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27 Aug 2011 08:43:01

Newslinks for Saturday 27th August 2011

5pm WATCH: Gaddafi's swimming pool becomes a rebel playground

BercowJohnPublicDoesntLikeIt 2.15pm Parliament: How many members of the public have complained about MPs' behaviour in the House - hundreds? Thousands?

1pm ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news

1pm LISTEN: Labour MP Stephen Pound: I have been offered bribes by constituents

11am WATCH: "One of the most significant underminings of our liberty" - Nick de Bois MP and Alex Deane discuss the European Arrest Warrant

10.15am ToryDiary: Conservatives don't want to scrap the Human Rights Act. We want to replace it with a British Bill of Rights.

Cameron-Gadhafi-head-ToryDiary: David Cameron has rescued and redefined the principle of overseas intervention

Robert Thomas on Comment: The scrutiny of Royal accounts should be sensitive and sympathetic

Dominic Llewellyn on ThinkTankCentral: Rebuilding British society and tackling societal problems must involve empowering communities

Local government: Government to encourage more houseboats

WATCH: The Battle for Tripoli rages on as hundreds of bodies are found

Tories and Lib Dems at odds over reform of human rights law

"Tories claimed the "Liberal Democrat tail is wagging the Coalition dog" after the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that he would block proposals to dilute Britain's human rights laws. Tory MPs have become increasingly concerned that Mr Clegg has flexed his muscles since the Liberal Democrats lost the referendum on the voting system in May." - Independent

  • The Daily Mail says "This time, Dave must not agree with Nick "
  • The Sun has some suggestions for the Prime Minister upon his return from holiday: "IGNORE Clegg and all the other human rights hand-wringers. SACK pointless Ken Clarke. SHAKE UP our legal system so it performs the two tasks all ordinary, decent people ask of it: protect the innocent and punish the criminals." - The Sun Says

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: With every passing day the Liberal Democrats are dragging the Coalition further away from the Conservative manifesto

Graeme Archer: Why the Left is winning the fight over the wrongs of the Human Rights Act

ArcherGraeme"The words used to describe a law ultimately control the parameters of the debate which polite society will permit about it, even if the words so used have almost no connection with the object they attempt to describe. The Human Rights Act should really be entitled The “Incorporation into UK law of the right for citizens to sue the government in a British court, in the kinds of cases that used to be heard in a faintly quaint institution which doesn’t resemble a British court in constitution or practice, and which we could safely ignore” Act. To support the repeal of that would be applauded. To speak out against the same thing, once it is named “the Human Rights Act”, is not" - Graeme Archer, in the Daily Telegraph

Lib Dem "squeamishness" is to blame for continuing high immigration figures - Yorkshire Post

  • The Liberal Democrats are threatening to deny privately educated pupils places at leading universities - Daily Telegraph
  • Ex-Lib Dem member appears in court charged with throwing blue paint at Nick Clegg - Daily Telegraph

David Willetts says the 50p tax rate should be retained for "symbolic importance"

WILLETTS DAVID NW"The 50p top rate of tax on high earners should be kept in place while “times are tough” to show struggling families that the richest are paying their fair share, a senior minister has said. David Willetts, the Universities Minister and a key adviser to the Prime Minister on social mobility, said there was symbolic importance to the tax bracket, which George Osborne, the Chancellor, has indicated he would like to abolish." - The Times (£)

David Willetts Times (£) interview in full

  • Nick Clegg suggests economic reforms need to go faster - Daily Telegraph 
  • Nick Clegg: northern cities could suffer as public sector shrinks - Guardian

Man suspected of killing PC Yvonne Fletcher identified - Daily Telegraph

Charles Moore: Britain shouldn’t feel guilty about the part we played in ousting Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

