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Newslinks for Friday 18th January 2013

6pm WATCH: David Cameron's Algeria statement: "The action of these extremists can never be justified"

6pm Local government: Cllr Ian Hudspeth replies Oxfordshire is not Hammersmith and Fulham

4pm Local government: Good schools should be able to expand by more than 25%

RH3.15pm MPsETC: Rowena Holland selected to contest Nottingham South in 2015

1.15pm Local government: Conservative-run Oxfordshire proposes Council Tax rise

Noon MPsETC: David Cameron’s statement about the situation in Algeria

11.30am Local government: Council byelection results from yesterday

11am: ToryDiary: Loughton "wants to watch the world burn". So Gove's aides burn the forest down.

ToryDiary: How Cameron could lose the same-sex marriage bill

DAvid Cameron EuropeAlso on ToryDiary: Extracts from the speech that David Cameron would have delivered today

And here is yesterday evening's post on David Cameron's decision to postpone his speech, along with one posted after it:

BowiePaul Goodman writes for ConservativeHome's culture column: Bowie, whose story has touched both fascism and communism, gazes beyond politics towards death

Lord Flight on Comment: We still need to do more to make public sector pensions affordable

Local Government: Labour councils' weak stance on evicting "neighbours from hell"

The Deep End's heresy of the week: Cutting waste in public services could be an expensive mistake

WATCH: David Cameron warns of "bad news ahead" from Algeria

The speech that David Cameron would have given today

DC 2"When the speech is finally delivered, he will say the UK no longer accepts one of the founding principles of the EU – that membership means ‘ever closer union’, according to senior sources. ... He will insist that powers must flow in both directions between member states and Brussels, setting out plans to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership before asking voters to accept or reject it in a vote expected to take place in 2018. ... Senior Eurosceptic Tories, including Iain Duncan Smith and Liam Fox, are content with Mr Cameron’s stance." - Daily Mail

" emerged the landmark speech will represent the strongest attack on the EU yet made by a serving British Prime Minister." - The Sun

  • "The PM’s speech on Europe must come another day. ... Today our thoughts must be for the latest victims of barbarous fanatics." - Sun leader
  • Expect a speech full of praise for Europe, and a strong argument for a new deal" - Bruce Anderson, Financial Times (£)
  • "As Mr Osborne told the activists [at a ConservativeHome event] on Wednesday, there are two long years to the next election – and a big choice to be made, one that involves more than a European referendum. There is a great deal that can still be done before the Tories start mourning their lost majority." - Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

> Today on ToryDiary: Extracts from the speech that David Cameron would have delivered today

> Yesterday:

And the Algerian tragedy that made him postpone it

Algeria"Britain was plunged into a diplomatic crisis last night after a botched rescue left 30 hostages dead at a BP site in Algeria. ... At least two Britons were among those killed when government troops attacked the Al Qaeda terrorists holding them. The Algerians ignored demands from David Cameron to inform him first – and not to go in 'with all guns blazing'. ... Mr Cameron said last night he faced 'a very bad situation'." - Daily Mail

"Graham Watson, a Liberal Democrat MEP, caused protests on social networks last night when he tweeted: 'Al Qaeda 1, @David_Cameron 0'. ... Sources close to Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader, said that he was furious when he heard about the tweet. Mr Watson later deleted it and apologised." - The Times (£)

  • "The armed forces of France and Britain are woefully ill-prepared for the new age of self-sufficiency" - Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph

> Today's video to WATCH: David Cameron warns of "bad news ahead" from Algeria

> Yesterday's video to WATCH: The situation in Algeria is "extremely dangerous", says William Hague

Business leaders warn that uncertainty about Britain's future in Europe could put-off investors - Guardian

  • London's status as the world's top financial centre would be threatened if the UK left the EU, says the Swedish finance minister, who is generally an ally of George Osborne's - Financial Times (£)
  • Barack Obama keeps up the pressure for a "strong British voice" in Europe - Guardian

Tory plans for childcare tax breaks have been scuppered by the Lib Dems

CoC"The plans have been abandoned because wealthier families would benefit the most. Mothers earning less than £8,105 do not pay tax and so would not be eligible, while thousands who receive tax credits would be excluded. ... At a meeting this week of the “coalition quad” — David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Danny Alexander — the Lib Dems insisted that helping these lower-paid families had to be a priority for any extra cash." - The Times (£)

Team Osborne says that the new pension reforms won't lead to tax rises

"The small print of the coalition plan to introduce a flat-rate £144 a week pension – announced on Monday – indicated the exchequer would claw back significant sums from higher national insurance contributions (NICs). ... But ... 'We won’t use it for net revenue raising,' an aide told the Financial Times, indicating that his estimate of £6bn additional NICs a year would be spent on lowering other taxes or raising public spending when the new pension comes in some time from 2017." - Financial Times (£)

> Today, by Lord Flight on Comment: We still need to do more to make public sector pensions affordable

Will the benefit uprating measure push 200,000 children into poverty?

Budget"'We estimate that the uprating measures will result in around an extra 200,000 children being deemed … to be in relative income poverty,' said Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Minister. ... 'As earnings growth and inflation projections change these estimates will change.' ... Ms McVey added that it was wrong to view the figure 'in isolation' and that the Government was 'tackling the root causes of child poverty through making work pay'." - The Times (£)

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: David Cameron goes softly, softly on child benefit

Chancellor urged to restore conservatory tax - Guardian

Ministers still don't want to release an estiamte for Romanian and Bulgarian migration, but...

