Newslinks for Sunday 17th March 2013
8.30pm Sarah Wollaston MP on Comment: What on earth is the point of an MP who isn't prepared to comment?
7.30pm International: Jeb Bush and AEI's Arthur Brooks call on US Republicans to focus on the poor
12.15pm Iain Anderson on Comment: Personal finances at last getting their place in ‘The Sun’
Continuing our series of articles from our Victory 2015 Conference, Lord Bates argues that We shouldn't underestimate the strength of the Conservative base in the North of England
"The Chancellor is to unveil plans in Wednesday’s Budget to construct tens of thousands of new homes aimed at creating a raft of jobs... He is expected to launch the biggest extension in home-ownership since Margaret Thatcher sanctioned the sale of council houses. The government will guarantee up to £10billion to support the building." - The Sun
- The Sun urges George Osborne to get the housebuilding sector motoring - The Sun Says
- The Sunday Times (£) interviews housing minister Mark Prisk
- Campaigners claim localism pledges are being undermined by planning decisions - The Sunday Telegraph
In an article for The Sun the Chancellor makes it clear that he's not for turning
"Labour’s answer to Britain’s borrowing problems is to borrow even more — that simply doesn’t make sense. If there were easy options and miracle cures then, of course, I would take them. But, sadly, there aren’t. With me, you will not get a spending spree we can’t afford. You will not get unfunded tax cuts that have to be borrowed." - George Osborne in The Sun
"The Chancellor, therefore, needs to communicate a plan. He needs to be clear about how his policies are aimed at creating jobs and wealth, and to focus on competitiveness as much as cuts. We need to expand on the themes that Cameron articulated in last year’s Tory Conference speech, including the global race and helping to ensure that people who do the right thing can get on in life." - Lord Ashcroft, writing in the Mail on Sunday
Show people you care, George, or we'll lose the election - Mail on Sunday report on Lord Ashcroft's article
"George Osborne is more unpopular than at any time since he became Chancellor. A record 67% of the public think he is doing badly as Chancellor – a view shared by fully half of all those who voted Conservative three years ago." - Peter Kellner for The Sunday Times (£)Iain Duncan Smith blocks plan for childcare tax breaks in Budget - Independent on Sunday
What will Osborne do?
Iain Martin makes his predictions in The Sunday Telegraph: "It seems most likely that he and David Cameron will attempt to do a bit of both, by sticking with the plans on deficit reduction while attempting one or two eye-catching initiatives if they can scramble together some money. Expect there to be something aimed at helping families struggling with fuel and energy costs and an emphasis on encouraging firms that want to export, in order that the UK might trade its way out of this mess. There is a good chance the Chancellor will also respond to calls from the CBI for him to bring forward spending on infrastructure, such as roads, and housing."
Eddie Barnes, for Scotland on Sunday, says Osborne may focus on bank lending: "The big card he may play, according to Tory sources, is on further efforts to boost bank lending. Osborne’s “Funding for Lending” scheme – which lowers banks’ funding costs so they can pass savings on – has helped people get mortgages, Cameron claimed last week. But it has largely failed to do anything for Britain’s small and medium sized firms, which continue to complain that they are being charged high rates of interest by risk-wary banks, and are being starved of credit as a result."
David Davis urges the Chancellor to cut taxes, cut regulations and reform the banks - The Sunday Times (£)
This Budget doesn't matter much. Last year's cut in the top 50% tax rate did for the Tories - John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday
Adam Boulton in The Sunday Times (£) tends to agree: "Labour’s slogan juxtaposing Tory tax cuts for millionaires with benefits cuts for the poor is powerful. It has been adapted for the Leveson debate to claim that Cameron is for Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre of the Daily Mail and against “the victims”."
