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June 2012 newslinks

21 Jul 2012 08:59:29

Newslinks for Saturday 21st July 2012

Osborne TINA7.15pm LISTEN: Should George Osborne be Chancellor and Chief Election Strategist? Tim Montgomerie and Charlie Elphicke debate...

3.15pm Columnist Peter Hoskin: The Braveheart effect? What Braveheart effect?

11.15am Harry Phibbs on Comment: Alastair Burnet's prescient comparison at the 1975 Conservative Conference of Margaret Thatcher and Ogden Nash's Isabel

11.15am WATCH: Andrew Neil's tribute to his friend Sir Alastair Burnet

ToryDiary: Today, Osborne wants tough new strike laws. Yesterday, he wanted smaller wind subsidies. The Chancellor's fightback continues (but new borrowing figures disappoint)

Screen shot 2012-07-21 at 08.14.10Luke Bozier on Comment: Working class Tory? This is what it means

Peter Walker on Local Government: Ian Blair's attack on police reform is misguided

LeftWatch: Harriet Harman: Help! Help! Theresa May has "dogged my path"...followed me round TV studios...criticised "what we were arguing for"...

WATCH: Romney on the Batman killings: "This unspeakable tragedy"

It's Oldie Saturday: Clarke and Cable signal willingness to "go on and on and on"

Oldie Saturday 1) Ken Clarke supports Human Rights Act, opposes referendums, doesn't rule out joining Euro in Times interview - and is "in the mid-term of my career"

CLARKE HAPPY"Although Mrs May has called for the law to be scrapped, Mr Clarke insists: “I’m in favour of the Human Rights Act. It’s better for British judges to decide these cases than to have them all going to Strasbourg . . . Because of one or two highly publicised cases, a lot of the public regard human rights as something that is frightfully important in China and the Ukraine but shouldn’t be applied in the United Kingdom.” - The Times (£)

  • Justice Secretary calls for the return of biscuits at Cabinet meetings.  Backed by Biscuits Appreciation Society and nurtition experts.  Ate lemon slices and steak for lunch.
    - Daily Telegraph

Oldie Saturday 2) Cable says Tories have always been his opponents, slams the "macho right", says Miliband is "an able guy" - and doesn't rule out leadership bid

Cable Vince Yes"Vince Cable has refused to rule out a future bid to lead the Liberal Democrats, claiming that the “worship of youth” is subsiding and that there is a growing appreciation of those with an insight into “what is going on”. Mr Cable’s comments will excite those who believe the 69-year-old business secretary is best placed to reassert the party’s identity after the Lib Dems emerge from their awkward embrace with the Conservatives." - Financial Times (£)

Oldie Saturday 3) Lawson double broadside at Cameron and Osborne.  (No comeback or leadership bid, however.)*

LAWSON NIGEL TODAY"David Cameron has ‘a lot to learn’ from Margaret Thatcher and should give up on trying to imitate Tony Blair, a senior Tory warned last night. Former Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson, who served in the Thatcher governments of the 1980s, also fired a broadside at the current Chancellor, George Osborne. He said Mr Osborne should give up his wider strategy role and focus on the economy in the wake of this year’s disastrous Budget." - Daily Mail

  • Lawson boots filled with female fans - The Sun

Dairy farmers step up protest over price paid for milk - The Guardian

Osborne: We need tough new strike laws after PCS outrage...

"The Chancellor is said to be ‘furious’ about the attempt by the hardline Public and Commercial Services Union to wreck the Olympics by ordering thousands of border guards to go on strike next week…He is now pushing for immediate legislation to impose a minimum turnout – possibly 40 per cent – on strike ballots in order to protect the economy." - Daily Mail

  • Serwotka says "disruption is an everyday fact of life at Heathrow” - Financial Times (£)
  • Miliband comes out against strike - The Guardian
  • Strathclyde police chief takes over security for Olympics - Scotsman
  • Law to curb militants can’t come too soon - Daily Mail
  • "Something has gone wrong in the culture of the big businesses which deal with government, and of government which deals with big businesses. In a sentence, each has taken on the bad characteristics of the other." - Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: MPsETC - "Outrageous". "Unforgivable". "Unpatriotic". Tory MPs take to Twitter to condemn anti-British Olympics strikes

...But borrowing is higher than expected. Chancellor "set to miss debt-cutting target"

