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31 Aug 2011 08:56:14

Newslinks for Wednesday 31 August 2011

5.15pm WATCH: Nick Clegg: Criminals must understand "there are consequences"

Project Umubano 3.30pm Gazette: Stephen Crabb, Fiona Bruce, Brooks Newmark and Andrew Mitchell review Project Umubano 2011

3pm WATCH: David Cameron: "I am confident" the new authorities in Libya will cooperate with Yvonne Fletcher investigation

2.30pm Parliament: Ten new MPs responsible for a quarter of all rebellious votes by Tory MPs

2.15pm LeftWatch: Lib Dem MP challenges the Prime Minister to a debate on the NHS Updated: Andrew George MP announces public debate tonight called "Is this the end of the NHS?" and attacks the government for not sending a representative

DC 1.45pm WATCH: David Cameron: "We do need to make sure that our banks aren't taking risks that put the economy at risk"

1pm Gazette: Eurosceptics debate with Euro-enthusiasts; an invitation to attend a European Reform debate

12.30pm ToryDiary: More students are studying core GCSE subjects thanks to the introduction of the EBacc

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news

11.15am WATCH: Maria Miller MP: There will be a "more objective assessment in place" for disability benefits

ToryDiary: What should be taxed? Not wealth and land, if we can help it

Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 08.40.45
Rachel Wolf on Comment: Free schools mark the end of the era when politicians and bureaucrats decide your children's education

Also on Comment: Roger Helmer MEP - Green Jobs? What Green Jobs?

Local Government: Kent Police Authority use taxpayers' money to attack the Government

WATCH: Daniel Hannan refers fellow ‪MEPs to the Gospel of St Luke, Chapter 41‬

Cameron returns from holiday and gives ministers a month to find answers to Broken Britain...

Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 07.14.18
"David Cameron yesterday gave his ministers one month to come up with new policies to tackle Britain’s ‘broken society’ in the wake of the riots. The Prime Minister returned from his holiday in Cornwall to launch a ‘no- holds-barred’ review of all Government policy designed to address the ‘moral collapse’ blamed for the riots that swept across towns and cities earlier this month." - Daily Mail

Prime Minister rejects claim politicians' behaviour was to blame for riots - The Independent

…As Miliband threatens Commons police cuts vote

"Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to engineer a parliamentary vote on police cuts as part of a fresh campaign against forces’ budget reductions following the riots that flared across the country earlier this month. Warning that the 20 per cent cuts would “weaken the forces of law and order”, Mr Miliband on Tuesday accused the government of recklessness in its attempts to drive through cost savings which police say will result in the loss of 16,000 officers." - Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Clarke withdraws probation choice after select committee opposition

"Kenneth Clarke has withdrawn his choice as the next chief inspector of probation after she failed to win the backing of MPs on the justice select committee. The Justice Secretary has bowed to the committee and is now to readvertise the £100,000 a year job, which has been vacant since the retirement of the previous chief inspector in May. It is one of only a few occasions when MPs have forced the Government to think again over a senior appointment in Whitehall." - The Times (£)

  • Thousands of career criminals spared prison in Coalition's first year - Daily Mail
  • Criminals are up to fifty times more likely to be locked up by courts in some areas than in others - Sun Editorial
  • One in eight prisoners in Britain are foreign nationals - Ross Clark, Daily Express

Osborne and Cable "at war" over banking reform...

 "The Business Secretary is demanding the immediate introduction of proposals to force the banks to ring-fence their high street and riskier investment arms that are due to be published by the Independent Commission on Banking. But David Cameron and George Osborne, the Chancellor, are sympathetic to the banks' demand for them to be given several years to build the "Chinese walls" to be proposed by the commission chaired by Sir John Vickers – which could see the reforms delayed until after the next general election." - The Independent

