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Teatime newslinks for Thursday 17th November 2011


  • Osborne says "the sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money is an important first step in getting the British taxpayer out of the business of owning banks" - BBC
  • Northern Rock deal is the "best available", says Osborne - Telegraph
  • Taxpayers lose at least £400m on sale of Northern Rock (and keep the bad bank) - ToryDiary
  • Benedict Brogan: 'Northern Rock brings a small ray of sunshine amid the gloom, but No 10 still looking for ways to be cheerful' - Telegraph
  • Steve Doughty: Northern Rock sale has cheated the taxpayer out of millions – but left us with £21 billion of bad debts - Daily Mail
  • Janet Daley: "The Chancellor needs to cut direct taxation, by raising the thresholds for both standard and higher rate income tax, if he wants to promote actual growth" - Telegraph
  • Peter Hoskin: "Osborne's calculation will be that it's better to sell now, at that price, than keep hanging onto the Rock. It will help him argue that the banking sector is returning to normalcy" - Spectator
  • Some advice for Osborne from Arthur Laffer, Lord Tebbit and Dominic Raab MP - Spectator
  • Miliband sets out 5 point plan for more responsible capitalism, and calls on the Government to change its course on the economy - Guardian
  • Milband urgers U-turn on the economy - BBC
  • Ed Miliband: "The Government appears to be out of touch with the real challenges the economy faces" - PlayPolitical
  • Lord Owen accuses George Osborne of "denigrating" Labour's economic legacy - Guardian
  • Daniel Knowles: 'Our greatest social problem: there are no jobs left for the dim' - Telegraph


  • EU's financial commissioner Michel Barnier declared that the City of London must adopt the same regulations as Paris and Frankfurt, prompting fresh tensions for Cameron - Evening Standard
  • Jonathan Jones: "The UK can now claim to be No.1 in Europe… for inflation" - Spectator
  • Daniel Hannan MEP: 'You can have the euro or you can have democracy – you can't have both' - Telegraph
  • Daniel Korski: "Governing is about choices. That goes for Europe too. The government says it can get everything it wants – that's politics – but the reality is different. It actually faces a number of trade-offs, the biggest being a choice between staying in an EU that reforms but not as quickly or as dramatically as parts of the Tory party wants; or to pull out entirely from the EU" - Spectator
  • Charles Crawford: "The more the credit-ratings of other eurozone member countries erode, the more exposed sooner or later must be Germany’s own credit-rating. Germany created a single monetary space. It can’t escape the inexorably compounding consequences" - Telegraph
  • Alex Brummer: The resignation of IMF Europe Director, Antonio Borges, may be more political than personal - Daily Mail


  • Dave Hill: 'Boris Johnson is a total Tory' - "The London mayor's rebellious exterior conceals a deeply Conservative politician closely aligned with David Cameron, and the City" - Guardian
  • Will this Ken v Boris election be decided on YouTube? - LocalGovernment
  • Andrew Gilligan on Ken Livingstone: "As the election nears, Ken’s potty-mouth moments appear to be increasing in frequency" as he asks the chair of a public meeting to find out how many people want to hang George Osborne - Telegraph


  • NHS waiting list rise prompts Government U-Turn - Guardian
  • Hugh Robertson calls for the resignation of FIFA boss, Sepp Blatter - ToryDiary I Daily Mail
  • James Slack on Sepp Blatter: A dangerous clown - Daily Mail
  • Richard Norton-Taylor: 'Is William Hague spooked by rendition 'allegations'? - "It's no coincidence Hague's effusive praise for secret services comes as an intelligence inquiry is to be held – in secret" - Guardian
  • Former MI5 boss, Lady Manningham Buller "will today tell a conference that trying to cut drug abuse by declaring war on drugs has been a fruitless approach" - Times (£) ... and backs calls by some MPs and peers to legalise drugs - Telegraph
  • UNISON members vote 3-1 in favour of pension strikes - Guardian
  • According to Dan Hodges, Tintin is a Blairite: He's "a moderniser. But with a streak of conservatism. He is progressive. But no ideologue. A good European. But an ardent interventionist. Adept at manipulating the media, he moves with ease among the wealthy and the powerful." - Telegraph