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30 Jun 2010 09:00:25

Weblinks for Wednesday 30th June 2010

10.45pm: Dominic Raab MP on CentreRight: Our Supreme Court should have the final say on human rights - not abdicate to Strasbourg

Screen shot 2010-06-30 at 23.01.09 6.45pm ToryDiary: Liam Fox reaffirms why British troops remain in Afghanistan and explains that their return is dependent on national security needs

6pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: Britain loses appeal in European Court - good

5.30pm ToryDiary update: Michael Howard says he is "not convinced" by Ken Clarke's prisons policy

5.15pm ToryDiary: Downing Street rubbishes claim that Cameron is "considering backing electoral reform"

4.45pm WATCH: Sky News' Joey Jones analyses the key  exchanges from today's PMQs 

Picture 133.30pm Should the burqa be banned?

1pm WATCH: Justice Secretary Ken Clarke summarises why he wants to reform the justice system

12.45pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: On engaging with the serious debate

Picture 612.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron and Harman clash over future (un)employment levels at PMQs

11.30am Parliament: “Child of Thatcher“ Chris Kelly and Enoch Powell’s Sikh successor Paul Uppal make their maiden speeches

10.30am Parliament: Banning the burqa and introducing daylight saving time are among the measures proposed in Tory MPs' Private Member's Bills

Ken Clarke pointingToryDiary: Ken Clarke's challenge to Michael Howard's legacy

International: Ten reasons why Republicans can look forward to substantial gains in November's mid-term elections

Anatole Pang on Platform: The 55% rule is right - not least because the public want fewer, not more, elections

LeftWatch: Bob Crow calls for civil disobedience and mass strikes in protest at the Government's "fiscal fascism"

Parliament: The voice of the anti-EU Tory Right will be heard on the influential new Backbench Business Committee

Local Government: Witch hunt begins for the planning officer whistleblower

WATCH: Sky News reports on the reopening of the Chilcot Inquiry after a break for the general election


Police plans anger Tory backbenchers

Theresa May Home Secretary "When senior Tories were handed the top positions at the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, the party’s MPs assumed its dominion over “law and order” was safely enshrined within the new coalition government. But since then the actions of Theresa May, the home secretary, and Ken Clarke, the justice secretary, have left anxious Tory backbenchers suspecting the Lib Dem wing has somehow acquired the upper hand." - FT

"Home Secretary Theresa May last night abolished the remnants of Labour's police targets regime. Mrs May scrapped the final target as she pledged to lift the burden of red tape from forces and preserve the front line." - Daily Mail

"If police budgets are to be cut, there are many savings that can be made before a single bobby is taken off the beat – and certainly before the unnecessary restructuring of police forces that some have demanded." - Daily Telegraph editorial

Boris wins control of the Met as police targets are scrapped - City AM

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Fewer police officers + fewer local police stations + fewer offenders going to jail = political trouble

> WATCH: Theresa May scraps Labour's police targets and calls for more visible policing

Actress Brooke Kinsella gets job as Government 'knife tsar' two years after brother Ben's death - Daily Mail

Cuts "will cost 1.3 million jobs"

Picture 1 "George Osborne's austerity budget will result in the loss of up to 1.3m jobs across the economy over the next five years according to a private Treasury assessment of the planned spending cuts, the Guardian has learned. Unpublished estimates of the impact of the biggest squeeze on public spending since the second world war show that the government is expecting between 500,000 and 600,000 jobs to go in the public sector and between 600,000 and 700,000 to disappear in the private sector by 2015." - The Guardian

Coalition scraps "bloated regional quangos"

"The government said on Tuesday it was allocating £1 billion over two years to a regional growth fund, less than half amount spent now on nine local development agencies the coalition has pledged to scrap." - Reuters

> Matt Sinclair on CentreRight yesterday: Why we don't need the RDAs, and we don't need regions

Was yesterday's Cabinet trip to Yorkshire worth it?