…And Business Secretary turns on bankers over euro fears

Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 05.16.12 "Vince Cable has attacked Britain’s banks for attempting to use the euro crisis as an excuse to delay reform, describing lobbying as “disingenuous in the extreme”. In an interview with The Times, the Business Secretary criticised the “special pleading” of bankers who claim that the summer of economic and financial turmoil is reason to shelve efforts to toughen bank regulation. Dr Cable said that the chaos underscored the need for change to make the banks stronger and protect taxpayers from the need for future bailouts." - The Times (£)

Clegg’s NHS reforms "futile", insist lawyers

"Nick Clegg is facing embarrassment at his declaration of “victory” before the summer over the reforms as influential party figures begin a campaign to make clear the plans are still unacceptable to the party. Key concessions won by the Liberal Democrats on the NHS are “futile”, leading QCs suggest today, as the party prepares to demand a second round of changes to health reforms. Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, would strongly resist any further changes." - The Times (£)

Time to remind the Lib Dems who's boss - Daily Mail Comment

> Yesterday: LeftWatch - Lib Dem MP challenges the Prime Minister to a debate on the NHS

Diplomatic standoff after Gaddafi's family make a break for the border

"Any attempt to detain Gaddafi and his remaining sons would be carried out by Libyans, British sources stressed. The diplomatic row that has blown up in the wake of the family's escape reflects the tensions caused by the western spread of the Arab spring, as the Algerian government tries to ensure it is not the next domino to fall. It has so far refused to recognise the provisional NTC government in Tripoli." - The Guardian

  • Suspect in killing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher found by rebel government - Daily Telegraph
  • Justice, not revenge, would be best for Libya - Dominic Raab MP, The Times (£)
  • The new Libya needs Britain to give, not take - Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: WATCH - Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi "at death's door"

UK debt "rising fastest in the world"

Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 06.18.21 "Steve Cecchetti revealed we have seen the biggest rise in household, company and public sector debt of any G7 nation since 2000. And he said it was likely to cripple growth as the Government and consumers are forced to save far more. Mr Cecchetti is the chief economist for the Bank of International Settlements…He said debts in all major nations were alarming and had risen at rates normally seen only during World Wars. But the UK is the only one that smashes three "safety limits"." - The Sun

  • Nine out of ten jobs created last year went to foreign nationals - Daily Mail
  • Double-dip fears across the West as confidence crumbles - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

Yesterday: LeftWatch - Lib Dem MP challenges the Prime Minister to a debate on the NHS

Mitchell No 10 blunder with memo "welcoming" Karzai departure

"President Karzai is slowing Afghanistan’s chances of reform, according to a private British assessment unintentionally revealed by a Cabinet minister as he walked from Downing Street. Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, clutched papers marked “Protect — Policy” after a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday morning. The document shows that British policy is at odds with its public statements over Mr Karzai, revealing concerns over his role and enthusiasm at his departure." - The Times (£)

Soldiers and airmen return from Afghanistan to face dole - Daily Express

Hate mail, death threats and why pro-abortion zealots won't stop me trying to help women when they need it most

DORRIES NADINE "Only yesterday, I received an email from a former journalist who wrote of his fantasy of watching me burn as a bomb explodes under my car. ‘I have a vision, people, a happy vision,’ it declared, in which ‘explosives detonate, sending a jet of energy and flame upwards. The interior of the car lights up, a brilliant, iridescent orange and Dorries falls forward, still alive but burning in the grim embrace of a melting seatbelt.’ " - Nadine Dorries, Daily Mail

Fertility chief's attack on pro-life campaigners - The Independent

Wandsworth Council plans to issue £250m of bonds - Financial Times (£)

Cheney insists that torture halted Heathrow attack - The Times (£)

