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Newslinks for Monday 14th February 2010

5pm WATCH: Addressing the Big Society Network, David Cameron says that whilst economic recovery is the Government's duty, social recovery is his passion

4.45pm Robin Simcox on Comment: How can a supposed liberal defend a school teaching social segregation, hatred of non-Muslims and religious apartheid?

2.30pm Local government: Boris still 3% ahead in Mayor of London poll

2.15pm Local government: The Big Society must mean a better deal for small charities

Truss11.30am Elizabeth Truss MP on Comment: The Government’s proposals on the English baccalaureate (EBACC) and the curriculum are the most important element of our education policy

11.15am Robert Halfon MP on Comment: Three definitions of the Big Society


ToryDiary update: The man tipped to be Cameron's new head of strategy argued that supporting the €uro would be the ultimate modernisation

Julian Wolfson and Tim Bond on Comment: A two term growth agenda

Corey Dixon: William Hague must make clear that economic engagement with Russia does not mean sidelining human rights issues

Local government: Transparency in action in Northumberland

Five top Coalition achievements

Screen shot 2011-02-14 at 07.18.26

> The above messages appear on the literature being distributed by the Conservative candidate in Barnsley Central.

COATES SAM BLUEBLOG Gazette: Samuel Coates set to begin TA tour in Afghanistan

Cameron will say today that the Big Society is his "mission in politics" - FT

  • "The Prime Minister will seek to recast the Big Society as the antidote to years of ‘big government’ under Labour, which he will blame for infantilising a generation. A blizzard of policy announcements designed to breathe life into the project will include a Big Society Bank lending money to social ventures and issuing ‘social ISAs’." - Daily Mail
  • "Socially responsible" savers could be encouraged to put their money into "big society" ISAs - Guardian
  • "The big society is out there, a vague but powerful notion, related to our deep desire to help our neighbours and be part of something greater than our own payslips – but it is an idea that properly belongs to the centre-left, not to the right." - Jackie Ashley in The Guardian

Quarter of RAF trainee pilots to be sacked in defence spending cull

Screen shot 2011-02-14 at 05.38.15 "Up to 100 student pilots will be told the news on Tuesday with some of them only a few hours away from becoming fully qualified to fly fighters, helicopters and transport aircraft. The cuts will mean the waste of an estimated £300million already paid for training the pilots, plus the cost of redundancies. The training of RAF pilots can cost up to £4million a man." - Telegraph

"The full cost of military equipment being scrapped as a result of the Government’s defence review will be more than £12 billion, The Times can reveal... [This includes..] the value of fighter jets, spy planes, the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and other equipment being disposed of to cut costs." - Times (£)

Council cuts 'put more pressure on the NHS'...

"The NHS will have to deal with the fall-out from some of the cuts being announced by councils, experts predict. Health bosses, public health chiefs and charities told the BBC the close working relationship between the two meant consequences were "inevitable"." - BBC

...but away from the BBC, Fleet Street is focusing on waste and excess in local government:

  • Half of council chiefs earn more than the PM - Daily Mail
  • The Mail attacks Liverpool: "Liverpool City Council, which pulled out of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ after saying it could no longer afford to back the scheme, has given six-figure payouts to nine employees."
  • The Sun attacks Manchester's cuts strategy: "Local Labour bosses have targeted for closure five libraries, two swimming pools, five leisure centres, help for the disabled and 18 of their 19 public toilets (the exception? The one in City Hall). But as we reveal today, the fat cats on the local payroll are NOT having their salaries cut... Yet as they target the vulnerable, Manchester holds the record for uncollected council tax." | Also: Manchester City Council refuse to sell football stadium
  • "Wasteful civil servants have had their bewildering choice of 142 types of PEN cut to four... Yorkshireman Mr Pickles is becoming known as one of the toughest cost-cutters in government. He has also slashed the number of staff BlackBerries and mobile phones, reduced first-class post, closed lifts during quiet periods and cancelled a pot-plant contract." - Sun
  • Yesterday's Local government: 27% blame councils for service cuts, 29% central Government

Illegal immigrants claiming tens of millions in benefits

"Tens of thousands of workers with no right to be in Britain have been claiming benefits thanks to an extraordinary loophole in the law. Ministers have discovered that Labour allowed 155,000 illegal immigrants to qualify for sickness benefits and maternity pay. Government sources put the cost to the public purse at ‘tens of millions of pounds’." - Daily Mail | Express

Gay Pride Flag Archbishop Sentamu's warning on plan to let gays 'marry' in church: they should not trump rights of clerics - Daily Mail

Against Gay Marriage - Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail

Norman Lamont makes the case against AV...

"Under AV we would have permanent coalitions and institutionalised breaking of election promises. Politicians, not voters, would decide which parties were to form the government. In Britain, we don’t have to demonstrate in public squares. People vote and the government is out. AV would make it more difficult for voters to summon up the removal van and kick the government out. AV would change the nature of elections, which would become high on rhetoric, low on policies. Party manifestos would become meaningless, full of “aspirations”." - Lord Lamont in The Times (£)

...and for a 40% turnout threshold in the referendum - Yesterday's ToryDiary

Greenpeace and WWF issue warning about independence of the UK's Committee on Climate Change (CCC) - Guardian

Screen shot 2011-02-14 at 05.58.20 The current system for disabled drivers is abused and the genuninely very disabled need better protection - Boris Johnson in The Telegraph

Courts are dealing with at least ten key human rights battle every week since controversial new laws were introduced a decade ago - Telegraph

Fury at Brian Souter's £½m SNP election pledge

"A new £500,000 donation from bus tycoon Brian Souter to the SNP has prompted questions over his growing influence over Alex Salmond's government... Labour claims the SNP changed its policy on bus regulation after Mr Souter's previous donation in 2007, while the Greens say his views on homosexuality - he led a campaign in 2000 to retain Clause 2A, which banned local authorities from promoting homosexuality - make him an unsuitable backer for the Nationalists." - Scotsman

And finally for Valentine's Day... Zac Goldsmith is most fanciable male MP, Luciana Berger is most fanciable woman in Commons - Mirror



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