"Two years ago, the Tories poured deep scorn on Labour's PR gimmick of holding cabinet meetings in provincial cities. Taking a 'day trip' wouldn't solve any of the country's problems, they said. The Daily Mail has huge respect for the people of Yorkshire. But was it really necessary for David Cameron to squander £100,000 on yesterday's cabinet away day in Bradford?" - Daily Mail editorial

> WATCH: David Cameron takes Cabinet to Bradford to launch regional growth initiative

Ken Clarke first off the blocks with departmental cuts

"Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, is expected to play a key role in deciding where spending cuts will fall in other government departments after impressing the Treasury with his own cost-cutting plans... The Chancellor, George Osborne, will offer ministers who agree their budgets a place in the Cabinet "star chamber" to resolve disputes over the average 25 per cent cuts demanded of all departments except health and international development." - The Independent

Clarke to overhaul judicial appointments system - The Times (£)

Cameron: Lib Dems are not being taken for a ride

Nick Clegg David Cameron Downing Street "Prime Minister David Cameron has rode to the defence of his deputy Nick Clegg, denying that the Liberal Democrat leader had "sold out" to join the coalition Government... "This is a partnership Government," he said in an interview with Real Radio in Yorkshire. "I want people who voted Liberal Democrat to know, not that they are being taken for a ride in some way - they are absolutely not. I don't take steps without consulting with Nick, we work very, very closely together." - Press Association

"We cannot be certain that the Liberal Democrats’ left wing will eventually kill off the coalition but we do know that Conservative MPs — however nutty — would never vote against their government in a motion of confidence. So Mr Cameron has been forced to trade the security of a full Parliament in office for the short-term convenience of being able to ignore his backbench awkward squad." - Tim Montgomerie in The Times (£)

> Last night's ToryDiary: "David Cameron's good fortune was not to have won the election"

David Cameron agrees terms to UK torture inquiry

"David Cameron and the foreign secretary, William Hague, are understood to have agreed the terms of a judge-led inquiry into claims that British security services were complicit in torture of terrorism suspects." - The Guardian

Royal Mail will be sold off

Royal Mail logo "Postmen are to be given stakes in Royal Mail under radical Government plans to sell it off this year. Ministers plan to transform the ailing firm into a John Lewis-style trust, like the department store whose employees are 'partners', owning shares and receiving annual dividends based on its profits. The offer will dramatically undermine attempts by militant trade union leaders to persuade staff to oppose the privatisation, which is expected to be the biggest in Britain for two decades." - Daily Mail

David Cameron will back down in fight with EU, say officials

"David Cameron will break his promise not to transfer powers to Brussels by yielding to plans for an EU "economic government" and City regulation, senior European officials have predicted." - Daily Telegraph

Boris Johnson defeats Parliament Square peace camp

"A High Court judge has ruled that peace protesters camping in Parliament Square must be evicted by 1600 BST on Friday... Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who brought the action, said the camp caused "considerable damage" and added that he was "pleased" with the ruling." - BBC

Michael Gove pledges continued support for Holocaust Educational Trust's school trips to Auschwitz - Daily Mirror

Lord Ashcroft tells Parliament he no longer heads Belize bank - Daily Telegraph

Cameron to visit India at end of July - Times of India

Strike threat as BBC moves to cut pension bill by a third - The Times (£)

Ex-MPs in court over expenses want to be tried by Parliament, not the courts - The Guardian

How Defra spent £51,000 on promotional goodies - The Sun

And finally... Tory Minister reportedly calls Speaker Bercow a "sanctimonious dwarf"

Speaker Bercow 2010 "Health Minister Simon Burns allegedly made the comment during Health Questions. The minister had made the mistake of addressing his answers during the session directly to a backbencher, instead of addressing the Chair, as is custom. The Speaker intervened and warned Mr Burns that he should always address his remarks through him and not to turn his back on the Chair... Mr Burns was then heard by other MPs in the chamber to heckle Mr Bercow, prompting a complaint from Ian Paisley Junior about his behaviour." - Sky News


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29 Jun 2010 08:57:00

Weblinks for Tuesday 29th June 2010

10.30pm ToryDiary: "David Cameron's good fortune was not to have won the election"

