Newslinks for Monday 9th July 2012
- David Cameron defends the Government's defence spending scaleback at the Farnborough Air Show
- Miliband: Strike off bad bankers
- Cable hails Mini as "a great British success story" as £250 million comes in from BMW
Columnist Bruce Anderson: Bruce Anderson: The Osborne/Balls fisticuffs - and a deep moral unease
On Comment, two opposing views of Lords Reform as the first day's debate on the bill is set to begin:
- John Strafford: Yes, direct election will boost the legitimacy of the Lords. We need representatives we elect.
- Richard Harrington MP: No, direct election won't boost the legitimacy of the Lords. We don't need more professional politicians.
John Bald on Local Government: Gove is right to call time on NATE's attack on standard English
The Deep End: On getting married to yourself
Damian Green announces new rules to curb bogus students
"Thousands of foreigners applying to study in the UK will face tough new interviews in a crackdown on student visas, the Government will announce today…Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “We will weed out abuse and protect the UK from those looking to play the system. “We are toughening it up to keep out the fraudulent and unqualified while ensuring genuine students benefit from our country’s excellent education sector.” - Daily Express
- BUT..."Nick Clegg’s party is…seeking to fatally undermine the Conservatives’ commitment to reduce the 250,000 visas handed out to non-EU students each year." - Daily Mail Editorial
Green light for £500m rail hub and help for rural motorists in north
"Yorkshire is on the verge of another major transport breakthrough as Ministers prepare to give the green light to a £560m rail scheme to improve rail services across the North. After months of demands from politicians and local transport bosses, the Yorkshire Post understands the Department for Transport hopes to include the full Northern Hub package in its long-awaited works programme to be unveiled in Parliament next week, offering faster and more frequent rail services between the cities of the North." - Yorkshire Post
Children aged 8 could learn Latin - The Times (£)
Over-65s still in work should pay National Insurance, says the Free Enterprise Group
"The Free Enterprise Group, made up of almost 50 highflying backbench MPs, say the money raised could be used to fund a national insurance “holiday” for young, low-paid workers. That would help to tackle youth unemployment by encouraging businesses to take on 16, 17, 18 and 19-year-olds, they say. The idea is one of seven radical policies being put forward by the group which says urgent action is needed to drive jobs and growth." - The Times (£)
Civitas study says prison cuts crime - The Sun
Fresh Start trio "put gun to Cameron's head" over EU referendum
"The position — shared by a trio of rising star Tory MPs who founded the Fresh Start group — effectively puts a gun to the PM’s head, demanding he deliver or be damned. Revealing their demands on renegotiation and a referendum, Fresh Start’s Andrea Leadsom, Chris Heaton Harris and George Eustice write: “The UK needs to put Europe on notice that we’re deadly serious about going in a very different direction." - The Sun
- This dithering on an EU referendum cannot continue - The Sun
Does secret tape link Gerry Adams to IRA killing? - Daily Mail
Lords Reform Debate Day One: Whips claim Government may lose programme motion...
"Privately, Tory whips say there is a high chance that the Coalition is about to be defeated for the first time in a Commons vote on an important piece of legislation, when MPs vote tomorrow on whether to set a strict time limit on discussion about Lords reform. Tory rebels have been angered rather than put off by a warning made last week by Nick Clegg's former adviser Richard Reeves, who told The Independent that if Lords reform is blocked, the Lib Dems may retaliate by blocking a Tory proposal to cut the number of MPs in the Commons." - The Independent
...The whipping operation: Send in Hague, supreme party loyalist...
"The leaders of the rebellion spent the weekend calling fellow backbenchers to firm up their support…William Hague has been dispatched to lead the whipping operation, something Tory backbenchers said showed the party was not serious about winning the vote. One said: “If they were serious, George Osborne would be calling round MPs like he did ahead of the vote on Europe [when 81 Tories voted against the government for an EU referendum].” - Financial Times (£)
...To take on "The Sensibles", who have their own Whips, lawyers, and "Chamber operation"
"Small groups of MPs are planning to mount a round the clock vigil in the Commons in case the Government tries to force through surprise amendments in late night sittings. One MP said: “It would be very remiss of us to win on the programme motion and not to be prepared for the aftermath. We are making elaborate preparations for the possibility of having to fight this even at short notice.” The MPs said they had drawn up an “entire chamber management operation” using advice from lawyers and senior Conservative MPs." - Daily Telegraph
The Liberal Democrats are torn between being loud and proud and going softly-softly
"Liberal Democrat ministers have backed away from public threats of inflicting tit-for-tat revenge on their Tory partners. But senior party sources last night made no attempt to disguise their leader Nick Clegg’s anger over the issue…‘This is a very significant moment for the Government,’ said one. ‘If the vote is lost then the Tories frankly will have failed to have kept their side of the bargain." - Daily Mail
And as for Labour, the question is whether diehard reforms will vote for the programme motion (if there is one)
"Reformers are given a boost today when Peter Hain, Labour's veteran campaigner, says that the bill offers a "now or maybe never" chance of change…But Hain said he supports Miliband's decision to vote against the programme motion because he regards that as a good opportunity to block the coalition's "rightwing" legislative agenda. "I am very comfortable with [voting against the programme motion]," Hain told the Guardian." - The Guardian
- If Lords reform disturbs the balance in Westminster, all to the good - Stephen Dorrell, The Guardian
- Don't leave the Lords hostage to party hacks - Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, The Times (£)
- Lords Reform is a constitutional catastrophe - Nicholas Soames, Daily Telegraph
- ToryDiary: Lords reform Minister Mark Harper says "very Conservative proposals" will strengthen Parliament
- ToryDiary: Do Tory Lords rebels have 100 votes or 80?