Benefit fraud and error bill hits £3.3bn - Daily Mail

News and Comment in Brief

  • Huhne speeding file back with prosecutors - Daily Mail
  • Israel boosts security after warning of attacks from Egypt - The Independent
  • Whitehall told to cut contract red tape - Financial Times (£)
  • Seven killed in Syria Eid protests - The Times (£)
  • Two schools become first in Wales to share costs through "federating" - Wales Online
  • Vanessa Redgrave backs travellers' “fight to the death” - Daily Express
  • Homelessness could spread to middle class - The Guardian
  • Old Firm in backlash over sectarianism law - Herald Scotland
  • It is a myth that house prices rose too fast because there was insufficent new build - John Redwood's Blog
  • Britain needs a new kind of National Service - David Blunkett, Daily Mail
  • Scotland has been indulged for too long - Daily Telegraph
  • Monitors should be attached to every hunt - Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express
  • Martin McGuinness’s Sinn Fein-employed chauffeurs have been involved in more car accidents than all the other Stormont ministers’ drivers put together - Newsletter


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30 Aug 2011 08:47:55

Newslinks for Tuesday 30th August 2011

7.15pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: "We're determined to force a vote" on police cuts

5.30pm Gazette: The Prime Minister wishes Muslims "a very happy and peaceful Eid ul Fitr"

5pm WATCH: Rebels near Gaddafi's hometown

Putin bike3.45pm International: Vladimir Putin launches election campaign... on a Harley-Davidson

1.30pm WATCH: Grant Shapps: "House prices TRIPLED from 1997 to 2007"

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news

11.45am LeftWatch: Lib Dem MP challenges the Prime Minister to a debate on the NHS

10.45am WATCH: Magistrates reject claims riot sentences were too harsh

PSPHToryDiary: £1,624 - the gap in public spending per person between England and Scotland

ToryDiary: United at the top. Major, Hague, IDS and Howard are giving Cameron all the support they can.

Andrew Lilico on Comment: Osborne is getting it right... economically

Also on Comment, Lord Ashcroft: Tribute to an SAS hero who got the better of an exchange with Margaret Thatcher

Local government: Wirral residents demand Council Tax cut

WATCH: Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi "at death's door"

Cameron could testify in phone hacking scandal inquiry

Cameron David Lizard"Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, are to be questioned about the phone hacking scandal under oath in the High Court. ... David Cameron and other senior politicians are also likely to be questioned over their links to News International, the parent company of the News of the World. ... Lord Justice Leveson is thought to be keen for the proceedings to be broadcast live to ensure they are seen to be transparent." - Daily Telegraph 

Cameron and Sarkozy: Other countries must help in Libya

Cameron Sarkozy"The Prime Minister will use a summit in Paris on Thursday to try to persuade countries who have so far played no role to get off the sidelines. “We would like to make sure that others step up to the plate now,” said one adviser. “We have played a big role thus far.”" - The Times (£)

  • Alex Salmond refuses to extradite the Lockerbie bomber - Evening Standard
  • One pranged sub, a crashed warhead, helmets gifted to Africa, and a £1.7m legal battle over furniture: How the hard-up MOD wasted £110m of our money - Daily Mail

> From yesterday:

Michael Gove faces questions over free school charity

Gove on Marr"Civil servants were urged that the New Schools Network (NSN) – a charity providing advice and guidance to set up the schools – should be given "cash without delay", in a disclosure which will heighten concern over the government's lack of transparency about the wider free schools programme. The charity, which is headed by a former Gove adviser, was subsequently given a £500,000 grant. No other organisation was invited to bid for the work." - Guardian

A full listing of the 24 free schools to be set up this term - Guardian

  • Free school built by Sikh community prepares to open doors - Guardian

Toby Young: Free schools - now the really hard work begins

Young Toby"I embarked on this journey two years ago, full of grand ideas about how to transform state education. I believe that all children can benefit from learning Latin, from seeing the plays of Shakespeare and from studying our island story. To deny them that opportunity on the grounds that those things are “elitist” is inverted snobbery. We’ll never dismantle the English class system if poor children are herded into media studies classes and forced to watch EastEnders while the children of the rich are introduced to the best that’s been thought and said. That’s not social justice, it’s social apartheid." - Toby Young, in the Daily Telegraph

