The electoral motive behind the Tories' benefit cap

The benefit cap will force poor families out of marginal London seats.

With the media focused on the child benefit cuts, there's a danger that George Osborne's hugely significant decision to introduce a cap on welfare payments won't receive the attention it deserves.

As homeless charities and other groups have pointed out, the decision to cap the benefits of workless families at £500 per week will trigger the largest population movement for generations. The poor will be forced out of inner London and pushed into the suburbs, where rents are cheaper, inflicting huge pressure on public services.

One senior housing official said:

I have been in housing for 30 years and I have never seen anything like this in terms of projected population movements. London is going to be a bit like Paris, with the poor living on the periphery. In many boroughs in inner London in three or four years there will be no poor people living in the private rented sector ... it is like something from the 19th century.

While it's far from the only motive at work, this is, among other things, an act of political engineering that would make Dame Shirley Porter blush. The Tories believe that the flight of poor, mainly Labour-voting families from inner London will allow hitherto unwinnable seats to fall into their lap. Many in the party are still aggrieved over their failure to win constituencies such as Westminster North (Joanne Cash) and Hammersmith (Shaun Bailey) -- seats they felt were there for the taking.

Taken together with the coalition's proposed boundary changes and their decision to target middle-class benefits (an attempt to erode Gordon Brown's "client state"), these measures amount to a conscious attempt to construct a majority in time for the next election. The fact the Tories failed to win the last election is still a sore point among Cameron's team. They're determined to avoid a repeat.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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The section on climate change has already disappeared from the White House website

As soon as Trump was president, the page on climate change started showing an error message.

Melting sea ice, sad photographs of polar bears, scientists' warnings on the Guardian homepage. . . these days, it's hard to avoid the question of climate change. This mole's anxiety levels are rising faster than the sea (and that, unfortunately, is saying something).

But there is one place you can go for a bit of respite: the White House website.

Now that Donald Trump is president of the United States, we can all scroll through the online home of the highest office in the land without any niggling worries about that troublesome old man-made existential threat. That's because the minute that Trump finished his inauguration speech, the White House website's page about climate change went offline.

Here's what the page looked like on January 1st:

And here's what it looks like now that Donald Trump is president:

The perfect summary of Trump's attitude to global warming.

Now, the only references to climate on the website is Trump's promise to repeal "burdensome regulations on our energy industry", such as, er. . . the Climate Action Plan.

This mole tries to avoid dramatics, but really: are we all doomed?

I'm a mole, innit.