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26 Jun 2012 08:28:52

Newslinks for Tuesday 26th June 2012

Smith Chloe C410pm WATCH: Chloe Smith asked if the 3p fuel duty cut is an unfunded tax cut, a U-turn, a fiscal stimulus... or all three?

4.45pm WATCH: George Osborne scraps 3p fuel duty rise

4pm Ben Harris-Quinney on Comment: Our ex-pats must now have the full right to vote

3.15pm ToryDiary: Osborne's fuel duty news and his Treasury golden rule: never, ever allow oneself to be outsmarted by Ed Balls

2pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: A thought experiment regarding electing the Lords

Noon Luke D Coffey on Comment: On Trident the Liberal Democrats are dangerously wrong

10am John Glen MP on Comment: Forces families receive mixed signals on accommodation

Tory Diary: Cameron's welfare speech was timed to help him over Lords reform (on which the Government is in trouble).  Will the gambit work?

DavispicDavid Davis MP on Comment: The true legacy of London 2012 must be a voucher system to boost school sport

MajorityConservatism: A researched campaign against Ed Miliband's politics

LeftWatch: Ed Balls gets a thumbs-up from The Sun for backing cut in petrol duty

John Bald on Local Government: How can the Left claim to believe in equality when they oppose state schools using phonics?

The Deep End: The people, the sheeple and the money markets

WATCH: Alistair Darling speaks at launch of Better Together campaign

Government seeks to halt Lords bill revolt by refusing new upper house members a salary

"David Cameron will attempt to head off a gathering revolt in Tory ranks over reforming the House of Lords by scrapping the idea of paying members of a reformed chamber a salary." - Independent

  • "The maximum earnings level could be about £45,000 a year - down from the original proposal of about £60,000." - BBC
  • "The Lib Dem leader lacks the intellectual maturity for constitution-making. His student union-style plans would replace a chamber that  more or less works with a House full of second-rate party political hacks, costing the country half a billion a year. What a damning indictment of the priorities of a party obsessed with fiddling while Britain burns." Daily Mail leader

Ken Clarke plans for prisoners to work to support their families

"Under the new proposals being unveiled by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, inmates will be able to use the money they earn to pay maintenance towards their partners and children like other absent fathers." - Daily Mail

Varying regional benefits is dropped from David Cameron's welfare speech.  But it's claimed that it could still happen...

"Northerners could be paid lower benefits under plans being considered by ministers. But some senior Tories are already warning that the move could damage the party’s chances of a revival outside the South." - Daily Mail

  • "Is it right that we continue to pay the vast majority of welfare benefits in cash, rather than in benefits in kind, like free school meals?" he said. However, a similar scheme brought in for asylum-seekers had to be dropped after evidence emerged that it stigmatised families. - Independent
  • "Mr Cameron’s overall message is spot-on: the welfare bill is completely out of hand. The pity is that while he waffles, the bill continues to soar." - The Sun Says
  • "Mr Duncan Smith, normally polite in the Chamber, was on combative form. He snapped at his Labour shadows like a terrier biting at bluebottles." Quentin Letts Daily Mail
  • "An essential principle for Chadwick and Lloyd George – and for William Beveridge, too – was that benefits should not be set so high as to deter a low-paid worker from taking a job." Philip Johnston Daily Telegraph
  • A red mist of despair poured from children's and disability charities, stunned at yet another assault on those they try to defend." Polly Toynbee The Guardian
  • "If that's the return of the Nasty Party, there'll be an awful lot of nice people nodding along with it." - Simon Carr Independent


Cameron to oppose £80 billion increase in EU spending

"The proposal for a 10 per cent increase in actual spending is for the first time on the agenda at a meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, 28 and 29 June. Officials are hoping that member states will agree the new budget next year, ahead of it coming into force in 2014 and running until 2020." - Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Martin Callanan MEP's monthly report - Planet European Parliament, billions of miles from reality

SepelmanpicCaroline Spelman defends Government's record on flood prevention

"The Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, said prevention was "a vital area of the work of Government" and that ministers were spending £2bn on it." - Independent

John Redwood: Conservatives most want an EU referendum

"I have been speaking in other constituencies in recent weeks, meeting Conservative members and voters. The overwhelming wish they have is to hold a referendum on the EU....The questions will all be about Europe." - John Redwood's Diary

