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Newslinks for Sunday 21st October 2012

8.15pm ToryDiary: Alex Salmond aims to frame independence referendum as choice between Left-wing Scotland or Tory-rule from London

5pm The Jury: In what ways - if any - is the Coalition more radical than the Thatcher governments?

4pm WATCH: Tim Montgomerie tells BBC's Hard Talk that the Conservative Party needs a blue collar message if it is to win the next election

12.30pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: EU Get-outers need to get that we're out

Screen Shot 2012-10-21 at 09.00.33ToryDiary: Pay whatever it takes. Hire Lynton Crosby and hire him now.

Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: Andrew Mitchell’s long and slow political death has been a disastrous lesson in how not to manage a crisis

Adam Holloway MP on Comment: My Afghanistan diary. Poppy palaces. Exhausted supermodels. A house in Kabul. And a political surge?

Local government: The Lib Dems are contesting only half the Police Commissioner elections


LeftWatch: 44% of Labour MPs have claimed for first class travel in last year, 33% of LibDems and only 16% of Tories


New gun laws as David Cameron gets tough on crime - The Sunday Telegraph

Screen Shot 2012-10-21 at 08.03.13The Mail on Sunday lists five new crackdowns:

  1. "Fines for prison bosses who fail to stop criminals re-offending after release, in a new ‘paid by results’ system.
  2. Life sentences for gun-runners who supply lethal weapons to gangsters.
  3. An ‘element of punishment’ in community sentences, which have been dismissed as a soft option by Right-wingers.
  4. Possible axeing of the custom of giving all prisoners £46 cash when they are freed from jail.
  5. Curbs on ‘cushy’ jail regimes where prisoners can spend all day watching TV."

"The prime minister is to say Britain needs a new "tough but intelligent" approach to law and order in a major speech. David Cameron is expected to say a combination of both tough prison sentences and lighter rehabilitation methods is necessary. Labour said the government was promising measures which had already been announced." - BBC

Norman Tebbit: A toff who sorted out the country's problems would be very popular

TebbitNorman"The abiding sin of the government is not that some ministers are rich, but that it seems unable to manage its affairs competently." - Lord Tebbit adds to the Government's misery in The Observer

"Tory toffs repelling undesirable immigrants, providing better schools, using welfare reform as a pathway to work, clearing vandals, yobs and drunks from the streets and standing up to our masters in Brussels would be very popular, and the word would soon be forgotten." - Lord Tebbit writing in The Observer

Iain Martin agrees that the incompetence charge is the one that the Government should fear

"The danger for the Prime Minister is that accusations of incompetence and a sense of drift are starting to stick. Mr Cameron needs urgently to recognise the extent of the problem. His Downing Street machine is simply not up to scratch. In particular the No 10 communications operation needs a radical rethink. Party management also requires attention, as worried Tory MPs fret about the impact of recent events on the party’s electoral prospects." - Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph

Daley Janet 2012Other Sunday commentators reflect on Andrew Mitchell's exit

  • Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph: "Let’s say it loud and clear: what Mitchell did and said (disputed as some of the minor details may be) on that now-distant day, was disgusting and inexcusable in an officer of state... Mr Cameron put himself on the wrong side of history when he failed to show at the very beginning that he understood why this incident was unacceptable."
  • Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer: "why, after spending a month trying to fight for his job and apparently having the prime minister's full support in that struggle, did Andrew Mitchell ultimately have to go? I like the conspiracy theory that his resignation was timed to distract from George Osborne's Great Train Snobbery, but to believe that is to assume a level of organisational skill on the part of this government that it is conspicuously lacking."
  • John Rentoul calls for some perspective in the Independent on Sunday: "The damage done to Cameron is not so serious. To the extent that floating voters knew who the Chief Whip was and cared that he was a police-abusing toff, they will now forget."
  • James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday: "Looking back on this torrid week, one senior Downing Street figure consoled himself with the thought that it is the ‘big picture that matters’. This is true. But if Cameron isn’t careful, a haze of errors will end up obscuring it."
  • Martin Ivens in The Sunday Times (£) urges Cameron to hire a new communications chief.
  • Time for Boris? Toby Young uses his Sun on Sunday column to suggest that it is no longer impossible that the Mayor of London will be Tory leader before the next election.