MOORE "If it is allied and legal, if it means that we supply advisers, money, weapons, intelligence, but not battalions, and, above all, if it supports a broad internal movement, it is worth trying. This is not much more than common sense. It is certainly much better than the Obama view (“No, we can’t!”) that the more dangerous the country – above all, Iran – the more we have to tiptoe round it. Watching Gaddafi leave, one can easily imagine horrible things happening later. But it is hard to imagine his type – crazed egotism, huge secret police, international terrorism – replicating itself successfully in the age of the internet and satellite television. Unless you think it too un‑British, feel free to gloat." - Charles Moore, in the Daily Telegraph

  • We got away with it. Now we must turn away - Matthew Parris, in the Times (£)
  • Savour your moment, Dave. But don't get hooked on war like Blair - John Kampfner, in the Daily Mail

Daily Telegraph: The Prime Minister has helped to defeat the Gaddafi regime in Libya - his next target should be the European Commission

Cameron@Davos "...for all that the Prime Minister can now point to a singular foreign policy success early in his premiership, hard reality dictates that at the next election he will be judged not on what happened in Tripoli, but on the state of the UK economy. ... If the Government is serious about developing a strategy for growth, it should tell the European Commission that it is suspending all directives that are harmful to job creation. Doubtless, this will lead to a clash with the European Court – but Mr Cameron will have the backing of the country, if not of the Liberal Democrats, for whom pro-European ideology trumps hard-headed economic pragmatism." - Daily Telegraph editorial

> From yesterday - Alistair Thompson on Comment: Early success should fool no one that rebuilding Libya will take a long time

Miliband must switch focus from Tripoli to London to gain capital - Andrew Grice, in the Independent

The Daily Telegraph profiles Greg Clark

CLARK GREG OFFICIAL"...the Government’s attempt to overhaul planning rules, overseen by Mr Clark, is proving to be highly combustible. More than 1,300 pages of planning rules will be reduced to 52. Councils will be asked to consult residents and devise their own “sovereign” plans to deal with proposed construction. They will be free from central government intervention but also expected to make planning decisions under a “presumption in favour of sustainable development”." - Daily Telegraph

  • Greg Clark: villagers clamour for homes - Daily Telegraph
  • "Every household in Britain has been overcharged an estimated £120 in utility bills as a result of an environmental initiative that is not working, an investigation by The Times has found." - The Times (£)

Grant Shapps: Use boats to ease housing crisis Daily Telegraph

Theresa May blocks English Defence League march in London - BBC

James Clappison MP writes to the Attorney General over riots remand policy

ClappisonJames "The attorney general, Dominic Grieve, has been asked to intervene in the row over the secret strategy adopted by the Metropolitan police during the riots to remand in custody everyone who was charged, which lawyers have claimed amounted to a blanket policy of imprisonment. James Clappison, the Conservative MP for Hertsmere, barrister and member of the home affairs committee, has written to Grieve asking for assurances that the normal standards of justice should apply to alleged riot offenders." -  Guardian

  • After the riots: tough tactics to uproot London's gangs - Guardian

> Yesterday on Local government: Labour councils offer mixed views on evicting rioters from Council housing

Scottish Conservative leadership election heats up

FraserMurdo"The fight to replace Annabel Goldie as the leader of the Tory Party in Scotland has become a genuine contest after deputy leader Murdo Fraser became the second candidate to say he wanted the job. Mr Fraser said yesterday he was looking forward to a debate about the future direction of the party after being encouraged by parliamentary colleagues, senior councillors and party activists to stand." - The Herald

Labour wasted £5million of public money on chauffeurs for health ministers

Burnham Andy QT"Between 1997 and 2010, the Department of Health spent £5.3million on drivers – an average of £411,000 a year. The bill rose by 11 per cent in 2009-10 under then-Health Secretary Andy Burnham – the year a report was commissioned on NHS staff cuts." - The Sun

  • Quango fat cat's £500,000 payoff: Huge sum given to boss of discredited agency - Daily Mail

Labour MP Stephen Pound: My constituents have offered me bribes

"Stephen Pound, the shadow Northern Ireland minister, revealed he is frequently offered bribes by constituents when he was hooked up to a polygraph test for a Beyond Westminster programme on Radio 4 examining why politicians struggle to say publicly what they really think." - Guardian