- WATCH: Vince Cable: If Lords proposals fail, "we're not talking about walking away from the Coalition"
Banks: Miliband wants break-ups, tougher penalties...
"Mr Miliband will urge ministers to go much further in breaking up the major banks to prevent their casino arms putting ordinary savings at risk. He will call for the banks to be forced to sell off 1,000 branches to create at least two high street competitors. And he will say new powers should be introduced to allow cheating bankers to be struck off, and new resources given to the Serious Fraud Office, along with tougher sentences for those found guilty." - Daily Mail
...While Cable rattles sabre
"Dr Cable admitted that ministers were powerless to block the payoff but said: “I would sincerely hope that the board of Barclays take a fairly strict view about all of this. In view of the shame that’s already heaped on Barclays Bank, I would be very, very surprised if the chairman and the board were to allow another outrage to occur.”..He also accused banks of being “anti-business” and “throttling the recovery of British industry” by refusing to lend. Dr Cable said that they were obsessed with short-term trading profits." - The Times (£)
Leadsom: Commons committees need more information to get to the truth
"Andrea Leadsom, whose forensic questioning of the former chief executive of Barclays, Bob Diamond, led to his only uncomfortable moments during last week's cross-examination by the Commons Treasury Select Committee, said: "I don't think we felt we did a fantastic job. It's a fair criticism to say, 'You guys were useless'. "We had great weaknesses in that we didn't have email trails. We didn't have recordings of the morning meetings where you could point to what had been said. All we really had were the regulators' reports, what we'd seen in the media." - The Independent
- Bank’s deputy governor faces Select Committee grilling over Libor today -- The Times (£)
- Brussels wades in over Libor scandal - Financial Times (£)
- Hammond lower Libor rates claim - The Independent
- Stop bashing the bankers, we have no future without them - Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
New funding plan eyed for estuary airport - Financial Times (£)
Rossindell wants visitors to Britain to be greeted by portraits of the Queen
"[MPs] want airport arrival halls decked in red, white and blue in the fight against EU-dominated “bland bureaucracy”. And the scandal-hit UK Border Agency would be renamed Her Majesty’s Border Police. It is the brainchild of Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, whose Bill has cross-party support. Under the plans, Brits and those from Commonwealth countries would get a special lane at passport control. Mr Rosindell said the changes would help restore the UKBA’s reputation after a series of fiascos." - The Sun
Police may be arresting marginal terror suspects to clear decks for Olympics says watchdog - Daily Telegraph
Government sued after Pickles Christian conference ban
"The conference, whose high-profile speakers included David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ guru Phillip Blond, was cancelled at the last minute by the Government-owned Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Central London after organisers were told it was ‘inappropriate’…The legal action may prove particularly embarrassing for Mr Pickles, whose department is responsible for the centre, as he has robustly defended the rights of Christians to express their faith in public." - Daily Mail
Pro-Union camp sees lead in poll extend to 20 points - Herald Scotland
Battle over care funding continues
"Changes to national rules on social care funding will be announced this week that will make it easier for elderly people to move around the country if they need to follow relatives. Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, will unveil the reform on Wednesday in a white paper, which will also introduce a national eligibility threshold setting out the minimum care each elderly person is entitled to wherever they are in the UK." - The Guardian
- Pensioners to be insured against stock market falls - Daily Telegraph
- Lobby groups attack Lansley over care plan - Daily Express
Unconditional Surrender by sunshine in Spelman Rain Goddess Total Victory: final hosepipe ban pulled - Daily Mail
Hacking charges in weeks - Guardian
MP back FOI - Politics Home (£)
DUP man joins Causeway creationist row - Newsletter
Taking part in a riot can be an ecstatic, spiritual experience, says senior Church of England bishop - Daily Mail
Ann Widdecombe launches crusade to save doomed "hedgehogs" - Daily Express