BBC-robot7.30pm Martin Sewell on CentreRight: The BBC's regressive licence fee should not survive these indebted times

7.15pm WATCH: Theresa May scraps Labour's police targets and calls for more visible policing

4.45pm WATCH: Nick Clegg lists the ways in which the Coalition plans to spread wealth, growth and jobs across whole of UK

3.15pm Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: Why we don't need the RDAs, and we don't need regions

Screen shot 2010-06-29 at 14.30.59 2.30pm ToryDiary: Fewer police officers + fewer local police stations + fewer offenders going to jail = political trouble

1.15pm WATCH: David Cameron takes Cabinet to Bradford to launch regional growth initiative

Noon Mark Wallace on CentreRight: The "Industry Awards" scam

10am ToryDiary: What do you think of the Budget? What are the Coalition's best achievements so far? Who is performing well in the Cabinet?

ToryDiary: Migrant workers must have private medical insurance, insists Theresa May

15things ToryDiary: George Osborne, the gambler let loose in the Treasury

David Cowan on Platform: How to get credit flowing into Britain’s deprived areas

Local government: Whistleblower account of life in a Council's Planning Department

Martin Parsons on CentreRight: Defending coastal areas against erosion and flooding

Cameron takes Cabinet to Yorkshire for meeting on regional growth - BBC

Clegg to replace Regional Development Agencies and Cable to scrap aid to motor industry

"Nick Clegg will announce tomorrow that the London Development Agency and the eight regional development agencies, which, together, cost the taxpayer more than £1.5 billion, will be replaced by “local enterprise partnerships”. - Times (£)

Screen shot 2010-06-29 at 07.38.45 "Vince Cable, business secretary, said on Monday the car industry was no longer in an “emergency” situation, warning manufacturers that they could no longer count on direct government support." - FT

David Cameron: The world doesn't owe us a living

"Bringing down the deficit, making work pay and becoming a magnet for investment will ‘help Britain earn its living in the decades to come’ and ensure the country’s place at the ‘top table’, [Cameron] said." - Metro

Keynesianism is out of fashion in London; 'Good' says Rupert Darwell in the Wall Street Journal

Nuclear power, low taxation and ruthless cuts top CEOs’ wishlist - Times (£)

Cameron seeks low-budget G8

"After being unimpressed by the expensive 'circus' in Canada [Cameron] suggested the [G8] gathering is held in tandem with another event - such as a Nato or UN summit - to save cash... The weekend gathering of world leaders in Muskoka and Toronto has cost Canada £645million. The G8 is held annually and is attended by eight of the world's most powerful heads of government - those of the UK, U.S., Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada." - Daily Mail

Police chief warns of big cuts in beat police officers if Home Office budget is slashed

Security "Sir Hugh [Orde], president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, will say that “critical duties” may be threatened by cuts of up to a third in the Home Office budget. The warning – originally given in private notes inadvertently sent to The Daily Telegraph – is the first time a senior officer has suggested in such a bald way that traditional “bobbies on the beat” are under threat from the unprecedented cut in public services." - Telegraph

Nick Herbert admits 'substantial cuts' in police funding - PoliticsHome

"A former Canadian Prime Minister cast doubt yesterday on the British Government’s plans to protect favoured departments from its deficit cutting plan, by revealing that the secret of a successful austerity programme was to have no exemptions." - Times (£)

Budget passes after only two Liberal Democrats rebel

"The coalition faced its first rebellion last night when two Liberal Democrat MPs voted against a budget proposal to increase VAT to 20%. Bob Russell and Mike Hancock voted with Labour to oppose the increase, which has alarmed many Lib Dems who warned during the election of a Tory VAT "bombshell". To shouts of "shame" from the Labour benches, the 2.5% increase in VAT from January was backed by 346 to 270, majority 76. " - Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: How last week's Budget could have been a lot more radical

The Liberal Democrats slip 5% in new poll - Independent | Yesterday's ToryDiary

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: The Liberal Democrats will always be condemned to coalitions?