"Borrowing since April is 12 per cent higher than a year ago. The Chancellor had forecast a 4.6 per cent fall. The state paid out a staggering £47.6billion in benefits between April and the beginning of July. That is up almost eight per cent on a year ago — and equivalent to £523million a day or £21.8million an hour. The TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “This benefits bill has spiralled out of control and we have to keep borrowing to pay for it." - The Sun

Spain’s borrowing costs hit near euro-era highs - Financial Times (£)

Boris warns on Olympic brand ‘insanity’

"Mr Johnson called for the light-touch use of laws enacted to protect the rights of domestic sponsors, which contributed £720m to the London organising committee, as well as the International Olympic Committee’s global sponsors. It emerged this week that even the family of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, had been told to make minor changes to Olympic references on the website of their business, which sells party products." - Financial Times (£)

Wollaston condemns "posthumous trial by media" of constituency predecessor Raymond Mawby - Western Morning News

Telegraph reports that members of RSPB and National Trust could elect own peers under Tory MPs' plan over Lords reform...

"The final proposals were sent by the rebels’ leader Jesse Norman MP to Patrick McLoughlin, the Tory party chief whip and to Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin on Thursday. The seven point plan includes a proposal to allow mass membership organisations – such as the CBI, TUC, General Medical Council or even the RSPB – to elect their own peers. Other measures include: reduction in size of the chamber; removal of the hereditary peers; introduction of a retirement age and arrangements for resignation; placing the appointments commission on a statutory footing; improvements to scrutiny of legislation; removal of criminals from the Lords; and separation of the peerage from the legislature." - Daily Telegraph

...but via Twitter...

Screen Shot 2012-07-21 at 10.25.55
Jesse Norman has described Telegraph report as "highly misleading and inaccurate".

> Richard Harrington MP on Comment: "I would much rather see the country systematically divided up into 'constituencies', which are not geographical, but representative of all of our society, by occupation and interest group." -

Rain Goddess Spelman helpless to prevent weekend sunshine - The Sun

Hammond declares Britain's new £100m superfighter jet 'money well spent' after seeing it in action for the first time

"After seeing it in action for the first time yesterday, defence secretary Philip Hammond declared the cost of Britain's first superfighter 'money well spent'. Mr Hammond flew out to Fort Worth, Texas, to receive Britain's first ever F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in an official handover ceremony. Hammond said: 'This hugely capable combat aircraft is now officially British and in the hands of our expert pilots." - Daily Mail

  • The big lie of the defence funding 'black hole' - Alan West, Daily Telegraph

Housing boost plans under Government scrutiny - The Guardian

British resolution approved at U.N as Assad strikes back in Damascus, Aleppo rises, and 30,000 people flee to Turkey

HagueSquare"In New York, the UN Security Council approved a British resolution to extend by a “final” 30 days the mandate of 300 international observers who were deployed in April to monitor a supposed ceasefire. “This gives the regime one last opportunity to live up to its commitments,” William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said. But the chances of the regime ordering a ceasefire seemed non-existent…“Thousands of people per night are now crossing the border, fleeing this terrible situation,” Mr Hague said." - The Times (£)

> Yesterday: WATCH - Syria: Fifth day of fighting in Damascus. Rebels seize Iraq border posts

Parliament could gain powers to prosecute witnesses who lie - The Independent

Peter Hoskin: Batman and the massacre - the nerd and his culture are now a live political issue

"In the end, it is on people’s collective sense of realism and decency that we can rely. The madness of one individual will always be just the madness of one individual, not in itself a cause for censorship and overimaginative speculation. But neither should we just regard nerd culture as a silliness that society will grow out of. Batman walks among us now, in ways that his creators would never have foreseen. We can no more ignore him than we can ignore religion." - The Times (£)

Yesterday > WATCH: Obama responds to Denver Batman murders‬

Government adviser Louise Casey says problem families have too many children - Daily Telegraph

I'm not posh like Sam Cam... says earl's niece Harriet Harman (The Mail helpfully points out that Ms Harman is an Earl's niece, went to a £20,000-a-year school and is the daughter of a Harley Street doctor.)