- Jane Merrick wonders if Eleanor Shawcross, one of Osborne's key aides, could be a future Tory leader - Independent on Sunday
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Osborne under pressure
"David Cameron urged restive Tories to focus their energies on fighting Labour as he sought to quell unrest among activists over his leadership. He used a speech to the party's spring conference to insist he was sticking to traditional Tory values after a turbulent fortnight of internal division." - Mail on Sunday
David Cameron: Everyone needs to be as pushy as Sam and me to rebuild UK - Sunday Express
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Cameron goes on the defensive – "Our battle is with Labour," he tells Tory activists
Conservative-Ukip “switchers” favour UKIP's policies on immigration, government spending and same-sex marriage - Sunday Telegraph/ ICM poll
Examining her newspaper's poll Janet Daley declares that "the modernisation project is dead". She writes: "Whatever credibility might have clung to it – even after the economic crisis made its obsession with appearance over substance look like vainglorious posturing – disappeared altogether with the gay-marriage vote."
True Tory policies are the way to head off Ukip - Sunday Telegraph leader
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Ukip on 17% in latest ComRes poll – Tories on 28%
"To win the next election the Tories need to be purposeful, competent and united. If we look fratricidal, or unsure of the course set by the Prime Minister, we will lose. And lose big. Our political self-indulgence, at a time when many families are suffering, will not be tolerated." - Andrew Mitchell in The Sunday Telegraph
The Independent on Sunday claims that the party's problems go back to false memories of the Thatcher period: "The party's troubles run deep indeed. They go back to Margaret Thatcher and the alternative history of her golden age, believed by so many Tories, in which she was right wing and won elections. It is a mythical history that ignores the division of the left in her time, and her deep unpopularity at the end, brought about by her "right-wing" policy of the poll tax."
"The more of its members that behave as if they have already lost, the likelier it is that they will be defeated" - Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer
- A Conservative MP - Sir Peter Tapsell - has told David Cameron that he would hand over his seat to Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, who is widely seen as a future Tory leader - The Sunday Telegraph
- "The last thing female Tory MPs want is Theresa4Leader because they say she doesn’t like women" - Nigel Nelson in The People
David Cameron is facing defeat over Leveson unless he can persuade MPs from other parties to support his proposals - BBC
The Leveson process has produced a "very functional" working relationship between Miliband and Clegg - James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday
Jeffrey Archer urges Cameron to split from Clegg before Clegg splits from Cameron: "We cannot sit and wait for Clegg to decide when he will break from us. We must find the right issues, kick him into the long grass and call an election." - Independent on Sunday
"In an interview with The Observer, on the eve of a historic Commons debate and vote on press regulation, the Labour leader says that for too long politicians have been scared of acting against the powerful media magnates who have the capacity to destroy political careers and wreck governments."
- MPs who vote to regulate the press tomorrow are siding against the principles they're meant to uphold - Nick Cohen in The Observer
- Journalists expect no gratitude for what they do – just the freedom to go on doing it - Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph
- Rebel Tory MP Adam Afriyie has told how he was called a ‘n****r’ and a ‘monkey’ on the rough London estate where he grew up - Mail on Sunday
- John Baron has established a new group of Tory MPs to oppose "severe" defence cuts - The Sunday Telegraph
- One in six Conservative MPs elected for the first time in the 2010 is “actively looking for another job” - Sunday Express
- Lord St John of Fawsley entered into civil partnership with life-long partner shortly before his death to avoid inheritance tax - Mail on Sunday
Only when four vital tests have been met should we intervene in another state's affairs, but we can always help other than with arms - Nick Clegg in the Independent on Sunday
Cash machines EMPTIED across Cyprus as 60,000 British savers face losing MILLIONS after £8.7billion EU bailout imposes tax on all of nation's bank accounts - Mail on Sunday
"Britons living in Cyprus, including armed forces personnel, stand to lose up to £170m in a raid on their savings as a result of a controversial rescue of the country’s near-bankrupt economy" - The Sunday Times (£)
And finally... Ruth Porter contrasts last Saturday's ConHome Conference with yesterday's official Spring Forum
"Last week, hundreds of activists gave up their Saturday to gather in Westminster and talk about how they’d win the next election. The discussion was vibrant, with serious debate about everything from regional economic development to tackling the perception of the Tories as a posh party. And there was much candour... The vibe from today’s official Spring conference couldn’t have been more different. It was a day of set-piece speeches and topics. While the ConHome event dominated the headlines and Twitter, today’s conference barely scraped in on the BBC news App. The official Tory conference seemed staid and lifeless by comparison." - Ruth Porter for The Spectator
> Read some of the speeches delivered to the Victory 2015 Conference.
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