Tory MPs call on Cameron to beef up his political operation - The Sunday Times (£)

Binley-Brian-2Brian Binley MP criticises decision to appoint Sir George Young - Mail on Sunday

Also in the Mail on Sunday, Nadine Dorries MP writes: "I have great respect for his successor Sir George Young, possibly the nicest and politest man in Westminster. But it is a huge mistake for Cameron to have replaced Rugby School-educated Mitchell with Old Etonian Sir George."

"Why on earth do we allow this bunch of incompetent Lord Snootys to be in positions of authority over our country?" - Alex Salmond seeks to play class war in speech to SNP Conference, reported in the Independent on Sunday

  • "David Cameron and George Osborne are hellbent on making Britain as unjust, unequal and xenophobic as it was when Charles Dickens was writing about the iniquities of workhouses and Poor Laws. In so doing, they are helping to write the SNP's white paper on independence." - Kevin McKenna in The Observer
  • "Do you reckon the 23 millionaire MPs who sit in Cameron’s Cabinet are sharing our pain? Of course they aren’t." - Gareth Morgan for the Daily Star
Survation poll Green groups express alarm at links between the fossil fuel lobby and the Tories - Observer
  • Wind power will send our bills sky-high - Christopher Booker in The Sunday Telegraph
  • This cruel badger cull is pointless - and I can prove it - Brian May in the Mail on Sunday

'David Cameron is clueless': Ed Miliband joins austerity protesters in London - Independent on Sunday

  • Thugs stay away at peaceful protest by 100,000 people against cuts - Sunday Express

Support for leaving EU is at highest level for 30 years

"If a referendum on leaving the EU was held tomorrow,  51 per cent say they would vote to leave, while just 34 per cent would opt to stay. It means support for a pullout is at its most buoyant since the early Eighties, during Margaret Thatcher’s first term in Government, when nearly two thirds of voters wanted to leave the Common Market." - Mail on Sunday

Fox Liam C4"Without a substantial shift in sentiment from our EU partners I believe there is a 50/50 chance that Britain will have left the EU by the end of this decade. While there would be problems we would need to overcome, it should not fill us with fear." - Liam Fox in The Sun

  • Michael Gove isn't serious about leaving the EU or he'd say so in public - Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday

Grant Shapps talks about his 40/40 seats strategy - The Sunday Times (£)

"It is easy to make the error of underestimating May" - Writing in The Observer, Andrew Gimson looks back at the quiet rise and rise of Theresa May

James Hanning reviews Janan Ganesh's new biography of George Osborne

Screen Shot 2012-10-21 at 08.13.01"The Osborne portrayed by Ganesh, a long-standing admirer and now Financial Times columnist, is of a man unashamed to see politics as a profession as much as a means of changing the world. It is not until page 260 (of nearly 300) that Ganesh has a stab at identifying Osborne's convictions. Osbornism, if it exists, is schools reform, fiscal conservatism, cultural liberalism and an interventionist foreign policy." - Independent on Sunday

The Oxford Union refuses to renew contract with the university's Conservative association after Tories were involved in debauchery, sexism and racism - The Sunday Telegraph

Three-way civil war breaks out within the Scottish Conservatives over who will become the party's next MEP - The Sunday Herald

185 MPs travel first class and 24 claim for club class flights - The Sunday Telegraph

Parents are the best carers, so pay them - Jill Kirby in The Sunday Times (£)

The article is an edited version of Jill's column for ConHome, published earlier this week.

It’s a myth there is less social mobility - Dominic Lawson in The Sunday Times (£)


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