"In an apparent swipe at the Prime Minister's wife Samantha Cameron, Miss Harman said: 'I'm definitely on the posh side of things. But I am not landed gentry if you want to get into the detailed socio-economics. Not “Sam Cam” posh'…She recently admitted that she had dropped her 1950s' cut-glass accent to fit in more with her party's working-class roots." - Daily Mail

  • Miliband: Brown was wrong to brand Mrs Duffy a bigot - The Independent
  • Union’s vow to go left - The Sun
  • "Labour has reinforced its hold on the north west and north east (although not in Yorkshire and the Humber)" - The Guardian's Northern Blog
  • Does Vaz think he could be Speaker? - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Miliband won't win unless he puts bully-boy Balls in his box - Simon Heffer, Daily Mail

China in talks to build UK power plants - The Guardian

Matthew Parris: My advice to Leveson

“I think there is a danger, however, that recommendations your Inquiry may consider may seek to repose in a statutory body the function of determining the public interest as it relates to the pursuit or publication of news or commentary. This, I believe, would be the beginning of a very slippery slope. Not much farther down the slope would come the idea of pre-submission of drafts or plans for pursuing stories for what would become tantamount to official clearance. Such a development is not, in my view, to be welcomed.” - The Times (£)

And finally...The man who said: "And finally": The Times's (£) Editorial commemorating Sir Alastair Burnet, who died yesterday - The Times (£)

* Unfortunately.


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30 Jun 2012 09:06:15

Newslinks for Saturday 30th June 2012

Screen shot 2012-06-30 at ToryDiary: ZIG! Yesterday, Cameron opposed In-Out referendum. ZAG! Tomorrow, Cameron praises renegotiation referendum

3.15pm ToryDiary: Government orders independent review of inter-banking lending rate abuses

Noon ToryDiary: How we could still be given an in/out EU referendum by David Cameron

ToryDiary: The lady wasn't for turning. But the gentleman is. And, as Lord Lawson argues, this risks the Government's credibility.

Tobias Ellwood MP on Comment: The modern soldier is also an aid worker, a classroom builder, a fireman - as well as a fighter.  As the transformation now sweeping the army will help prove. 

MPsETC: Song written by David Morris MP performed for Armed Forces Day

Local Government: Cambridgeshire takes action to reduce flooding

WATCH: Allister Heath says he can't defend the bankers this time

David Cameron re-signals his opposition to an In-Out EU referendum.  But he doesn't rule out a poll on renegotiation.

EuflagMr Cameron did not rule out some sort of vote on European issues eventually, but insisted that he would not give the British people the option of leaving the EU outright. "I completely understand why some people want an in/out referendum, why they wanted it yesterday, why they want it today,” he said. "Some people just want to get out: I completely understand that but I don't share that view, I don't think that's the right thing to do.” - Daily Telegraph

  • "David Cameron placed himself on a collision course with the Tory right when he mounted a passionate defence of Britain's membership of the EU and rejected out of hand an "in or out" referendum..."The problem with an in/out referendum is that it only gives people those two choices. You can stay either in with all the status quo or you can get out. Most people in Britain want a government that stands up and fights within Europe .." Guardian
  • "Hours after 100 Tory MPs demanded that he legislate for a referendum because “the cost of membership is too high”, the Prime Minister told his party that greater engagement was important and that Britain was already winning key arguments. - The Times (£)
  • "His decision yesterday to explicitly rule out an In/Out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union will shake the faith of millions about whether he has the right stuff to save our country. Mr Cameron claimed most Britons agree with him that Britain should remain inside the EU. The opinion polls do not bear him out. If he is confident of his case then why does he not hold a referendum to prove his point?" - Daily Express leader
  • "Many Tories are worried that increasingly Eurosceptic voters could switch to the UK Independence Party unless the Prime Minister toughens his stance. There are also fears that Ed Miliband could offer an opportunistic pledge to hold a referendum in order to outflank the Tories." - Daily Mail
  • "David Cameron says he has secured from eurozone leaders "explicit commitments" to protect the EU single market....he said nothing the eurozone does to stabilise its currency should impact on the single market." - BBC


Ed Miliband seeks to outflank Downing Street by calling for a public inquiry on banking

"Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for a public inquiry into banking after a series of scandals in the sector." - BBC

