It’s been a funny old week. Popular demand has led me to give my take on the past weeks news.
So firstly there’s a new publication in town, promising to be a “tremendous force for good” and a magnet for respectable, upright journalism, yes alevelpolitics.com has been launched. With over 1,300 views to date it has been rumoured Rupert Murdoch held a meeting last week and hurriedly put together his alternative.
Elsewhere, the government’s Health Bill is still suffering its long path through Parliament with opposition mounting in the Lords and widespread resistance from doctors. The controversy is also seeing a rejuvenated Ed Milliband leadership, with a fairly strong(ish) performance in Parliament on Wednesday. I think he needs King Kenny to show him how it’s done.
Britain’s US extradition law has been in the news again. This time after British businessman Christopher Tappin was sent to America to stand trial. Before boarding the plane, he protested: “I have no rights. Abu Qatada is walking the streets of London today and they cannot extradite him”. The law is controversial since US authorities do not need to provide evidence to satisfy a judge that the extradition is valid.
The government’s welfare work experience scheme has been taking a bit of a hammering. As protests grow towards what is called ‘slave-labour’, Chris Grayling, Employment Minister, had to go on Radio 4 Today to defend the scheme. Bizarrely he conjured up a left-wing conspiracy and claimed his emails had been hacked into, only to retract his statement a few minutes later. However the government seems to be on the back foot. Should young people have to do free work in exchange for welfare benefits? Or would young people benefit from discipline, hard work and stacking shelves? To avoid adverse publicity, some companies including Poundland and Burger King have publicly pulled out of the scheme. I used to work in a Burger King once. Cameron walked in and said “can I have two whoppers?” I replied, “certainly, we are all sharing the burden of the cuts together and you feel our pain”.
I leave you with Andrew Neil’s ‘Adele’ moment