Newslinks for Friday 14th September 2012
Lord Ashcroft on Comment: After the reshuffle soap opera it's time to focus on voters again
Columnist Andrew Lilico: When democracies stop working
Local government: Brent Council honours Grunwick strikers
The Deep End: Heresy of the week: The elites may be corrupt, but then so is everyone else
"The pace of the British withdrawal from Afghanistan could quicken next year because military commanders have changed their views about how many troops need to remain to help local security forces fight the Taliban" - Revealed by Philip Hammond in The Guardian
Cameron has privately warned EU leaders he will call a referendum in Britain if they press ahead with plans to create a ‘federal Europe’ - Daily Mail
- But The Express doubts if the referendum would be meaningful: "A senior Government source said a vote would be on a “recommendation that Britain stays in the EU without joining a political union.” ...Tory MP Douglas Carswell said: “This could turn out to be the worst possible outcome, denying us a real say while letting the politicians and mandarins decide our relationship with Europe. It sounds like a choice between a yes or a yes-yes to Europe when what we really need is an in-or-out referendum.”"
- Express leader: "What our country needs is a proper In/Out referendum on EU membership so that the people of Britain can instruct their public servants to negotiate satisfactory terms for withdrawal."
- Mainstream Dutch parties win election - WSJ Europe
David Willetts will launch a global drive to convince word that Britain remains open to overseas students in the wake of Home Office's curbs on student visas - Guardian
The Sun Says: "It was plain wrong to hand a 5.2 per cent rise to benefit claimants as Britain’s workers took pay cuts or freezes. It was wrong because it scuttled the Tories’ plan to make work pay and return welfare to the last resort it was always meant to be. But we are only now counting the cost of that blunder last year. The huge rise has potentially blown a £2billion hole in the finances."
- Pensioner campaigners furious at Liam Fox's call to mean-test their benefits - Express
The Government should abolish capital gains tax (CGT), Tory peer Howard Flight claimed in a research paper released by the Centre for Policy Studies yesterday - City AM
- OECD finds 'tentative signs' that UK will return to growth - Telegraph
- Northern Ireland holds conference on the province having a lower rate of corporation tax compared to rest of UK - FT (£)
Twelve or more Tory MPs are supposedly plotting to oust David Cameron - Telegraph
"David Cameron's leadership was under fresh pressure last night following claims that 14 Tory MPs have backed calls to remove him. The Spectator magazine reported that the group had written to Graham Brady, the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 Committee, asking for a leadership challenge." - Independent
- Stewart Jackson MP: "Speculation on Coffee House Blog regarding possible no of no confidence letters is rubbish. Only Graham Brady knows and he wouldn't divulge"
- Benedict Brogan urges people to be very sceptical about these reports - Telegraph
David Cameron must find a way to stop the takeover of BAE systems - Iain Martin in The Telegraph
The Conservatives' outreach to gay people could be a model for their outreach to ethnic minorities - Economist
"A simmering coalition row over energy policy has burst back into the open as the energy secretary confirmed he was ready to defy the chancellor and set a target for how much carbon dioxide electricity plants should emit by 2030. “We are currently considering a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target,” Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, said on Thursday." - FT (£)
Cable is to announce that workers will face a cut in how much they can win for unfair dismissal at employment tribunals
"He will also back using settlement agreements, under which staff agree to leave without being able to go to a tribunal, but get a pay-off in return. He will also confirm that proposals to make it easier to fire under-performing staff will not be made law." - BBC
- Childminders and nurseries are seeking urgent talks with Liz Truss, the new early years minister, amid fears that her appointment signals a radical deregulation of the sector - Times (£)
- Cable's Business Department is exposed as Whitehall's most profligate spender - Daily Mail
"Labour leader Ed Miliband last week revealed that he and Mr Cable were in regular text contact and that he was ‘open for business’ if the Business Secretary wanted to talk about the future. But yesterday Sir Menzies criticised Mr Cable for undermining the Coalition and warned that it threatened to anger already disgruntled Tory MPs." - Daily Mail
- The former Lib Dem leader has also questioned Lord Oakeshott's undermining of Nick Clegg but also the Deputy PM's decision not to have Lib Dem ministers at the Foreign Office or MoD - Scotsman
Lib Dems 'would consider future coalition with Labour', says Clegg - BBC
"If the Lib Dems want to move beyond pavement politics and opportunist gestures, left libertarianism seems to me the right way to go. It is better than acting like a Labour colony in a Conservative administration." - Samuel Brittan in the FT (£)
Labour could win the next election because of Coalition failure but it has no policies or direction - Fraser Nelson in The TelegraphFormer Tory MP named as The Sun's Hillsborough source 'deeply sorry' - London Evening Standard
Simon Jenkins: Hillsborough shows it's time for elected police commissioners: "A Sheffield police commissioner would have at least some local case to answer after Hillsborough. Instead, accountability has been rendered by two judges, a bishop and a prime minister, whose "apology" for something that is nothing to do with him is meaningless." - Simon Jenkins in The Guardian
Economically, socially and politically, the north is becoming another country - The Economist
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