HOT TOPIC OF THE WEEK… Tax. Britain is becoming increasingly burdened by Gordon Brown’s taxes and George Osborne used a speech to acknowledge the economic cost of this burden but he then put “stability” before tax relief in a speech that provoked a lot of energetic commenting on this site.
A GOOD WEEK… for political blogs. Canada’s blogging Tories performed five main roles for the victorious Stephen Harper:
(1) They helped to expose the corruption of the Chretien/ Martin Liberal Party.
(2) They kept the corruption scandal in the news cycle when mainstream old media moved on to other things.
(3) They fact checked and fisked the outpourings of the mainstream media.
(4) They put out videos, cartoons and other campaign ads that were too edgy for the official Conservative Party but reached voters that tune out of more conventional messaging.
(5) They maintained activist morale.
A(NOTHER) BAD WEEK… for the LibDems. It began with revelations about Mark Oaten’s use of a male prostitute and the News of the World’s suggestion of sex acts that were too lurid to print. A LibDem candidate defected to Cam’s Cons and then Simon Hughes was outed as having had homosexual relationships even though he had repeatedly denied that he was gay. The week ended with the LibDems slipping to just 13% in the latest YouGov/ Telegraph poll.
TORY POLITICIAN OF THE WEEK… William Hague. Members of the ConservativeHome.com Members’ Panel gave him a net satisfaction rating of +83%. Just 4% of the Panel were dissatisfied with the Shadow Foreign Secretary’s performance.
PLAY OF THE WEEK… David Cameron at PMQs. Sir Ming may have asked the most worthy question about the west’s failure to help the people of Darfur but the Tory leader delivered the memorable performance. Cameron wins the Play of the Week for taunting Blair by saying that the CND member of 1983 had gone into politics to "soak the rich and ban the bomb" but had been "sucking up to the rich and dropping bombs" ever since.
EXTERNAL BLOG POST OF THE WEEK… Brendan Simms on the Social Affairs Unit blog – pointing out that David Cameron’s chair of the security policy group – ‘Pauline Neville Chamberlain’ – was no neocon.
CONSERVATIVEHOME POST OF THE WEEK… We compared the policies of the AusCons, CanCons and USCons with the CamCons and found Britain’s Tories increasingly out-of-step with their English-speaking counterparts. BBC World Service interviewed me about the comparison for the People & Politics programme.
THE POST THAT RECEIVED THE MOST COMMENTS…
- More tax anxiety (172)
THE POST THAT RECEIVED THE FEWEST COMMENTS…
COMMENT OF THE WEEK… Simon C responding to the post on the Assisted Dying Bill. This is one of four points he made:
"Contrary to their protestations, pro-euthanasia campaigners are seeking to impose their views on others: they are saying that in some cases an active intervention to bring a patient’s life to an end months earlier than would otherwise have happened should be regarded as a positive & good outcome. They are saying that medicine is something that you can take to bring about the end of your life, not just to make you better. In short, they are imposing a view that would upturn the established principles on which our medical culture has been based for centuries. As a result people living with life-threatening conditions, who are fighting every step of the way, are having to read in the newspapers or see on television the view that it would be far more dignified of them to take the euthanasia route. There are other ways of dying in dignity. It is quite wrong for the Voluntary Euthanasia Society to suggest that it has a monopoly on dignity by changing its name to "Dying in Dignity" and then applying for trademarks to claim exclusive ownership of that language."