Vander Weyer and several guest… Continue reading

2 Comments

Budget 2008: What to expect

11 March 2008 17:47

The Guardian’s politics blog has a great post outlining all the the latest "speculation, leaks and educated guesses" on tomorrow’s Budget.  So far the most striking predictions are: 1) £5 billion… Continue reading

2 Comments

An unfashionable view

11 March 2008 16:44

MPs will soon have to show receipts for all expenses claims over £25.  After the Conway scandal, surely that’s a good thing?  I think so.  Yet the press release sent out by Martyn… Continue reading

10 Comments

Spitzer’s done

11 March 2008 15:26

Eliot Spitzer’s political career is over. The New York Governor might not have resigned yet but it is impossible to see how he can recover from the revelation that he… Continue reading

3 Comments

Devolving responsibility 

11 March 2008 15:24

Three Line Whip are reporting that Paul Murphy, the current Welsh Secretary, is being lined up by Gordon Brown for a new Cabinet position - the Secretary of State for the UK’s devolved regions: Wales,… Continue reading

4 Comments

Laying down the law

11 March 2008 14:52

What is going on over school admissions? Last week, Jim Knight, the schools minister, urged disappointed parents to make greater use of the hopelessly bureaucratic appeals system. Today, he and… Continue reading

7 Comments

A gulf in opinion

11 March 2008 13:22

A profile of Admiral William Fallon, the head of US Central Command, in Esquire is bound to make waves as it claims that, “well-placed observers now say that it will… Continue reading

2 Comments

A poll conundrum

11 March 2008 13:08

The latest Times / Populus poll places the Tories on 37 percent (down 3 on last month); Labour on 34 percent (up 3); and the Lib Dems on 19 percent (up… Continue reading

16 Comments

Backing the big-earners

11 March 2008 12:01

I said yesterday that it’d be a good idea for the Government to use tomorrow’s Budget as a peace offering to the business world.  After Northern Wreck and the non-dom taxation row, bridges need rebuilding. The… Continue reading

2 Comments

Controlling the classroom

11 March 2008 10:57

A friend is on the board of an independent school, and has been attending more than the usual amount of meetings recently. They are discussing whether the burden of government… Continue reading

8 Comments

Swearing allegiance

11 March 2008 8:51

Lord Goldsmith will today release his review into British citizenship and social cohesion. One of his ideas: that all school-leavers take part in ceremonies to swear allegiance to the Queen.… Continue reading

23 Comments

Budget 2008: Taxing issues

10 March 2008 18:29

The discussion around Alistair Darling’s first Budget is likely to be dominated by immediate worries, such as non-dom taxation, capital gains tax, the rising budget deficit, Northern Rock, and the… Continue reading

10 Comments

Hammond puts his foot in it

10 March 2008 17:09

Philip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has just finished a pre-Budget lobby briefing, which I suspect will end in some troublesome headlines for him tomorrow for two reasons.  First,… Continue reading

17 Comments

You’d be mad to miss it

10 March 2008 16:20

If you haven’t seen Mad Men—the drama set in a Madison Avenue advertising agency in 1960—already, I’d thoroughly recommend watching it. (You can catch up on the first episode here.)… Continue reading

12 Comments

Storm Watch UK

10 March 2008 15:56

Trearddur, North Wales

3 Comments

Oil-and-water politics

10 March 2008 14:00

In an article for the FT, Gordon Brown makes his strongest commitment yet to public service reform.  As he puts it: "…there can be no backtracking on reform, no go-slow,… Continue reading

14 Comments

Budget 2008: Arresting the fiscal flood

10 March 2008 13:34

The focus of the UK economic debate of recent weeks has been the credit crunch and the evolution of Northern Rock.  Now, however, the Government’s plans for fiscal policy will… Continue reading

1 Comment

Darling wins one

10 March 2008 11:34

Over at Boulton and Co, Jonathan Levy reports that Alistair Darling has successfully faced down Gordon Brown over who should lead an inquiry into the economic effects of climate change.… Continue reading

9 Comments