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Newslinks for Saturday 26th November 2011

9.30pm ToryDiary: 57% don't think Government can make much difference to economy

5pm WATCH: Nick Gibb - "We can't afford to put generous offers on the table if we're going to have this kind of expensive and disruptive action in the months ahead."

2.45pm Dr David Green on Platform: "Tight control of fiscal policy of the kind currently in favour cannot be counted on to spark automatic economic growth in the private sector. Large scale investment, especially in new manufacturing capacity, is needed; and in the immediate future some of it will have to come from the public sector." You can overdo austerity

Noon ToryDiary: Michael Gove is Paul Dacre's new pin-up

11.15am International: Another nation holds a general election and it's ANOTHER victory for the Right

Screen shot 2011-11-26 at 10.01.3710am Amber Rudd MP continues our housing series on Loca Goverment: "Buy now, Pay later" is a way of effectively adding liquidity to a market that seized up under the last government

ToryDiary: When I said Danny Alexander was wrong about fuel duty, what I meant to say was that he was right

Andrew Lilico on our Columnists Page:  Europe’s political order may deserve to collapse - but what replaces it may be worse

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: The bizarre story of how I came to be accused of “invading” an overseas territory’s airspace

Local Government:

LISTEN: David Cameron - "Comparing John Maynard Keynes to Jesus Christ shows in my view why Richard Dawkins doesn't really get it."

Clegg pushes for a tax raid on the super-rich (Is this another Quad leak?)

Clegg Thumbs Up"George Osborne is preparing a fresh raid on the financial sector to help fund a scheme to help the young and jobless, senior Government sources say. Nick Clegg, whose party has been pushing for measures to tax the rich, signalled yesterday that they will be included in a growth review, due on Tuesday. ‘Over the last year and a half we’ve increased capital gains tax, we’ve slapped on a big bank levy, we’ve made sure that the loopholes that the wealthy enjoy are closed." - Daily Mail

  • Long-standing LibDem call for fuel duty cut in remote rural areas to be heeded in the autumn statement - The Sun
  • Rich face paying for motorists’ fuel duty cuts - Financial Times (£)
  • Osborne to announce data revolution - The Independent

> Yesterday:

OECD Britain says that Britain is heading back towards recession - Daily Telegraph

Danny Alexander says that strike could scupper pensions deal...

"Union leaders risk losing out on a deal on public sector pensions for their members by "marching them up the hill" in a mass walkout next Wednesday, the minister leading negotiations has warned. In an interview with the Guardian, Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, urged trade union leaders to "show leadership" by persuading their members that the offer on the table is a "good and generous one"." - The Guardian

...But TUC General-Secretary Brendan Barber says that next week's strikes may be just the start

"It is clear, though, that the walkout could be followed by more co-ordinated national strikes. “This could be the beginning rather than the end. We will have to see what happens next week and after next week. “We are open to negotiations but we can’t say this is a one-off strike.” The spectre of a Winter of Discontent looms. “I don’t want this turned into a long battle but they need to heed our warning.” He would be horrified if ministers tried to push through tougher union laws." - Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson, The Times (£)

  • Ministers threaten tougher ballot laws as they warn unions they are "playing with fire" - Daily Mail
  • Glasgow and Edinburgh airports warn of strike effects - Herald Scotland
  • Never before has every main teaching union withdrawn its labour at the same time - Financial Times (£)
  • No 10 staff urged to help with strike border duty - The Times (£)
  • Walkout woe - Sun Editorial

Yesterday on Comment: Jonathan Isaby - The subsidy from the taxpayer to the unions is at least £113 million. This has to stop.

Jamie Oliver says Gove is wrong on academy school food

GOVE MICHAEL NW"Jamie Oliver yesterday slammed Education Secretary Michael Gove for "eroding" his crusade for healthy kids' meals. He said Mr Gove was letting new academies — with more independence than ordinary secondary schools — side-step tough rules on dishing up too much fat, sugar and salt. TV chef Jamie, who has won victories for better nutrition, called for the 1,400 academies to be brought in line. He said: "It's essentially the future of our country." - The Sun

  • Education Secretary to send copy of authorised version of the Bible to every school - Daily Mail
  • Osborne and Gove in £600m drive to set up elite maths schools - Daily Mail
  • Can Michael Gove save Britain's schools? - Simon Heffer, Daily Mail


Anne Widdecombe hurt over Cameron Lords snub

"The Daily Express columnist also criticised David Cameron for allowing the Lib Dems too much power in the coalition. Ms Widdecombe, 64, said he needed to exert more authority. “They are not there in their own right. They need reminding of that from time to time,” she said in a BBC interview. The former Tory minister renewed her complaint that he deliberately snubbed her for a seat in the Lords despite her being “an obvious candidate”. She said it had “stabbed” a little bit. “But I am a great one for saying ‘It’s no good looking back’.” - Daily Express 

Lord Deben, a.k.a John Gummer, attacks planning reform

Gummer-John"The Tory peer, who as John Gummer was Margaret Thatcher’s Agriculture Secretary and John Major’s Environment Secretary, said that ministers were right to want a swifter planning regime with a bias towards approving projects rather than blocking them. But he warned that the current draft, which fails to distinguish between greenfield and brownfield sites, had got the balance wrong. “You have to have a presumption that you don’t build on greenfield sites,” he said. - The Times (£)

"We shouldn't be encouraging other EU countries to enter a fiscal union"

"All seem to think that what the eurozone countries do is any business of ours. All appear to think Her Majesty’s Government has a leading role in helping to push Germany, France and other eurozone members into a fiscal union….British Eurosceptics — which is most of us — need to grow up. We must accept that you can be part of an economic union, or you can stand aside; and if you stand aside you forfeit the right to interfere, still less to veto." - Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

Perverse for Osborne to will the Euro's survival - Michael Portillo, Financial Times (£)

  • UK faces a £5bn bill to bail out Spain as ministers plan for euro collapse - Daily Mail
  • Lord Pearson's EU enquiry bill gains second reading - Daily Express
  • Only Merkel can save the eurozone now - Daily Mail Editorial
  • Margaret Thatcher knew that capitalism must deliver for the masses - Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

SHAPPS GRANTShapps defiant after Humphreys spat - The Independent

Train operators surprised by late coalition bid to cut rail-fare increases - The Guardian

Glyn Davies MP says that ban on Welsh MPs voting on English NHS would be "bad news" - Wales Online

Kate Hoey MP says that Britons should have their own queues at airports - Daily Express

Peter Robinson to address annual DUP conference today - Irish Times

Could Cameron become the Earl of Witney? - Wintour and Watt, The Guardian

Other Political News and Comment in brief

And finally: Toby Young, Alistair Campbell, Jemima Khan, Nigel Farage and others have their very own PMQs

"Lord Lamont: "If there were no coalition and you were governing as a Conservative prime minister alone, what three things would you most like to have done that you have not been able to do in coalition?"

David Cameron:  "Further action on welfare reform. Perhaps the control of immigration." - The Guardian"


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