TOPIC OF THE WEEK… energy. George W Bush said that America must free itself from its oil addiction. In Britain the oil trading millionaire Alan Duncan appeared to suggest that the Tories were not as enthusiastic about nuclear power as previously thought.
A GOOD WEEK FOR… Greg Clark MP. During a time when most shadow cabinet ministers are pretty anonymous one Tory MP who is making waves is Greg Clark. The new MP for Tunbridge Wells is running the economic opportunity team within Iain Duncan Smith’s social justice policy group and regularly monsters the quangocrats who appear before the Public Accounts Committee (of which he is a member). Greg’s Protection of Private Gardens Bill was covered extensively in the media – including an interview for Radio 4’s Today programme. The Bill aims to remove brownfield status from private gardens in order to stop developers from buying homes and then building houses in the back gardens. Greg has been inundated with cases of ‘garden grabbing’ from across the country since his Telegraph piece appeared last Saturday.
A BAD WEEK FOR… judicial activism. The confirmation of Samuel Alito to membership of the US Supreme Court amounts to one of George W Bush’s most significant achievements. Justice Alito is likely to be a strict constitutionalist – interpreting, not making, law. In the last few decades left-liberals have gone over the heads of voters to US and European courts in the hope that activist judges will give them the rights that they have been unable to get accepted through the ballot box. American conservatives have begun to turn the tide on such activism but the international left are now using even less democratic and less accountable multilateral institutions like the UN to advance their causes.
TORY POLITICIAN OF THE WEEK… Paul Goodman MP. Not only did he seek advice from ConservativeHome bloggers on childcare policy, he corresponded with those who made comments. Such a willingness to dialogue with Tory members is really welcome. This blog salutes you Paul!
MISPLAY OF THE WEEK… Hilary Armstrong. Thanks to her mismanagement Tony Blair lost another crucial parliamentary vote… on religious freedom. Tony Blair has said that he has full confidence in his chief whip. It can’t be too long before she’s on the backbenches then!
CONSERVATIVEHOME POST OF THE WEEK… Martin Sewell’s brilliantly-argued case for supporting marriage.
EXTERNAL BLOG POST OF THE WEEK… Guido’s Blair Heir. A ‘photo exclusive’ that captured a little too much truth for comfort.
THE POST THAT RECEIVED THE MOST COMMENTS…
- Should Tory MEPs sit with the "homophobic" Law & Justice party? (267) – With too many of the comments getting a bit nasty.
THE POST THAT RECEIVED THE FEWEST COMMENTS…
CELEBRITY COMMENT OF THE WEEK…
Dan Hannan MEP defending Poland’s Law & Justice party:
"Anti-semitic? I know this is an online discussion, guys, but please don’t let’s flout the libel laws. The Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, who is the second most senior figure in PiS, is Jewish. No other Polish party has so highly placed a Jewish politician. PiS spent a substantial sum on the holocaust memorial in Warsaw and has strong support from diaspora Jewish groups. Nor, by the way, are they homophobic. It is bizarre that a British newspaper should be levelling this charge when none of their domestic rivals in Poland does so. Law and Justice is a pluralist party, committed to human rights and the equality of all citizens before the law. What we are seeing was drearily predictable: any party that comes out against the EU constitution is automatically attacked as extreme, while the crooks inside the EPP are "moderate" because they happen to be federalists. I can understand why the Grauniad wants to take this line, but it is disappointing to see Useful Idiots on this list falling for it.""
BEST COMMENT OF THE WEEK…
Peter Franklin on the difficulties of building a new generation of nuclear power plants:
"What we are talking about here is the mother of all public sector contracts, combined with the daddy of all civil engineering projects, the uncle disgusting of all safety issues and the girlfriend-from-hell of all planning disputes."