  • "But Cameron declined to endorse the call by Ed Balls for a "proper, independent, arm's length inquiry" to be held into Britain's banking industry. "I never reject anything Ed Balls says," he joked after he was asked by the Guardian whether he endorsed the shadow chancellor's view." - Guardian
  • For over the past five years, we have witnessed an unprecedented public crisis in the great pillars of state: the banks, the police and Parliament. Why? Because in more and more cases, naked greed seems to have been the driving force for many self-serving individuals in these institutions - George Carey, Daily Mail
    That said, the real crisis we are facing is not a financial but a moral one. And it is a direct result of the something-for-nothing culture which is poisoning our society.
  • "Barclays are bankers. We hate bankers. Whatever it is they’re said to have done, we’re pretty sure it was dreadful and they’re undoubtedly guilty of doing it. The whole lot of them. We started being angry with them even before the exact nature of their dark deeds was revealed." - Matthew Parris The Times(£)
  • "Ed Miliband believes the public want those who caused economic hardship and misery grilled under oath. He’s wrong. What they want is for the guilty men and women to have their collars felt. To spend millions of pounds of public money forensically examining what went wrong would be folly. It could also convince thousands of excellent bankers, needed to aid the recovery, to leave the UK altogether." The Sun Says
  • "How ripe that the bankers continue to have the same open access to Downing Street enjoyed by the union barons in the 1970s, successfully lobbying to preserve their bonuses and water down the Vickers’ plan for banking reform. Indeed, the more billions the British taxpayer has spent on bailing out the banks, the more contemptuously their executives have treated the public." - Daily Mail leader

Miliband sings the Red Flag - but just two verses - Daily Mail


LawsonnigLord Lawson says there are too many U-turns

"The U-turn on the charities tax, he said, was worth making because it was a mistake. But the pasties, caravans etc? ‘The other things, if it had been me, I would have carried on with. I think they're perfectly justifiable and the idea that you might be in disarray or retreat is not something that you want anybody to think.’....once decided, certain decisions ought to be adhered to. ‘If I had been in his shoes I would not have deferred the petrol tax. I think it is now essential that, in January, he does do it.’ " - Fraser Nelson Coffee House

Egypt's new Muslim Brotherhood President takes oath of office - Sky News

Charles Moore argues that the army is shrinking and "trying to look modern, the Tories played down defence" 

"The MoD these days is a demoralised department with too many second-rate officials and little ability to fulfil its historic role as the United Kingdom’s strategic military headquarters. Few politicians today have a background in defence. Many take it for granted. Some are even actively hostile." - Daily Telegraph

  • Battalions with foreign bias face axe in Army cuts - Daily Telegraph
  • Thousands expected to turn out for armed forces day - BBC

>Yesterday on Comment: Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP:  Armed forces must be at the front of the housing queue

Government study exposes respondents views on porn - The Independent

No pleasing some people, or rather Sun People: the newspaper names George Osborne as its "villain of the week"

"The Sun was delighted when the Chancellor finally pulled the above U-turn on fuel duty this week. But it was the duplicitousness with which he did it that wins him our weekly wooden spoon. ...Osborne then entirely disappeared from view, Macavity-syle, to dispatch woefully under-briefed junior Treasury minister Chloe Smith to be flayed alive on that night’s TV shows, notably by Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman." - The Sun

‘Safety net’ in draft Bill on assisted suicide - The Times (£)

The Guardian profiles the Conservative MP fuel duty campaigners as "The Tory rebels who put principles before party loyalty"

Screen shot 2012-06-30 at 09.02.09"Nuttall is no bleeding-heart liberal: he's a Tory MP, steeped in an older and more rugged strain of Conservatism than that of his current leader. "I just like to stand up for everybody who believes in free enterprise and freedom of choice and giving people the opportunity to improve themselves, by giving them a choice without government dictating to them," he says. "I never had the chance to go to grammar school, but I am the opposite of all those socialists like my predecessor, who went to Bury grammar school but wanted to abolish it." - The Guardian

  • These Tory women are narcissists, not feminists - Tanya Gold, The Guardian

Tory peer calls for ban on smoking in cars - Scotsman

Graeme Archer is left angry by Ed Miliband's "depersonalised nostra culpa on immigration"

"The fury arises from the way Labour treated those who voiced disquiet about the rapidity and the extent of the changes. Murmur your concern over primary schools where most children didn’t speak English at home; worse, notice that you were the only native English speaker on your bus – and the Left called you racist." - Daily Telegraph

Britain tops EU asylum list - Daily Mail

Lord Prescott's office lavished spending on hotels and in restaurants all around the world

"Charlie Elphicke, a Conservative MP, said: “These figures show that his office was too casual with taxpayers’ money and now he is standing to be a police commissioner. How do we know he will be effective with the police budget and more careful with public money in future. He needs to explain whether this spending at Links of London and the London Eye was for public or personal benefit.” - Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday on Local government:

Simon Heffer praises David Cameron showing "real Tory values" on eduaction and welfare - Daily Mail

Commons committee calls for it be easier to sack MPs with forced by-elections - BBC

Donations flood in for Romney after Obama court victory - Independent

And finally...