And finally... Sally Bercow leaves the Big Brother House

"The controversial mum of three lost out in a live eviction against Kerry Katona and Bobby Sabel. She was greeted by family as she left the house, but hubby John — the House of Commons Speaker — was nowhere to be seen." - The Sun

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26 Aug 2011 09:01:58

Newslinks for Friday 26th August 2011

9.30pm ToryDiary: Alan Duncan withdraws Palestine video after pressure from Jewish leaders

5.30pm Local government: Council byelection results from yesterday

4pm Alistair Thompson on Comment: Early success should fool no one that rebuilding Libya will take a long time

12.15pm Local government: Labour councils offer mixed views on evicting rioters from Council housing

GreenGraphic
Noon Damian Green MP on Comment: We have taken significant steps towards achieving sustainable levels of immigration but success won't happen overnight

Noon ConHomeUSA: Obama's back to blaming Bush and today's other American political news

11.30am WATCH: Liam Fox on Libya: NATO needs to know whereabouts of regime figures so they cannot counter attack

11.15am WATCH: Nick Hurd MP urges private investors to help poor families

2

ToryDiary: With every passing day the Liberal Democrats are dragging the Coalition further away from the Conservative manifesto

6a00d83451b31c69e20147e3bc3947970b-150wi Brandon Lewis MP: With regulatory safeguards the gaming industry can produce real economic benefits

Also on Comment: Britain's most important political commentator is Ian Hislop and he paints Britain's MPs as "corrupt, second-rate and incompetent"...

Local government:

ThinkTankCentral: The EBacc may discriminate against poorer students, warns Civitas

WATCH: William Hague promises to help Scottish government if they seek return of Lockerbie bomber

Nick Clegg says Liberal Democrats will not let Tories water down human rights laws - Guardian

Clegg with LD bird Writing in The Guardian the Deputy PM praises human rights laws: "The Human Rights Act and the European convention on human rights have been instrumental in preventing local authorities from snooping on law-abiding families, in removing innocent people from the national DNA database, in preventing rapists from cross-examining their victims in court, in defending the rights of parents to have a say in the medical treatment of their children, in holding local authorities to account where they have failed to protect children from abuse, in protecting the anonymity of journalists' sources, and in upholding the rights of elderly married couples to be cared for together in care homes."

Government backs down on plan to shut Twitter and Facebook in crises - Guardian

  • The Independent notes how ministers are now talking of "co-operation" with social networking sites rather than a crackdown.

Tories will have to accept CCTV as police prepare to examine 40,000 hours of images in massive effort to prosecute rioters and looters - Times (£)

Community work for ex-offenders can succeed - Jonathan Aitken in The Times (£)

Daily Mail and Sun warn Cameron against failure on immigration... but The Telegraph says he will miss his target

Immigration

  • "The Tories — shackled by Nick Clegg’s obsessively pro-immigration Lib Dems — have not been remotely firm enough on reducing non-EU workers and overseas students... Eleven million people voted Tory because, after the madness of the New Labour years, they wanted immigration reduced to manageable levels.  Mr Cameron will not be easily forgiven if he lets them down." - Daily Mail leader
  • "David Cameron and Nick Clegg talked tough on immigration during the election. And once in Coalition they vowed to drastically cut the numbers coming into the UK. So the revelation that migration figures rocketed by more than 20 per cent last year is frankly appalling." - Sun Says
  • "David Cameron did finally promise us a coherent policy on immigration. It is vital for the health of the economy and our communities that he sticks to it and delivers it." - Express
  • "Mr Cameron’s hopes of fulfilling his pledge by 2015 are forlorn." - Telegraph leader

Green Damian August 2011 "The immigration minister, Damian Green, said: ‘These statistics cover a period  before we introduced our radical changes to the immigration system to bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands.’" - Metro

...but writing in The Sun, Andrew Green of MigrationWatch says the Coalition won't hit his targets: "The changes announced so far won't be enough to reach their target. There must be a crackdown on bogus students, and it's time economic migrants were limited to five years while British workers are trained to take their place. We've been lied to for years. Cameron must get a grip and soon."

"Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, a senior researcher at Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, said it was likely that the UK’s population of eastern Europeans would continue to increase for some time to come. “The factors that created the initial pull for A8 workers to the UK are still in place – there is a demand for their labour, wages are still much higher than Poland or other A8 nations and there are now well-established communities and networks here,” he said." - FT (£)

> Damian Green yesterday: "Britain is addicted to immigration" and it will take a while to break the addiction

Vince Cable has agreed to a controversial European directive to give agency workers the same rights as full-time employees of British companies

Cable July 2011 "An analysis of the new laws by the Department for Business discloses that it will cost firms more than £1.8 billion a year, leading to warnings from major employers that they will have to cut jobs... The laws are being introduced despite a pledge by George Osborne, the Chancellor, to boost economic growth by cutting red tape and other obstacles facing businesses." - Telegraph

Nick Hurd MP launches social impact bonds to encourage private investors to reduce costs of social problems

"The Government expects to raise up to £40m across pilot schemes in Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, Birmingham and Leicestershire, which are expected to be up and running early next year." - Independent

"The government has put the annual bill for assisting the UK's 46,000 most deprived families at more than £4bn a year, representing an average of nearly £100,000 per family. They are often affected by multiple issues, such as poor education and drug or alcohol addiction, and ministers are concerned the current focus on treating the problems of individuals creates a costly cycle of deprivation, which they find almost impossible to break. It is hoped the use of social impact bonds, where investors get paid a return for successful projects, can intensively tackle several problems in a family setting." - BBC

26 million Britons will be obese by 2030 as Health minister Anne Milton promises action plan by end of year - Independent

Anne-milton3.ashx Anne Milton quoted in the Daily Mail: "Tackling obesity is a priority for the Government and through Change4Life, we are encouraging people to make simple changes, such as eating more fruit and vegetables, cutting down on fatty foods and being more active,’ she added. If we are to find new ways of  supporting people to change their behaviour and achieve real sustained improvements in public health  we need to work with public health, voluntary and commercial organisations."

Commentary on Cameron, Libya and foreign policy

  • The Economist's Bagehot describes Libya as "a first foreign-policy win" for Cameron.
  • But Cameron still lacks a foreign policy vision according to Rafael Behr - New Statesman
  • Whether it's foreign policy or deep social problems, Cameron needs to be realistic about what's achievable - Bruce Anderson in The Telegraph
  • "The overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi has been messy and is likely to get more so. For those used to watching armoured columns streaming in triumphant order across the desert to depose a dictator and pull down his statues, it doesn’t look very impressive. But this is what the future probably looks like. Better get used to it" - Paddy Ashdown in The Times (£)
  • Liam Fox says he cannot comment on whether Britain's special forces have entered Libya - Telegraph

Unions are planning a rolling series of targeted strikes instead of mass walkouts, if talks over pension reforms fail - Guardian

Anti-Bercow Tories may use boundary review to oust Speaker from Buckingham seat

BERCOW SPEAKER "If Mr Bercow’s seat is redrawn to take in parts of a seat now held by a sitting Conservative MP, they believe, the party should be able to contest the new constituency. A senior Conservative said it would be “quite unfair” if Mr Bercow was allowed to stand for a redrawn constituency while another MP was not." - Telegraph

Police arrest man over online threats to Tory MP Louise Mensch - Scotsman

Conservative Central Office collegaue of Cameron's, Andrew Honnor, becomes Interim Director of Public Affairs at News InternationalIndependent

Blue paintbomb thrown at Nick Clegg splashes his face

"He shrugged off the attack during a party question-and-answer session in Glasgow as “not a big deal”. Mr Clegg was accompanied by Lib Dem MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife Willie Rennie, who took the brunt of the paint. He said: “It was two disgruntled individuals who chose not to speak about their concerns in advance but were purely interested in a stunt." - Express

British Beer & Pub Association: High UK alcohol taxes are threatening jobs and leading to less drinking - Express

