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30 Sep 2010 09:00:02

Weblinks for Thursday 30th September 2010

9.15pm WATCH: Harriet Harman closes Labour's Conference

8.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron beats Ed Miliband by 47% to 20% as preferred PM

6pm WATCH: David Cameron talks about brotherly love after Miliband contest

4.30pm Local government: DCLG publish spending over £500 for '08-'09

ROBINSON NICK BIG BEN3pm ToryDiary: Paxman, Robinson, Maitlais, Naughtie and 28 other BBC journalists warn the NUJ about striking during next week's Conservative Conference

2.30pm Seats and Candidates: Two new candidates adopted to contest Holyrood seats

1.15pm Two new posts on ToryDiary:

1pm James Norman on CentreRight: Upgrading our Armed Forces

12.30pm WATCH: Harriet Harman explains that her Iraq comment to David Miliband was "a little aside"

BOLES-COLOUR ToryDiary: Nicholas Boles MP proposes that non-EU migrants pay a surety deposit, that some EU migrants should be told to leave Britain, and that no immigrants should be eligible for social housing until five years after arrival

Julie Iles on Platform: Why Britain needs a rehabilitation revolution

Local Government:

Two new posts in Seats and Candidates:

LeftWatch: The ten vulnerabilities of Red Ed

WATCH: Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet headache

Whitehall mole hunt over Fox letter leak

FOX LIAM SMILING "The Defence Secretary Liam Fox is among those to be interviewed by police after an investigation was launched into how a letter he wrote to the Prime Minister, warning of the effect budget cuts would have on national security, was leaked to a newspaper... following its publication yesterday, the Ministry of Defence Police were called in to investigate the leak. About 30 MoD officers searched the departmental headquarters on Whitehall, seizing paperwork and examining computers." - The Independent

"The Daily Telegraph understands that senior military commanders are privately pleased at the Defence Secretary's letter to the Prime Minister warning against cuts in the Forces. Dr Fox has also received public support from senior military figures for his letter... The show of support for Dr Fox forced Downing Street to insist it backed the Defence Secretary, despite the private anger the minister's intervention caused among the Prime Minister's allies." - Daily Telegraph

"Fox is worried because influential voices in Whitehall are questioning plans to build two large aircraft carriers for the navy and Cameron is listening to them.Dumping the carrier project – which with expensive US Joint Strike Fighters flying from them could cost £15bn – would help solve the MoD's immediate problems, officials said today. If the carriers do go ahead, the navy will have to abandon plans for new frigates and sell off other ships including amphibious vessels, according to defence officials. Add savings from scrapping RAF Tornado and Harrier jets and Fox would be well on his way." - Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian

"Sir Richard Dannatt, who advised Mr Cameron on defence before the election, said the cuts risked undermining Britain's status on the world stage and could damage morale...Reacting to the publication of the letter today, Sir Richard said the Army could not be cut while engaged in such a difficult operation as Afghanistan, adding that dropping plans for two new £6billion aircraft carriers could leave Britain's vital sea lanes under-defended, but suggested that the RAF might have to lose some of its fighter jets." - Daily Telegraph

"The possibility of a "shared" UK-French nuclear deterrent is set to be on the agenda of a summit between David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy in London this autumn. A politically explosive proposal for joint Franco-British nuclear-submarine patrols – an idea sunk without trace in the recent past – has been brought back to the surface by the draconian defence cuts in both countries." - The Independent

"I expect the defence department and the Treasury to reach an agreement nearer the deadline, probably with the steadying hand of the prime minister helping...It may be that the early runs have been too tough on defence. This letter and meetings that follow may result in more money being found. My guess is there will be a happy ending for all the main protagonists. It would be a bad mistake for the Treasury to push Fox over the edge, and a bad mistake for Fox to refuse to make sensible economies in a department that has its own inefficiencies." - John Redwood, The Guardian

> Yesterday -

Bankers are left in the cold by Cameron's brains trust

CAMERON-SIGNING "Downing Street appeared to be snubbing the banking industry yesterday as it finalised a 16-strong panel of corporate grandees to advise the Prime Minister on business matters. While manufacturing, construction, utilities, retailing and small businesses are well represented, no one from the banking industry or insurance has appeared on the provisional list. David Cameron’s planned council of business advisers includes many listed company chiefs, including Sir Michael Rake of BT and easyJet, Sam Laidlaw of Centrica, Paul Walsh of Diageo, Justin King of Sainsbury and Dick Olver of BAE Systems." - The Times (£)

Cabinet Office to simplify supply process

"Companies that supply the public sector would deal with central government as a single customer rather than a range of different departments under a streamlined procurement process being considered by Francis Maude. The Cabinet Office minister is expected to discuss the proposals on Thursday with executives from 34 of the state’s biggest contractors. Although the plans are at an early stage, Mr Maude believes that a cross-government approach to procurement may be more efficient than at present, when the process is handled by individual departments." - Financial Times (£)

Ed Miliband sacks Gordon Brown's Chief Whip and is attacked by the Daily Mail...

