Opinionated? Bloggers?

Global warming, Trident ... you won't find strong opinions in the blogosphere

The Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle has been fuelling debate on blogs all week. George Monbiot said: "The less true a programme is, the greater the controversy." And this has certainly caused controversy.

Scientists at RealClimate say they are attempting to correct the factual inaccuracies of the programme.

Carl Wunsch, a renowned oceanographer, said he was misrepresented by C4 and has clarified his views on this blog. But plenty of people including UrbanGrounds were excited by the programme.Ellee Seymour is asking: Who swindled who?

The House of Commons vote in favour of not delaying the replacement of the Trident nuclear programme, was highlighted by Barry’s Beef.

Over at Nether-world, Davide Simonetti harked back to 1982 when Labour announced: "Labour is the only party pledged to end the nuclear madness." He also noted Peter Hain speaking in 1983 saying: "The more direct action there is against nuclear weapons in Britain, the greater the freedom a Labour government will have to get rid of them."

As the smoking ban will be enforced in two weeks in Wales and in the summer in England, it is appropriate how the Croydonian
suggested the Dutch Health Minister Ab Klink's plan to ban smoking in the Netherlands’ coffee shops is slightly bizarre. According to the Croydonian, one Dutch MP noted that this: "would be the same as banning alcohol in pubs". The ruling coalition lost the vote in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

And bloggers were again in the news this week when advertising guru Martin Sorrell said he was portrayed as a "wise-guy" when a blogger posted opinions about him. He was speaking at his High Court libel trial. We do not condone this behaviour from bloggers. How dare they express their opinion.

Adam Haigh studies on the postgraduate journalism diploma at Cardiff University. Last year he lived in Honduras and worked freelance for the newspaper, Honduras This Week.
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Why relations between Theresa May and Philip Hammond became tense so quickly

The political imperative of controlling immigration is clashing with the economic imperative of maintaining growth. 

There is no relationship in government more important than that between the prime minister and the chancellor. When Theresa May entered No.10, she chose Philip Hammond, a dependable technocrat and long-standing ally who she had known since Oxford University. 

But relations between the pair have proved far tenser than anticipated. On Wednesday, Hammond suggested that students could be excluded from the net migration target. "We are having conversations within government about the most appropriate way to record and address net migration," he told the Treasury select committee. The Chancellor, in common with many others, has long regarded the inclusion of students as an obstacle to growth. 

The following day Hammond was publicly rebuked by No.10. "Our position on who is included in the figures has not changed, and we are categorically not reviewing whether or not students are included," a spokesman said (as I reported in advance, May believes that the public would see this move as "a fix"). 

This is not the only clash in May's first 100 days. Hammond was aggrieved by the Prime Minister's criticisms of loose monetary policy (which forced No.10 to state that it "respects the independence of the Bank of England") and is resisting tougher controls on foreign takeovers. The Chancellor has also struck a more sceptical tone on the UK's economic prospects. "It is clear to me that the British people did not vote on June 23 to become poorer," he declared in his conference speech, a signal that national prosperity must come before control of immigration. 

May and Hammond's relationship was never going to match the remarkable bond between David Cameron and George Osborne. But should relations worsen it risks becoming closer to that beween Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Like Hammond, Darling entered the Treasury as a calm technocrat and an ally of the PM. But the extraordinary circumstances of the financial crisis transformed him into a far more assertive figure.

In times of turmoil, there is an inevitable clash between political and economic priorities. As prime minister, Brown resisted talk of cuts for fear of the electoral consequences. But as chancellor, Darling was more concerned with the bottom line (backing a rise in VAT). By analogy, May is focused on the political imperative of controlling immigration, while Hammond is focused on the economic imperative of maintaining growth. If their relationship is to endure far tougher times they will soon need to find a middle way. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.