Election catch-up: who says there is no debate about policies in this campaign?

Serious debate about the taxation of non-doms, Britain’s place in Europe and tuition fees

1. As regular readers will know, I think Moose Allain’s drawings and jokes are brilliant. Here is his cartoon called “Loading”. A double dose of him today – see item 6.

2. I have written about Ed Miliband’s plan to abolish non-dom status in The Independent today. I cannot believe that George Osborne failed to say, immediately, that he had already abolished it. The Conservative campaign is lazy, disorganised and ruthful: they do not appear to be serious about winning.

3. The great Donald Macintyre wrote a superb column in yesterday’s Independent on the possible European referendum. He rightly identified the question raised by Leanne Wood, the Plaid Cymru leader, in last week’s TV debate – although it was first raised by Nicola Sturgeon – as a critical one. What if the different parts of the United Kingdom voted differently in a referendum?

“No doubt the Prime Minister wants an intact United Kingdom, ideally within the EU. But when he said after the Scottish referendum last September that the United Kingdom was ‘1,000 times’ more important to him than Britain’s membership of the EU, he was missing a rather big point – that he cannot risk the latter in a referendum without also risking the former.”

4. If the election campaign goes on like this, of course, an EU referendum won’t happen in the next parliament because Ed Miliband will be prime minister. Dan Hodges, a, er, Milisceptic, considers what a Miliband government would be like in The Spectator:

“Speak to anyone who is in regular contact with Labour’s leader, and they all agree he is only too ready to embrace the top job. ‘He’s absolutely convinced he’s been pre-ordained for some big historical mission,’ one senior shadow cabinet member told me. ‘Don’t ask me what the hell it is. But he genuinely believes that.’ Another — rather less charitably — said, ‘Just because you think a lot it doesn’t necessarily make you a great thinker. Ed’s problem is that he regards himself as a great thinker. And he isn’t.’”

Hodges still doesn’t think Miliband will be prime minister. I am not so sure.


5. Striking contribution to the BBC Newsbeat debate on Tuesday from a student who defended the coalition on tuition fees, asking:

“What’s wrong with paying something back?”

6. And finally, Moose Allain gave us this:

“Sad to hear the inventor of speed boats has died. The funeral is tomorrow, followed by the wake.”