"If Lib Dems don't like Osborne's cuts, would they have been happier supporting Blair's wars? No, as Disraeli's contemporary Bismarck more truly said, politics is the art of the possible." - Geoffrey Wheatcroft in The Guardian

Melanie Phillips attacks Cameron's lack of commitment to Afghanistan

PHILLIPS-MELANIE "Cameron’s remark that he wanted British troops out of Afghanistan by 2015 was a shockingly stupid and irresponsible statement which has yet again undermined the coalition’s troops in Afghanistan, just as Obama did by announcing America would start withdrawing next year. As anyone with even a passing knowledge of warfare or just an iota of common sense knows, to announce your departure date is to signal to the enemy that you are halfway out the door and all they have to do is sit it out until you have left -- because what you have just announced you are not going to is to fight until they are defeated." - Melanie Phillips, Spectator

Up to £10 million to be spent on schools Olympics - Reuters

"Let’s bury forever the idea that losing a sports competition is an assault on children’s self-esteem. Low self-esteem does not come from losing; it comes from not being emotionally equipped to deal with disappointments and setbacks. The point of competitive sport is to help provide that emotional ballast. To allow young people to experience competition in a structured, rules-based environment, and learn how to treat Kipling’s “two imposters” – triumph and disaster – “just the same.”" - Jeremy Hunt's speech at launch of initiative (PDF)

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Gove and Hunt plan 'Schools Olympics' in bid to revive UK sport

David Cameron under pressure to review Labour's interrogation guidelines - Guardian

Screen shot 2010-06-29 at 08.59.13 Shirking fathers should lose their benefits, says Frank Field - Guardian

Two leading articles analyse Coalition moves on welfare reform: The Telegraph identifies "coherence" in government plans but the FT warns against "balancing the books on the backs of vulnerable Britons".

Tories offer SNP seat on the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee - Herald

Tony Blair hopes Cameron government will hold off-the-record discussions with former Labour ministers to learn what had worked and what didn't - Guardian

Iraq inquiry resumes after election break - BBC

Rachel Sylvester: The unions are nudging Labour towards the Left

"There are already signs that the potentially critical role of the unions is distorting the policy debate in the Labour leadership contest. There has been a slow but sure tack to the left. Most dangerously, Labour seems to be stuck in a time warp on the economy. None of the leadership contenders has put forward a serious programme for deficit reduction or acknowledged the need for greater spending cuts." - Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)

More than 150 peers have been claiming a £174 tax-free overnight allowance for staying in London, despite owning a property there - BBC


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

28 Jun 2010 08:57:33

Weblinks for Monday 28th June 2010

10pm ToryDiary: Another poll confirms that the Budget hurt the Liberal Democrats

6pm WATCH: Jeremy Hunt apologises after connecting football hooliganism with the Hillsborough tragedy

Missing5 3pm ToryDiary: Last week's Budget could have been a lot more radical

1.15pm ToryDiary: Does Francis Maude still plan to appoint BP's Lord Browne as a Whitehall chief?

1.15pm Mark Wallace on CentreRight: The Bully State is alive and well

11.15am WATCH: Theresa May tells Sky News about Coalition plans for an immigration cap

4736508779_a695e3ece5 ToryDiary: "New kid on the block" - David Cameron - enjoys a perfect start on the international stage

Also on ToryDiary: Gove and Hunt plan 'Schools Olympics' in bid to revive UK sport

Nigel Jones on Platform: How long will the Coalition last? History suggests that a Liberal split is likely

Bring Council staff contracts into the open says Mark Wallace on Local government blog.

