Newslinks for Saturday 10th November 2012
12.15pm ToryDiary: Bullying MPs won't help the cause of press freedom
10am LeftWatch: The Sun is losing the plot in its praise for Ed Balls
Nadhim Zahawi MP on Comment: We need an independent regulator to hold newspaper editors and proprietors to account
Edward Boyd on Comment: Police and Crime Commissioners are here to stay
Local government: More children should be taken into care - but they shouldn't stay there
BBC apologises to Lord McAlpine for Newsnight investigation
"The BBC last night apologised “unreservedly” for a Newsnight report that falsely implicated former Conservative Party treasurer Lord McAlpine in allegations of sex abuse at children’s homes in Wales. Director-general George Entwistle took the extraordinary step of ordering an immediate halt to all Newsnight investigations to “assess editorial robustness and supervision”, as the BBC faced one of the greatest crises in its history." - Scotsman
John Redwood lambasts Newsnight's failings and suggests its reports had a certain partisan bias: "The BBC should be careful about trying to give a party gloss on crime, especially when it gets the accusations wrong."
Cameron should never have gone on "shockjock" This Morning - Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail
But in The Times (£), Matthew Parris thinks the PM handled the encounter impeccably.
Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg meet to discuss statutory regulation of the press
"Both Mr Clegg and Mr Miliband are prepared to back a law bringing in limited regulation if that is what the [Leveson] inquiry recommends. Senior Labour figures say Mr Miliband’s goal is cross-party agreement on a new system of press regulation that is “built to last”. They insist Labour will not “play politics” on the issue but are worried that Mr Cameron may be tempted to delay or shelve proposals in an attempt to appease Tory-supporting newspapers." - Independent
18 of 44 Tory MPs wanting tough regulation of the press have been subjects of newspaper investigations - Telegraph
"Conservative MPs and peers tried to strengthen David Cameron’s resolve in taking on the newspaper industry on Friday, amid claims that the prime minister was in “fear” of press barons. A letter signed by 42 mainstream Tories urged Mr Cameron not to back a press regulation proposal put forward by leading newspapers, claiming it lacked independence and risked being “an unstable model destined to fail”." - FT (£)
Telegraph leader: "Politicians like to claim they are thick-skinned; but given the chance, they will legislate to keep nosey journalists out of their business. It is self-serving – or downright naïve – to claim that they would be doing so in the interests of maintaining “a free press essential for a free society”."
In a leader the Daily Mail warns against statutory regulation: "Once the door has been opened to statutory regulation, what is to stop MPs seeking an ever tighter grip on journalists whose duty is to scrutinise and expose their incompetence and corruption?"
George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith close to agreement on welfare cuts"Millions face a freeze in their benefits for two years from next April under plans backed by George Osborne. The proposal, effectively a cut of 2.2 per cent next year in welfare payments, is now, crucially, said to have the backing of Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary. The potential saving of £4 billion over two years is the front-runner in the Chancellor’s plan to slash £10 billion off the welfare bill by 2017... Other proposals backed by the Treasury but opposed by the Liberal Democrats include ending housing benefit for under-25s and child benefits for additional children of workless families who already have two children or more." - Times (£)
Robert Halfon MP may vote with Labour and for three month freeze in petrol duty - Daily Mail
"Robert Halfon, a Tory MP and motorists’ champion, said on Friday: “This is the number one issue raised by backbenchers with the chancellor of the exchequer’s team because it is causing so much concern.” Nonetheless, he believes only a “handful” of Tories are likely to vote with Labour on Monday because party whips are urging them to wait until the chancellor’s autumn statement – on December 5." - FT (£)
- The BBC's Mark D'Arcy looks at the difficult position that Ed Balls has put Rob Halfon and otherr petrol tax rebels.
> Final paragraph of today's ToryDiary: "The real hero of motorists is Tory MP Robert Halfon who has long led the campaign for a fairer level of fuel duty."