And finally... No more babies for us says David Cameron after visiting hospital where their daughter, Florence, was born - Express

"David Cameron boasted he was a hands-on Prime Minister yesterday – at nappy changing. During a visit to the Cornish maternity unit where his daughter Florence was born, the nation’s leader claimed he had done the last five nappy changes." - Herald

> Yesterday's video: The Camerons take baby Florence to visit the hospital where she was born

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25 Aug 2011 09:02:17

Newslinks for Thursday 25th August 2011

7.45pm WATCH: Damian Green: "Britain is addicted to immigration"

7pm WATCH: Nick Clegg: "We have not, as a government, said we are going to" cut off social media

5.30pm Tom Clougherty on Comment: In defence of tax havens

Cameron with Florence 3.30pm WATCH: The Camerons take baby Florence to visit the hospital where she was born

2.30pm Gazette: Conservative Future launches new website

2pm WATCH: William Hague: "Gaddafi's regime is over"

1.15pm ToryDiary: What will voters make of a falling GCSE pass rate?

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

Gibb nick 11.30am WATCH: Nick Gibb MP: "We do have to try to reverse" GCSE pass rate gender gap

ToryDiary: Choose the name for our new campaigning HQ

Also on ToryDiary: George Osborne's crackdown on Swiss bank accounts may yield £5 billion for Briish taxpayers

Robert Leitch on Comment: The poverty that blights young lives is the poverty of aspiration

Local government:

ThinkTankCentral: New TaxPayers' Alliance report finds £27.4 billion in taxes goes uncollected

George Osborne's £5bn to £6bn deal to 'squeeze rich and end Swiss tax haven'

OSBORNE LOOKING UP "Britain and Switzerland have agreed a ground-breaking tax avoidance deal that could bring in £6 billion for the Treasury and which marks the end of an era where the super-rich used the country to shelter their wealth. George Osborne flew to Zurich last night to sign the deal after 11 months of negotiation. The agreement will also involve Swiss banks handing over SwFr500 million [£384 million] to the Treasury upfront." - Times (£)

"George Osborne, the Chancellor, said last night: "We will be as tough on the richest who evade tax as those who cheat on benefits. The days when it was easy to stash the profits of tax evasion in Switzerland are over."" - Independent | Daily Mail

Today's GCSE results will be last before Gove's crackdown on standards has its impact

"Education Secretary Michael Gove has told the exam boards to be more strict in their marking, with more emphasis on spelling and grammar. Eventually, if Mr Gove is true to his promise to restore rigour to the system, the pass rate for GCSEs and A-levels – which are undergoing the same process – will even begin to fall in coming years. While a daunting prospect for pupils, such a development would be positive news for colleges and employers, who currently find it near impossible to  differentiate between the battalions of school-leavers with identical A* grades." - Daily Mail leader

6a00d83451b31c69e2014e5ff52955970c-150wi "Pupils should be required to sit GCSEs in five traditional academic subjects so that Britain can remain a competitive nation, a Conservative MP says. On the eve of the publication of GCSE results for 600,000 pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Elizabeth Truss has said all 16-year-olds – regardless of their ability – should take English, maths, at least two sciences, a foreign language and either history or geography." - Guardian

  • "A shift towards traditional subjects at GCSE risks "demotivating and alienating" thousands of teenagers, a union leader has warned." - Express

979,000 16 to 24-year-olds were languishing on benefits in the second quarter of this year, up by 107,000 in just 12 months

"Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said: "These figures show that the Tory-led Government is being far too complacent, and risks leaving the next generation behind." ...But education minister John Hayes said: "We're taking action to get our young people into work, helping restore a sense of responsibility and pride in our communities." - Sun

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: Libya is not Iraq

RIFKIND NEW "The invasion of Iraq did not lead, immediately, to the formation of a new government that could command the loyalty of the people. Instead Iraqis had to experience the humiliation of an American occupying administration for years, not weeks. Libya has a Libyan government-in- waiting, which will take power in days and will be seen as legitimate by its own people." - The former Foreign Secretary offers a list of differences in The Times (£)