1)"Get me my lawyer!  Get me my expensive American lawyer" - Tony Blair interview, Financial Times (£)

2) Could Blair return as Prime Minister? - Guardian

2) Beware his leadership ambitions - Patrick O'Flynn, Daily Express




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29 Jun 2012 08:30:19

Newslinks for Friday 29th June 2012

8.30pm WATCH: As Cameron rules out an EU referendum that's In/Out, John Baron MP explains why over 100 Conservative MPs want an EU referendum of some kind

6pm WATCH: Mervyn King: "Something went very wrong with the British banking industry and we need to put it right."

Screen shot 2012-06-29 at 17.49.373.15pm ToryDiary: It's time to say something nice about Ken Clarke (and again about Francis Maude)

1.30pm Updated ToryDiary: It's time for MPs to scrag the bankers

11.15am Local Government: Coming to the heart of England - the largest open primary seen outside the capital

11am Adam Afriyie MP on Comment: Ideas to boost innovation

ToryDiary: It's time for MPs to scrag the bankers

Columnist Bruce Anderson:  Wrong, Ed Balls, wrong.  It was the Old Boy System that kept the City clean

GrantshappsOn Comment:

Local Government: Theresa May and Nick Herbert must stand firm on police reform

The Deep End: Spoiled, immature, out-of-control – and that’s just the parents

WATCH:  City AM editor Allister Heath on "a disaster for the City's reputation"

GuardianfrontDavid Cameron puts Bob Diamond under pressure to quit

"Barclays' chief executive, Bob Diamond, is fighting to keep his job after the prime minister said accountability for the bank's admission that it had manipulated key interest rates should go right to the top of the bank." - The Guardian

  • Bank law gaps our fault says Labour peer - Daily Telegraph
  • After this scam, the banks must be split - Lord Lawson, The Times (£)
  • Mark Garnier, a Conservative Treasury select committee member and one of the MPs due to cross-examine Barclays' chief executive Bob Diamond about his personal knowledge of the scandal, said: "I think we may be heading towards something like Leveson." - The Guardian
  • "The Conservatives spent the day reminding us that while all this rigging of interest rates was going on, the City Minister of the time – Ed Balls – boasted of his “light touch” approach to regulation. In turn, Labour spent the day reminding us that during the same period, the Conservatives had demanded a touch that was lighter still." Michael Deacon Daily Telegraph
  • "If Diamond didn’t know such flagrant abuse was going on under his nose, he should have done. Either way, his position is untenable." The Sun Says


Writing in City AM, Allister Heath says it is "very, very bad news"

"Just when it seemed the industry was on the mend, this latest blow could set it back years. And this time those institutions being targeted actually deserve the opprobrium they are getting. The behaviour of a small minority of staff was disgusting, and should have been checked by senior management." - Allister Heath City AM

BaronConservativeHome's exclusive about backbenchers demanding a referendum on EU membership is followed up

"Almost 100 Tory backbenchers have signed a letter to the Prime Minister telling him he must give the British people a say on Europe after the next general election... The letter was organised by John Baron, the MP for Billericay, who said that mainstream Conservative opinion now backs a referendum." - Daily Telegraph

  • "In his letter Mr Baron says he believes "there is a consistent majority in this country who believe that the European Union meddles too much in our everyday lives". It adds that "no-one in this country under the age of 55 has had the opportunity to express their view on this signally important matter"." - BBC
  • "The Conservative Home website reported that nearly 100 MPs want a referendum in the next parliament. The move came as the prime minister signalled to eurosceptics that he would fight hard to preserve Britain's £2.7bn annual EU rebate in forthcoming budget negotiations." - Guardian
  • "Nearly 100 Conservative MPs have written to the Prime Minister telling him, in effect, to take heed of the Daily Express by announcing a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the European Union." - Daily Express

Cameron could use veto at EU summit

"David Cameron has indicated that he is prepared to wield Britain's EU veto again as he seeks to protect the City of London in negotiations to shore up the eurozone." - The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: 100 Tory MPs call for Cameron to prepare legislation for EU referendum