  • Germany to hold referendum on European integration - Daily Mail

Defence Select Committee attacks "unacceptable" armed forces accomodation

"A defence select committee report also said a planned three-year halt to upgrades sent the "wrong signal" to personnel and their families." - BBC
  • The army is no longer the Tory party at war - Rachel Sylester, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Too many children don't know enough about the sacrifices made by the WWII generation

Better Together campaign launched opposing Scottish independence


"Former UK chancellor Alistair Darling has launched the bid to keep the Union, saying there will be no way back from Scottish independence. He compared independence to buying "a one-way ticket to send our children to a deeply uncertain destination"." - BBC

  • "First Minister Alex Salmond said.."At heart, this is a Tory-led campaign which is intent on conceding nothing to the people of Scotland and hiding behind its refusal to spell out an alternative policy before the referendum." - The Scotsman

>Yesterday: WATCH: First video of the "Keep Scotland in the UK" campaign

The Times welcomes Egypt's "first step on journey to democracy"

"Turkey’s transition from military to democratic rule offers Egypt a beacon to follow. The journey facing Egypt and Mr Morsi will be rocky. Yet however precarious it may be, it remains more promising than the reign of repression they leave behind." - Times(£) leader

Labour urge delay in fuel duty rise - BBC

Michael-Gove-007Lord Leveson hits back at Michael Gove...

"What has happened is an example of an approach which seeks to convert any attempt to question the conduct of the press as an attack on free speech." Lord Leveson's statement the Education Secretary keeps up attack on exam boards

"The Education Secretary will say that hundreds of thousands of pupils have been steered towards
worthless qualifications that fail to prepare them for the demands of the workplace....he will also criticise teaching unions for putting their "own interests" before those of schoolchildren and helping to create an environment of “corrosive low expectations”. - Daily Telegraph

Andrew Lansley orders takeover of troubled PFI hospitals - The Times(£)

Queen begins Northern Ireland visit - BBC

NUT boss earns £154,000 a year - The Sun

Even now Blair won't admit the Eurosceptics were right - Dominic Lawson, The Independent

Arab spring has bred new British fanatics - Daily Telegraph

Unite amasses £25 million strike fund - BBC

>Yesterday: Local Government: Unite the Union's strategy to shift Labour councils to the Left

 And finally...Coalition Government offers "divorce app" with advice on how to break up amicably - Independent



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25 Jun 2012 08:30:03

Newslinks for Monday 25th June 2012

 5.15pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: Avoiding taxes isn't immoral but lying, fraud and hypocrisy are

4.30pm Tim Leunig on Comment: The real losers of Cameron's housing benefit plans are the middle aged

4.15pm Local Government: Unite the Union's strategy to shift Labour councils to the Left

Screen shot 2012-06-25 at 16.24.413.00pm WATCH:

12.30pm ToryDiary: Is the real clash of interests in British politics between older and younger voters?

10.45am Richard Harrington MP on Comment: Giving overseas aid is in Britain's interests

ToryDiary: The return of the nasty party? The end of compassionate conservatism? Or the beginning of an honest approach to fighting poverty?

Columnist Bruce Anderson: There is an unmet consumer demand for a lot more right-wing populism

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Too many children don't know enough about the sacrifices made by the WWII generation

MPsETC: Martin Callanan MEP's monthly report - Planet European Parliament, billions of miles from reality

Think Tanks: David Laws battles for classical liberalism in the Lib Dems

Local Government: Brixton Observer on Lambeth's urban clearance

The Deep End: Germany would if it could, but it can’t so it won’t

WATCH: First video of the "Keep Scotland in the UK" campaign

Cameron outlines tougher approach on welfare...

Screen shot 2012-06-25 at 08.18.43"David Cameron will float the idea that workshy couples could be penalised by having their income support slashed and additional child benefit stopped if they have more than three children. He will also suggest that Britain adopts America’s tough benefits rules which see the unemployed forced to work and even automatically stripped of payments after two years out of work." - Daily Mail

