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Newslinks for Sunday 11th March 2012

6.30pm ToryDiary: The public don't think gay marriage should be a priority for the Coalition. Will it fall by the wayside?

5pm MPsETC: After being shoved up against a wall by Eric Joyce, Andrew Percy MP finds his back problem cured

3pm ToryDiary: The Lib Dems' weekend of free publicity begs the question: where is Conservative Spring Forum?

Livingstone Marr2.45pm WATCH: Ken Livingstone: "I'm in exactly the same [tax] position as everybody else who is a small business"

11.45am ToryDiary: Commissioner on British Bill of Rights resigns, accusing Ken Clarke of acting in concert with human rights establishment

10am LeftWatch: The Sun praises Yvette Cooper MP for "speaking our language on crime"


Question: Guess who Cameron has appointed to run Downing Street's implementation unit? Answer: A former Labour adviser.

Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: The people of Iran are not like Ahmadinejad

Screen Shot 2012-03-11 at 06.32.45

Robert Halfon MP on Comment launches a new website called "Right Angle": The Left are winning the internet battle, he warns, and it's time to fight back...

John Moss on Local government: Properties should be reassessed for their Council Tax band when they are sold

Also on Local government: The number of candidates for the Police and Crime commissioner elections on November 15th is coming through thick and fast and Birmingham City Council pays £35 million a year in sick pay


6a00d83451b31c69e20162fed60e4b970dLib Dem attack on Tories (1): According to the Independent on Sunday, Clegg will attack George Osborne over alleged drift away from green agenda.

Lib Dem attack on Conservatives (2): "Vince Cable has attacked Conservative rightwingers and pledged to take on "old-fashioned, backward-looking" thinkers who claim tax cuts for the rich will fuel economic growth. The business secretary hit out at "Conservative backwoodsmen", insisting it was the Liberal Democrats' job to confront those who "stroke fat cats until they purr with pleasure"." - Observer

Lib Dem attack on Conservatives (3): "The Conservatives made their intentions clear in their manifesto – including tax breaks for millionaires", Simon Hughes writing in the Independent on Sunday

  • At this stage in the Coalition the Lib Dems should be emphasising common projects, not differences - John Redwood
  • Tories furious at "lazy" Vince Cable who spends more time promoting himself than British business - Mail on Sunday
  • "The Liberal Democrat leadership now exudes more intellectual and political confidence than it has done since going into Government.  It believes that, even if the polls aren’t, things are looking up for the party.  At the next Election, their plan is to present themselves as the ‘one-nation party’, bashing Labour for being in hock to the unions and the Tories for being dependent on the City." - James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday

Nick Clegg to use speech to Lib Dems in Gateshead to call for tax cuts for poor, financed by clampdown on tax avoidance - BBC

But Clegg's idea for a "tycoon tax" is under attack from within his own party...

"Lord Oakeshott, a former Lib Dem Treasury spokesman who is seen as Cable's mouthpiece, accused Clegg of floating an unworkable idea and of bypassing the party's established policy-making structures. "This is a superficially attractive idea that falls apart on close analysis," Oakeshott said. "It does nothing to catch non-doms or non-residents. The US system is quite different from ours. We worked for years to produce a fair and robust tax policy. You can't invent Lib Dem policy on the hoof in the Daily Telegraph." - Observer

Lib Dem leadership defeat call to debate scrapping NHS Bill - Independent on Sunday

By a whopping 73% to 13% voters support the "Lib Dem policy" of financing income tax cuts with a mansion tax - YouGov/ Sunday Times poll

  • The Sunday Times (£) reveals that Chris Huhne's property portfolio is worth considerably more than £2m but no house on its own would be hit by the Lib Dem mansion tax. As part of his divorce serttlement his ex-wife took ownership of their London townhouse and that would be hit by the tax.

Gay Pride Flag88% of Conservative voters do NOT think gay marriage should be a priority

The Sunday Telegraph finds overall support for gay marriage, however: 45% of the public supporting the reform and 36% opposing.

A YouGov poll for The Sunday Times finds that only 21% of voters think that David Cameron genuinely believes in gay marriage. 63% think he takes the position for political reasons.

  • Tony Blair backs gay marriage - Independent on Sunday
  • Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph: The case for gay marriage is fundamentally conservative - it will strengthen Britain's social fabric
  • Peter Hitchens wonders why Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army, backed away from the Coalition for Marriage campaign - Mail on Sunday
  • In their quest to make the party electable, the Tories are offering a deeply confused message - Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph

Ministers will go to European Court and argue that employers CAN ban the wearing of the Christian cross and sack workers who insist on doing so - The Sunday Telegraph | Sunday Express

  • The Mail on Sunday pays tribute to Delia Smith for defending religious freedom

'Right to buy' discount could be increased to £75,000 - BBC

Shapps Grant On BBC"Discounts for long-standing tenants will be trebled and the regional cap will be removed so that tenants in the North and Wales no longer get half the discount offered to council tenants in the South. Housing Minister Grant Shapps will say: “Labour never really could stomach people aspiring to own their own homes and so they took delight in vindictively slashing the right to buy discounts until they were virtually meaningless. This coalition Government backs the dreams of those who want to own the roof over their own head.”" - Sunday Express

Reductions in frontline police capacity offer Labour a new line of attack - Observer

"The number of frontline police officers has fallen by more than 4,600 since 2010, according to new figures. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, who obtained the figures from police forces under freedom of information legislation, said the statistics undermined government claims that officers made redundant would be from backroom roles." - The Sunday Times (£) | Sky

Stalking victims have criticised David Cameron for reneging on his pledge to toughen stalking law

"The Prime Minister announced at a reception last week that stalking was to become a specific criminal offence. He insisted that existing legislation was not "good enough or strong enough" to deal with the "dreadful" problem. But after studying the measures proposed by the Government, campaigners say they will make little difference." - Sky

A government commissioner asked to advise on a British Bill of Rights is expected to resign in protest later after accusing the commission of ignoring the wishes of the prime minister and most Conservative MPs - BBC

Coalition in Brief:

  • Government wildlife advisers warn that plans to shoot the creatures to tackle bovine TB may break the law - Observer
  • President Nursultan Nazarbayev iis insisting on a visit from David Cameron in return for British troops leaving Afghanistan crossing Kazakhstan - Mail on Sunday
  • Iran could tear Coalition apart - Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

Preview of the Cameron's visit to Barack Obama - Independent on Sunday

Martin Iain March 2012The Cameroons' complete lack of feel for hard-working families could be fatal to their electoral chances - Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph

Frank Field MP wants a "Big Society" House of Lords, with 400 representatives of voluntary and professional organisations - The Sunday Telegraph

John Rentoul pays tribute to Tony Wright MP for his work on enhancing power and status of parliament - Independent on Sunday

SNP's Nicola Sturgeon aims to seize control of Glasgow, ending Labour misrule in the city - Scotland on Sunday

  • Salmond has promised that Scotland will have the most generous childcare system in the UK as he set out a series of practical ideas designed to woo voters in May's local-council elections - Sunday Herald


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