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Newslinks for Wednesday 16th January 2013

5pm James Frayne on Comment: "Political campaigns are about winning and parties must ruthlessly prioritise time and campaign resources for the best chance to secure power." In short, they must Target, target, target

3pm Local Government: Pickles boosts English language tuition

2.45pm ToryDiary: The Euro-enthusiast lobby has joined battle - one that Euro-sceptics won't win without a Business for Britain campaign

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 14.44.482pm WATCH: Miliband to Cameron - You've lost control of your party on Europe, and your problems are just beginning

1.30pm ToryDiary: PMQs - Miliband paints Cameron as a weak leader. The merits of the argument weren't on his side. But the politics was.

11.45am Local Government: Couple seeking to adopt asked: "How many times a week do you have sex?"

11am Paul Holmes on Comment: Conservative Future - not Coalition Future

ToryDiary: The Fresh Start Group calls for four "significant" EU treaty revisions. Will Cameron back them on Friday?

Stephan ShakespeareIn the second of a series on five myths and truths of polling, Columnist Stephan Shakespeare writes that People can radically change their minds in an instant, and not even notice

David Davis MP on Comment: Why are civil servants running rings round the Coalition? Because it doesn't know its own mind

Also on Comment: Graeme Archer's contribution for Bright Blue's Tory Modernisation 2.0. project. Loneliness should worry us. It should worry our politicians

Local Government: Cllr Ralph Baldwin says that Labour is failing the One Nation test in Barking and Dagenham

The Deep End: Is the Charity Commission trying to suppress religion?

Hunt launches digital health records project alongside report claiming it could save nearly £5bn a year

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 07.27.05"Patients will be able to see their medical details online under plans for a "paperless NHS" in which digital records will be shared at the touch of a few buttons between all parts of the health and social care services, from ambulance workers to hospital consultants to care homes for elderly people. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary will launch the project on Wednesday alongside a report claiming it could save nearly £5bn a year, after the costs are taken into account. He said it should also improve patient care and save lives." - The Guardian

Only one in 16 Welsh taxpayers is paying 40 per cent tax - Daily Telegraph

Taxpayers face £500m bill for RBS Libor fraud - The Independent

Shapps: Labour overpaid massively for bank bailout - Daily Telegraph

Maude, Heywood and Kerslake - the three wise men intent on civil service reform

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 07.35.01"We meet the three men charged with Civil Service reform in Mr Maude’s office, which is smaller than Sir Jeremy’s but larger than Sir Bob’s. All three insist that they are in favour of change in Whitehall — they are modernisers who choose baseball caps over bowler hats. Although tensions have emerged between politicians and the Civil Service over how Britain should be run, Mr Maude insists that maintaining the status quo is not an option." - The Times (£)

Jo Swinson says Commuters should be able to avoid rush hour travel with flexi-time working hours - Daily Mail

Fresh Start manifesto launches today.  Hague says that some of its proposals "could well become future government or Conservative Party policy"...

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 07.38.11
"The Fresh Start group of Conservative backbenchers will throw down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister two days before he delivers a speech on EU membership, as it sets out proposals to return responsibility for laws to Westminster and cut Britain’s bill for EU membership by billions of pounds a year. The group’s Manifesto for Change could become the Tory blueprint for EU membership if Mr Cameron wins the next election, senior figures in the party have said." - Daily Telegraph

...But Clarke compares Euro-sceptic referendum enthusiasts to former supporters of capital punishment...

CLARKE HAPPY"Ken Clarke has stepped up the pro-European rhetoric as the battle over Britain’s future in the EU intensifies, warning that a referendum on the issue is a “gamble” and that David Cameron may be about to open the door accidentally to a British exit. Although the veteran Tory minister and the cabinet’s leading pro-European insists the argument for Britain taking a leading role in Europe can be won, he fears a referendum could be used as a vehicle for protest against an unpopular government." - Financial Times (£)

  • Former Ambassador to the EU and U.S Sir Nigel Sheinwald warns David Cameron that UK risks diminishing influence in U.S - The Guardian

