Daily View 2×2: 24 May 2010

by Stephen Tall on May 24, 2010

Happy Monday morning, everyone, and welcome to the second full week of Lib Dem / Conservative coalition government. Ironically, or not, today marks the 22nd anniversary of the Tories’ homophobic Section 28 being enacted as part of the 1988 Local Government Act … how far we’ve al come since then.

2 Big Stories 1 Big Story

Normally the Daily View features 2 Big Stories from the news – but today we can only afford one. Not even Lib Dem Voice is immune to the age of austerity. This isn’t a U-tun, by the way, we’re just responding to events.

The UK embarks on an age of austerity (Financial Times)

Britain begins its journey on Monday from “the age of plenty to the age of austerity in the public finances”. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat governing coalition will announce immediate cuts of £6bn in public spending. … But the real test of any deficit-cutting programme is not the speed and savagery of the cuts but whether there is a credible long-term plan. No such plan was articulated by either governing party during its campaign.


Lib Dem U-turn on cuts is ‘due to Greece’
(Independent)

… having signed a coalition deal, Liberal Democrat ministers are now working on implementing the very cuts that they once warned against. Nick Clegg was challenged on BBC’s Andrew Marr programme yesterday to explain the seeming contradiction. He replied that, on taking office, they had discovered that the problem was more urgent than they had realised. “I don’t think anybody could have predicted – and the Governor of the Bank of England said no one could have predicted – that the situation in Greece would have this knock-on effect, which has created immense anxiety on our European doorstep,” he said.

“What has become obvious is that the outgoing Labour government was just throwing around money like there’s no tomorrow, probably knowing that they were going to lose the election. So not only are we are going to have to deal with cuts, we’re also going to have to deal with some of the pledges which the Government made in the past, which they didn’t even provide budgets for.”


Business aid biggest loser as Osborne wields axe
(The Times)

Vince Cable’s Business Department will bear the brunt of £6 billion in cuts outlined today as the coalition makes its first moves on the deficit. The Business Secretary has agreed to find £900 million in savings over the next nine months. He is expected to cull regional development agencies in the South, quangos and some of the last-minute grants and loans extended by his predecessor, Lord Mandelson.

Dr Cable is to be allowed to recycle £200 million of his savings, leaving his net loss at £700 million — still the largest in Whitehall. Allies said that he was comfortable because he regarded tackling the deficit as an imperative and had questioned many of Lord Mandelson’s spending decisions.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

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

  • Andy Mayer on Liberal Vision: Clegg Prepares the Ground for Cuts
  • … both [Lib Dems and Conservatives] have allowed Labour to get away with painting almost all public spending as a good thing, because it is public spending.

  • Jonathan Calder (Liberal England): Liberal Democrats and school league tables
  • … the more authoritarian instincts of the Tories are finding common cause with the more Labourite instincts of the Liberal Democrats. Why am I not surprised?

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.