Pick of the Papers
By Kevin Augustine
Source: The Guardian
As Topic: Elections
A2 Politics: Environment
Fracking has the ability to give the UK another supply for energy, which has the potential to drive down energy prices for the economy. However, this has caused great controversy in safe Tory seats, with constituents pledging to run anti-fracking campaigns and research from Greenpeace and the Guardian has shown that 120 safe seats have protest groups in them. On top of this, 31 of the 40 key marginal seats identified by the party have these protest groups. This bodes ill for the Conservative party, who have deviated from green policy.
Source: The Guardian
A2 Topic: Economic Policy
The TTIP is a treaty between the EU and the USA, being marketed by its champions as a economic stimulus package for ailing Europe, providing up to £100bn in extra growth. It is presented as a free trade agreement, but existing tariffs on either side of the Atlantic are already weak because of common membership of organisations such as the World Trade Organisation. But you will not see UKIP nor Cameron riding to British defence as the actual aim is to strip away obstacles to large corporations making profits such as regulations that protect our privacy, the environment, food safety and the economy from a rapacious financial sector. And crucially TTIP further opens up public services to private companies motivated primarily by profit rather than people’s needs.
Source: The Guardian
As Topic: Judiciary
A2 Topic: Crime and Order
The right of victims of crime to directly confront the offenders in court is to be enshrined in law, the government has said. And publicly funded lawyers are to be barred from taking on serious sex offence cases unless they have undergone specialist training. Grayling said: “Our criminal justice system can be daunting, and victims, especially the most vulnerable, can find it traumatic and difficult to know where to turn to for advice and support.” These reforms aim to put the victim first and solidify the victim’s rights in law.
Source: The Guardian
A2 Topic: Economic policy
The Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney, has warned workers that interest rates will rise before they see a rise in real wages. At the TUC conference in Liverpool, Carney cited bank forecasts of real wage growth about the middle of next year. Wages fell 0.2% in the three months to June this year, a decline that contrasted sharply with inflation of 1.6% in July. Carney warned that workers would have to improve productivity and skills to have any chance of getting real-term pay.
Source: The Independent
A2 Topic: Britain and the EU
David Cameron’s hopes of winning a better deal in Europe for Britain were boosted today after Lord Hill, the UK’s new European Commissioner, was chosen for the key financial services post in Brussels. But Lord Hill’s honeymoon lasted only a few hours, as Socialist and Green MEPs threatened to veto his appointment unless he promises to take a tough line on bankers’ bonuses.
Weekly Parliament Roundup: 17th-23rd February
Cabinet visits in Scotland
The Cabinet will be heading for the second time in 90 years to North East of Scotland, Aberdeen, the home of the UK’s oil and gas industry. First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond will also be chairing his own cabinet meeting and both the Cabinet and he want to address the future of the North Sea oil industry. Alex Salmond believes that Scottish independence will bring great benefits to the sector. As the referendum is coming nearer, the UK is aiming to now make strong economic arguments in order to weaken the independence arguments. In addition, there have been slightly negative reactions to the visit as some Scotts believe that the three main unionist parties are trying to dictate the actions of the Scottish.
Angela Murkel to visit Westminster on Thursday
Angela Murkel will be visiting the UK this Thursday and she is here mainly going to have talks The Prime Minister and take a visit also see the Queen. They will talk about the troubled relationship which the UK has with the EU. Conservative Eurosceptic that a re-negotiation of European treaties would have to be done if the Conservatives are re-elected. Moreover, backbenchers want Cameron to stress on the fact that either we get a new relationship that makes sense for Britain or the British people will vote to leave. Regarding other recently important issues, they will also discuss Ukraine.
Farage Vs Clegg on EU
After a recent radio interview with LBC, Nick Clegg has challenged UKIP leader Nigel Farage to a debate regarding the EU and Nigel Farage has agreed. He commended UKIP in the interview by saying that at least they’ve got a clear position that they want to ‘yank Britain out of UKIP’ and the same thing cannot be said for Conservative and Labour don’t really have ‘courage of their convictions on it’. Clegg stressed that the Lib Dems are clearly Pro EU and that being in the EU means being in work. Over 3 million jobs in the country depends on us being in EU according to Clegg and he said that the debate will good way for the public to hear both sides of the argument and decide for themselves regarding the EU.
Special Labour Conference on Saturday
Labour are to hold a special conference on Saturday mainly regarding party reforms. They are attempting to push through the creation of a one member one vote system when electing for the party leaders. Ed Miliband wants the support on allowing the public to pay three pounds to become registered members and show interest in the party and they will have a say in electing the leader and policy making. There has been a positive outlook on these proposals as Labour needs to broaden their support base and gain more voters and these reforms might be the right way to go about it.
Recently, the speaker for the House of Commons, John Bercow suggested that there should be a reformation to Prime Minister’s questions as he believes that the MPs are too unorderly and there needs to be less chaos in the House. However, the reforming PMQs might actually draw people away, there’s always going to be passion and noise in PMQs because it’s the nature of our politics. This week in PMQs, there was mainly disagreements regarding Cameron’s plans for the floods and overall Conservative spending on flood defence spending and climate change. Ed Miliband disagreed with Cameron that the current Government’s spending regarding flood defence spending increased. However, both Miliband and Cameron agreed that climate change, especially man-made climate change is an important issue.
Vince Cable on the “massive” impact of Eurozone break up – The World This Weekend, BBC Radio 4
Francois Hollande’s victory in the first round of the French presidential elections and the collapse of the Dutch government have put the stability of the eurozone into question. Former chancellor Alistair Darling, gives his thoughts on the potential implications for the eurozone.