Daily View 2×2: 18 January 2010

Happy Monday morning, everyone.

On this day, in 1788, Britain established a penal settlement at Botany Bay in Australia; while, in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt sent the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States to King Edward VII. Even more excitingly, it’s the birthday of AA Milne (b. 1882), Oliver ‘Laurel &’ Hardy (b. 1892), Cary Grant (b. 1904) and Peter Beardsley (b. 1961).

But without further tarrying …

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Holyrood: The Budget Battleground (Caron Lindsay)

    The first act of the budget drama plays out this week. Let’s hope that the process is more serious production and less pantomime farce.

  • A couple of classy links (Alix Mortimer)

    I once saw a blogger, a smart, impassioned, left-wing blogger, comment to the effect that his £40,000-odd salary was not that high.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

It’s Campbell vs Campbell: Ming demands Alistair recall over dodgy Iraq inquiry evidence

As Scotland’s The Herald reports:

Alastair Campbell should be recalled to the Iraq inquiry after a “clarification” about his evidence “comprehensively failed” to clear up anything, according to Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader. The Fife MP insisted that a letter sent to the inquiry by Tony Blair’s former spin doctor attempting to clarify something he had said during his five hours of evidence last Tuesday had “not been effective”. …

Sir Menzies said: “In fairness to Mr Campbell and in the interest of the inquiry itself, he should be recalled to give further evidence on these matters and to allow members of the inquiry to question him again. These issues go right to the heart of the deliberations and the responsibilities of the committee; this is why clarification is key.”

Meanwhile, in a manner more befitting a centre court match at Wimbledon, there will be a public ballot later today for people wanting seats to watch Tony Blair appear before Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq Inquiry. The BBC notes, ‘The ballot is for 60 seats, with a third of the places being set aside for bereaved families of service personnel or other Britons killed in Iraq.’

British Economy Faces A ‘Decade Of Pain’

At least according to leading economic forecaster the Ernst & Young ITEM Club – Sky News reports:

… the forecaster warned there would be little growth in what would be a “challenging year” ahead. Official figures due later this month should confirm an end to recession in the final three months of 2009.

But the emergence does not mean Britain is revelling in stronger economic activity. Several initiatives, such as the car scrappage scheme, have propped up spending.

Chief economic adviser Peter Spencer predicted growth of around 1% this year.

And to think in a few months time George Osborne might be the Chancellor in charge of the British economy. Oh God, no: please spare us from George, and deliver us unto Vince.

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