"The EU Commission and European Parliament had asked for a budget rise of 6.8% in 2013. But most governments wanted to limit the rise to just 2.8%." - BBC
- Tory MPs Peter Bone and Douglas Carswell welcome Express story that "senior Eurocrats" were openly speculating that Britain could soon quit the European Union
- Robert Peston: Has Treasury magically cut debt by £35bn?
The Sun Says: "If the Government expects praise for saying it is cutting aid to booming India, bad luck. Despite promising handouts will end in 2015, the Coalition will still be giving the emerging superpower £640million in the meantime. Why not stop aid immediately?"
"Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Politicians should have cut this budget a long time ago rather than waiting until 2015.”" - Express
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Justine Greening diverts aid from India to even poorer nations
Patrick O'Flynn: Could Owen Paterson save our nation from Brussels?
Patrick O'Flynn uses his Saturday column in The Express to pen a glowing portrait of the new DEFRA Secretary Owen Paterson: "Paterson is from a classic Tory background – public school and Cambridge – but with a difference. Rather than hang around with the London media and politics set after university he got himself a proper job – as sales director of the British Leather Company before going on to run another tanners company in Halesowen in the Midlands. He’s in noticeably good nick for 56, is married into the aristocratic Ridley family and has progressed largely because of a dogged adherence to causes in which he believes."
Simon Heffer: Cameron and Miliband will have noticed that negative campaigning worked for Obama
"The American presidential election has proved, no element of a candidate’s life, upbringing or personality is considered out of bounds by their enemies. If adopted here, I fear that such negative campaigning would lower the tone of British politics, even beyond the depths it has reached already. However, the Tories should be aware that if they desist from personal attacks, their Labour opponents will almost certainly target prominent Tories’ character flaws, their privileged backgrounds, mistakes and failures." - Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail
- Romney and Cameron both look too much like the rich men who got the world economy into this mess - Tony Parsons in The Mirror
- Jonathan Freedland argues that the last UK election left the Tories in a form of limbo land but that US election was a decisive rejection of the Republicans and they have no option to seek deep change - The Guardian
- The FT leader-writers (£) urge Obama to add talented Republicans and pro-business independents to his second term Cabinet
"Those who fought in the Allied Forces in the First World War weren’t just Tommies, they were Tariqs and Tajinders too – and that every single one of us, whatever our background, owes a debt of gratitude to those who fought for our freedoms nearly a century ago. That is a message that will rain on the parade of extremists: both the preachers of hate, who burn poppies as a vile protest against the West, and the far Right, who hijack the patriotism of Remembrance Sunday by trying suppress its messages of tolerance and freedom by making the event a divisive, whites-only moment." - Baroness Warsi in The Telegraph
There is no sign from Ruth Davidson of a radical attempt to address the Scottish Conservative challenge and small steps won't be enough to rescue the party - Magnus Gardham for the Herald
It's all going wrong for Conservative women - Patrick O'Flynn in the Express worries at the behaviour of Tory MPs from Edwina Currie in the past to Nadine Dorries today.
The Prime Minister should follow President Barack Obama’s example in the US and target female voters - James Kirkup in The TelegraphDaily Mail report on Nadine Dorries MP's Australian adventure.
- The other I'm A Celebrity stars don't know who Nadine Dorries is - Express
- "I can see – just about – [Dorries'] argument that she will be exposed to a wider audience on a reality TV show than she would ever have reached from the back benches. But you can’t discuss the burning issues of the day when your mouth is full of kangaroo testicles." - Tony Parsons in The Mirror
- Louise Mensch's "contribution to political life has been trivial – but also vastly entertaining" - Deborah Orr in The Guardian
It's good news that the Tory modernisers have dropped Red Tory Philip Blond - Damian Thompson in The Daily Telegraph
The Tories are pushing for private companies to take over major police roles, with insufficient safeguards - Yvette Cooper in The Guardian
Alistair Darling issued a warning that “British music will no longer be our music” and that “British sporting success will be someone else’s to celebrate” if Scots vote yes in the 2014 referendum - Scotsman
And finally... “Don’t go to bed on an argument, and share the cooking” - The Sun notes David Cameron's advice for a happy marriage.
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