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Newslinks for Monday 29th April 2013

9pm ToryDiary: It's No Surrender in Downing Street as Christopher Lockwood is recruited

4.30pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: A Rogoff-Stiglitz redux. "The laws of economics may be different in your part of the gamma quadrant, but around here we find that when an almost bankrupt government fails to credibly constrain the time profile of its fiscal deficits, things generally get worse instead of better."

3.45pm LISTEN: THAT Miliband World at One "car crash" interview with Martha Kearney

12.15pm ToryDiary: Ken Clarke is right to abuse UKIP...and Boris Johnson is right to woo it

11am Simon Clark on Comment: Bob Blackman is wrong. We don't need a smoking ban in cars to protect children.

ToryDiary: Five snapshots of Cameron on tour

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.42.06
New fortnightly columnist Jesse Norman MP's first offering for ConservativeHome: Adam Smith's great insight. Compassion isn't pity. It's fellow feeling.

David Boyle on Comment: Can we save the middle classes?

Councillor Mark Bee on Local Government: The battle for Suffolk

The Deep End: Britain needs to build its way to recovery

It's UKIP under fire as Thursday approaches. Ken Clarke dismisses UKIP “clowns”...

CLARKE HAPPY“Voters who back the UK Independence Party are racists and its politicians are clowns, Ken Clarke claimed yesterday.The veteran Tory Cabinet minister led attacks by all three main parties as he said UKIP is merely a protest party and those attracted to it are ‘waifs and strays’ who are simply ‘against’ foreigners and immigrants. Mr Clarke’s astonishing onslaught came as polls showed that Nigel Farage’s Eurosceptic party has overtaken the Liberal Democrats and is set for its best local election results ever on Thursday, when 35 county councils and unitary authorities in England and one in Wales go to the polls” – Daily Mail

...And Farage hits back: Clarke "holds voters in contempt"

Farage Nigel March 2012"UKIP are attracting supporters from all three main parties and, significantly, those who have either not voted for over 10 years or have never voted before in their lives. "Instead of slagging them off, maybe he should try to wrap his head around the idea that Ukip are appealing to people due to the failure of the bloated, self-satisfied political machine of which he is such a typical member." - Daily Express

Fraud, racism and homophobia claims dog the election drive of Farage's party

“A Ukip candidate is being investigated by police over allegations of electoral fraud. The latest blow for the party comes days after a slew of would-be councillors were accused of making racist or homophobic comments.Northumbria Police said officers were investigating a report of alleged electoral fraud in the Cowpen area of Blyth” – Daily Mail

Boris Johnson claims that the rise of UKIP is good news for the Conservatives…

“Rather than bashing Ukip, I reckon Tories should be comforted by their rise – because the real story is surely that these voters are not turning to the one party that is meant to be providing the official opposition. The rise of Ukip confirms a) that a Tory approach is broadly popular and b) that in the middle of a parliament, after long years of recession, and with growth more or less flat, the Labour Party is going precisely nowhere” – Daily Telegraph

…but Trevor Kavanagh says that the UKIP joke is now on the Tories

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.13.20“They all laughed when Nigel Farage set out to transform “the Kippers” from a joke party into a mainstream political force. Well, as the great Bob Monkhouse said, they’re not laughing now. The UKIP leader is good company, with a permanent grin on his cheeky-chappie face, a fag in one hand and a large glass of red wine in the other...He rivals Boris Johnson as the most instantly recognisable politician in the land and now he is poised for a breakthrough in Thursday’s local elections. Thousands of disaffected voters are flocking to join — and half of them are ex-Tories” – The Sun

  •  Nigel Farage is an adept populist leading a party that is not credible – The Times (£)

> Yesterday: Tory Diary: UKIP should not be compared to the BNP

It's the first day of Universal Credit

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"Universal credit will merge several benefits and tax credits into one monthly payout. It begins with a very small number of new claimants in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, but will eventually affect nearly six million people. The system relies on a complex computer system, with claims made online." - BBC

  • Wealthy OAPs can ring hotline to hand back benefits – The Sun
  • IDS's campaign to persuade better-off pensioners to give back benefits is misconceived - Daily Express Editorial
  • Hand back our bus passes and TV licences?! You must be joking, Iain Duncan Smith – Janet Street-Porter, Daily Mail

Hammond bids for health and schools cash

“Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, is in talks with the Treasury about transferring money earmarked for the Department of Health and the Department for Education and using it to ease the impact of cuts on the Ministry of Defence…the plan could see as much as £500  million from the two protected departments’ budgets reallocated to defence” – Daily Telegraph

Once again, Wollaston scoops the Lynton Crosby On Message Backbencher Of The Day Award. She says here are too many Old Etonians in government