"Labour chief whip Nick Brown today withdrew from the election to retain his position after being asked to stand aside by new leader Ed Miliband...Brown, a key acolyte of former prime minister Gordon Brown intended to run in the contest, which sits alongside the shadow cabinet elections. But he wrote to Miliband to say he would comply with the request, made at a meeting of the pair earlier today. Miliband's request is the latest move in his bid to "detoxify" Labour and move on from the New Labour era." - The Guardian

"Ed Miliband has become the latest Labour leader to say he does not believe in God. The new party leader followed the example of Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot in declaring his lack of faith. "I don’t believe in God personally but I have great respect for those people who do," he told Radio Five Live. Mr Miliband announced his atheism despite making much of his family’s Jewish origins in his keynote speech at the party conference and citing his parents’ escape from Nazi-occupied Europe to Britain as the reason for his involvement in politics." - Daily Mail

...While the commentators queue up to give their view of Labour's new leader...

Screen shot 2010-09-30 at 08.47.01 "In public, of course, Mr Miliband is presenting himself as the champion of nicer, gentler policies, using his gangly youthfulness to chide those who dismiss him as Red Ed or Forrest Gump. This, he believes, is in tune with the collaborative politics of coalition, and the smarter Tories inside Downing Street know that kind of language has resonance. This is why, as they head for Birmingham, the Conservatives need to think hard." - Ben Brogan, Daily Telegraph

"There is another irony. In ruthlessly highlighting Labour's mistakes, Ed makes possible a realignment of the centre-left, the original objective of Tony Blair and David when he worked for him in the mid-1990s. In a way that has been underestimated, Ed's speech was framed to reach out to the Liberal Democrats. Over the summer I asked an ally of Nick Clegg's who of the candidates he thought the Liberal Democrats might be able to work with. The ally said Ed Miliband." - Steve Richards, The Independent

"My desire was to be able to say that I liked [Ed Miliband's speech], thus joining with all those on the Centre Left who now have to hitch their rickety wagons to Ed’s engine...But the more I looked at it, the more I worried about it...What was remarkable to me were the passages suggesting three very concerning traits in Mr M and his speech-writing staff. The first was an almost perverse desire not to lead. The second was a dangerous ignorance about the world and the immediate past. And the third was a ruthless carelessness about what you might call the “collateral damage” likely to be caused by expedient political positioning." - David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)

"Supergeek arrived on the platform and was grilled by Eddie Izzard. It was a light grilling. The law of the nonsensical reverse was invoked.  Ed said some curious things. "Too many Labour party meetings begin with the minutes of the last meeting," he said sternly. What were they supposed to have instead? Minutes of the next meeting?" - Simon Hoggart, The Guardian

"[David Miliband's] departure leaves Labour with a serious problem. After all, more than half the party’s MPs, MEPs and ordinary members preferred David to Ed – and if it hadn’t been for the unions’ money and muscle, he would be leader today. And though the geeky brothers may seem alike, the elder represents a New Labour approach, quite distinct from Ed’s student-union socialism – and more palatable to middle-class voters. With David gone, who on the front bench is to speak up for these hard-working taxpayers, whose support is essential if Labour is to return to power? A glance down today’s list of has-beens and nobodies standing in the Shadow Cabinet elections will fill Labour well-wishers with despair." - Daily Mail Editorial

...who doesn't take off in the opinion polls

"Labour has lurched to the left under Red Ed Miliband, say 45 per cent of people in a Sun poll. The party has lost its lead over the Tories. Labour support slipped from 40 per cent to 39 per cent as the Tories rose from 39 to 41." - The Sun

Ed Balls: room for the big beast?