Also in Local government: DCLG's £72,614 tranquility rooms

Chris Grayling will take claimants off higher rate of benefits if tests reveal they are fit to do some work - Guardian

GRAYLING CHRIS NW "Incapacity benefit, which is worth between £68.95 and £91.40 a week, is paid to individuals under retirement age who are judged to be too ill to work. The length of time claimants have been too ill to work determines their level of benefit." - Times (£)

"Chris Grayling and Lord Freud, the employment and welfare reform ministers, are to launch a charm offensive in the City to get big financial institutions to invest hundreds of millions in the government’s welfare-to-work programme." - FT

Daily Mail: Moving the jobless from unemployment blackspots is a smart move

"Iain Duncan Smith's proposal to give unemployed workers help to resettle, and perhaps ensure they are put at the top of the council housing list in their new location, should be applauded by all as a common sense approach to a delicate problem." - Daily Mail leader

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Iain Duncan Smith wants to help council tenants escape jobless cities

Theresa May to unveil migrant cap today after concessions to Vince Cable

MAY-THERESA "The clampdown is said to have been watered down in heated Cabinet debates led by the Lib Dem’s Business Secretary Vince Cable. Home Secretary Theresa May has denied this and will today announce that only 24,100 workers from outside the EU will be allowed into the UK in the next nine months." - Express

"Clamping down on workers is illogical. They provide the most unambiguous economic benefit to the UK. The cap threatens to deprive global industries of the skills they need, undermining the idea that the UK is “open for business”. It also fits poorly with the coalition’s foreign policy aims – of establishing closer relationships with rising powers such as Brazil and India." - FT leader

Lord Lawson leads calls to end ringfencing of NHS budget - Daily Mail

"Care on the NHS is already being affected by redundancies, recruitment freezes and service cutbacks despite the Government’s pledge to protect frontline healthcare from severe curbs on spending, new research suggests. Many hospitals are planning job cuts, while access to some treatments is being restricted in an attempt to save money, according to a survey by the British Medical Association of local staff organisations." - Times (£)

Tories will veto EU scheme to stop sale of eggs by the dozen - Daily Mail

Four Liberal Democrat MPs protest against VAT hike to 20% - Guardian

Cable rejects call from Lib Dems to rethink VAT plans - Independent

> A YouGov poll found that 52% of voters opposed the VAT increase, 38% supported it

Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire will fast-track bans on new 'woof woof' drugs - The Sun

Paul Maynard: Protect special schools

Paul-Maynard-profile-shot-300x282 "Britain's first MP with cerebral palsy has made an impassioned plea to the Government not to close special schools in its overhaul of the education system. Paul Maynard, the Conservative MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said he hopes to inspire other people with disabilities to pursue a career in politics. Mr Maynard believes he is the first MP to spend time in a special school, where he received speech therapy for two years and physiotherapy to help him walk. In an interview with The Independent, he said he had faced ignorance about his condition from a young age, but had been determined to rise above the taunts. "There will always be people who will use it against you and you have to learn to deal with that," he said."

Salmond delays plans to hold referendum on Scottish independence until next year - Times (£)

Kevin Rudd's demise is a warning to Labour's leadership candidates who threaten taxes on 'the rich' - Times leader (£)

The unhappy existence of an ex-Prime Minister - Julian Glover in The Guardian

The majority of violent inner-city crime is committed by black men, against black men

"One black politician said the black community needed to face up to major challenges. Shaun Bailey, a Tory election candidate in London and charity worker, said: 'The community has to look at itself and say that, at the end of the day, these figures suggest we are heavily - not casually - involved in violent crime. We are also involved in crime against ourselves - and we regularly attack each other.'" - Daily Mail

Wolfgang Münchau: Only a closer union can save the eurozone

"The eurozone will need to commit itself to a full-blown fiscal union and proper political institutions that give binding macroeconomic instructions to member states for budgetary policy, financial policy and structural policies. The public and private sector imbalances are so immense that they are not self-correcting. And you have to be very naive to think that peer pressure is going to resolve anything." - Wolfgang Münchau in the FT

And finally... Merkel apologises for disallowed goal

Cameron&Merkel "The German chancellor watched the second half of the World Cup game with the prime minister while attending the G20 summit in Toronto, Canada. ‘Angela Merkel conceded that the second goal was definitely in and said sorry,’ said a source close to the prime minister." - Metro


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27 Jun 2010 08:53:18

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