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Newslinks for Saturday 15th December 2012

8.15pm ToryDiary: Economy and same-sex marriage send UKIP soaring to 14% - its highest-ever ComRes rating

6.45pm Re Michael Gove: What is Alistair Campbell right - and wrong - about?

4pm David T Breaker on Comment: Public demand for press regulation must be ignored

2.30pm LISTEN: Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles's CMEC lecture: What Arabs really want

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 13.57.002pm MPsETC: Cllr Mary Robinson selected to fight Cheadle at the next general election

1.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron risks the revenge of "the elderly of the earth"

12.30pm Local Government: Council Tax discounts for second homes to be hit

11.30am WATCH: Obama on the Connecticut murder of 26 people, including 20 children:"There are no words that will heal the pain"

ToryDiary: How much of a threat to Northern Ireland's peace is loyalist alienation?

Neil Carmichael MP on Comment: The asylum system challenge for children's needs

Local Government: Boost in library volunteers

ConHome Cameron booze, porn, drugs Special Edition

Booze: Prime Minister says middle-class families subsidise binge drinkers

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 08.19.38"The Prime Minister claimed that “a family with a reasonable drinking habit” was “actually subsidising the binge drinker” because supermarkets were increasing the price of food to fund cuts in the cost of wine, beer and cider. The comments, to a group of factory workers in north Wales, provoked astonishment from supermarkets last night. The British Retail Consortium said the remarks were “nonsense” and demanded to know what the evidence was for the claims, while a spokesman for Sainsburt said the Prime Minister was "plain wrong".." - Daily Telegraph

Porn: Cameron rejects automatic block to protect children

"The Government decided against bringing in new anti-pornography filters for the internet, less than a year after the Prime Minister intervened to say they should be considered. In May, Mr Cameron ordered officials to examine the case for filters, which would have forced people actively to request an internet connection that gives access to adult material…However, the Government has now decided that this type of “opt-in” system “can create a false sense of security” because it does not screen out all harmful content." - Daily Telegraph

Drugs: Prime Minister slaps down "Cannabis Clegg"

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 08.22.14"Nick Clegg had a ­humiliating slapdown from David Cameron yesterday after calling for softer policies on drugs. Mr Clegg infuriated Tories in the Coalition by claiming: “We are losing the war on drugs on an industrial scale.”…Mr Cameron ­rubbished Mr Clegg’s claims at a news conference in Brussels. He said: “There is some evidence that drug abuse is falling. I don’t think a Royal Commission is the answer and I don’t support decriminalisation of any drugs that are currently illegal.” - Daily Express

  • Nick de Bois MP: Drug addicts should receive treatment, not prison sentences - The Sun
  • Charities risk Curse of Clegg by backing Deputy Prime Minister over drugs - The Independent

> Yesterday: LeftWatch - David Cameron is right to resist Nick Clegg's drugs intervention

"David Cameron has angered a group of business leaders after he was apparently “too busy” to sign letters that informed them he no longer required their advice" - Daily Telegraph

Hollande: The EU is for life, not just at Christmas

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 08.25.44
"Britain should not be allowed to repatriate powers it has surrendered to the EU, the French president has warned, saying London’s membership commitments were “for life”. François Hollande bluntly rejected the British prime minister’s goal of eventually clawing back some UK powers as the eurozone moves toward deeper integration, saying Paris would not tolerate “Europe à la carte”. “To repatriate? Usually when a country commits, it’s for life,” Mr Hollande told reporters." - Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday: John Curtice on Comment - The British people's view - IN Europe but not OF Europe

Prime Minister turns up pressure over Syria

"David Cameron will urge European Union leaders to agree to arm the rebels trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The EU moved a step closer to lifting its embargo on providing military weapons to the opposition forces yesterday. The Prime Minister persuaded his fellow leaders to declare the Assad regime "illegitimate" and to ask EU foreign ministers "to work on all options to support and help the opposition and to enable greater support for the protection of civilians"." - The Independent

Margaret Moran spared jail for fiddling £53,000 in expenses and faces supervision order instead - Daily Mail

(The Margaret Moran case shows the law to be an ass) - Daily Express Editorial

Plans for a new British Bill of Rights to be unveiled next week

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 08.28.50"The Commission on a Bill of Rights will unveil how a new Bill could be introduced by Parliament which would set out the fundamental rights for British citizens in a single piece of legislation. The Commission’s final report, drawn up a panel of the country’s top legal experts for deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Chris Grayling, will also set out Britain’s “true obligations” under the European Convention on Human Rights." - Daily Telegraph