Ed Balls "Ed Balls is emerging as the biggest personality in the Labour team. His leadership campaign may have bombed, but he has become an outstandingly good speaker with a powerful sense of what he wants to say – as he showed in his conference speech. He has been overlooked in the drama between the Miliband brothers...One of the most interesting aspects of the shadow cabinet elections, not always readily interpreted because of the bizarre process of alliances of convenience, is whether his colleagues are ready to forgive and forget his long years as Brown's representative on earth." - Anne Perkins, The Guardian

Labour Party abandons ballot-tampering enquiry - The Guardian

> Yesterday -

LeftWatch: Ed Miliband's £1,373 tax bombshell

LeftWatch: David Miliband's departure is Ed Miliband's opportunity

Jeremy Brier on CentreRight: Labour's back! (In the Unions' pockets)

Steve Baker MP on CentreRight: The comrades are confused about capitalism - they shouldn't be

Britons training in Pakistan for UK terror attacks - Daily Telegraph

Ireland's police chief warns of terror threat to mainland Britain - The Guardian

Banks hit by 7000 complaints a day - Daily Mail

Seven out of ten people in Britain describe themselves as Christian - The Times (£)

Benefit cheats in £230 million loan scam - The Sun

Former Conservative peer denies falsely claiming £24,300 in expenses scandal - The Times (£)

Treasury to probe high-frequency trading - Financial Times (£)

BNP expels Richard Barnbrook - The Guardian

And finally...Ed Miliband was Matthew Parris's research assistant

PARRIS MATTHEW "About Mr Ed I’ve always had the impression — and was reminded of it again in his conference speech in Manchester this week — that he is one of those North London Labour intellectuals who find it genuinely difficult to believe that there could exist people of sound mind and humane instincts outside the circle of light in which the intelligent Centre Left feel they are bathed. In the surrounding darkness there can only be (they suppose) fools or, worse, knaves. When they meet us they tend to pay what they honestly mean as a compliment: “I can’t believe you’re really a Tory,” they say. And they can’t. It is beyond their imagination." - The Times (£)


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29 Sep 2010 08:58:53

Weblinks for Wednesday 29th September 2010

8.45pm LeftWatch: Ed Miliband's £1,373 tax bombshell

7.30pm WATCH: David Miliband quits frontline politics

5.15pm LeftWatch: David Miliband's departure is Ed Miliband's opportunity

2.45pm Jeremy Brier on CentreRight: Labour's back! (In the Unions' pockets)

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 14.35.24 2.15pm WATCH: Andrew Neil catches out Hazel Blears over "wicked and malicious" claims

1.45pm Roger Helmer MEP on CentreRight: Tax competition between states is good

12.30pm Local Government: A reality check on Ken Livingstone's Labour Conference speech

Noon WATCH Tony Benn falls asleep while listening to Gillian Duffy (of Gordon Brown fame)

10.30am The Lurcher on CentreRight: Four actions to build confidence in the Defence Review

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 08.31.47 ToryDiary: The Liam Fox letter row - David Cameron can either shelter Departmental budgets or reduce the deficit.  He can't do both

Brandon Lewis MP on Platform: Politicians should not fear the localist agenda of giving more real powers to local authorities

Local Government: Cllr Ravi Govindia - How to boost the private rented sector

Two new posts on CentreRight:


David Davis says that the Government must make the case for growth

DAVIS DAVID pointing "In a speech today, hosted by the Legatum Institute free-market think-tank, he will say that although it’s vital to slash the national debt that was bequeathed by the Labour ­government, there must be a parallel plan to create jobs and prosperity. Unless the Coalition charts a clear way to ­economic growth, he will say it risks being pulled down by a ‘Leftish backlash’ and by a relentless barrage of negative headlines about ‘Tory cuts’." - Daily Mail

Hunt's plan to put the local back into TV

"The Culture Secretary told members of the Royal Television Society that the TV industry was "deeply, desperately centralised". He called the regional news broadcasts "token" and said they had been increasingly stretched across vast geographical areas. The Government wants this to change. "The idea that somehow the UK can't sustain local TV will seem very quaint when compared to other countries," he said. The US has six local channels even in small cities, There are 100 such broadcasters in France and 80 in Sweden." - The Independent

Development funds shore up British Council

"In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Mitchell said DfID was spending about £40m in this financial year to help pay for a number of British Council projects that are at present funded by the Foreign Office. However, he insisted that he was funding only British Council projects that involved legitimate development work, as defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development." - Financial Times (£)