  • Those hoping for a transformation in Libya and Syria are in for a rude awakening - Sir Andrew Green in The Telegraph

'Steady Eddie' Llewellyn is the brains behind David Cameron's Libyan campaign: "Ed, his chief of staff, de facto foreign policy adviser Ed Llewellyn, probably the most powerful man you rarely hear about." - Allegra Stratton in The Guardian

"Lord Mandelson has admitted that the previous Labour government failed to exploit the close links it forged with Muammar Gaddafi to press him to bring in democratic reforms in Libya" - Independent

On day Home Secretary meets social media industry, Boris Johnson opposes any Twitter crackdown during riots

Johnson Boris Red Background "When asked whether social media sites should be shut down during public disorder, Mr Johnson said that police did not consider this necessary. “On the contrary, the briefings I’ve had so far on this matter make it clear that social media and being able to follow things on Twitter is of some intelligence benefit to the police,” the mayor said." - FT (£)

  • Analysis of tweets during recent unrest appears to undermine the case for banning people from social networks - Guardian
  • Tories torn over regulating social media - Guardian

Accusations ‘Big Society’ has become ‘Big Business’ as voluntary groups lose out to the private sector in the government’s Work Programme - FT (£)

Labour worried by Clegg's plan to cap party donations at £50,000 - Independent

  • "Individual donations to the Labour party were vastly exceeded by those from trade unions in the second quarter of the year by a factor of 15 to one, according to figures from the Electoral Commission." - FT (£)
  • Conservatives received almost £1 million more in donations than Labour in the second quarter of this year - Herald

Tough community sentences? A move to non-custodial punishments is driven by budget cuts rather than a belief in their efficacy - Telegraph leader

> Yesterday's ToryDiary looked at signs that the Coalition is restoring traditional law and order credentials

David Cameron's inadequate attention span

Cameron earnest "Cameron has a sharp mind but not an enquiring one. He parries well in parliament and opines prettily on television. He does not, however, immerse himself in detail; nor is he famed for his attention span. One minister describes the experience of briefing the Prime Minister as similar to teaching a bright and restless child, willing to learn but unable to listen." - Rafael Behr in the New Statesman

> Yesterday's ToryDiary examined the same attention span problem.

David Cameron could be dragged into inquiry over Andy Coulson cash

"A Labour MP claimed that the former News of the World editor could have broken Commons’ rules by failing to declare payments and benefits from News International while holding a parliamentary pass sponsored by Mr Cameron." - Telegraph

800 staff of 'wasteful and bureaucratic' quangos share £23 million in redundancy bonanza... all thanks to John Prescott

Screen shot 2011-08-25 at 07.04.07

Story in the Daily Mail

DARLING ALISTAIR 2 'Utter lack of leadership' in Europe risks fresh slump, says Alistair Darling - Scotsman

Whitehall farce over secrecy exposes the nonsense of ‘open government’ - Benard Ingham in the Yorkshire Post

And finally (1)... The Minister for Simplification... The Minister for Platform Accomplishment... Ministers with silly names - The Guardian

And finally (2)... "Will Jeffrey Archer ’s court misdemeanours ever be forgotten? He has a new Bengal kitten and asked on Twitter for naming suggestions. ‘Purrjury?’ offers one of his followers." - Daily Mail

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24 Aug 2011 08:58:02

Newslinks for Wednesday 24th August 2011

7.30pm WATCH: The Government wants members of the public to challenge crazy health and safety laws

5.30pm ToryDiary: Boris pulls out all the stops to rebuild Londoners' confidence

4pm WATCH: William Hague: "I think it is time now for Colonel Gaddafi to stop issuing delusional statements"

3pm Parliament: More Labour MPs have defied the whip than Conservatives and Lib Dems put together

Cameron Libya 2pm ToryDiary: By Christmas we should have a clear idea of Cameron's character

12.45pm WATCH: Nick Clegg: "What we're seeing are the final stages, the last stand" of Gaddafi's regime

Noon ConHomeUSA: Perry opens big lead over Romney and today's other political links

