Pick of the week: A double helping of Grayling
The most popular features of the week, for your reading pleasure…
Child maintenance is one of the areas hit by austerity which doesn't get much coverage. Coalition policies have tried to push single mums away from using state-run maintenance programmes and towards private arrangements with absent fathers. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The cost to single mums can be severe, but the rolling back of the state means they don't have anyone fighting their corner.
This piece also won the award for the most pompous Politics.co.uk headline for several years. As the lord chancellor's judicial review reforms ended their long, sorry journey through parliament, it emerged that Grayling's own less-than-accurate defence of them could be their undoing. The bill ended its Lords debate with a scathing attack on the current Ministry of Justice regime from Lord Pannick.
Our coverage of David Cameron's misguided approach to the post-referendum landscape continues, with a look at how he continues to be comprehensively outplayed by Nicola Sturgeon. The new SNP leader is evidently as able to capitalise on the prime minister's political inadequacies as her predecessor. But for those who hope for a more cohesive union, Cameron's tactics leave much to be desired.
Miliband's tactics towards the Green party are also less than ideal. The Labour leader is trying to deal with the threat to his left flank but he has been unable to substantiate the rhetoric with policy. Instead, the party is relying on tired tactics with as little effect as the Tory attempt to deflate Ukip. Neither party has yet come to terms with the reality of post-binary British politics.
A second showing for one of our favourite secretaries of state, as we break down his unintentionally hilarious interview with Conservative Home. And yes, there really is a point where he suggests he's the best lord chancellor in 400 years. As a character study, the interview does an almost Shakespearian job. He spends an inordinate amount of it accusing opponents of lying while playing rather fast and loose with the facts himself. We should be irritated by giving pride of place to a piece on another website's article. But we're not.