...And Clegg seeks to stir jobs and investment panic

"Nick Clegg illustrated the divide within the coalition over Mr Cameron’s speech, saying that putting a question mark over Britain’s EU membership would have a “chilling effect” on the economy and would threaten jobs and investment. Mr Clegg said: “If you are an investor investing in the United Kingdom to create jobs here, a high degree of uncertainty might actually chase away investment and might diminish the number of jobs in this country.” - The Times (£)

  • Curse of Clegg strikes yet again as Deputy Prime Minister runs into trouble over call to safeguard ‘Ennis’ stadium - Yorkshire Post
  • Cameron must avoid the cynicism of his deputy - Daily Express Editorial

> Yesterday: 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'

EU nations turn back on UK renegotiations - Financial Times (£)

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 07.54.27The Financial Times interviews Mariano Rajoy, Spain's Prime Minister - Financial Times (£)


  • Don’t be the PM who takes us out of Europe - David Miliband, The Times (£)
  • Europe: no more talk of in-or-out. Let's think opt-outs - Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

> Yesterday:

One Christian wins crucifix case at ECHR. Three others lose their appeals

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 08.43.03"A British Airways worker forced out of her job for wearing a crucifix was “jumping for joy” yesterday after winning a landmark legal battle against religious discrimination. In a “victory for commonsense” the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK had failed to protect Christian Nadia Eweida’s freedom to show her faith in the workplace. But the judges rejected similar claims made by three others: Shirley Chaplin, Gary McFarlane and Lillian Ladele. The trio plan to appeal to the court’s Grand Chamber." - Daily Express

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

Doubt cast on Coalition's 500,000 new jobs claim - The Guardian

Inflation is at 2.7% for third month - Daily Express

UK's AAA credit rating under 'significant pressure', warns Fitch - The Guardian

Newsflash: Vanished Scotsman, missing from job since 2010, is sighted at work

Brown Hands UP
"Adjournment debate,’ said Speaker Bercow as the House prepared to close last night. ‘Mr Gordon Brown!’ And there, I kid ye not, swayed the rare, sleeked, timorous beastie hi’self, the Rt Hon Member for Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath. His first speech in the Chamber for more than a year.  Where on earth has he been? Let that question await another day. Yesterday was an occasion to marvel at his long-absent featherings, his much-missed lines. Howard Hughes was in the building!" - Daily Mail

  • "When the lesser mortals stopped speaking, Gordo arose, his voice booming, his stomach protruding to the extent that his shirt-button deserves to be mentioned in despatches" - Ann Treneman, The Times (£)
  • Big Beast heads back to backbenches - Herald Scotland

Scottish independence day may be delayed if Scotland votes Yes - Scotsman

The Economist's Bagehot trails this week's launch of Tory Modernisation 2.0

Willetts David smiling"The Tory modernisers’ great need is now to refit their policies to hard times—to attend to the needs of those struggling with welfare cuts and the rising cost of living. This aspiration, often termed “blue collar modernisation”, answers the most acute criticism of Mr Cameron’s agenda, that it is too lofty, metropolitan and inconsiderate of Britain’s strugglers. A forthcoming book—“Tory Modernisation 2.0”—to which arch-modernisers including the MPs David Willetts and Francis Maude have contributed, includes many promising proposals on how to go about it, including loosening planning restrictions, unleashing development in deprived post-industrial cities, bringing down energy bills and public transport costs, and much else." - The Economist

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 08.18.39As HMV prepares to close, Simon Heffer hunts fruitlessly in John Lewis for a computer and a lamp, a relic of the vanishing age of high street shopping - Daily Mail

Police letting down nationalists over riots, says Adams - Irish News

Rumpus over Adams's journey to America to obtain private medical treatment - Irish Independent

Forcing energy companies to give customers the cheapest deal could be 'too difficult', says ScottishPower - Daily Telegraph

Police starting salary to be slashed by £4,000 a year - The Times (£)

Egyptian President Morsi urged Egyptians to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Jews and Zionists, and described Zionists as “the descendants of apes and pigs" - Daily Telegraph

Aleppo university blasts kill at least 82 - The Guardian

Pakistan paralysed after court demands PM arrest - The Independent

Malaysian Government issues advice to parents telling them that if their sons like wearing v-neck jumpers it's a sign that they're gay - Daily Mail

Horse meat in Tesco burgers - Everyone

Voters without jobs tend to vote Labour - Sun shock horror revelation


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