Northern Ireland Ministers discuss cuts with George Osborne

"First Minister Peter Robinson said the two leaders had reiterated the need for the government to substantively support Northern Ireland's efforts to grow the private sector. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness warned there would be, what he called, an almost immediate impact on the wider economy in Northern Ireland if huge cuts to the block grant were introduced." - RTE

David Miliband expected to quit Shadow the commentators pore over Ed Miliband's speech

MILIBAND DAVID David Miliband is expected to leave frontline politics today by declining to serve in his brother’s Shadow Cabinet. The former Foreign Secretary is understood to have decided that he cannot remain on Labour’s front bench without providing a huge distraction to Ed Miliband’s leadership.He left the Manchester Central convention centre immediately after his younger brother’s speech yesterday to return to London. It is thought that he will not submit his name for election to the Shadow Cabinet — nominations for which close at 5pm today. - The Times (£)

"As 40-year-old Ed attempted to turn the page on New Labour by declaring that a ‘new generation’ had taken over and insisting it had been ‘wrong to take Britain to war’, his brother sat stony-faced in the front row.  David, 45, then turned to the party’s deputy leader Harriet Harman, who was applauding enthusiastically, and sniped: ‘You voted for it, why are you clapping?’  A stunned Miss Harman hit back: ‘I’m clapping because he is the leader, and as you know, I’m supporting him.’ " - Daily Mail

"Campaign aides say he is still angry at the way Ed Miliband used the Iraq war as an issue to score political points against him...David Miliband has been weighing up whether to continue to serve in the shadow cabinet under his younger brother. His decision will have to be made today, to coincide with the closure of nominations for the new shadow cabinet elections. He is widely expected not to stand with friends citing the distraction his presence could cause for Ed Miliband as the reason, but yesterday’s rift over Iraq looks to have made that decision almost inevitable" - Daily Telegraph

"I don’t, however, think [Ed Miliband] much likes or understands people who voted for David Cameron. He regards supporting the Conservatives as a very odd thing to do. He gives you — and I am not the only person to experience this — a sort of compassionate but rather irritated look, as if you are a bit dim, perhaps, and certainly a great disappointment to him.I suspect that this incomprehension will be reciprocated. And it will prove a big problem for him, one that he will struggle to overcome." - Danny Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 08.50.39 "And even before Miliband E made his speech yesterday, promising unity and moderation, one knew what his game was. A new leader of the Labour Party does not agree to write a piece for The Sunday Telegraph to mark his first full day in his post unless he appreciates (however crudely) the importance of sucking up to Middle England...But Miliband E and his supporters in the parliamentary party are aware of how exposed he is because of the mark of the unions upon him, and his lack of support in the old shadow cabinet and scarcity of support in the Commons." - Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph

"The threat to David Cameron's coalition government this week depends not on the new Labour leader, Ed Miliband. It depends on how far Miliband can exploit the politics of recession. The Tories can heap any amount of abuse on "Red Ed" – or now mildly pink Ed – but it will be just hot air if the economy returns to a halt under the weight of George Osborne's squeeze." - Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

"Apart from a few worrying pauses, Mr Miliband managed to get through the thing without a serious mishap. So far, so all right.  But for a man who has been a political groupie nearly all his adult life, for a former Cabinet minister, for a London brahmin who barged into the leadership election to mug his unfortunate brother, one hoped for greater drive and sense of mission." - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Reddy, Ed? - The Sun

> Yesterday on LeftWatch: Only 36% of voters think "weird" Ed Miliband is up to the job of being PM

Women could make up half the Shadow Cabinet

"New Labour rules guarantee that a minimum of six of the 19 elected places will go to women in next week's contest. But they could gain as many as eight or nine positions following the new Labour leader's intervention. With places reserved for Harriet Harman, the deputy leader, and Baroness Royall, Labour's leader in the Lords, 10 or 11 of Mr Miliband's Shadow Cabinet colleagues could be female." - The Independent

Hague should beware friendship with Moscow

HAGUE GREY "As Britain's foreign secretary, William Hague, prepares to follow the Obama administration in attempting a "reset" of relations with Russia, this latter thought is worth holding on to. For all the talk of modernisation, reform and defeating corruption, the fiefdom of the so-called "power tandem" – prime minister Vladimir Putin and president Dmitry Medvedev – remains a very foreign land of dark forests, hidden currents and murky deeds." - Simon Tisdall, The Guardian