  • "David Cameron will signal today the end of "compassionate
    Conservatism" with plans for a crackdown on welfare spending for the young, the jobless and those with large families." - The Independent
  • "As Cameron will not attempt to put any of these welfare reforms on to the statute book before 2015, the Liberal Democrats can afford a relatively relaxed attitude." Patrick Wintour, The Guardian
  • "Halfway through the life of a struggling administration, with storm clouds ahead, it's no longer possible to ignore the ideological struggle in the party – except that it's barely a struggle now, just a rush to the right. We can't say we're not being warned." - Jackie Ashley The Guardian
  • "In order to raise his own political game, Mr Cameron therefore needs to show by deeds rather than words that he really means to reform welfare and education, and quash the now widespread perception that he is more about spin than spine." - Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail
  • "If this comes to anything (alas, a big ‘if’ under this Coalition of paralysis), it will mean couples will have to stop producing babies without a thought to who will support them. It will also end the scandal of leaving hundreds of thousands of able-bodied Britons to stew in hopeless dependency, when benefits pay better than work." - Daily Mail Editorial
  • "Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told BBC One's Sunday Politics that Mr Cameron was free to set out his own thinking but that the coalition had already brought in radical welfare reform, which should be allowed to "bed-in"." - BBC

....but Labour reject it...

Screen shot 2012-06-25 at 08.22.30"Labour said the move would penalise young people who want to move from home to look for work. Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne said: "This is a hazy and half-baked plan when we need a serious back to work programme for young families. Many young families with their first foot on the career ladder will be knocked off if help with their rent is taken away." - Daily Telegraph do some Lib Dems

"Simon Hughes, the deputy leader of the Lib Dems, said that cutting housing benefit to young adults was not a priority. “Liberal Democrats are clear that the target of our political interests over the remaining three years of this Parliament should be making sure people with high incomes pay their dues to the State, not trying to make life more difficult for those struggling to get a job or to find a home at the bottom end of the income scale,” he said." - The Times(£)

William Hague "outraged" at Syria shooting down Turkish jet

"Foreign Secretary William Hague today condemned Syria for shooting down of a Turkish fighter jet. Mr Hague said the "outrageous" act underlined the need for Bashar Assad's regime to go." - Independent

Ann Widdecombe's tribute to former Conservative MP Ken Hargreaves, who has died

Screen shot 2012-06-25 at 08.20.46" Fellow Conservative ex-MP Ann Widdecombe said he would be remembered "with huge affection"."He was a tireless campaigner for God and the unborn," she said. "No constituent was ever neglected no matter how trivial the problem." - BBC

>Yesterday: Tory MPsETC: A tribute to former Conservative MP Ken Hargreaves, who has died

Alistair Darling launches "Better Together" campaign against Scottish independence

"Launching the cross-party Better Together campaign in Edinburgh - which involves Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives - Mr Darling will say that Scotland, through family, economic and cultural friendship, is stronger in the UK." - BBC

  • "The tech-savvy geeks who transformed Barack Obama's presidential bid in 2008 by using social media are now hoping to weave the same digital magic for Scotland's anti-independence campaign."- The Independent

Justine Greening says that she will not stop rise in fuel tax

Greening Justine BBC"In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Miss Greening indicated that she was not prepared to lobby the Treasury to delay or abandon the 3p increase in fuel duty this August. She disclosed that her focus was instead on “challenging” petrol firms to cut the cost of fuel at the pumps to reflect the falling cost of oil globally." - Daily Telegraph

Government stresses Commons supremacy in bid to quell Tory rebels on Lords reform...

"Ministers are bracing for a potential coalition clash with the announcement of fresh safeguards on an elected second chamber, designed to mollify an imminent Conservative rebellion." - Guardian

  • "Labour is plotting to join forces with Tory rebels in an attempt to sabotage the Government's plans for House of Lords reform before the proposals are even debated. ...Labour will use a Commons procedural motion in an attempt to derail the bill at its first hurdle." - Independent

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Michael Fallon says "huge safeguards" on Lords reform should satisfy most Conservative MPs

....but Boris throws his weight against the plan. He says it is "crazy": another front is opened in his struggle with Cameron and for the support of Tory MPs.

"It is all completely unnecessary. Somehow, time and custom has produced a House of Lords that works. Their lordships are a vast, gentle and liver-spotted repository of wisdom. When you listen to their debates, it is transparent that they are not sharp-elbowed creatures. They betray no particular anxiety to make their name or to suck up to the whips. They may take the odd power nap and they may not all be in the first flush of youth. But they seem, on the whole, to have the interests of the country at heart." - Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

MitchellThe Sun welcomes Andrew Mitchell's decision to mark aid supplies with the British flag

 "Britain should be proud of the sacks of aid it sends to help the needy abroad. And at last, that pride will be demonstrated again — by having the Union Flag large and clear on overseas consignments. For four years, packages have gone out with barely any mention they are from us — thanks to a ludicrous Labour decision to remove our flag because it looked “too colonial”." - The Sun Says

