Teatime newslinks for Friday 16th December
DAVID CAMERON'S KING JAMES BIBLE SPEECH
- "David Cameron today attacked a "slow-motion moral collapse" in Britain and called for a revival of traditional Christian values. In a keynote speech, he condemned a growing "do as you please" culture in which people, including political leaders, increasingly feared criticising the bad choices of others. "Whether you look at the riots last summer, the financial crash and the expenses scandal or the on-going terrorist threat from Islamist extremists around the world, one thing is clear," said the Prime Minister. "Moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn't going to cut it any more."" - Evening Standard
FELTHAM AND HESTON REACTION
- ToryDiary: The nothing-in-it-for-anyone by-election
- Lord Ashcroft on Comment: The Conservative leadership knows better than to push Europe up the campaigning agenda
- "This byelection result was little more than an unsurprising Labour victory in a Labour area. The opinion polls, as we know, show more comprehensively what people think of the ‘progress’ that Labour is making under Ed Miliband's leadership. And it's far from a vote of confidence." - The Spectator's Peter Hoskin
- "Politically, this result is meaningless. Labour didn't do well enough for this to count as a vote of confidence in Ed Miliband's leadership and the Conservative candidate didn't do poorly enough to cause David Cameron any sleepless nights." - Toby Young
- WATCH: Baroness Warsi: "Labour were always expected to do well, this was a seat they'd held for many, many years"
- WATCH: Ed Miliband: "This by-election offers a verdict on the Government's failed economic plan"
- "France's economy is in better shape than the U.K.'s, Finance Minister Francois Baroin said... "It's true the economic situation of the U.K. is very worrying, and one prefers to be French than British in terms of the economy at the moment," Mr. Baroin said on French radio station Europe 1." - WSJ
- "Mr Cameron has also denied claims that relations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy have been strained by his refusal to sign up to the EU-wide treaty last week." - BBC
- "It is tempting to answer fire with fire, but perhaps on this occasion we should keep shtum, give a rueful smile, and hope that the French wake up and realise that if either of us goes down, the other will suffer too. France needs our confidence. Unity is, as M Sarkozy should remember, vital to survival." - Benedict Brogan
- David Cameron hits back: In a speech today, he said: "Many people tell me it is much easier to be Jewish or Muslim here in Britain than it is in a secular country like France." - PolHome (£)
- France v Britain: a history of cross-Channel slanging matches - Guardian
- "Italy's technocratic government won a confidence vote in the lower house Friday, a victory for Prime Minister Mario Monti as he seeks to pass a €20 billion ($26.03 billion) austerity package." - WSJ Europe
- Andrew Lilico on our Columnists Page: Further thoughts on a currency union with Ireland
OTHER TORY & POLITICAL NEWS
- "A Tory MP has been given the green light to sue the Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers for libel over allegations he bullied a female colleague." - Guardian
- "The government rewrites plans to change the support available for patients undergoing cancer treatment following criticism from charities." - BBC
- "British-born author, literary critic and journalist Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62." - BBC
- His brother Peter pays tribute: "The one word that comes to mind when I think of my brother is ‘courage’. By this I don’t mean the lack of fear which some people have, which enables them to do very dangerous or frightening things because they have no idea what it is to be afraid. I mean a courage which overcomes real fear, while actually experiencing it."