"Mumbai style" terror attacks planned on UK, France and Germany are foiled - Daily Mail

Why Ken Livingstone still wants to be Mayor of London - Hugh Muir, The Guardian

Chris Huhne on the future of wind - Financial Times (£)

Tony Abbott not sure about Conservative Conference trip - Sydney Morning Herald


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28 Sep 2010 08:56:09

Weblinks for Tuesday 28th September 2010

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 22.15.35 10.30pm ToryDiary: In strongly-worded letter to David Cameron, Liam Fox warns against "impossible" cuts to the armed forces

6.30pm WATCH: Ed Miliband starts his Conference speech with tribute to his defeated brother

4.30pm Local government:

4Kirby-Jill.15pm Jill Kirby on CentreRight: Ed Miliband's curious failure to register as the father of his first child is surprising in all sorts of ways...

4.15pm Local government: Can local TV boost local democracy?

3.30pm LeftWatch: Key points from Ed Miliband's speech to the Labour Conference

Noon Paul Goodman on CentreRight: It's time for Charles Farr, Whitehall's top security adviser, to move on rapidly

10.30am Alex Deane on CentreRight is pleased that the ugly Southbank Centre has been refused Heritage status... for the third time

9.30am ToryDiary: George Osborne needs a bolder plan to stop businesses quitting Britain

LeftWatch: Only 36% of voters think "weird" Ed Miliband is up to the job of being PM

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 08.57.32 Also on LeftWatch: Paul Goodman drafts the speech that Ed Miliband should make at Labour's Conference today

Aaron Ellis on Platform: Cameron must decide how Afghanistan fits into our grand strategy

Dan Lewis on ThinkTankCentral: Making Space Britain's new frontier and looking beyond Europe

On Local government: Wirral Council cracks down on staff mobile phone costs and Buckinghamshire Council responds to questions about its Heterosexuality quiz

WATCH: Labour isolated says George Osborne after IMF backs his approach to deficit

IMF gives strong backing to George Osborne's deficit strategy

"George Osborne has good reason to feel chuffed. The economic 'Ofsted report' by a team of high-powered experts from the International Monetary Fund has wholeheartedly backed his budgetary strategy of cutting hard, early and aggressively." - Alex Brummer in the Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The IMF provides big boost to George Osborne (...and the BBC agrees)

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants a local TV revolution

HUNT JEREMY NW "Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to call for a new "landscape of local TV services" in towns and villages around the UK. In a speech to the Royal Television Society, he will set out his vision of stations "broadcasting for as little as one hour a day"." - BBC

Local TV would be as prominent as BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Five in the electronic programming guide - FT (£)

Cameron wants no cuts in army numbers until 2015

"David Cameron is considering deferring swingeing cuts to army personnel until after the next election, for fear that any early move would undermine the morale of British troops in Afghanistan. In recent weeks Liam Fox, defence secretary, has privately proposed to 10 Downing Street that army numbers should come down from 105,000 to 100,000 between now and 2015. Under Mr Fox’s plan, the army would then be cut by a further 15,000 in subsequent years." - FT (£)

SNP launches dossier saying Liam Fox can't be trusted on defence - Telegraph

At United Nations, William Hague describes climate change as "perhaps the 21st century's biggest foreign policy challenge" -

Wind farm power twice as costly as gas or coal (and getting more expensive) - Daily Mail

End of SATs for 11-year-olds 'in two years' as teachers call off boycott after deal with Education Secretary - Daily Mail

BBC shelves anti-Ashcroft edition of Panorama after Tory source accuses it of flawed investigation - Express | Guardian

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 07.41.19 Ed Miliband will use his first big speech as Labour leader to criticise arrogance of Brown saying he had abolished 'boom and bust' - Guardian | Independent

Paul Goodman: Cameron will let others attack Ed Miliband

"Cameron is clear-headed enough not to confuse tactics with strategy. Let the Mail and Telegraph – and, in all likelihood, the Murdoch press – tear into Miliband, along with the Tories' own attack unit, headed by Michael Fallon, a newly-appointed party vice-chairman." - Paul Goodman in The Guardian

Julian Glover: Stop the 'Red Ed' abuse

"All this Red Ed stuff is silly. If the government sets up Labour's new leader as the next left thing to Mao Zedong, he'll escape critical analysis. In policy terms he's probably to the right of Angela Merkel, and certainly no more than nudging the outer reaches of Vince Cable. There's nothing unthinkable about his ideas, what there is of them, and if the coalition plunges into unpopularity after the spending review he'll pass most of the next two years ahead in the polls. Loud shouts of abuse from the other side won't make a jot of difference." - Julian Glover in The Guardian

> In the latest ConHome survey we test whether you think "Red Ed is a silly way to describe the new Labour leader". The full survey is still open.