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Andrew Mitchell unveils new logo so all DfID projects will carry the reminder that aid is "from the British people"

Tory MP Mark Pritchard "assaulted in pub lavatory" - Daily Telegraph

MPs Public Accounts Committee to investigate tax avoidance - The Times(£)

Former Scotsman editor becomes new Director of Communications for Scottish Conservatives - Scotsman

Leveson to break silence on Gove enquiry phone call to Number 10 - Press Association

David Laws rebuked by Danny Alexander over call to cut state spending further - Daily Express 

Turkey to convene emergency Nato meeting over Syria - Daily Telegraph 

Islamist leader wins Egyptian presidency - Financial Times (£)

Gerry Adams spin on Queen-McGuinness handshake is that it will help to persuade Unionists to live in a United Ireland - Belfast Telegraph

>Yesterday:   ToryDiary - The Government needs David Laws back round the Cabinet table

Blair suggests the UK could still join the Euro - BBC

>Yesterday: WATCH - Tony Blair: Britain may have a "very interesting choice" to make over joining the €uro in the future

And finally...Jimmy Carr hits back at David Cameron

" Mr Carr also mocked the premier for digressing from talks aimed at sorting out the Eurozone crisis to criticise him. He said: ‘You know you’re a dick when the prime minister breaks off from the G20 Summit. He’s having a meeting with Obama, says “excuse me, Obama, there’s something I need to deal with, Jimmy Carr’s a f***ing dick”.’ " - Metro



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24 Jun 2012 08:59:08

Newslinks for Sunday 24th June 2012

Stewart Bob Sunday Pols7.30pm WATCH: Col. Bob Stewart MP: We should enter sensible talks with Argentina on issues like trade - no talks over sovereignty

4.15pm WATCH: Tony Blair: Britain may have a "very interesting choice" to make over joining the €uro in the future

3.15pm Tory MPsETC: A tribute to former Conservative MP Ken Hargreaves, who has died

1.30pm ToryDiary: Michael Fallon says "huge safeguards" on Lords reform should satisfy most Conservative MPs

NewUKaidlogo11.15am ToryDiary: Andrew Mitchell unveils new logo so all DfID projects will carry the reminder that aid is "from the British people"

10.45am ToryDiary: What questions should we ask in the end-June readers' survey?

ToryDiary: The Government needs David Laws back round the Cabinet table

Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: What I believe should be done to whoever dreamed up the slogan: "Maxing Out Plan A"...

Chris Skidmore MP on Comment: Saving enough for care means caring enough to save

Local Government: More children in care need to go to boarding school

WATCH: Caroline Spelman: "We're not unprepared... I'm just so sorry for the flood victims who are affected"

David Cameron plans fresh crackdown on benefits

Cameron housebuilding"Every person under the age of 25 will be banned from state help with housing costs, under controversial plans set out by David Cameron. Mr Cameron will use a major speech tomorrow to outline the prospect of a fresh crackdown on the welfare state... He wants to impose further cuts on the system, which he claims "encourages people not to work and have children"." - Independent on Sunday

  • "Scrapping the benefit for that age group would save almost £2bn a year." - BBC
  • "Cameron promises another round of curbs on benefits. To which The Sun says: We’ll believe it when we see it." - Sun on Sunday editorial
  • Full Cameron interview with the Mail on Sunday

Cameron faces defeat in bid to halt Tory revolt over elected Lords

Lords_Chamber"Cameron is facing the biggest and most serious backbench rebellion since the last general election as his plans to avert a Tory mutiny on reforming the House of Lords looked set to fail. ... It is understood that at least two parliamentary private secretaries – ministerial aides on the lowest rung of the government ladder – are ready to resign... Last night there were reports that as many as five junior members of Government were prepared to step down over the plans." - Sunday Telegraph

  • "The five Parliamentary Private Secretaries... include Conor Burns who works for Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson. ... Angie Bray, PPS to Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, is also expected to rebel, and Mark Menzies, PPS to Energy Minister Charles Hendry, is understood to be ‘unhappy’" - Mail on Sunday
  • "Elected peers will have bigger constituencies, non-partisan candidates with real-world expertise will be highlighted on ballot papers, and the supremacy of the Commons over the Lords will be enshrined in law, as part of the Prime Minister's amendments." - Independent on Sunday

