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Thursday 29th December 2005

BLOGS

ToryDiary: Let's get back to The And Theory, Mr Cameron

Taxpayers_alliance_1THE ANNUAL NON-JOB REPORT FROM THE TAXPAYERS' ALLIANCE

The Sun Says:

"Amazingly the average state salary is now £35,000 — that’s £10,000 MORE than the private sector.  Many of these jobs are Mickey Mouse positions that contribute very little practical help to anyone.  Huge sums of taxpayers’ money are being sucked away from real investment in the wealth-earning private sector.  And many of our brightest young talents are tempted away from life in business or industry by the state’s cushy jobs, fat pay packets and gold-plated pensions."

Read the complete report here.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM

The Guardian: Labour proposes major overhaul of local government...

  • Scrapping of county councils;
  • Greater economic powers for cities;
  • Greater power for local authorities that themselves devolve more power to local people and neighbourhoods (modelled on French communes).

WOMEN AND EQUALITY

Telegraph: "David Cameron committed the Conservatives yesterday to a campaign to end the "scandal" of women being paid less for doing the same job as men."

May_theresa_blk_jacket_3The Independent asked a number of women to offer brief comments on equal opportunities.  Theresa May offered the following: "The thing I experienced in banking was that men were much more likely to push to have a pay rise than women. Having been involved in banking and politics I would say I was not personally conscious of discrimination in both areas, although others I know have experienced it, particularly in politics. There is still a great deal for the Conservative Party to do in terms of a fairer balance of men and women in Parliament, and David Cameron has grasped this. In Parliament, we have both transparency in pay and equal pay. In banking, it was very different, although I think things have improved."

The Times: Tony Blair set to appoint Hazel Blears to cabinet in new year resuffle.  Mr Blair is set to want a Cabinet with the most women members in history.

CHARLES KENNEDY

The LibDem leader has used a speech to attack growing inequality under Tony Blair and to respond to David Cameron's attempts to woo his supporters: "David Cameron is a Conservative at heart, not a liberal.  But what I do also detect is a shifting of the political tectonic plates - a sense that change is coming.  And when this government falls, as one day it must, I believe it is the Liberal Democrats, the genuine bearers of the liberal and democratic flame in our country, who will be most in touch with how the majority want us to respond to such inequalities and unfairness." (BBCi)

OTHER CONSERVATIVE NEWS & COMMENTARY

A leader in The Telegraph calls on Mr Cameron to act on his EPP pledge:

"Mr Cameron's integrity, as well as his party's, is now at stake. Leaving the EPP was the only unequivocal promise he made during the recent leadership campaign. Failing to deliver on the one thing he can do in opposition would make voters doubt his ability to deliver in government. Mr Cameron's critics - Ken Clarke, Douglas Hurd, Geoffrey Howe - need to understand this. So, too, do those Conservative MEPs who have found comfortable niches within the EPP, and who are reluctant to be winkled out of them."

Bob Geldof txts The Times on his Tory role: "“I will be an ad hoc, pro tem, unpaid consultant 4 about 3 hours next yr. Same as the govt, lib dems if they want it. Like we do 4 reps n dems in u.S. No diff, no big deal. I’m on hols. Go away. bg”

The Guardian: Damian Green, shadow immigration minister, urges scrapping of "useless" £70 a month registration fee for EU migrant workers from Eastern Europe.

Bourne_nickePolitix.com: "Conservative assembly leader Nick Bourne slammed the Wales secretary for "rigging" future elections through the Government of Wales Bill... Bourne said the provision disallowing constituency candidates from standing as list candidates in future assembly elections was designed to "serve Labour" not Wales."

IRAQ

ImprovingiraqOn the day on which the UN declared recent Iraq elections "valid" (New York Times) this interesting chart appeared in the  26/12 edition of Newsweek>>>


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