  • David Cameron's inner Maoist - Iain Birrell, The Guardian

Eurozone agrees on bank recapitalisation - BBC

Bomber Command memorial finally unveiled

"Given how long it has taken to get this splendid memorial built – 67 years in fact – no one could blame the dear old Lancaster for being a couple of minutes early with its payload of poppy petals. For all those gathered down below, including the Queen, a thousand veterans, row upon row of widows and hundreds of children who never knew their father, this was the day when Britain finally and formally acknowledged its debt to the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who never came home."- Robert Hardman Daily Mail


Grant Shapps is changing the law to give housing priority to armed forces families

"The move, which comes ahead of Armed Forces Day tomorrow, is part of a massive shake-up of social housing to ensure the most deserving are rewarded." - The Sun

Francis Maude to make more data public

"Official data on everything from cancer survival rates to the performance of local schools will be made available to the public under new plans. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says the Open Data White Paper will make public services more transparent." - BBC

Right-wing commentator Fraser Nelson joins small but beautifully-placed army of columnists in pushing David Cameron around on the pages of a superbly-resourced right-wing media operation...oh, hang on a minute

"For years, people have been trying to define Osbornism, but it’s beginning to look like Groucho Marx got there first. “These are my principles,” the great comedian once declared. “And if you don’t like them: well, I have others.” " - Fraser Nelson Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft responds to Peter Oborne's article about him and ConservativeHome in this morning's Telegraph

Sir George Young calls for "other side of the story" over former Tory MP accused of being Czech spy

"Cabinet minister Sir George Young said only one side of the story about ex-Tory MP Ray Mawby had been put forward. He said it was "imperative" the other side was "also put forward in the interests of friends and family". - BBC

  • "A Tory MP sold information to the communists at the height of the Cold War to pay for his secret gambling habit. Ray Mawby lived a double life while serving as a minister in Sir Alec Douglas-Home’s government in the 1960s." - Daily Mail

MPs switchboard to move to Southampton - BBC

PennypicPenny Mordaunt calls for Minister for older people - BBC

"Opening the debate, Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt argued that this would ensure that the cabinet would take into consideration the impact on older people of every policy decision. "Too often policy is made with the fit, the able bodied, the internet savvy and the average user in mind," the MP for Portsmouth North said." - BBC

McGuinness apology for 3,000 deaths during Troubles - The Times (£)

Lord Fink faces investigation for hosting AmEx charity dinner

"The Conservative Party treasurer is to face a full Parliamentary inquiry into allegations that he broke anti-sleaze rules. The Independent and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed earlier this month that Lord Fink, who has given more than £2m to the Tories, sponsored a private dinner in the House of Lords for paying American Express cardholders." Independent

Labour 1) Libyans take Straw to court over 'rendition' - The Independent

Labour 2) Our Lords Reform isn't a blank cheque - Sadiq Khan, Politics Home (£)



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28 Jun 2012 08:29:43

Newslinks for Thursday 28th June 2012

8pm WATCH: Robert Halfon MP: Fuel duty cut will mean "billions of pounds will be pushed back into the economy"

6pm Dennis Lennox on International: The Supreme Court did its job, now it's up to the people to decide the fate of Obamacare

5pm WATCH: George Osborne: "The FSA report is a shocking indictment of the culture at banks like Barclays"

Queen_and_maa_bomber_command_280620124pm Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Today is an occasion to savour - the new Bomber Command Memorial means a terrible wrong has finally been righted

3pm Dr Lee Rotherham on Comment: The discoveries I made while writing my new EU book baffled even me - and I'm an experienced Eurosceptic hand

2.30pm MPsETC updateSteve Baker MP calls for Barclays CEO Bob Diamond to resign

2pm MPsETC update: David Cameron's full statement raises the prospect of tougher regulations to tackle Barclays scandal: "We’ve already taken a lot of action to make sure we regulate our banks and financial services appropriately, but if there’s more that needs to be done, we’ll do it."

ASHCROFT Michael1.45pm Lord Ashcroft responds to Peter Oborne's article about him and ConservativeHome in this morning's Telegraph

1.15pm WATCH: Ed Miliband calls for criminal charges to be brought against Barclays scandal figures

1pm MPsETC update: Coverage of George Osborne's statement to the House

11.15am MPsETC updateDavid Cameron has released a statement, asking: "Who was responsible? Who was going to take responsibility? How are they being held accountable?"

