1. The FT. Britain is not broken, it has been getting better. It does make you wonder about their Conservative endorsement, huh?
FT research shows that even the most deprived local authorities have shown signs of improvement over recent years when looking at figures ranging from crime and truancy to teenage pregnancies and children living in unemployed households.
2. David Aaronovitch: Voting Labour, here is why. Some choice cuts:
the Shadow Schools Secretary castigated Labour for having created inequality and social division in their 13 years in power. What has actually happened (I have the figures) is that Labour has striven mightily to reverse the sudden and massive increase in division and inequality between 1979 and 1997 (when the youthful Gove was as brilliant a Thatcherite as he is now a brilliant Cameroonian) while trying not to lose the structural economic gains of the Conservative years …
So what, I wonder, will the new Conservatives do in practice to accelerate the reversing of their own historic legacy? I wonder it, but in truth, there isn’t an answer, beyond the vagaries of the “Big Society”. Now, one may characterise the BS as “optimistic”, but then so is the proposition that Cameroon will win the World Cup
Then, discussing a misleading Tory ad:
This ad was so unscrupulous and misleading that it made me feel that the Tories really do not, in the horrid vernacular, “get it” about the new politics at all. They think it’s their turn again, end of. I don’t agree with this paper’s rosy view of the dogmatically anti-European William Hague as Foreign Secretary, and I don’t agree that the Tory proposal for an immigration cap is “measured and intelligent”. Actually it is unmeasured and probably economically damaging.
And it turns out a leaflet from the LibDems put him off the LibDems. This wounds:
When Tony Blair introduced tuition fees in 2004, against opposition from G. Brown and the Lib Dems, he didn’t do it because it was popular but because universities needed to be funded. In the 2005 election the Lib Dems won several university seats by frighting the air with predictions about how college applications would fall among the poorest students (who weren’t going to be affected by it anyway). So when this prediction turned out to be completely wrong, did they apologise? Did they now apply cuddly-stern Vince Cable realism? You must be kidding.