Government advisor: The adoption system is letting children down

"Thousands of children in care are being denied adoption places unnecessarily because of a lack of desire for change among some professionals, a government adviser says today. Black children in care are also still being held back for adoption by social workers waiting for ethnically-matched couples to come forward, despite new government guidance that race should not be a barrier to finding a family." - The Times (£)

Scots get £1,600 more state cash a year each than the English

"Government spending in Scotland averaged £10,212 per person last year – £1,624 per head more than in England. The staggering figures, buried in Treasury documents, reveal the gap increased by more than 15 per cent in only a year." - Daily Mail

Nick Clegg’s NHS concessions are futile, say lawyers

Clegg on Marr"Key concessions won by the Liberal Democrats on the NHS are “futile”, leading QCs suggest today, as the party prepares to demand a second round of changes to health reforms. Nick Clegg is facing embarrassment at his declaration of “victory” before the summer over the reforms as influential party figures begin a campaign to make clear the plans are still unacceptable to the party. Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, would strongly resist any further changes, with Mr Clegg likely to be put under pressure to “reign in” his party rather than allow them any more concessions." - The Times (£) 

  • NHS bill 'will let Andrew Lansley wash his hands of health service' - Guardian

Tim Montgomerie: Cameron’s secret weapon: his predecessors

"If Mr Hague is the McKinsey Foreign Secretary, as The Economist has called him, clinically mastering his brief, IDS is very much the streetwise and gutsy Welfare Secretary. He understands the drug, gang and economic problems that combine to blight Britain’s most deprived areas. He also understands that the nation is suffering from more than a few bad policies." - Tim Montgomerie, in the Times (£)

> From yesterday - Thomas Byrne on Comment: The idea that David Cameron is right wing is a joke to most Tories. The voters aren't laughing.

Danny Kruger: The crises of the summer require deep societal analysis

KRUGER "Politicians need to show they are “in touch” with people’s concerns over jobs, prices and public services. But the problem is deeper than that. We have lost touch with the virtues that sustain such day-to-day matters. Duty, prudence, fortitude – these words sound Victorian only because the Victorians lauded them, and we don’t. As the philosopher Edward Skidelsky says, they are “the natural excellences of the species”, the best that human beings are capable of and our true purpose." - Danny Kruger, in the FT (£)

  • Money busts the convenient myth that social class is dead - Polly Toynbee, in the Guardian

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The politics of the squeeze

Philip Johnston: Liam Fox should be proud to be a Nimby

Fox Liam Apr112"Those ministers who think people worried about the impact of housing on their villages and rural surroundings are “nihilists” should explain why they are any different from Dr Fox. They, too, concede that new homes are needed – but question why they are not being built on brownfield sites close to existing towns insead of ruining the countryside. Yes, they may be Nimbies – but who else is going to protect and preserve what we have left? Dr Fox should be proud to be one." - Philip Johnston, in the Daily Telegraph

  • Liam Fox under fresh pressure over adviser - Guardian

Lib Dems propose binge-drinking tax

"The Liberal Democrats are examining plans for a “per drink surcharge” that will help pay for extra police, street cleaners and cover the cost of treating alcohol-related health problems." - Daily Telegraph

  • Barmy Lib Dem plan for new booze tax is blasted - The Sun
  • Lib Dem tax plans insult people who work for success - Stephen Pollard, in the Daily Express

Labour could be ruined by proposed cap on political donations

Miliband _140x140"The independent standards watchdog is said to have agreed to recommend a new limit on donations, introducing an annual cap with figures ranging from £50,000 to £10,000 being considered. Such a move, in an attempt to clean up political funding, would end the six- and seven-figure donations to the Labour party from its union sponsors, as well as the Tories' reliance on the richest city financiers." - Guardian

Labour wasted tens of thousands of pounds on African drum lessons for civil servants - Daily Mail

Net migration hit by fall in Britons emigrating - The Times (£)

Home ownership in England is set to fall to its lowest level since the mid-1980sBBC

