Daily catch-up: In praise of Nick Clegg's record on equality

The Lib Dem legacy, new seat boundaries, a Question To Which The Answer Is No and another for my collection of genuine shop names

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The Independent Online

Yes, another for my collection of Genuine Shop Names. This is in Aylesbury. Thanks to Sir Arnold Robinson for the photo, and to The Bucks Herald for this quotation from one of the shop's owners, Inderjit Singh Nagpal:

The first part of the name is Singh, for our names, and the second is bury for Aylesbury. We used the colour orange because that is the colour of our Sikh religion.

This prompted a spate of lookalike shop photos on Twitter if you scroll down from here.

• All social housing does is "produce more Labour voters", said George Osborne, according to Nick Clegg, in an interview with Andrew Grice in today's Independent. The Liberal Democrats' former leader says he was "provoked" into giving the interview by David Cameron's squandering of the coalition's legacy. He says that Cameron's rhetoric on social justice has been good, but the policy on cutting tax credits (currently only delayed rather than reversed) betrays it. The Prime Minister is "indulging in poetic rhetoric, while what is happening in people’s lives is going in exactly the opposite direction".

The Lib Dems ought to be proud of their record on income inequality, which didn't increase between 2010 and 2015 (ONS figures released this week), despited overheated Labour indignation. But that record is now threatened. I agree with Nick. 

• If 2015 election had been fought on the new boundaries that Clegg scuppered, the Tories would now have majority of 44, according to Anthony Wells. The new boundary review that started this week and which will report in 2018 will reduce Labour's advantage even further. This is sometimes condemned as Tory gerrymandering but equalising constituency sizes is fair – indeed the persistence of the old boundaries is indefensible. 

One side effect of redrawing the boundaries, however, will be to cause a civil war in both Labour and Conservative parties as MPs seek to be reselected by Corbynista and Eurosceptic local parties respectively.    

• I mentioned David Cameron's assertion that the civil service is not "neutral" in the EU referendum in yesterday's catch-up. A friend reminded me that Harold Wilson was also accused in 1975 of unfairly tilting the debate in favour of staying in. That time there were three leaflets delivered to every home in the UK at public expense. One from the Yes campaign (In), one from the No Campaign (Out) and one from HM Government (also In).  

The three official leaflets in the 1975 European referendum campaign

I think the same will happen this time. 

• "Almost all issues in economics can be understood through football or Corrie." Chris Dillow has written, using Coronation Street as a test case, about how Osborne's National Living Wage is likely to cost jobs. The standard naive response is to say, "They said the same thing about the minimum wage." The minimum wage was set by an independent commission at a level designed to avoid higher unemployment. The NLW is deliberately set at a level that economists expect will cost jobs in the short run. 

• Francis Wheen ‏draws my attention to an exceptional QTWTAIN. "Is this the sound of Satan being burned alive during an exorcism?" The thing that I most admire about the Daily Mail, a fine newspaper, is its resolution, bravery and discipline in the face of ridicule. 

• And finally, thanks to Glenny Rodge for this: 

"Telly show idea. A discussion programme where people sit around criticising South American animals. I'm calling it Panallama."

And to Tom Peck ‏for this:

"Who'd do the theme tune? Piranharama?"

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