Tanya Gold's take on the royal family's ability to project an impression of thrift while spending vast sums of public money is, in my humble republican opinion, the most entertaining published response to the appeal court's ruling that Prince Charles's correspondence with Tony Blair's cabinet should be published. The Guardian's leader on the topic of the so-called 'black spider' memos is also a stimulating read. I suspect the attorney general has a real fight on his hands. His argument appears to be that we must not know what Prince Charles's most passionate political opinions are because he is not supposed to have political opinions, and that his correspondence must therefore be suppressed because it might compromise the public's impression of his political neutrality. Convoluted or simply deluded? You choose.
When Stephanie Flanders gave the Bob Friend Memorial lecture she said 'the boundaries between politics and the economy have become blurred'.
We saw that when Norman Lamont John Major's chancellor pulled Britain out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). The Tories previous reputation for economic blow was dealt a fatal blow. It took years to recover. The simple fact is that economic competence or incompetence shifts votes.
Five years after the economic crisis Ipsos Mori latest poll shows just 7% of Britons expect to see the economy improve over the next 6 months. Britain is 23rd out of 24 countries covered in the survey.
Deputy Chief Exec at Ipsos MORI, Simon Atkinson, said:
"The loss of the AAA rating has of course been a shock to the politicians. But it is unlikely to change the mood among the public - they downgraded their assessment of the economy some years ago. These figures, like some of our economic data, have flatlined. The public need inspiration from somewhere but, at the moment, they aren't seeing green shoots anywhere."
Politicians and journalists pore over polling figures. On 7th March Gideon Skinner, Research Director of Ipsos/Mori will give an insight into how one of the leading polling companies operates and the state of the parties, post Eastleigh.
Everyone welcome - Newsroom Gillingham Building, 7th March at 1p.m.