Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, including why Hester's £1m bonus is unworthy.

1. Even by economic standards Hester's £1m bonus is unworthy

Insofar as Hester's job is to raise the value of RBS for the taxpayer, he has failed in the last 12 months, says Chris Dillow at Liberal Conspiracy.

2. Formation of Coalition was biggest gift to Labour in a generation

Miliband doesn't have to be brilliant to either win the next election or become leader of the largest party, writes Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome.

3. Postmodern Business Cycles

Paul Krugman explains why the sluggish recovery was predictable -- and predicted.

4. The maths of Nick Clegg's multi-billion tax giveaway

FT Westminster's Jim Pickard asks whether Clegg's acceleration of the personal tax allowance is realistic.

5. Even children are taught Salmond 'do you agree' question is biased

Finally, Political Scrapbook notes that even school students would know why Salmond's referendum question is loaded.

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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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