11am Local government: Conservative councillor resigns over Housing Benefit proposals

10am MPsETC: Andrew Tyrie calls Barclays scandal "absolutely shocking, as bad as one can imagine"

ToryDiary: 100 Tory MPs call for Cameron to prepare legislation for EU referendum

Columnist Andrew Lilico: What it means for Cameron to face a Prince-in-Waiting

LANSLEYAndrew Lansley MP on Comment: I will not let patients suffer because of Labour's hospital mismanagement

Dr Andrew Murrison MP on Comment: The lateness of today's memorial to Bomber Command is a standing rebuke to government

Local Government: 

The Deep End: The politics of poverty and the poverty of politics

WATCH: Boris Johnson: "We're confident that we're as ready as any Olympic city has ever been at this stage"

Lords reform rebels threaten the biggest revolt in Tory history as 100 backbenchers warn they will not hand Lib Dems power in Upper House

Lords_Chamber"A group of about 100 backbenchers, nicknaming themselves ‘The Sensibles’, are vowing to vote down the proposals, warning they will not hand the Liberal Democrats the balance of power in a reformed upper house in perpetuity. Downing Street sources concede they are expecting ‘blood on the walls, floor and ceiling’ over legislation which threatens to put Coalition relations under unprecedented strain. ... Sources close to the Prime Minister... denied Conservative MPs were being given ‘a nod and a wink’ that they could rebel over Lords reform without suffering consequences. But one senior MP said when he told a party whip in charge of discipline that he intended to vote against, he was told: ‘Good.’" - Daily Mail

  • "Officers of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs were shocked by the Prime Minister's hardline stance at a private meeting on Tuesday, when they warned him he faced strong opposition on the party's back benches to the plan" - Independent
  • Lords reform 'would end radical PMs' - Guardian

> From yesterday:

Lords comment

  • SANDYS LAURA"Don’t tell me we’re rushing into Lords reform. My family was in this fight 400 years ago" - Laura Sandys MP for the Times (£)
  • "Pressing ahead with Lords reform will make the coalition look weak, divided and out of touch with voters’ real concerns" - Times (£) editorial
  • "Sensible changes to the House of Lords are the answer – not a Bill that would create far more problems than it solves" - Lord Kakkar for the Daily Telegraph
  • "Mr Clegg’s proposed reform would not make the country more democratic, nor would it ensure the passage of good laws or the administration of wise governance." - Daily Telegraph editorial
  • "The Mail urges every MP who cares about this country to join the Tory rebels." - Daily Mail editorial

Tory MPs attack Osborne for making them look foolish after fuel duty u-turn

Osborne TINA"Some expressed irritation that Mr Osborne, after U-turns on successive Budget measures, had again left them defending a tax rise until he changed his mind. “I don’t mind marching to a tune but what’s annoying is when the tune keeps changing. Then you look a bit of a wally,” one minister said." - The Times (£)

  • "It takes a special kind of genius to turn good news for millions of motorists into a public relations disaster. Yet this is the feat pulled off by the Chancellor on Tuesday – with much help from junior Treasury Minister Chloe Smith" - Daily Mail editorial
  • ""This would never have happened under Alastair Campbell," one Tory said" - Guardian
  • At a time of crisis, we need more experience at the top than this - Steve Richards for the Independent

> From yesterday:

William Hague wants a Whitehall audit of the application of EU law in Britain


"William Hague... wants to launch a comprehensive audit of the impact of European Union law on Britain this summer, an exercise that could fuel a Conservative drive to repatriate powers from Brussels. ... The proposed study of the “balance of the EU’s existing competences” is contained in the coalition agreement, and Mr Hague wants to get on with it this summer. But Mr Clegg has yet to sign off on the scope and timing of the exercise." - FT (£)

  • Merkel heads to Brussels for crucial euro summit - BBC
  • 'A backdoor bailout': UK to pledge another £1billion to prop up EU's stricken economy - Daily Mail
  • Strasbourg insider becomes UK's next human rights judge - Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday - Bill Cash MP on Comment: We need a referendum on the proposed Fiscal Union

Gove targets under-perfoming councils

Gove educ"Leeds and Middlesbrough councils are said to have been chosen because they have been less co-operative with ministers in tackling under-performance in their schools... If they still do not co-operate, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has the power to sack the governing body and impose his own interim executive board to run the school before it becomes an academy." - Independent

Tim Montgomerie: Cameron must define himself in a way that pulls him closer to blue-collar Britain