> Yesterday - WATCH: House of Lords referendum "inevitable"

Gove ready for deal with Clegg over axeing GCSEs

GOVE MICHAEL NW"A source close to the education secretary said: “We are ready to change and modify aspects of what we have proposed to secure the maximum consensus. We believe the argument is winnable. If the essence of what we are trying to do remains, we are perfectly happy for the Liberal Democrats to say they have watered down the wilder excesses.” ... David Cameron is throwing his weight behind the plans, however, and a compromise now looks increasingly likely" - Sunday Times (£)

  • "The education secretary's O-level plans – and the way they were announced – are the latest example of his growing profile and ambitions for the leadership" - Observer
  • The Education Secretary's O-Level announcement was a trap that Nick Clegg and the teaching establishment lumbered into - John Rentoul for the Independent on Sunday
  • Our divided society cries out for Michael Gove’s school solutions - Matthew d'Ancona for the Sunday Telegraph
  • Parents to be told best schools for uni places - Sunday Times (£)

> From yesterday - Martin Parsons on Comment: Reintroduce O-Levels - but don't abolish GCSEs

George Osborne seeks to bypass third runway at Heathrow

Osborne Large"The chancellor has secretly been pushing proposals that would see more than 1,000 extra flights a week and as many as 20m more passengers each year. Behind the scenes, Osborne is understood to have argued that the permanent use of so-called “mixed mode” flights — allowing both runways to be used all day for both takeoffs and landings — would help kickstart the economy and boost competitiveness." - Sunday Times (£)

Osborne defies PM and blocks plastic bag tax

"A tax on plastic carrier bags has been blocked by the Treasury despite pressure from David Cameron, senior government sources claimed last night. ... Those close to the government negotiations said there has been a "firm push back" from the Treasury. "After granny taxes, pasties and fuel fiascos there doesn't seem to be the stomach for any cost-of-living consequentials. It looks dead in the water from here," said a source." - Independent on Sunday

"Senior Tories" discussing how to prevent a Brown-style coronation for Osborne when Cameron steps down.  Kwasi Kwarteng, Jesse Norman and Elizabeth Truss touted as candidates

Kwarteng"The talks about an open race, which is being planned for when David Cameron steps down, rather than a plot to unseat him, have been prompted by concerns by backbenchers that the next leadership contest is already being carved up as a "narrow choice" between Mr Osborne, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson." - Independent on Sunday

Conservative MPs react angrily after it emerged one of Nick Clegg’s most senior officials is to play a key role in David Cameron’s delegation at this week’s EU summit

"The move threatened to expose a fresh coalition rift as Conservative MPs accused the Liberal Democrat leader of seeking to undermine the Prime Minister with a high-level “spy in the camp”, with specific instructions to report back at every stage. ... Conservatives fear that this will make it much less likely that Mr Cameron threatens the use of Britain’s veto." - Sunday Telegraph

  • "This can only aggravate the feelings of many Tory MPs, who think increasingly that the Conservative leader should stand up to Mr Clegg." - Iain Martin for the Sunday Telegraph
  • It's cruel European judges who are destroying jobs - Bruce Anderson for the Sunday Telegraph

Brussels offers to buy Britain a flag pole to force Eric Pickles' department to fly EU flag

Pickles PEB

"A row over the Government being forced to fly the European Union flag took a farcical turn last night after Brussels offered to pay for a new flagpole if it complied with the demand. " - Mail on Sunday

Maude clamps down on Whitehall contracts - Independent on Sunday

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Alan Duncan bans civil servants from using jargon

Tory former MP Ken Hargreaves dies

"Tory former MP Ken Hargreaves has died aged 73. Mr Hargreaves, who represented Hyndburn from 1983 to 1992, was a prominent Catholic and anti-abortion campaigner." - ITV News

Top Tory donor linked to Jimmy Carr tax scheme - Observer

Clegg says 'bring on the hatred'

Clegg Nick welfare system"First he was ignored. Then he was more popular than Churchill. Now, with his poll ratings flat-lining and the prognosis bleak, Nick Clegg is looking to Roosevelt and planning to "welcome the hatred" of the Great British public. The embattled Liberal Democrat leader is to embark on a national tour, putting himself in the line of fire as hundreds of members of the public tell him what they really think." - Independent on Sunday