And finally... Celebrity Big Brother reject Sally Bercow snubbed by BBC and Sky

"The brassy, publicity-loving wife of the Speaker of the Commons said that she was "desperate" to be reunited with her children, Jemima, two, Freddie, four, and Oliver, six. Happily, thanks to The BBC News Channel and Sky News, she will have plenty of time to be with them in the future. The former banned her from reviewing the newspapers for them in the evenings for being "too overtly political"."- Daily Telegraph


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29 Aug 2011 09:01:12

Newslinks for Monday 29th August 2011

7.45pm WATCH: Andrew Mitchell on the humanitarian situation in Libya

6pm Tim Montgomerie on Comment: Some suggestions for new villains for future BBC drama

2.30pm ToryDiary: The Iron Lady - A series of interviews with Charles Moore about Baroness Thatcher

2pm Charles Tannock MEP on Comment: Reflections on the mental state of Muammar Gaddafi


Noon Elizabeth Smith MSP on Comment: Murdo Fraser has got what it takes

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's American political news

ToryDiary: The politics of the squeeze

Thomas Byrne on Comment: The idea that David Cameron is right wing is a joke to most Tories. The voters aren't laughing.

Local government: Four councils to pilot Social Impact Bonds

Gazette: Ed Llewellyn, David Cameron's chief of staff, has become a dad

WATCH: NATO attacks pro-Gaddafi forces near Sirte

Coalition divided over Vince Cable's plan for land tax

Cable Vince Yes"A split between Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers emerged yesterday as Nick Clegg's party demanded higher taxes on land and property to hit the rich. Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, who has already proposed a "mansion tax" on homes costing more than £2m, floated the idea of a "land tax". Tory MPs dismissed the proposal as unworkable and fear it could alienate the party's natural supporters. It is likely to be vetoed by George Osborne, the Chancellor." - Independent

  • "The Liberal Democrats are right to recognise that we have to get out of this vicious circle, that imposing more "stealth" taxes is not a long-term solution and that we have to find some way of getting the richest people to pay a bit more." - Independent leader

Lib Dems plan to target wealthy suburbs with higher taxes

"Households in more affluent parts of the country should pay more tax so money can be “transferred” to poorer councils, a party policy paper says. Lib Dem officials have identified almost 70 areas where better-off residents should pay significantly more in tax than their council spends on services for them." - Daily Telegraph

  • Tories and Lib Dems on collision course over new wealth tax - The Times (£)
  • Tax: The Missing Ingredient From the Liberal Democrat Conference Agenda - Mark Pack, in the Huffington Post

Neil O'Brien: David Cameron must show us that his party is not just for the rich

O'Brien Neil"When Disraeli died, one obituary said that he had carved out a new Conservative working class in the same way "the sculptor perceives the angel prisoned in a block of marble". As the polls, show, there are plenty of potential voters who might be willing to switch to the modern Tories if they weren't put off by a belief that the party is not for them. Like Disraeli, Cameron can win them over – but to do so, he must be far bolder." - Neil O'Brien, in the Daily Telegraph

The Daily Mail urges a return to "old-style Toryism"

DAILY-MAIL "Financially beleaguered, overtaxed, worried about immigration and school standards, voters are crying out for real change after 13 years of Labour profligacy, red tape and political correctness. They want strong leadership, economic discipline and the restoration of national control over our courts and our borders. In short, they want a little ‘old-style, traditional Toryism’." - Daily Mail editorial

  • David Cameron is merely tinkering while we yearn for Tory rule - Leo McKinstry, in the Daily Express

> Yesterday on LeftWatch: Labour's new strategy will highlight the Conservatives' most popular policies. We're not making this up.

