Daily View 2×2: 31 May 09

Welcome to the Sunday outing for our Daily View. As it’s a Sunday, today’s comes with a special examination paper supplement. If you spot anything for future posts, do let us know on [email protected]

2 Big Stories

Opinion polls

It’s been a tale of two polls: a disappointing Populus poll on Saturday followed by a spectacularly good ICM poll in today’s Sunday Telegraph, putting the Liberal Democrats in second place in both general election and European election voting intentions:

The ICM poll for The Sunday Telegraph is the worst possible news for the Prime Minister as he enters his most important week since taking power with Labour expecting a hammering in Thursday’s local and European elections.

The results, which show Labour has suffered particularly badly from the MPs’ expenses scandal in voters’ eyes, are certain to ratchet up speculation that Mr Brown will face a leadership challenge in the next few weeks.

Pakistan at war with the Taliban, continued

As I highlighted last Sunday, the fighting in Pakistan is one of the most important stories happening around the world. The latest news is that having entered the Swat Valley’s main city, Mingora, last week, the Pakistani army is now claiming to have secured control of the city.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

How to do local blogging: Mary Reid

Kingston councillor Mary Reid has one of the best local councillor blogs but as it focuses very much on her local work, it tends not to get that much attention from Liberal Democrats elsewhere in the country. I thought I’d therefore pick out her latest post as it’s a great example of how you can use a blog to let residents know about an issue, filling in the background and details in a way that often isn’t possible with the word limits required for leaflets – but without lapsing into long boring chunks of prose.

Zermatt 1938

Eric Avebury’s blog is very much the marmite of the Liberal Democrat blogging world: you either love posts like his latest (though it isn’t quite in this class) or are left completely baffled how anyone could like it.

Sunday Bonus

Right, pay attention at the back. No whispering. It’s exam time. Here is your exam paper, courtesy of one of the University of Wales’s undergraduate economics courses. Pay particular attention to question 1.

And finally, where would a political blog post be without a story of MPs and their expenses? Today it’s the MP who gave £5 to his local church and then claimed for it on expenses. Step forward, Labour MP Frank Cook. (Best be sitting down before you click on that link, mind you, as the story there also summons up an image of a Britain with “600 Esther Rantzens”.)

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  • No more party-hack politics where the ‘old pals act’ and the parliamentary cover-up culture allows dodgy statements and corrupt statistic to be thrown at the public with great deceit. The Green Book seems to have been put together in a thiefs kitchen. There is another importan question – how many crooked MPs got together and ousted the sleaze watchdog Elisabeth Filkins? She was on to them and paid the price?

  • Danny Finkelstein summed it up in a recent Times Online piece: Tamils – who cares? Darfur – who cares? Man claims five poxy quid in expenses – currently front page of BBC News and everyone frothing at the mouth in self-righteous moral indignation.

    Utterly pathetic.

  • We HAVE to get the model answer to that question 🙂

  • “Danny Finkelstein summed it up in a recent Times Online piece: Tamils – who cares? Darfur – who cares? Man claims five poxy quid in expenses – currently front page of BBC News and everyone frothing at the mouth in self-righteous moral indignation.”

    I think if Danny Finkelstein were to try to put himself in the position of someone on a low wage struggling to make ends meet (which no doubt he would find difficult), then he might begin to understand people’s anger at these self-proclaimed public servants dishonestly claiming in some cases tens of thousands of pounds of public money (not “five poxy quid”).

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