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Newslinks for Tuesday 15th January 2013

7pm Columnist Garvan Walshe: What do the protests over "Southern Weekend" mean for China?

6.30pm WATCH Martin Callanan MEP debates future of Europe with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann‬

5.15pm Alistair Thompson on Comment: How a pantomime horse, Peter Tatchell and the Christian Institute changed the law on insults

4.15pm MPsETC: Tory peers blast the LibDems for U-turning on fair boundaries: 'You would need the telescope at Jodrell Bank to discover where the Liberal Democrats' principles are hiding'

3.15pm Local Government: Labour's smear campaign against Stephen Greenhalgh

1.30pm Greg Clark MP's Weekly Letter from a Treasury Minister: City Deals - delivering the skills that employers need

1pm WATCH: Nick Herbert - Starting pay for police will be lower…but they'll move faster up the pay scale

12.30pm ToryDiary: The connection between the victorious cross-wearing BA nurse and...Steve Hilton

As Cameron brings forward his EU speech, two EU-related items lead ConservativeHome:

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 11.48.22

ToryDiary: From the Editors: Cameron's Europe speech should contain at least three key commitments

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP on Comment:  If our relationship with the EU cannot be loosened then, with regret, I would vote to leave

Local Government: Labour propose legal challenge to defend councillor pension subsidy

The Deep End: Whatever happened to the fifteen hour working week?

Cameron "will promise renegotiation and a referendum" in his EU speech - which is rushed forward to this Friday...

Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 05.02.23"David Cameron will this week light a five-year fuse under Britain’s place in Europe after being forced, under pressure from Germany, to bring forward his long-awaited EU speech. The Prime Minister will promise to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership before giving voters a chance to reject the new terms in a referendum. A “no” vote would point Britain to the exit. Mr Cameron said yesterday that he wanted to make Britain more comfortable in the EU, insisting that he was confident of winning back powers from Brussels and triumphing in the resulting public vote, which would be expected around 2018." - The Times (£)

  • "Mr Cameron should think about the “bloke at the bar” as he puts the finishing touches to his speech on Europe. Moderation is everything, in tone as well as content." - Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

...After Germany and France objected to the planned date of its delivery

"Downing Street was forced to bring forward the speech by four days after France and Germany reacted angrily to reports that it would take place on 22 January. Angela Merkel is understood to have told Cameron of unease that the speech would take place as Paris and Berlin celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elysée treaty which set the seal on their postwar reconciliation…Coalition divisions will be highlighted when Nick Clegg, who has described Cameron's plans to repatriate powers as a "false promise wrapped in a union jack", embarks on a series of early morning broadcast interviews." - The Guardian

  • Why we should upset the Germans - Robert Hardman, Daily Mail
  • Nobody else wants a treaty negotiation - Charlemagne's column from Brussels, The Economist

Douglas Alexander claims the Prime Minister is "not in control"...

Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 07.31.25"Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander also raised concerns, he added: "David Cameron's comments raised more questions than they answered. On Europe he's not in control of the agenda or even his party. The gap between his backbenchers and our EU partners remains unbridgeable. "It's little wonder that British business leaders like Richard Branson and Martin Sorrell, together with the Americans, the Germans and the Austrians, have all warned in the last week of the dangers of the UK sleepwalking towards exit from Europe." - Daily Express

  • Euro-enthusiasts want a referendum too - Will Straw, Daily Telegraph
  • Don't be spooked by Tim Montgomerie, Labour!  Show a bit less fear, for goodness' sake - Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
  • Labour MPs attack Goldman Sachs bonus plan - Financial Times (£)

...As Euro-enthusiast Conservatives MPs line up behind Heseltine. But who are they?...

"Robert Buckland – spurred on this weekend by Lord Heseltine’s staunch defence of Britain’s role in Europe – is this week putting together a letter to the prime minister outlining the views of the pro-Europeans. Some 20 Tory MPs have signed a letter organised by Mr Buckland warning of the “massive damage” that leaving the EU would cause Britain. Many, however, are asking for their names not to be made public, mindful that being identified as a pro-European Tory could amount to “career suicide” with their voters." - Financial Times (£)

...And Fresh Start pushes for the repatriation of powers

Andrea Leadsom"Later this week the Tory MP group Fresh Start will demand more than 130 powers – including  those covering crime, justice and policing – are clawed back from the EU. It claims this is vital to retain ‘national democratic accountability’, protect British interests and resist the rise of an EU superstate. The group’s co-founder Andrea Leadsom said: ‘The status quo in the EU is no longer an option. Returning powers to member states is not an impossible task.’ " - Daily Mail

  • The UK risks becoming a “refuge for foreign criminals” if the Government presses ahead with plans to repatriate justice powers from Brussels, Scotland’s police chiefs have warned - Daily Telegraph
  • What do Tory eurosceptics want? - Financial Times (£)

Douglas Carswell: We don't need the single market

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" 'Surely,' you insist, “being part of the European single market gives us more advantageous terms for trade?” This is simply not so. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the British Chambers of Commerce, which represents thousands of businesses. According to its recent survey, 35 per cent of BCC members said the costs of single-market red tape outweighed the benefits of being part of the single market. Far from being an advantage, the single market is increasingly seen as a liability. Why?" - Financial Times (£)

Other Comment:

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Baroness Meacher says ecstasy ‘is safer than fags, booze and coffee’ - The Sun

Lords Dobbs, Forsyth, front bencher Taylor tear strips off Clegg and LibDems as yellow b***ards join with Labour to vote down boundary reforms

Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 07.40.33"The novelist Lord (Michael) Dobbs was one of many Tories to lay into their coalition partner, accusing Clegg of "a great political sulk", after the Liberal Democrats withdrew support in retribution for the failure to complete a deal to reform the House of Lords last year. Dobbs said Liberal Democrats should hang their heads in shame at bringing politics into disrepute. Lord Forsyth, the former Tory cabinet minister, was even more strident, saying: "What we are seeing today is that the deputy prime minister is going from cross to double cross, because that is what this is – it is a double cross." He said Lib Dems were seeking "to gerrymander the British constitution for party political purposes". - The Guardian

  • Curse of Clegg strikes again as Deputy Prime Minister refers to plaque marking founding of Liberal party in 1859 as a 'memorial' - The Guardian

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - The biggest Commons obstacle to the new boundaries could be Conservative MPs themselves (reprise)

UK plane delayed on way to support French military action in Mali - The Guardian

Military Chiefs warn Cameron: avoid Mali escalation - The Independent

Dementia sufferers 'abandoned', says Jeremy Hunt

"Mr Hunt claims that a combination of ignorance among health workers over the symptoms and a “grim fatalism” regarding the incurable brain condition is leaving hundreds of thousands of patients undiagnosed. Writing for the Telegraph, Mr Hunt says that society should be “ashamed”, and blames GPs for “wild variations” in diagnosis rates in different regions. Figures released by the Alzheimer’s Society today show that in some areas seven in 10 sufferers go unrecognised, leaving them to struggle on without medical help." - Daily Telegraph

  • West Wales health shake-up plans to be announced today - Wales Online

Gove latest: he announces performance-related pay for teachers

"Bad teachers’ salaries will be frozen under plans being announced today. Performance-related pay will be introduced for the first time in the profession. Head teachers will be given the power to award wage rises based on annual appraisals. Only those who are shown to have done well will see their pay increase. Automatic rises based on the length of time teachers have been in the classroom will also be scrapped." - The Sun

  • Gove critics latest: Arts Council chief Liz Fogan accuses Education Secretary of abandoning cultural education - The Guardian
  • Stephen Twigg profile - The Guardian

Wind farm blunders will raise power bills, says Public Accounts Committee - Daily Express

Pickles to Do God today

Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 07.46.39"Traditional religious freedoms are under assault from the ‘intolerance of aggressive secularism’, a Cabinet minister will warn today. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will today attack court rulings against the right of Christians to wear crosses at work and legal action to prevent prayers before council meetings. He will insist that faith provides a ‘clear moral compass’ for society and declare that the Coalition does ‘do God’, unlike the last Labour government." - Daily Mail

  • Communities Secretary wants immigrants to learn English - The Sun
  • Legal advice sent to the Prime Minister says that churches that refuse to marry homosexuals would be banned from using council facilities such as village halls - Daily Mail
  • Evangelical leader Steve Chalke backs same-sex marriage - The Times (£)
  • Ukip prepares to put fears over mass Romanian and Bulgarian immigration at heart of campaign strategy - The Independent
  • The Government’s immigration policy is economic and political folly  - Janan Ganesh, Financial Times (£)
  • The Government must stop the next wave of immigrants - Daily Express Editorial

May agrees to amend public order act after free speech campaign led by Rowan Atkinson - Daily Mail

Bernard Hogan-Howe says that he would like to see 10 per cent of his senior officers recruited from outside the police force - Financial Times (£)

IFS warns that 'vast majority' will be worse off following state pension shake-up

"The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) cast doubt on repeated claims by Coalition ministers that stay-at-home mums would be the big winners from their plans to bring in a simplified £144-a-week minimum pension in 2017. It will replace the  £107 a week basic state pension, the state second pension for people not in employer or personal schemes and the top-up pension credit for those on low incomes." - The Independent

  • Wizard Webb holds Commons spellbound - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Traders call crisis summit over flag protests - Belfast Telegraph

Mandarins fight back after Hilton critique and Hayward grilling

"There is growing concern among some permanent secretaries — the most senior officials in the Government — that the fundamental values of the Civil Service are under threat as ministers pursue reform. The frustration felt by politicians that the mandarins are “the enemy within” is more than matched by an anxiety from some senior mandarins, past and present, that ministers are “the marauders at the gate”. - The Times (£)

Observer withdraws Julie Burchill column that called transsexuals "screaming mimis", "bed-wetters in bad wigs" and "dicks in chicks' clothing" (all quotes which the Guardian cites)

"The column, published online on's Comment is Free website, has been taken down with the link now directed to a statement from Mulholland in which he apologises for the offence caused in what has become a "highly charged debate". "We have decided to withdraw from publication the Julie Burchill comment piece 'Transsexuals should cut it out'," he said…On this occasion we got it wrong and in light of the hurt and offence caused I apologise and have made the decision to withdraw the piece." - The Guardian

Supporters of Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri clash with police in Islamabad - Daily Telegraph

James O'Shaughnessy: How Benjamin Disraeli can help David Cameron to a clear win in 2015

Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 08.00.47"Winning the next election starts with identifying who today’s aspirers are. For Thatcher it was Essex Man, for Disraeli the property-owning urban householders. The people who will decide the next general election live in the classic British housing estate, something between the suburbs and the council blocks. As political attitudes polarise around Britain’s geography, they are increasingly situated in the Midlands, the North and the great cities." - Daily Telegraph

Billions in bankers' bonuses could be delayed until April - The Independent

Newspapers ready to press on with new regulator - The Times (£)

Pro-union campaign backers hail poll findings - Herald Scotland

The Midlands seats targetted for general election victory - Birmingham Post

Berlusconi plea to delay sex trial refused - Daily Mail

Stanley Johnson unveils twelve foot sculpture of a polar bear named Boris - The Times (£)

Killer freeze grips Britain - Daily Express


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