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Newslinks for Monday 29th August 2011

7.45pm WATCH: Andrew Mitchell on the humanitarian situation in Libya

6pm Tim Montgomerie on Comment: Some suggestions for new villains for future BBC drama

2.30pm ToryDiary: The Iron Lady - A series of interviews with Charles Moore about Baroness Thatcher

2pm Charles Tannock MEP on Comment: Reflections on the mental state of Muammar Gaddafi

ESMSP

Noon Elizabeth Smith MSP on Comment: Murdo Fraser has got what it takes

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's American political news

ToryDiary: The politics of the squeeze

Thomas Byrne on Comment: The idea that David Cameron is right wing is a joke to most Tories. The voters aren't laughing.

Local government: Four councils to pilot Social Impact Bonds

Gazette: Ed Llewellyn, David Cameron's chief of staff, has become a dad

WATCH: NATO attacks pro-Gaddafi forces near Sirte

Coalition divided over Vince Cable's plan for land tax

Cable Vince Yes"A split between Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers emerged yesterday as Nick Clegg's party demanded higher taxes on land and property to hit the rich. Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, who has already proposed a "mansion tax" on homes costing more than £2m, floated the idea of a "land tax". Tory MPs dismissed the proposal as unworkable and fear it could alienate the party's natural supporters. It is likely to be vetoed by George Osborne, the Chancellor." - Independent

  • "The Liberal Democrats are right to recognise that we have to get out of this vicious circle, that imposing more "stealth" taxes is not a long-term solution and that we have to find some way of getting the richest people to pay a bit more." - Independent leader

Lib Dems plan to target wealthy suburbs with higher taxes

"Households in more affluent parts of the country should pay more tax so money can be “transferred” to poorer councils, a party policy paper says. Lib Dem officials have identified almost 70 areas where better-off residents should pay significantly more in tax than their council spends on services for them." - Daily Telegraph

  • Tories and Lib Dems on collision course over new wealth tax - The Times (£)
  • Tax: The Missing Ingredient From the Liberal Democrat Conference Agenda - Mark Pack, in the Huffington Post

Neil O'Brien: David Cameron must show us that his party is not just for the rich

O'Brien Neil"When Disraeli died, one obituary said that he had carved out a new Conservative working class in the same way "the sculptor perceives the angel prisoned in a block of marble". As the polls, show, there are plenty of potential voters who might be willing to switch to the modern Tories if they weren't put off by a belief that the party is not for them. Like Disraeli, Cameron can win them over – but to do so, he must be far bolder." - Neil O'Brien, in the Daily Telegraph

The Daily Mail urges a return to "old-style Toryism"

DAILY-MAIL "Financially beleaguered, overtaxed, worried about immigration and school standards, voters are crying out for real change after 13 years of Labour profligacy, red tape and political correctness. They want strong leadership, economic discipline and the restoration of national control over our courts and our borders. In short, they want a little ‘old-style, traditional Toryism’." - Daily Mail editorial

  • David Cameron is merely tinkering while we yearn for Tory rule - Leo McKinstry, in the Daily Express

> Yesterday on LeftWatch: Labour's new strategy will highlight the Conservatives' most popular policies. We're not making this up.

William Hague hopeful over Fletcher case... BBC

...but Libya may refuse to extradite Yvonne Fletcher murder suspectGuardian

  • The Sun warns the Libyan rebels to "Remember who your friends are" - "Britain did not do this for gain – but because it was right. Tripoli's new regime now also needs to do what is right over both al-Megrahi – seen on his sickbed in new pictures last night – and WPC Fletcher's killer. And prove to the world that a new day really has dawned." - The Sun Says
  • Lockerbie bomber found in Tripoli villa "close to death" - Independent
  • MI5 told Blair Iraq was no threat to UK - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Tory members now oppose HiSpeed rail, want David Davis back at the top table and think Cameron was right on Libya

Ministers back independent abortion counselling reforms

DORRIES ON QT"The government has caved in to calls from anti-abortionists to overhaul existing protocols and strip charities and medics of their exclusive responsibility for counselling women seeking to terminate a pregnancy. The Department of Health confirmed that it would change the rules to ensure that women are also offered counselling "independently" of existing abortion services." - Guardian

