Web Only: best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, including the key dangers in the health bill.

1. Key dangers in the Health and Social Care bill

At False Economy, Richard Blogger explains how the health bill opens the NHS up to privatisation and closes its democratic structures down.

2. Why Britain will always be at the mercy of the markets

The flipside of running the world's banks is that we are most vulnerable to their losses, says the Telegraph's Daniel Knowles.

3. Majority of Lib Dem members back Coalition's benefits cap

At Liberal Democrat Voice, Stephen Tall reports that 59 per cent of Lib Dem members back a benefits cap of £26,000 or lower.

4. Growth in jobs probably not enough to bring down unemployment

Over at Left Foot Forward, Richard Exell analyses the data behind today's headlines about growth in jobs.

5. Holy Santorum!

Marbury's Ian Leslie suggests that Rick Santorum, not Newt Gingrich, is now Mitt Romney's most dangerous opponent.

Getty
Show Hide image

Italian PM Matteo Renzi resigns after referendum No vote

Europe's right-wing populists cheered the result. 

Italy's centrist Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was forced to resign late on Sunday after he lost a referendum on constitutional change.

With most ballots counted, 60 per cent of Italians voted No to change, according to the BBC. The turn out was nearly 70 per cent. 

Voters were asked whether they backed a reform to Italy's complex political system, but right-wing populists have interpreted the referendum as a wider poll on the direction of the country.

Before the result, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeted: "Hope the exit polls in Italy are right. This vote looks to me to be more about the Euro than constitutional change."

The leader of France's far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, tweeted "bravo" to her Eurosceptic "friend" Matteo Salvini, a politician who campaigned for the No vote. She described the referendum result as a "thirst for liberty". 

In his resignation speech, Renzi told reporters he took responsibility for the outcome and added "good luck to us all". 

Since gaining office in 2014, Renzi has been a reformist politician. He introduced same-sex civil unions, made employment laws more flexible and abolished small taxes, and was known by some as "Europe's last Blairite".

However, his proposed constitutional reforms divided opinion even among liberals, because of the way they removed certain checks and balances and handed increased power to the government.

 

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