"...a discussion paper presented at a recent Cabinet committee suggested that the number emigrating to Britain when controls are lifted was only likely to run into the thousands." - Daily Telegraph

  • "Most GPs think that NHS treatment for migrants is ‘too generous’ and are refusing to register some patients who are in this country illegally" - Daily Mail
  • 200 foreign criminals cheated deportation last year because of their "right to a family life" in Britain - Daily Mail

And the Daily Telegraph observes:

  • "We hope the optimists are right, and there is no repeat of the chaos of 2004. But if they are not, we must be properly prepared. Sadly, at the moment the Government appears to have its head buried firmly in the sand." - Daily Telegraph leader

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: There may be trouble ahead for Theresa May over immigration

Justine Greening seeks assurances from aid contractors

JG"Contractors working for the development department will have to sign a pledge promising transparency and good value for money or risk losing future contracts, in a move to ease fears that 'poverty barons' are reaping large profits from aid spending. .... The scheme, announced on Friday by Justine Greening, development secretary, follows a four-month review into her department’s spending on technical experts." - Financial Times (£)

Mark Prisk offers "one quick step to help rough sleepers get out of the cold"

"So today I want to encourage Independent readers to take a simple step to help. By contacting Streetlink, whether by phone or online, so vulnerable people are put in touch with the shelter and support they so desperately need. ... your referral could be the difference between a life reliant on short-term handouts and a lifelong change." - Mark Prisk, Independent

  • Supermarkets shelves are being stripped of their contents, as people prepare for the snow - Daily Mail

Christopher Chope defends himself after describing House of Commons staff as "servants"

"Speaking in Parliament, [Christopher Chope] said: 'I dined on all three nights in the Dining Room and almost nobody else was present — but the service was fantastic because there were three servants for each person sitting down.' ... He later defended his comments, saying: 'Everyone who works in the House is a servant of the House of Commons. I was actually complimenting the people concerned.'" - The Sun

Boris has appointed Andrew Gilligan as his cycling commissioner

AG"Gilligan is expected to take up the post part-time while retaining his current staff position at the Daily Telegraph, but will curtail his coverage of London issues. ... The two have a long-standing relationship. Johnson hired Gilligan at the Spectator after the award-winning journalist lost his job following the BBC's war with Alastair Campbell over the Iraq dossier and the furore over the death of government scientist David Kelly." - Guardian

  • On his Telegraph blog, Andrew Gilligan explains why he took the job

The Daily Telegraph agrees with Nick Clegg on MPs' pay - Daily Telegraph leader

Philip Collins: Ed Miliband shouldn't reject an in/out referendum — he should fast-track one

"Once Mr Cameron signals that a referendum is on the horizon, Mr Miliband will be in the uncomfortable position of trying to take it away. Perhaps the Tories will rekindle their reputation for caring too much about Europe, but Labour risks in turn a reputation for caring too little about the electorate or, even worse, for thinking the public cannot be trusted with the question because it might get the answer wrong." - Philip Collins, The Times (£)

  • "Britain needs reform in Europe, not an exit" - Ed Balls, Guardian

> Yesterday:

Richard Littlejohn: Dream on, Guardian, Ed Miliband isn't the new Thatcher

Ed Miliband"Under the headline: ‘Rise of the Iron Man,’ the paper concluded that: ‘The Labour leader might just be the next radical Prime Minister the country has been waiting for.’ ... Before I’d finished laughing at this preposterous attempt to draw parallels between milksop Miliband and the Iron Lady, up popped the boy himself on Today to demonstrate precisely why he shouldn’t be allowed within 100 miles of No 10 Downing Street." - Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail

Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into claims that "senior aide of former prime minister had links to paedophile ring"

"Allegations that members of an ‘Establishment’ paedophile ring sexually abused boys in council care during the 1980s are to be investigated by police, it emerged yesterday. ... Former ministers, senior MPs, top police officers and those with links to the royal household are alleged to have indecently assaulted vulnerable, under-age males." - Daily Mail

  • "Police are being offered a voluntary redundancy package for the first time as part of an overhaul of their pay and conditions. ... A Police Federation spokesman said: 'We accepted the principle of a voluntary exit scheme for police officers on the basis that no compulsory severance scheme would be introduced.'" - The Times (£)

> Yesterday, by Peter Cuthbertson on Comment: Last year saw 91,000 cases of serious, repeat offenders avoiding prison

Surprise school inspections in Derby are "driven by politics", opponents claim - The Times (£)

  • How to get children to enjoy sport? Stop teaching it, says Ross Clark - Ross Clark, The Times (£)

British carsBritain exported 1.2 million cars last year — a record number - Daily Mail

British men work, on average, the longest hours in Europe - Daily Mail

  • The number of people seeking compensation at employment tribunals has dropped by a fifth in two years - Daily Mail

"A living wage, or a much higher minimum wage, is worth paying" - Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

And finally 1)... the civil servants who like to party 

"Senior civil servants wore party hats at a meeting to discuss savage cuts. ... The schools bosses were only allowed to take off the headwear after saying what they were axing. ... The DfE insisted staff had not been inappropriate, adding: 'It included an item on strategic planning to remove inefficiencies in systems and not staff reductions.'" - The Sun

And finally 2)... Grant Shapps horses around

Horse"Discussing whether we should consider eating horse meat as a cheaper alternative to beef in times of austerity, Mr Shapps thought he had come up with a neat explanation for why we do not: namely that we only eat herbivores. ... It was instantly pointed out to him, however, that horses eat grass. ... Faced with the undeniable facts of nature, Mr Shapps instantly abandoned his theory, replying good-humouredly: 'That’s not the answer! I thought I had cracked it.'" - Daily Telegraph


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