Daily catch-up: eurogloom, Ed in Red and Cameron’s Wilsonian U-turn on control orders

Six short comments on what to read from our political columnist


1. The eurozone is still in trouble, and here is a graph that shows why. Its main economies are diverging widely, and have fallen behind the US. Thanks to Michael O'Connor for making the graph, from an original made by Ben Chu, our Economics Editor, who wrote about the forgotten travails of the euro in The Independent on Sunday.

2. Set text for the day: Ed Miliband's "I'm back from the villa in the south of France" interview in Red magazine.

"I am the person who stopped Rupert Murdoch over phone hacking."

He what? He's the person who demanded the resignation of Rebekah Brooks, top boss of News UK, when it was plain she had to go. He also claims to have "stopped" the energy companies putting up gas and electricity prices, and to have "stopped" the banks not lending to small businesses.

Meanwhile, back in France, Manuel Valls was giving a small demonstration of what real leadership looks like. I don't think Miliband's conference speech later this month will challenge his party in the same way.

Then he modestly tossed the phrase, "the charisma of imperfection", into the conversation. Is it yours? asked Janice Turner. "It was used about Bill Clinton," said Miliband, casually making another comment about himself. We need Lloyd Bentsen at this point, to say that he knows Bill Clinton, he's worked with Bill Clinton, and so on.

In fact, Miliband used that "charisma of imperfection" phrase during the Labour leadership campaign four years ago, as JP Janson De Couet pointed out.

The betting markets give Miliband a 53 per cent chance of being the next prime minister.

3. Superb column in the Financial Times today by Janan Ganesh, one of the best young writers about politics (he wrote a biography of George Osborne, which has just been updated). It is full of quotable sentences: 

"Governments can make things better, but usually at the cost of making other things worse."

"Mr Carswell was not in the wrong party. He is in the wrong profession."

"The suspicion about Mr Cameron is that he is not a man you set your watch by."

In other words, David Cameron is more like Harold Wilson every day.

4. Yesterday in the House of Commons the Wilsonian Cameron split the difference between his solemn duty to protect the British people from Islamist terrorism and the civil libertarian sensibilities of Liberal Democrat activists. Announcing the return of control orders, although they will still be called something else, he told Hazel Blears, one of the most security-minded of New Labour ministers, there were few people in the House with whom he agreed more on Islamist radicalisation.

He then said that the new relocation powers were not a return to control orders, because "control orders were permanently being run ragged in the courts". He has to say it because of the Lib Dems, but it is not true. See what the independent but liberal reviewer of anti-terrorism law has to say at Q105 here.

Just to make everything clear, Nick Clegg said on TV yesterday: "This is absolutely not repeating the mistakes of the last Labour government." Translation: "Easy to spout civil libertarian slogans in opposition; harder to keep people safe in government."

And a "senior Lib Dem source" simultaneously contradicted his boss: “We have not definitively signed up to relocation powers. We have agreed to look in detail at the options."

5. You think parts of the British press are sensationalist? Well, this is how the New York Daily News does tabloid journalism. (Thanks to Chris Deerin.)

6. Finally, thanks to Chris Heaton-Harris for the latest news:

"A lorry-load of Playdough has been found abandoned in Parliament Square. Police are unsure what to make of it."


React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Neo-Nazis march in London  

I'm taking my Jewish kids to a vile neo-Nazi rally in London this weekend – because I want them to learn about free speech

Richard Ferrer
A police officer carries a casualty to safety  

Tunisia attack proves we cannot stop terrorists carrying out operations against Britons in Muslim countries

Robert Verkaik
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map