"Tory MP Nadine Dorries, who backs such a ban, said the independent advice would not be compulsory but an option. She said her aim was not to achieve fewer abortions but that could be the consequence, which would be "good"." - Independent

  • MPs backing move 'to cut abortion toll by 60,000' in biggest shake-up for 20 years - Daily Mail
  • Abortion counselling plan splits MPs - The FT (£)
  • Nursing is no longer the caring profession - Cristina Odone, in the Daily Telegraph

Government health advisor: Give patients "choice" over when they die

"Martin Green, a dementia expert for the Department of Health, said patients who were too frail to take their own lives were being denied “choice” and “autonomy” because assisted suicide is illegal in the UK. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he urged ministers to review the law and suggested that a referendum or a free vote in Parliament should be called to settle policy on the issue." - Daily Telegraph

David Cameron's flagship proposals to relax planning laws condemned as an attempt "to make Britain a giant building site"

Cameron@Davos"Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors have attacked the Coalition’s new planning rules, with warnings the reforms could turn Britain into “a giant building site.” ... Critics of the draft national planning policy framework include the National Trust, which has said the changes will mean unrestrained development in many rural areas." - Daily Telegraph

Liam Fox attacks government over countryside blight of 150ft pylons

Fox Liam White House"In a letter to Environment Secretary Chris Huhne, Dr Fox says the ‘short-term’ attempt to plug Britain’s energy gap will damage sensitive landscapes such as the Somerset Levels, Snowdonia and the Kent Downs. He urges Mr Huhne to insist that new power cables are buried underground. In a highly unusual move, Dr Fox confirmed the contents of the leaked letter, saying the choice of pylons – each up to 150ft tall – was ‘short-termism of the worst sort’." - Daily Mail

Reform plan set to spark political turf war

"Tensions are set to come to a head in the next few weeks because MPs will see the first draft of the new English boundaries on September 12, soon after they return from the summer recess. ... Overall the Tories are likely proportionately to come off best, losing 15 seats, while Labour loses up to 25 and the Lib Dems shed six, according to Rob Hayward, a Conservative psephologist." - The FT (£)

Kwasi Kwarteng MP: We still need the values of the British Empire

"The Empire promoted the belief that young men could get on through diligence and enterprise. In many ways it was a strenuous life. Young men could find themselves running courts in the oppressive heat of the Sudan or overseeing the building of the railways in India. But merit was rewarded." - Kwasi Kwarteng, in the Times (£)

Philip Davies MP condemns Sally Bercow's Big Brother appearance as "bad for the House of Commons"

BERCOW JOHN 5"It has been bad for the Speaker and bad for the House of Commons. It has totally demeaned her husband and been an unmitigated disaster for her." - Philip Davies MP quoted in the Sun

  • "Evicted Celebrity Big Brother contestant Sally Bercow has revealed that her appearance on the reality television show caused "the biggest fight" of her marriage. But she brushed off rumours of a divorce, saying that her relationship with the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Hon John Bercow, was "as solid as a rock"." - Daily Express

ConservativeHome's Intelligence unit questioned by Labour MP John Mann - Daily Mirror

Lib Dems seek candidates for police commissioner posts, despite peer revolt

Police "The Liberal Democrats are advertising for candidates to become elected police commissioners despite the party's peers still believing they can derail the policy in the House of Lords. The bill to bring in one of the prime minister's and home secretary's most cherished policies was defeated in the Lords by Lib Dem peers in the last parliamentary term." - Guardian

  • Nick Clegg warned by activists that this year's conference security could breach human rights laws - Independent
  • Convicted criminals spared jail could have their passports confiscated - Daily Mail

Labour seeks law change to stop News Corp renewing BSkyB bid - Guardian

British arms exporters cash in on Arab Spring - The Times (£)

  • MoD’s £1.7million kit for Africa - The Sun

And finally... Michael Howard is the chauffeurs' favourite passenger

"...there is one man whom they would appear to love having in the back of their cabs. He is, believe it or not, Lord Howard, the former Tory home secretary, who had, until now, been believed to have "something of the night" about him." - Daily Telegraph

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