Cameron At Lecturn"The left’s vision of the good society has long been clear: Labour will build the New Jerusa­lem by pouring ever more taxpayers’ money into the welfare state. In this age of austerity, that vision has reached the end of the road. In its place could be a Tory vision of social progress built on traditional schooling, incentives to choose work rather than welfare and, I would add, strong families. A Conservative Party that can combine this social message with economic competence might even start winning elections again." - Tim Montgomerie for the New Statesman

Grant Shapps: Twitter allows me to escape being shut up by civil servants

"In Government, where the problem isn't getting coverage but ensuring that it's actually in your own words, Twitter enables me to bypass some of the excessive bureaucracy that goes with the Whitehall Government machine. You see, even if I don't actually send that Tweet in my own words, Officials know that I could. So the balance of power is subtly shifted in favour of the Minister" - Grant Shapps for the Daily Telegraph

Baroness Warsi is cleared of serious ministerial code breach

Warsi qt"Conservative Party co-chairman Baroness Warsi has been cleared of any serious breach of the ministerial code over an official trip to Pakistan. The prime minister's adviser found she was guilty of only a "minor" breach for failing to declare she had been accompanied by her business partner. Lady Warsi, who has apologised to David Cameron, said it was time to "move on"." - BBC

David Willetts warns universities in foreign grades scandal - Daily Telegraph

  • Universities must learn from this investigation - David Willetts for the Daily Telegraph

Tory MP Raymond Mawby sold information to Czech spies - BBC

Telegraph's obsession with ConservativeHome continues with Peter Oborne suggesting Lord Ashcroft manipulates site

OBORNE"ConservativeHome is now home to a well marshalled and (thanks to Ashcroft) superbly resourced rebel force, more effective by some distance than the Maastricht dissidents who shook John Major’s government 20 years ago... In recent months Lord Ashcroft and his small but beautifully placed army of editors, columnists and pollsters have started to push David Cameron around. On issue after issue – Europe, welfare, education, taxation – Mr Cameron has edged away from the political centre towards the Right. The transformation of David Cameron personally from the family-friendly, tree‑hugging moderniser of his early days as Tory leader to today’s veto-wielding wind-farm slasher is one manifestation of Lord Ashcroft’s success." - Peter Oborne for the Daily Telegraph

Tony Blair would like to be Prime Minister again

BLAIR Tony"Tony Blair yesterday said he would like another stint as prime minister, but accepts it is unlikely to happen. Mr Blair said he did not want to leave office when he quit in 2007 ... When he was asked whether he would accept another term as PM if it was offered, he replied: “Yes, sure, but it’s not likely to happen is it, so…”" - Scotsman

Alex Salmond steps back from Scottish independence campaign

Salmond-alex-politics-show"Alex Salmond has handed over control of the campaign for Scottish independence to a former BBC News executive and an ex-Labour MP in an effort to distance it from the Scottish National party" - Guardian

  • "Salmond said yesterday the SNP’s fundamental argument for independence was not an economic one when he addressed some of the world’s leading thinkers in Edinburgh." - Scotsman

Lord Ashcroft: Three heroes of Bomber Command we must never forget

ASHCROFT Michael"The target had been damaged earlier but by the day of Learoyd’s mission the Germans had strengthened their defences. This was apparent as soon as the first four aircraft tried to hit the target: two were destroyed and the other two were badly damaged. Learoyd, 27, showed exceptional courage by dropping to a dangerously low level to have a better chance of hitting the target. His attack at 150ft was the most dangerous of all. His aircraft was repeatedly hit and large pieces blown away but he pressed home his attack with skill. He brought his wrecked aircraft home and because the landing flaps were inoperative and undercarriage indicators out of action, he waited for dawn before landing, without causing injury to his crew." - Lord Ashcroft for the Daily Express

Returning_soldiers_2MoD ‘wastes £6.6bn on unused kit and supplies as it axes thousands of frontline troops’ - Daily Mail

Mass of government data on public services to be published - Guardian

Banks rigged interest rates: Barclays fined £290m after damning emails reveal how greedy traders fiddled figures to make fortunes - Daily Mail

  • Libor manipulation scandal is a disastrous own goal for City - Allister Heath for City AM

One in four hospitals, clinics and care homes fail to meet basic standards for patient safety and quality of care - Independent

And finally 1... 'Sod off you Scottish git!' Gordon Brown's closest aides told to hurl abuse at him on day he replaced Blair as PM so he was prepared for power - Daily Mail

And finally 2... Captain Crow's cruise: On the deck of a riverboat, beer in hand, the union hardliner plotting strikes that could hit the Olympics - Daily Mail



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