11am WATCH: Gaddafi's compound falls to Libyan rebels

ToryDiary: Ken Clarke toughens community sentences as Tories reassert law and order credentials

Helmer (1)Roger Helmer MEP on Comment: We mustn't conflate a successful Anglo-French mission in Libya with a success for the EU

Local government: Planning "presumption" to allow schools to expand

ThinkTankCentral: Labour's shambolic management of asylum system cost taxpayer £10 billion

Patrick Cusworth on International: Thomson credit card scandal gets worse for Australian PM Julia Gillard

WATCH: William Hague: We don't know where Gaddafi is, but "I think it is a historic achievement by the people of Libya, after so many years of violent repression, to have fought their way to that compound"

William Hague: "We are in the death throes of a despicable regime, but it’s not over yet"

Hague Feb 2010"Britain is likely to provide help in clearing landmines and mentoring Libyan police but not to send peacekeeping troops, William Hague said yesterday. Britain has put aside £20 million for immediate assistance, the Foreign Secretary said". - The Times (£)

"On Monday, David Cameron had already spoken with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and the pair agreed a new UN resolution should be explored which would make it legal to transfer to the rebels Libyan assets currently frozen." - Guardian

  • SAS troopers help co-ordinate rebel attacks in Libya - Guardian
  • Col Gaddafi vows death or victory - Daily Telegraph
  • Our job in Libya is done. We must not send a single British soldier into this mayhem - Max Hastings, in the Daily Mail
  • The end of Gaddafi is welcome. But it does not justify the means - Simon Jenkins, in the Guardian
  • Daily Mail editorial: Don’t let Tripoli turn into another Baghdad

> From yesterday: 

Daniel Finkelstein: We were right to attack Libya

Finkelstein Danny From Video"David Cameron made a brave, humane and balanced judgment to intervene in Libya when many others would not have done. He can take satisfaction from the fact that, as a result of his leadership in Nato, many people will not die young who would have done so. He and the other Nato leaders have saved some Libyans from the killing that we know Gaddafi is capable of, because he has done it to us. And it is that, and not the fall of the regime, that vindicates the Prime Minister." - Daniel Finkelstein, in the Times (£)

Nick Clegg defends David Cameron for going on holiday

Clegg-Nick-On-Newsnight"The Deputy Prime Minister spoke after taking the Prime Minister’s place as chairman of the National Security Committee dealing with Libya. ... The Deputy Prime Minister insisted that there was nothing wrong with Mr Cameron’s decision to return to Cornwall, saying that the Government could deal with the Libyan situation without him." - Daily Telegraph

Backbench Tories urge George Osborne to go for growth

OSBORNE GEORGE BLUE"Backbench Tory leaders are becoming increasingly jittery about the country's flatlining economy and fear it could cast a shadow over the party's annual conference in October. They are pressing the Chancellor to trail a go-for-growth package in his conference speech to counteract problems beyond his control in the eurozone and the United States." - Independent

MPs criticise banks for attempting to scrap cheques - Independent

  • MPs call for watchdog role after cheques row - The FT (£)

Ken Clarke vows to end soft community punishment

CLARKE KEN ON ITN"Ken Clarke will today promise to end the scandal of criminals on community punishments ‘sitting idle at home watching daytime TV’. Under new rules, convicts given a community sentence will have to work a minimum of 28 hours a week, including ‘hard manual labour’." - Daily Mail

  • Jobless offenders to be subject to five-day workweek - The FT (£)
  • Criminals to do eight hours a day of hard labour - Daily Telegraph
  • A police force is to close half its stations because of cuts - Daily Telegraph

Crispin Blunt: The riots were a one-off event

"Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt has said the disturbances in English cities earlier this month were a "one-off" event. Mr Blunt said the justice system could cope in the short-term and there would be no long-term effect on the prison population. Last Friday the prison population hit a new record largely driven by the riots." - BBC

James Clappison MP: People arrested on riot-related offences could face "rushed justice"