David Laws calls for cut in state spending

LAWS DAVID"State spending is too high and likely to be leading to "waste and inefficiency", ex-Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister David Laws has said. Mr Laws said the public sector's share of the economy should be cut to 35% from the 49% it reached in 2010-11. It needed to be "back in kilter with the amount of tax people are prepared to pay", he told the Sunday Telegraph." - BBC

  • "The return of the Liberal Democrat David Laws to the Cabinet would improve the chances of reforming public services and cutting state expenditure" - Sunday Telegraph editorial

Danny Alexander plans laws to tackle tax schemes - Scotland on Sunday

SNP ducks question of migrant limits post-independence - Scotland on Sunday

Government stalling on GDP aid pledge - Independent on Sunday

A sense of pride and justice over the war memorial that rights a 67-year wrong - Lord Ashcroft for the Mail on Sunday

Rowan Williams pours scorn on 'big society' - Observer

  • "Two bishops have broken ranks to speak out against the Church of England’s opposition to same-sex marriage" - Sunday Telegraph
  • "If the Church of England no longer likes our independence from Europe, then what is the point of the Church of England?" - Rod Liddle for the Sunday Times (£)

Environment Agency defends its response to Spelman Rain Goddess flood overkill - BBC

Argentina ‘to disrupt’ Olympics - Sunday Times (£)

And finally... Chancellor George Osborne reunited with fat cat Freya who disappeared three years agoMail on Sunday



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23 Jun 2012 09:02:43

Newslinks for Saturday 23rd June 2012

 2.45pm Martin Parsons on Comment: Reintroduce O-Levels - but don't abolish GCSEs

1.30pm ToryDiary: Alan Duncan bans civil servants from using jargon

FlagToryDiary: Martin McGuinness might as well be photographed waving a Union Flag

Kris Hopkins MP on Comment: What's wrong with demanding a minimum income migrant requirement?  We should back Theresa May on controlling immigration. 

Local Government: Should councils have to publish their procurement card spending?

WATCH: House of Lords referendum "inevitable"

QueenOwen Paterson says it is right for The Queen to meet Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness

"Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said the meeting would be a "most significant event".  it was "right that the Queen should meet representatives from all parts of the will ensure that next week's visit will move Northern Ireland a whole new step forward." - BBC

  • "Tory statesman Lord Tebbit, whose wife was left paralysed by the IRA, says that at least it shows McGuinness – Ulster’s deputy first minister - now accepts the Queen as sovereign of Northern Ireland. Perhaps. But if Her Majesty wants to wash her hands after the meeting, few will blame her." - The Sun Says

>Yesterday: WATCH - The Queen to meet Martin McGuinness

Miliband's immigration apology is met with scepticism

Miliband Ed Official"Labour’s mistakes were so enormous between 1997 and 2010 that its current leader should really have put on sackcloth and ashes. There were 3.5 million net migrants into this country in 13 years. It is not too much to say that an irreversible transformation in the demographics of Britain has taken place." - Stephen Glover Daily Mail

  • "Labour’s policy, which Ed Miliband has taken nearly two years to disown, was to abandon controls in favour of a free-for-all that has changed Britain for ever. So why would anyone trust Labour on immigration again?" The Sun Says
  • "The first point of the four-part Miliband plan was not much more than a pious desire for better border controls coupled to a gradual scheme for the admittance of nationals of newly acceded EU countries — a policy that is, in fact, already in place." Times(£)  leader
  • "Diane Abbott, the Shadow Public Health Minister, came the closest of any of Mr Miliband’s front bench to questioning the policy. She used Twitter to point to criticism of the Labour leader’s harder line on immigration. She said she was “judging the speech by the way Labour’s own spin doctors have chosen to spin it”." Times(£)
  • "Mischievous messages of support came from Ukip's Nigel Farage and even the BNP's Nick Griffin, the latter gleefully retweeted by Miliband's critics on the left, as if to suggest that the leader had taken the first step on the grimy slope towards fascism." Jonathan Freedland Guardian
  • "If British workers are struggling to compete for jobs, the answer is not, as Mr Miliband is suggesting, to use the law to tilt the balance artificially back in their favour. Rather, it is to ensure they are better equipped." Independent leader


Cameron knew about Gove plan to scrap GCSEs

GOVE MICHAEL NW"Downing Street has denied the deputy prime minister's claim David Cameron was kept in the dark about Michael Gove's plans to scrap GCSEs in England. Nick Clegg told BBC News neither he nor the prime minister knew of the proposal until they read it in the Daily Mail." - BBC

  • "I'm old enough to have taken O-levels, and it is true that there was a certain amount of stigma attached to the CSE. But it's hard to see why this should be the case. CSEs were introduced after the O-level, at a time when 80 per cent of pupils were leaving with no qualification at all." - Philip Henscher The Independent

Guardian welcomes Cameron's attack on tax avoidance...