Even if he isn't called 'Red Ed' Rachel Sylvester reveals his left-wing policies

"If David Miliband takes the Treasury job he must know that the tension will only grow. He disagrees with his brother over the speed at which the deficit should be reduced — the most crucial issue Labour must now confront. He also opposes his brother’s proposal for a graduate tax, rejects his suggestion that the 50p income tax rate should be permanent and has a difference of opinion on how to deal with crime." - Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)

David Miliband is poised to leave Labour's front bench - Telegraph

Screen shot 2010-09-27 at 15.13.32 "David Miliband’s friends were preparing the ground for his exit from frontline politics last night as both allies and former opponents made public appeals for him to stay and help to unite a Labour Party shaken by his narrow defeat in the leadership race." - Times (£)

Video: In his speech to Labour conference yesterday, David Miliband said he was very proud of his younger brother

The election of Ed Miliband means that the wretched cult of callow political youth has now infected all three main political parties - Michael Brown in The Independent

A Roman Catholic school in Blackburn is set to be taken over by a mosque - because 95% of its pupils are Muslim - The Sun

A Belgian MP wants English to become the EU’s ‘common language’ - Metro

And finally... After Cadbury's is forced to stop using his 90 year-old glass-and-a-half of milk slogan...

The Sun speculates on how the EU might change over familiar slogans: "A Mars A Day Helps You Work Within The EU Working Time Directive (1993), Rest and Play... KFC: Finger Lickin' Good, but comply with the EU integrated approach to food safety and clean hands..." More.


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27 Sep 2010 08:57:16

Weblinks for Monday 27th September 2010

5.45pm Gazette: Ben Howlett is new Chairman of Conservative Future

5.15pm ToryDiary: The IMF provides big boost to George Osborne (...and the BBC agrees)

Screen shot 2010-09-27 at 15.13.323.15pm Ben Rogers on CentreRight is disappointed at David Miliband for turning Burma into a party political issue

3.15pm WATCH:

11.30am Lee Rotherham on CentreRight is concerned about NHS plans to pay people to stay trim

10.15am ToryDiary: The deepening Liberal Democrat commitment to the Coalition may mean Cameron has more time to defeat Ed Miliband

ToryDiary: The new ConservativeHome survey

NewLabDead LeftWatch: Ed Miliband is losing vital battle of first impressions

Jackson Stewart Stewart Jackson MP on Platform: Our Housing Policies are bold but are they enough?

Mark Wallace on Local government: Why is Buckinghamshire County Council giving staff a heterosexuality quiz?

Also on Local government: John Guthrie chosen to stand for Mayor of Bedford


LeftWatch5 The updated LeftWatch banner includes Red Ed, Red Ken, a sinking piggy bank and Caroline Lucas

The David Miliband and the budget deficit questions

"Ed Miliband has offered his brother, David, the post of shadow chancellor, in a move which could set up a bruising early dispute at the top of the party over Labour’s approach to tackling the deficit. David Miliband has insisted that Labour should stick to its original policy of halving the deficit in four years, a position that will be repeated on Monday by Alistair Darling in a farewell speech as shadow chancellor." - FT (£)

"We must win the argument that the speed and severity of the coalition's cuts are both unfair and unnecessary, and will put the recovery at risk. We must make the case for an alternative plan that puts jobs and growth first. That is the credible way to reduce the deficit and get the economy moving again. It is a tough argument to make, but the most vital one to win. We must lead public opinion and not be driven by focus-group polling." - Ed Balls in The Guardian

Harman cool on plan to halve deficit - FT (£)

6a00d83451b31c69e2013486899e9b970c-250wi Ed Miliband needs to lose the ‘Red Ed’ tag fast - The Mole on The First Post

Labour has climbed in its coffin and is nailing down the lid - Max Hastings in the Daily Mail

"There is undisguised mirth in Tory circles at the election of Ed Miliband as Labour leader. On Saturday night, shortly after the result was announced, staff at Conservative HQ were popping open the champagne. Advisers to David Cameron think the next election is more winnable than ever." - City AM