Wollaston Sarah"Her comments came after Jo Johnson and Jesse Norman, both Old Etonians, were promoted by the Prime Minister. Mr Johnson, the brother of London Mayor Boris Johnson, been appointed as David Cameron’s new head of policy while Mr Norman has become a member of the Prime Minister’s new policy advisory board." - Daily Telegraph

Grayling denies reneging on burglar pledge

"Official guidance to courts and police says the law would not cover people using force to protect property rather than people – or if force was used in the garden or other outside locations. Conservative Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The new law does exactly what it says on the tin. It was never intended to allow you to shoot dead someone stealing the lawnmower from your garden shed.” - Daily Express

Tim Montgomerie: The Prime Minister needs a tiger in his tank

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.19.01"Nearly everyone who has worked with the Tory leader likes him, but few have a sense that he has a great mission or purpose. Meetings are held but do not conclude. Memos are written but aren’t read. Strategies are launched but not pursued. In so far as this Government acts, it is because individual ministers such as Michael Gove, Eric Pickles and Iain Duncan Smith provide their own independent centres of activity and energy. If something needs to be done the wisest ministers don’t go to the Government’s chairman, Mr Cameron, but to its chief executive — the Chancellor and all-round fixer, George Osborne." – The Times (£)

> Today: ToryDiary - Five snapshots of Cameron on tour

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - David Cameron (eventually) tells the Sunday Times he is not a Thatcherite

Fallon says each Royal Mail staff member will get £1,500 share windfall when company floats on stock exchange

"It will be the largest employee share scheme for 25 years with around 140,000 workers from postmen to local delivery office managers expected to scoop a windfall. In his first speech on the controversial privatisation of the country’s postal service, Michael Fallon will today pledge to make the share handout ‘as attractive as possible.’ " - Daily Mail

Fracking 1) Ministers mull offering sweeteners to opponents

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“The government is proposing to bribe communities with cheaper energy bills in exchange for dropping opposition to local fracking projects as part of plans to push ahead with shale-gas extraction. Several options to cajole rural England to accept the contentious drilling schemes are being discussed as ministers prepare to announce that the UK’s shale-gas reserves are much larger than previously estimated” – Financial Times

Fracking 2) West Sussex village tells firm to Frack Off

“The pretty West Sussex village of Balcombe, nestled in Britain’s stockbroker belt, is not a place you associate with protest. But that was before the frackers showed up. Local people have been incensed since Cuadrilla Resources, the shale gas explorer, acquired an exploration licence for Balcombe in 2010. Cuadrilla has yet to frack a single well, but anger runs so high that getting to that stage will be a fraught process. ‘If Cuadrilla tries to drill here, they’ll soon find they haven’t reckoned on the opposition,’ says Vanessa Vine, a member of campaign group Frack Free Sussex. ‘People will take direct action’” – Financial Times

Two-thirds of Scottish voters give thumbs down to independence

“The campaign for an independent Scotland had a fresh setback yesterday when a poll showed that 60 per cent of Scots think that neither Alex Salmond, the First Minister, nor the Scottish National Party has made a convincing case so far. The YouGov poll for the pro-Union Better Together group revealed that 62 per cent of the 1,000-plus sample of Scots voters said the SNP’s case was either ‘not very convincing’ or ‘not convincing at all’. More than a fifth of those respondents were people who claimed to have voted for the Nationalists in the Scottish and UK parliamentary elections” – The Times (£)

News in brief

  • Hodge attacks Treasury infrastructure plan – Daily Mail
  • Care homes on brink as bailiffs move in - The Independent
  • Welsh care home investigation: Police findings published today - Wales Online
  • Taxpayer helps fund Blair’s lucrative foreign tours – Daily Mail
  • Cigarette display ban comes into force - Scotsman
  • Police hunt for new Stephen Lawrence witnesses - Daily Telegraph
  • Hemmings attacks Court of Protection – Daily Mail
  • Video of Obama delivering comedy speech – The Guardian

And finally...Hair Is No Alternative

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.36.42"Since Baroness Thatcher’s death earlier this month, scores of women have been paying tribute to her in a rather unexpected way – by adopting her hairstyle. One hairdresser, in Chelsea said he had been inundated by requests for ‘The Thatcher’, as the iconic style has become known. Celebrity stylist Maximiliano Centini says his salon has been inundated with demands for the style and bookings are full ‘I have not known anything like this for many years,’ said Mr Centini. ‘We have now done the style for over 100 women, it is a surge. I experienced something similar when the Jennifer Aniston style became popular but that surge built slowly - this has come completely out of the blue.’." – Daily Mail


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