"It hardly needs saying that it will be much harder for Mr Cameron to rebuild his credibility on financial fairness in 2012 than it was in 2006. But he is right to try. Now he needs to press forward and not to retreat. There is no more important test facing the Tory party." - Guardian Editorial

...But Conservative MPs question it

"As Downing Street said the prime minister had been too busy to fulfil his pledge to look at Barlow's tax affairs, senior Tories were privately warning that the prime minister risked looking foolish. "This is so typical of our prime minister. This is all about shooting from the hip without thinking through the consequences. He looks rather foolish. Downing Street seems incapable of any long-term thinking," one said." - The Guardian

  • "The truly moral course is not to castigate those such as Jimmy Carr, but to create a simpler, flatter tax system in which such behaviour is not just impossible, but unnecessary." - Daily Telegraph Editorial
  • "While the Mail holds no torch for Mr Carr, it’s Britain’s tax system that is the most morally offensive. The tax code handbook is currently 11,500 pages – the longest in the world – and is so riddled with complexity that accountants find increasingly ingenious ways of finding loopholes for their wealthy clients to exploit." - Daily Mail Editorial

>Yesterday: Ben Harris-Quinney on Comment: What really matters isn't tax avoidance. It's whether you are a a net benefactor or a net detractor.

MooreCharles Moore backs Mitt Romney

"Mr Romney stands in the central tradition of the modern presidency. He thinks America should be strong. He sees decline as a choice to be rejected, rather than a fate to be embraced. He does not suffer from Jimmy Carter-type agonies about American power, and is not troubled by Obama-style, anti-Western “Dreams from my Father”." Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

Government proposes no referendum on Lords reform...

"The Government will publish controversial legislation to introduce elected peers but the historic plans will be allowed to proceed without a national vote....The decision may be seen as a concession by the Conservatives to Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, who previously compared the House of Lords to the “Chinese People’s Congress”."  - Daily Telegraph

  • "The coalition has suggested cutting the number of peers from more than 800 to 300, with 240 elected and 60 appointed. It will publish its plans next week. If its legislation is passed, the first elections would take place in 2015." - BBC
  • "Just look what "democracy" has done for the House of Commons over the provision of a Speaker. Until a few years ago, wise heads from the main parties got together and agreed on who should become Speaker. They invariably got the right person." - Chris Moncrieff Daily Mail

...but may have to have one anyway

"Labour in the Commons will undoubtedly support a referendum amendment and I think there are enough rebel Conservatives, and possibly Liberal Democrats as well, who will back that,  David Cameron can't avoid a referendum, no matter whether he wants one or not. If the Commons does not put a referendum in, you can then you can be virtually 100 per cent sure that the House of Lords will." Constitutional expert Dr Meg Russell tells Daily Telegraph

The Independent says Cameron would consult Clegg before using veto at EU summit on Thursday..

"One of the key EU measures will be a move towards a "banking union", which could have dangerous implications for Europe's biggest financial centre – the City of London....Callum Miller, Mr Clegg's principal private secretary for foreign affairs, will be part of the UK delegation, acting as his eyes and ears." - Andrew Grice  The Independent

...but the Daily Mail suggests it won't be needed

"Nine countries yesterday vowed to impose new taxes on financial deals – which Britain thinks will cripple economic growth – but demands for all 27 EU nations to be included were dropped."- Daily Mail

JustinegreeningJustine Greening says the Government still opposes third runway at Heathrow - The Times(£)

  • "Heathrow's capacity problems could be solved without the need for a new runway, as strict rules on take-offs and landings are eased from next month." - Independent

Ed Miliband calls for Blairites and unions to end "squabbling" - Independent

Lord Maples obituary - Herald

Peers will have to name business clients - Independent

And finally 1) Grammar fascist Alan Duncan bans DFID from "leveraging" or "mainstreaming" anything, ‘growing economies', 'going forward', 'accessing', 'catalysing', 'showcasing', 'impacting' or working in ‘the humanitarian space’ - Daily Telegraph

And finally 2) 16-year-old David Cameron with his first girlfriend - Daily Telegraph



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