Daily View 2×2: Friday 4 September

Today I went to Wikipedia to see what happened today in history, and saw that it’s the birthday of the composer Edvard Grieg. Quick as a flash, the Kit and the Widow song “hundreds of Norwegians on the London Underground” to the tune of the Hall of the Mountain King rises unbidden in my mind – and with it, memories of the Brent East by-election, and Ed Fordham’s uncanny rendition of “Can you tell me please – where can Dollis Hill be found?” For many of you, this will mean nothing, but I’m hoping a significant number of you will be humming the Hall of the Mountain King all day in sympathy.

Two big stories

There’s only one big story today; it broke on the blogs last night and dominates the headlines this morning. Aide quits. Blow to Brown. Afghanistan policy in tatters. Humiliated defence secretary. Read all about it in the Guardian, the Times and the Telegraph.

Read, too, Eric Joyce’s tweet about the whole thing – 140 characters allow him to say “In lounge at Euston, waiting for train after speech to UKNDA. Big ugly mug on giant screens. Everything seems pretty shit, actually.”

My second pick of the stories is the glum news that Britain will be the last to leave the recession behind:

The UK economy will shrink in the third quarter and register zero growth in the fourth quarter, while America’s economy will grow by 2.4 per cent in the fourth quarter and the euro Area’s will increase by 2 per cent.

The forecast will come as a blow to Alistair Darling, who in an newspaper interview on Thursday reiterated that he believed the economy would return to growth by the end of the year with Britain experiencing a V-shaped recession.

Two must-read blog posts

Mark Reckons meets A Man with a Plan. It’s a good interview, and eminently readable even for those of us who aren’t familiar with Tory MP Dougless Carswell or his work. It does just leave me a little champing at the bit for questions unasked. How will he pay for open primaries? How does he avoid the tyranny of the majority amongst all the sheriffs, recalls and referendums?

Costigan Quist talks… erm… spherical barcharts.

Take your opinion polls and draw a graph. But instead of making it a bar chart, use the height of each line as the diameter of a circle. Looking at a circle, we see the area of course. Think back to your GCSE maths. The Conservatives have about 2.5 times the support of the Lib Dems, but the Tory circle is six times bigger that the yellow one.

Coming up on Lib Dem Voice later today: Is Mandelson losing the battle with the pirates? And just how do councillors spend their time? Mark Pack reports.

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This entry was posted in Daily View.


  • Read that Carswell interview. The only thing I’ve gained from it is an unwelcome reminder that the good old British tradition of fawning over the toffs still survives. Carswell’s ideas are second rate bar room drivel.

  • “How does he avoid the tyranny of the majority amongst all the sheriffs, recalls and referendums?”

    He doesn’t of course. That’s the main attraction of this sort of thing amongst populist right-wingers and their target audience.

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