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Newslinks for Tuesday 30th August 2011

7.15pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: "We're determined to force a vote" on police cuts

5.30pm Gazette: The Prime Minister wishes Muslims "a very happy and peaceful Eid ul Fitr"

5pm WATCH: Rebels near Gaddafi's hometown

Putin bike3.45pm International: Vladimir Putin launches election campaign... on a Harley-Davidson

1.30pm WATCH: Grant Shapps: "House prices TRIPLED from 1997 to 2007"

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news

11.45am LeftWatch: Lib Dem MP challenges the Prime Minister to a debate on the NHS

10.45am WATCH: Magistrates reject claims riot sentences were too harsh

PSPHToryDiary: £1,624 - the gap in public spending per person between England and Scotland

ToryDiary: United at the top. Major, Hague, IDS and Howard are giving Cameron all the support they can.

Lilico
Andrew Lilico on Comment: Osborne is getting it right... economically

Also on Comment, Lord Ashcroft: Tribute to an SAS hero who got the better of an exchange with Margaret Thatcher

Local government: Wirral residents demand Council Tax cut

WATCH: Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi "at death's door"

Cameron could testify in phone hacking scandal inquiry

Cameron David Lizard"Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, are to be questioned about the phone hacking scandal under oath in the High Court. ... David Cameron and other senior politicians are also likely to be questioned over their links to News International, the parent company of the News of the World. ... Lord Justice Leveson is thought to be keen for the proceedings to be broadcast live to ensure they are seen to be transparent." - Daily Telegraph 

Cameron and Sarkozy: Other countries must help in Libya

Cameron Sarkozy"The Prime Minister will use a summit in Paris on Thursday to try to persuade countries who have so far played no role to get off the sidelines. “We would like to make sure that others step up to the plate now,” said one adviser. “We have played a big role thus far.”" - The Times (£)

  • Alex Salmond refuses to extradite the Lockerbie bomber - Evening Standard
  • One pranged sub, a crashed warhead, helmets gifted to Africa, and a £1.7m legal battle over furniture: How the hard-up MOD wasted £110m of our money - Daily Mail

> From yesterday:

Michael Gove faces questions over free school charity

Gove on Marr"Civil servants were urged that the New Schools Network (NSN) – a charity providing advice and guidance to set up the schools – should be given "cash without delay", in a disclosure which will heighten concern over the government's lack of transparency about the wider free schools programme. The charity, which is headed by a former Gove adviser, was subsequently given a £500,000 grant. No other organisation was invited to bid for the work." - Guardian

A full listing of the 24 free schools to be set up this term - Guardian

  • Free school built by Sikh community prepares to open doors - Guardian

Toby Young: Free schools - now the really hard work begins

Young Toby"I embarked on this journey two years ago, full of grand ideas about how to transform state education. I believe that all children can benefit from learning Latin, from seeing the plays of Shakespeare and from studying our island story. To deny them that opportunity on the grounds that those things are “elitist” is inverted snobbery. We’ll never dismantle the English class system if poor children are herded into media studies classes and forced to watch EastEnders while the children of the rich are introduced to the best that’s been thought and said. That’s not social justice, it’s social apartheid." - Toby Young, in the Daily Telegraph

Government advisor: The adoption system is letting children down

"Thousands of children in care are being denied adoption places unnecessarily because of a lack of desire for change among some professionals, a government adviser says today. Black children in care are also still being held back for adoption by social workers waiting for ethnically-matched couples to come forward, despite new government guidance that race should not be a barrier to finding a family." - The Times (£)

Scots get £1,600 more state cash a year each than the English

"Government spending in Scotland averaged £10,212 per person last year – £1,624 per head more than in England. The staggering figures, buried in Treasury documents, reveal the gap increased by more than 15 per cent in only a year." - Daily Mail

Nick Clegg’s NHS concessions are futile, say lawyers

Clegg on Marr"Key concessions won by the Liberal Democrats on the NHS are “futile”, leading QCs suggest today, as the party prepares to demand a second round of changes to health reforms. Nick Clegg is facing embarrassment at his declaration of “victory” before the summer over the reforms as influential party figures begin a campaign to make clear the plans are still unacceptable to the party. Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, would strongly resist any further changes, with Mr Clegg likely to be put under pressure to “reign in” his party rather than allow them any more concessions." - The Times (£) 

  • NHS bill 'will let Andrew Lansley wash his hands of health service' - Guardian

Tim Montgomerie: Cameron’s secret weapon: his predecessors

"If Mr Hague is the McKinsey Foreign Secretary, as The Economist has called him, clinically mastering his brief, IDS is very much the streetwise and gutsy Welfare Secretary. He understands the drug, gang and economic problems that combine to blight Britain’s most deprived areas. He also understands that the nation is suffering from more than a few bad policies." - Tim Montgomerie, in the Times (£)

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

Danny Kruger: The crises of the summer require deep societal analysis

KRUGER "Politicians need to show they are “in touch” with people’s concerns over jobs, prices and public services. But the problem is deeper than that. We have lost touch with the virtues that sustain such day-to-day matters. Duty, prudence, fortitude – these words sound Victorian only because the Victorians lauded them, and we don’t. As the philosopher Edward Skidelsky says, they are “the natural excellences of the species”, the best that human beings are capable of and our true purpose." - Danny Kruger, in the FT (£)

  • Money busts the convenient myth that social class is dead - Polly Toynbee, in the Guardian

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The politics of the squeeze

Philip Johnston: Liam Fox should be proud to be a Nimby

Fox Liam Apr112"Those ministers who think people worried about the impact of housing on their villages and rural surroundings are “nihilists” should explain why they are any different from Dr Fox. They, too, concede that new homes are needed – but question why they are not being built on brownfield sites close to existing towns insead of ruining the countryside. Yes, they may be Nimbies – but who else is going to protect and preserve what we have left? Dr Fox should be proud to be one." - Philip Johnston, in the Daily Telegraph

  • Liam Fox under fresh pressure over adviser - Guardian

Lib Dems propose binge-drinking tax

"The Liberal Democrats are examining plans for a “per drink surcharge” that will help pay for extra police, street cleaners and cover the cost of treating alcohol-related health problems." - Daily Telegraph

  • Barmy Lib Dem plan for new booze tax is blasted - The Sun
  • Lib Dem tax plans insult people who work for success - Stephen Pollard, in the Daily Express

Labour could be ruined by proposed cap on political donations

Miliband _140x140"The independent standards watchdog is said to have agreed to recommend a new limit on donations, introducing an annual cap with figures ranging from £50,000 to £10,000 being considered. Such a move, in an attempt to clean up political funding, would end the six- and seven-figure donations to the Labour party from its union sponsors, as well as the Tories' reliance on the richest city financiers." - Guardian

Labour wasted tens of thousands of pounds on African drum lessons for civil servants - Daily Mail

Net migration hit by fall in Britons emigrating - The Times (£)

Home ownership in England is set to fall to its lowest level since the mid-1980sBBC

And finally... Celebrity Big Brother reject Sally Bercow snubbed by BBC and Sky

"The brassy, publicity-loving wife of the Speaker of the Commons said that she was "desperate" to be reunited with her children, Jemima, two, Freddie, four, and Oliver, six. Happily, thanks to The BBC News Channel and Sky News, she will have plenty of time to be with them in the future. The former banned her from reviewing the newspapers for them in the evenings for being "too overtly political"."- Daily Telegraph

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