"People arrested on riot-related offences could face "rushed justice" because of the pressure on police and the courts after the UK riots, the Conservative MP and senior member of the Commons home affairs committee James Clappison has warned." - Guardian

> Yesterday on Comment: James Clappison MP responds to comments on his previous article

Greg Clark accuses the National Trust of "nihilistic selfishness" on planning

CLARK LARGE NEW"Greg Clark, the planning minister, said that the Trust and other charities are being irresponsible by opposing Government plans to streamline planning rules. ... The move is central to Coalition efforts to boost Britain’s economic growth by cutting regulation and red tape. However, the draft national planning framework has met fierce resistance from rural campaigners, who say it will make it much easier for developers to build on greenbelt land and in other rural areas." - Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday - LISTEN: Greg Clark MP: All current environmental protections are contained in the new planning framework

Asylum seekers cost Britain £2million a day

GREEN DAMIAN BLUE BACKGROUND"Britain's chaotic asylum system has cost taxpayers £2.3million a day in the last decade. Around 77 per cent who claimed asylum between 1997 and 2010 are still here. ... Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "The asylum system we inherited was hopelessly chaotic. Last year we reduced the total bill for asylum support by over £100million and it is falling further."" - The Sun

Chris Grayling publishes list of ten most bizarre health and safety bans

Grayling-Chris-On-Politics-"Chris Grayling, the employment minister, is publishing a list of the 10 “most bizarre” health and safety bans which have come to light since he took office just over a year ago. Top of the list is the decision by the Wimbledon authorities to close Murray Mount after it rained, amid fears that tennis spectators would slip over. Bans on pins to secure poppies and the halting of children’s sack races are also ridiculed." - Daily Telegraph

Ann Widdecombe: Cameron should ignore Clegg on human rights

WiddecombeAnn5mins"...Britain is thoroughly fed up with what he has rightly described as the “wrong-headed ideas, bureaucratic nonsense and destructive culture” of the human rights laws without which we managed perfectly well until Blair decided to take us in to this silly convention. It will not be Nick Clegg whose vote the PM will need at the next election but that of the British public. He should tell his wimpish coalition partner just that and take some immediate and decisive action." - Ann Widdecombe, in the Daily Express

Tories and News International face inquiry over Coulson

"The Electoral Commission has been asked to investigate payments made to Andy Coulson by News International after he left his job as editor of News of the World to become David Cameron's spin doctor." - The Scotsman

Ken Livingstone campaign forced to remove image of Boris Johnson's family home from website

LIVINGSTONE KEN@DEMO"Blogger(s) Guido Fawkes pointed out that a team photo of nerdy young Labour volunteers in Islington, where the party just won a council by-election, was snapped outside Johnson's house, thus identifying his family home. ... Following Guido's complaint, it was taken down." - Independent

Welsh language activist who trashed Jonathan Evans MP's office is jailed - BBC

Hillsborough e-petition may lead to parliamentary debate

COMMONS-sitting"An e-petition calling for the immediate release of Cabinet Office documents relating to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster has gained more than 110,000 signatures, forcing the government to consider a parliamentary debate. ... Now that the e-petition has reached more than 100,000 signatures, the government is obliged to respond." - Guardian

> Yesterday on Parliament: E-petition launched to review the smoking ban - and the 10 most popular e-petitions so far

Hunting ban put to test as four face court in landmark case - Daily Telegraph

Whitehall "cover-up on unwed mothers" - Daily Mail

Speed cameras "do not cut accidents"... they create them, study finds - Daily Mail

  • The Sun is glad the figures "for the first time confirm what many already suspected - that too many speed cameras are there just to milk motorists." - The Sun Says

And finally... Prison inmates paint Jacqui Smith's home

SMITH JACQUI 2"Jacqui Smith, the former home secretary, arranged for two day-release prisoners to paint her home when they should have been doing community work. They were diverted to her house in Redditch, Worcestershire by a charity overseeing their work, it was reported. Miss Smith later made a donation to the charity. The Ministry of Justice said last night that it was a “mistake” and that a “full internal investigation” had been launched." - Daily Telegraph

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