William Hague hopeful over Fletcher case... BBC

...but Libya may refuse to extradite Yvonne Fletcher murder suspectGuardian

  • The Sun warns the Libyan rebels to "Remember who your friends are" - "Britain did not do this for gain – but because it was right. Tripoli's new regime now also needs to do what is right over both al-Megrahi – seen on his sickbed in new pictures last night – and WPC Fletcher's killer. And prove to the world that a new day really has dawned." - The Sun Says
  • Lockerbie bomber found in Tripoli villa "close to death" - Independent
  • MI5 told Blair Iraq was no threat to UK - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Tory members now oppose HiSpeed rail, want David Davis back at the top table and think Cameron was right on Libya

Ministers back independent abortion counselling reforms

DORRIES ON QT"The government has caved in to calls from anti-abortionists to overhaul existing protocols and strip charities and medics of their exclusive responsibility for counselling women seeking to terminate a pregnancy. The Department of Health confirmed that it would change the rules to ensure that women are also offered counselling "independently" of existing abortion services." - Guardian

"Tory MP Nadine Dorries, who backs such a ban, said the independent advice would not be compulsory but an option. She said her aim was not to achieve fewer abortions but that could be the consequence, which would be "good"." - Independent

  • MPs backing move 'to cut abortion toll by 60,000' in biggest shake-up for 20 years - Daily Mail
  • Abortion counselling plan splits MPs - The FT (£)
  • Nursing is no longer the caring profession - Cristina Odone, in the Daily Telegraph

Government health advisor: Give patients "choice" over when they die

"Martin Green, a dementia expert for the Department of Health, said patients who were too frail to take their own lives were being denied “choice” and “autonomy” because assisted suicide is illegal in the UK. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he urged ministers to review the law and suggested that a referendum or a free vote in Parliament should be called to settle policy on the issue." - Daily Telegraph

David Cameron's flagship proposals to relax planning laws condemned as an attempt "to make Britain a giant building site"

Cameron@Davos"Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors have attacked the Coalition’s new planning rules, with warnings the reforms could turn Britain into “a giant building site.” ... Critics of the draft national planning policy framework include the National Trust, which has said the changes will mean unrestrained development in many rural areas." - Daily Telegraph

Liam Fox attacks government over countryside blight of 150ft pylons

Fox Liam White House"In a letter to Environment Secretary Chris Huhne, Dr Fox says the ‘short-term’ attempt to plug Britain’s energy gap will damage sensitive landscapes such as the Somerset Levels, Snowdonia and the Kent Downs. He urges Mr Huhne to insist that new power cables are buried underground. In a highly unusual move, Dr Fox confirmed the contents of the leaked letter, saying the choice of pylons – each up to 150ft tall – was ‘short-termism of the worst sort’." - Daily Mail

Reform plan set to spark political turf war

"Tensions are set to come to a head in the next few weeks because MPs will see the first draft of the new English boundaries on September 12, soon after they return from the summer recess. ... Overall the Tories are likely proportionately to come off best, losing 15 seats, while Labour loses up to 25 and the Lib Dems shed six, according to Rob Hayward, a Conservative psephologist." - The FT (£)

Kwasi Kwarteng MP: We still need the values of the British Empire

"The Empire promoted the belief that young men could get on through diligence and enterprise. In many ways it was a strenuous life. Young men could find themselves running courts in the oppressive heat of the Sudan or overseeing the building of the railways in India. But merit was rewarded." - Kwasi Kwarteng, in the Times (£)

Philip Davies MP condemns Sally Bercow's Big Brother appearance as "bad for the House of Commons"

BERCOW JOHN 5"It has been bad for the Speaker and bad for the House of Commons. It has totally demeaned her husband and been an unmitigated disaster for her." - Philip Davies MP quoted in the Sun

  • "Evicted Celebrity Big Brother contestant Sally Bercow has revealed that her appearance on the reality television show caused "the biggest fight" of her marriage. But she brushed off rumours of a divorce, saying that her relationship with the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Hon John Bercow, was "as solid as a rock"." - Daily Express

ConservativeHome's Intelligence unit questioned by Labour MP John Mann - Daily Mirror

Lib Dems seek candidates for police commissioner posts, despite peer revolt

Police "The Liberal Democrats are advertising for candidates to become elected police commissioners despite the party's peers still believing they can derail the policy in the House of Lords. The bill to bring in one of the prime minister's and home secretary's most cherished policies was defeated in the Lords by Lib Dem peers in the last parliamentary term." - Guardian

