Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The week ahead: G20, expenses and protests.....

The political week ahead is set to be dominated by the G20 summit in London. World leaders will be watched carefully in the coming days, and Gordon Brown will be hoping for a united front to appease domestic criticism.

Financial regulation, global institutional reform and stimulus measures will undoubtedly top the agenda. Tax havens will be waiting with bated breath to learn the full extent of the much hyped crackdown on offshore business interests.

Already causing problems are the rumours coming from the French press, claiming that President Sarkozy may leave the summit if a global fiscal stimulus is not agreed upon. Alastair Darling did his best on Sunday to downplay the outcome of the summit stating that we should not be ‘overly optimistic’, and that the actual figures for a global stimulus may not be realised until the next G20 summit in 2010.

Westminster will continue to be dominated by the MPs expenses row, fuelled by claims that there is now a £300,000 price tag on an unedited dossier of MPs expenses. The PM today said that the inquiry into the expenses system should be brought forward.

On top of all this, London looks set to witness an unprecedented level of protest marches across the city. With police suggesting that the capital could be brought to a standstill.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

PMQs - Harriet fails to impress

Once again, the Prime Minister was absent from the House of Commons for the weekly session of PMQs.

The PM is on a whirlwind international tour to the US and South America, trying to build momentum for his global economic stimulus plan, before hosting the G20 summit in London next week.

Harriet Harman stepped up to replace the PM, she looked shaky over the alledged disagreement between No.10 and the Bank of England. Hague failed to fully exmploit this, whereas Vince Cable probably stole the show, he suggested that Mervyn King had taken control of fiscal policy and said it was "a very British coup d'etat" with King "putting the government under house arrest".