Royal Frackhead: the Queen could benefit from shale gas boom - Daily Telegraph

Bath pours cold water on fracking - Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday: MPsETC - Tory MPs give cautious welcome to shale gas expansion

Freeze council tax or face defeat at the polls, Pickles warns town hall leaders

"Eric Pickles is to warn council leaders that they risk losing next May’s elections if they refuse to freeze council tax. The intervention by the Communities Secretary follows signs that half of all local authorities are considering defying the Government by raising council tax next April. With local government grants being cut again, many authorities feel that unless they raise council tax they will have to slash services, including social care for children and adults." - The Times (£)

> Yesterday: Local Government - Pickles attacks LGA

Cable: my war on tax dodgers - The Guardian

The Bank of England should target growth as well as inflation - Times Editorial (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - We've had a permissive approach to inflation for a number of years. It might be about to become formalised.

Miliband dropped immigration speech apology...

Miliband Ed Official"Ed Miliband is under fire on immigration after he dropped an admission that Labour’s open door policy had left communities across Britain ‘struggling to cope’. His spin doctors had briefed the media that he would admit that Labour’s failure to control immigration had damaged Britain and increased community tensions. He had been expected to say: ‘We did too little to tackle the realities of segregation in communities that were struggling to cope.’ - Daily Mail

…As poll finds that voters don't trust him

"Labour privately admits voters still don’t trust the party on the three top ballot box issues — immigration, welfare and the economy. A senior party insider revealed the grim findings of secret polling briefed to a recent National Executive Committee meeting. The revelation that Labour is seen as “soft” on scroungers and foreigners is a blow to Ed Miliband after two years at the helm." - The Sun

Three wise men to protect Leveson’s press regulator - The Times (£)

Matthew Parris flays the Parliamentary Party's hard right...

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 08.37.54"These people are unhinged. How much tolerance should the party’s leadership show (and how much attention should commentators give) to MPs whose mandate has been centrist, who would not have been elected except to a centrist party, but who spend time between elections chucking rocks at the very moderation that brings in their vote? Challenged, they have the cheek to growl and whimper about “the party’s instincts”. That their tiny claimed sounding-board for these instincts (a panel of typically less than 100 serious activists) should echo their own views is unsurprising, given that the local MP has spent a career repelling from party membership anyone under 70 who isn’t a spittle-flecked, obsessively anti-European, immigrant-hating social and cultural reactionary." - The Times (£)

  • (...Speaking of which..."How Blair conned the Tory Party into selling its soul"...) - Simon Heffer, Daily Mail

...But Charles Moore says Cameron's gay marriage move is putting him on the wrong side of history

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 08.39.56"What I do believe, however, is that he is acting in an unconservative way. When Conservatives forget how to be conservative, they end up losing…When, in modern times, people speak of marriage only in terms of the equal rights of each person, conservatives are rightly suspicious. They are not indifferent to equality, but they deny that it must always have the last word. If you are conservative, you respect the past in order to secure the future. It is not easy to see how a policy which puts homosexual rights at the apex of public morality can possibly do that. Strange that the head of a party which calls itself Conservative is leading us down a cul-de-sac in the history of mankind." - Daily Telegraph

  • Don't sacrifice marriage on Equality's altar - Roger Scruton, The Times (£)
  • Raise a glass to gay marriage - Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian
  • BBC told to put more gay presenters on children's TV to 'familiarise' youngsters with different sexualities - Daily Mail
  • Archbishop of Wales seeking to overturn gay marriage plans - Wales Online

> Yesterday: Columnist Bruce Anderson - Number 10's tactical miscalculation over gay marriage has undermined trust and faith

Norwich: Britain's atheist capital - Financial Times (£)

Harrow: Britain's religious capital - Financial Times (£)

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 08.59.11Northern Ireland 1) Semtex find suggests republicans are ready to return to violence - The Times (£)

Northern Ireland 2) Trimble slams DUP over flag row - Newsletter

Northern Ireland 3) Pipe bomb attack on Northern Ireland photographer - Belfast Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary - How much of a threat to Northern Ireland's peace is loyalist alienation?

Britain braced for week of flood chaos - Daily Express

Hillary Clinton hasn't mastered the art of doing her own hair - Daily Express

Sam Cameron sports Killing Detective Christmas jumper - Daily Mail

Guy Opperman MP thanks God he’s still alive - Daily Mail

20 young children killed in America's worst massacre - The Times (£)

Pray for them - Sun Editorial

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