Boris Johnson and Ed Miliband went to primary school together... but the Mayor is unimpressed with his schoolmate's union links

"I note that Ed Miliband has emerged blatantly from the bowels of the trade unions, and that it was thanks to union chiefs that he edged a millimetre ahead of the elder Miliband. I note that he and other senior Labour figures are now pledging to support strike action – no matter how unreasonable, no matter how much damage it may do to the interests of the general public or the British economy – in the hope of scoring political points against the Coalition Government." - Boris Johnson in The Telegraph

The Guardian on the the public sector unions' candidate

"Mr Miliband is Labour leader because four big unions, predominantly composed of public sector workers, organised strenuously for him and because, in the process, they put enough pressure on a few undecided MPs to carry the day. Labour will undoubtedly unite behind Mr Miliband now, as they should. But the new leader must make clear that he will give no special favours to the unions, must pledge to look again at Labour's unsatisfactory electoral college system, and must refuse to give a general endorsement to industrial disputes fought over public services in response to spending cuts, which Mr Miliband has acknowledged are to some extent inescapable. If Labour is to become again a party of government it has to be the party for public sector workers without being the party of them." - Guardian leader

After getting Red Ed and Red Ken, unions win third victory with defeat of John Prescott

PRESCOTT-JOHN-HAND-GESTURES "Former deputy PM Lord Prescott has failed in his bid to become Labour Party Treasurer. The peer conceded defeat in a message on the micro-blogging website Twitter - and congratulated trade union official Diana Holland on her victory... The peer lost despite a high profile campaign over the summer - he won most votes from party members but was beaten by Ms Holland's strong support from trade unions which left him with 31% of the total, compared with her 69%." - BBC

Michael White wonders if accepting that peerage cost Baron Prescott - The Guardian

10% of Labour ballot papers were spoilt - Express

> On LeftWatch yesterday we learnt that unions twisted/ broke rules on not attaching candidate propaganda to ballot papers

Mary Ann Sieghart and Tim Montgomerie: Don't underestimate Ed Miliband

"The new Leader of the Opposition has the advantage that he is the only opposition leader. He no longer has to compete with the Lib Dems in criticising the Tories. That means that protest votes will naturally come his way. It also means that he can afford not to be strident. Miliband is intelligent enough to understand that a moderate, sane Labour leader who sympathises with the embattled middle classes will be a serious threat to the Tories." - Mary Ann Sieghart in The Independent

"The silliest thing written in reaction to Ed Miliband’s victory was one columnist’s declaration that “on Saturday, David Cameron won the next general election”. While it’s true that the Conservative leadership was delighted at the more left-wing Miliband’s victory, it is not foolish enough to underestimate him. A man who had the courage to take on his party’s Blairite establishment and his older brother, the early frontrunner, is not going to be a walkover." - Tim Montgomerie in The Times (£)

Ed Miliband 'too busy' to marry pregnant girlfriend - Telegraph

But, argues The Independent's Andy McSmith, Miliband's unmarried status is unlikely to bother voters

In City AM Allister Heath fears the whole country is drifting Leftwards

Arrow2 "The opposition hates the City and wants to tax everything that moves; Cable agrees; the Tories are too scared to resist. The public, which has not been exposed to a proper defence of capitalism for years, wants to lash out. It is therefore becoming increasingly difficult to remain optimistic about Britain’s long-term future. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear for the UK’s jobs and prosperity." - City AM leader

The Guardian attacks Eric Pickles for not conducting a council tax revaluation

"The current bands are largely based on housing values collected in 1991. Consider how ludicrous it would be if income tax rates were set according to the pay one received two decades ago. And the average wage has not been through the sort of booms and busts familiar in the housing market." - Guardian leader

BBC to broadcast Ashcroft tax allegations - Independent

Liberal Democrat MP 'bought gifts for vulnerable female constituent' - Metro

1.75m jobless have been on benefits for five years - Daily Mail

And finally... Ed Balls wins something

Screen shot 2010-09-27 at 06.34.54 "Ed Balls and Andy Burnham helped Labour to an amazing comeback victory yesterday - at football. A team of MPs, plus a few ringers, took on a side made up of political journalists. The hacks took a 2-0 lead in the traditional curtain-raiser for the Labour conference before eventually losing 5-3." - The Sun


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