  • Nick Clegg warned by activists that this year's conference security could breach human rights laws - Independent
  • Convicted criminals spared jail could have their passports confiscated - Daily Mail

Labour seeks law change to stop News Corp renewing BSkyB bid - Guardian

British arms exporters cash in on Arab Spring - The Times (£)

  • MoD’s £1.7million kit for Africa - The Sun

And finally... Michael Howard is the chauffeurs' favourite passenger

"...there is one man whom they would appear to love having in the back of their cabs. He is, believe it or not, Lord Howard, the former Tory home secretary, who had, until now, been believed to have "something of the night" about him." - Daily Telegraph


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28 Aug 2011 09:01:50

Newslinks for Sunday 28th August 2011

2pm ConHomeUSA: Focusing on Hurricane Irene

ToryDiary: Tory members now oppose HiSpeed rail, want David Davis back at the top table and think Cameron was right on Libya

Martin Sewell on Comment: The human rights problem lies with legal culture rather than legislation


LeftWatch: Labour's new strategy will highlight the Conservatives' most popular policies. We're not making this up.

Local government: How council housing failed

Lib Dems want a land tax on ‘rich’... and most Tory voters agree with them

"The Liberal Democrats are planning a new land tax in addition to their mansion tax. The proposal is aimed primarily at wealthy landowners, property magnates and foreign millionaires, but is also likely to hit middle class landowners with just a few acres. Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader and deputy prime minister, is among senior party figures in favour of shifting the tax system to extract more from those benefiting from unearned income." - The Sunday Times (£)

Tim Montgomerie: "Without specifying a particular tax instrument I have argued that Conservatives should rebalance the tax system so that - without increasing the overall tax burden - we tax wealth more and income less. A poll for YouGov finds that 63% of all voters support a mansions tax and just 27% oppose. Even 56% of Tories support such a tax with 38% opposed. If the question YouGov asked was reframed so that a wealth tax funded, for example, lower petrol taxes I predict very significant public and Tory support."

Osborne ups rhetoric on tax evaders, likening them to "leeches" and says Coalition is doing more than Labour to stop them

Screen shot 2011-08-28 at 07.40.32 "Tax evasion is morally repugnant. It's stealing from law-abiding people who face higher taxes to make good the lost revenue. Those who evade taxes, like benefit cheats, are leeches on society. And my message to those who try to hide their incomes from the Revenue in offshore bank accounts and false declarations is simple: we will find you and your money." - The Chancellor writing in The Observer

  • According to YouGov (PDF) 65% think the Swiss tax deal was good for Britain, 11% think it a bad deal.
  • Paul Vallely in the Independent on Sunday: There is no moral case for tax havens
  • Britain needs a flat tax to stop evasion and supercharge the economy - Neil Hamilton in the Sunday Express

Department of Health may introduce introduce a mandatory obligation on abortion clinics to offer women access to independent counselling

DORRIES NADINE "The proposed change comes ahead of a Commons vote, due to take place next week, on amendments to a public health Bill put forward by Nadine Dorries, a backbench Conservative MP. The amendments would prevent private organisations which carry out terminations — such as Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) — from offering pre-abortion counselling. Women would instead be offered free access to independent counsellors." - The Sunday Telegraph

Most Conservative party members oppose David Cameron's flagship proposals to relax planning laws and build the High Speed 2 rail link - The Sunday Telegraph

  • "The Tory grassroots are green when it comes to saving their local environment, but they don’t think that we can save the world when China and India are rapidly expanding their carbon footprints." - Tim Montgomerie in The Sunday Telegraph

Clark&Gove Minister for cities Greg Clark asks eight core cities to make a bid to have control of their transport policy - Observer

Gove's educational revolution underway as first wave of 'free' schools open next month

"One school stresses the importance of yoga, a second insists its pupils learn Latin, and five different faith groups will get the chance to run their own state-financed schools, the Government has decided. Welcome to the brave new world of Secretary of State of Education Michael Gove's flagship "free" schools – 24 of which will be opening their doors for the first time at the start of the new term next month." - Independent on Sunday

The campaign in Libya demonstrates that Nato cannot afford to reduce its military capability any further - Sunday Telegraph leader

  • According to YouGov, only 9% of Britons agree that "The defence cuts would still leave Britain strong enough to properly react to a situation like that in Libya." 45% think defence cuts should be reversed. More via this PDF.

