Pick of the Week: Cameron’s civil liberties crack-down
The top five most-read articles on Politics.co.uk this week.
The Tories have long hoped and believed that Ed Miliband's dreadful personal ratings would keep David Cameron in Downing Street. It was because of this that Cameron felt confident enough to sit out last night's leaders' debate content in the belief that Miliband would be left flailing under the attacks of Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage. It simply didn't happen. The Labour leader stayed calm and confident throughout the debate and emerged looking much more like a prime minister than when it first began.
The NSPCC released startling findings recently suggesting a tenth of all 12-to-13-year-olds were addicted to porn. The findings were widely reported and immediately afterwards, culture secretary Sajid Javid promised widespread new censorship measures. The only problem was, it was all nonsense. The NSPCC research was hogwash.
Nigel Farage often claims to be speaking for the 'silent majority'. But as his performance during this week's leaders' debate showed, the reality is he speaks only for a noisy and rather bitter minority. At their manifesto launch this week, Ukip claimed to "Believe in Britain." The reality is that not only do they not believe in this country, they don't even seem to like it very much.
Whatever strides Ed Miliband may have made during the debates, Labour remain in deep trouble north of the border. Nowhere is this difficulty more neatly personified than in their new Scottish leader Jim Murphy. Murphy who until his selection was staunchly on the right of the party, is now struggling to position himself as a man of the left. His repeated insistence that a Labour government would not make any cuts in government, was always going to be a hard sell from Murphy, especially as it happened to be totally untrue
David Cameron used to pride himself on being a 'liberal Conservative' who was committed to protecting human rights and civil liberties. Five years of government have left that commitment in tatters. The Conservative manifesto released this week suggest that Cameron would launch a harsh new crackdown against citizen's rights, non-violent free speech and privacy if he wins the election.