What Libya says about Cameron

D'ANCONA MATT "Cameron’s achievement in Libya will not cement the public’s image of him definitively, as, say, the Falklands did its perception of Thatcher as the Iron Lady, or as Iraq branded Blair as an absentee adventurer and congenital liar. Its impact, I think, will be subliminal: a hazy sense that this Prime Minister might, after all, be rather competent, good at fixing things, brave but not bombastic. And it is precisely this impression – however vague, however numinous – that must flourish if Cameron is to win the next election with a decent majority." - Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph

  • Those who have argued that the Arabs aren't ready for democracy are being shown up as hypocrites - Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
  • US involvement in Libya was essential to its success - Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer
  • "The moment has come to admit that I loathe the Arab Spring and almost everything about it. It looks to me pretty much like a football crowd armed with AK-47s and bazookas, with the added ingredient of Islamic militancy. Why am I expected to like it?" - Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron has rescued and redefined the principle of overseas intervention

"My grandfather lost all his material possessions when he was forced to leave Libya. But at least he was able to get away and rebuild his life here – unlike the Libyan people who have been oppressed for so long. Hopefully, their suffering is now coming to an end." - Robert Halfon MP in the Mail on Sunday

A behind the secenes deal between energy companies and the Ministry of Defence enables more windfarms to be builtThe Sunday Telegraph

Senior party figures warn Cameron against rapid promotion of new women MPs - Mail on Sunday

...and Mail on Sunday confuses Liz Truss and Anna Soubry...

Screen shot 2011-08-28 at 09.06.05

New "controls" on immigration may be easily evaded - Alasdair Palmer in The Sunday Telegraph

Cost of new EU petrol pumps regulation could be £80 million - Mail on Sunday

Union-funded anti-Clegg campaigns hurt Liberal Democrats in May's elections


The Sunday Telegraph has seen an internal Lib Dem report that seeks to explain this year's election results.

The Prime Minister understands better than his deputy that voters want to hear impossible promises - John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

Labour plans to portray Cameron as 'recognisably rightwing' leader

Screen shot 2011-08-28 at 07.38.21 "The two-and-half-page paper written by the MP Shaun Woodward, a former Tory frontbencher and now head of Labour's anti-Tory attack unit, and circulated among senior Labour officials, lays bare the areas where the opposition now believes Cameron is vulnerable. It asserts that the government's recent rhetoric and policy offer a chance to frame Cameron as a traditional Tory prime minister, arguing that there is clear evidence that the party has "moved rapidly rightwards" in response to major events." - Observer

Miliband demands law changes to stop Murdoch reviving BSkyB bid before 2015 - Mail on Sunday | BBC

Fewer pupils are studying British history, particularly in state schools - Tristram Hunt MP in The Observer

Tom Harris MP offered cash for Scottish Labour leadership bid - Scotland on Sunday

IPPR: People on the dole for more than a year should be forced to take a job at the minimum wage – or lose their benefits - Sunday Express

Third of police make NO arrests - The Sunday Times (£) reports research from Policy Exchange's Blair Gibbs "that in Derbyshire 49% of sworn officers, or 1,023 out of 2,075, made no arrests. By contrast, in West Yorkshire only 35% of the force made no arrests."

  • Do-gooder lawyers are every bit as dangerous as the louts and thugs who poured on to the streets - Nick Ferrari in The Sunday Express

Inquiry into Iraq will clear Army of systematic torture - BBC

And finally... The Soviet secret services deny that they ever targeted Cameron - Mail on Sunday


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