Conservative Home

« December 2012 | Main | February 2013 »

27 Jan 2013 09:03:51

Newslinks for Sunday 27th January 2013


7.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron won't say what he wants to renegotiate but The Sun claims to know...

6.30pm WATCH: Nadine Dorries MP tells Sky News that Boris, Gove, Jesse Norman or Adam Afriyie will be next Tory leader

2pm ToryDiary: Yesterday's Conservative Policy Forum conference and the next manifesto. Verdict: Keep it snappy.

11.30am ToryDiary: It's May 2018. Britain has voted to leave the European Union.

ToryDiary: Despite what you read in the Sunday newspapers, Cameron's leadership is not in danger

ToryDiary update: Four Sunday newspaper opinion polls suggest Europe speech has boosted Conservatives at UKIP's expense. All have Labour's lead falling below 10%.

Mensch Louise May 2012MPsETC: What do Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron have in common? They both love new Sun columnist Louise Mensch.

James Frayne on Comment examines the power of emotion in political campaigns: "Just as campaigns have got used to having pollsters around, soon campaigns will start working with experts on how the mind works."

WATCH: Labour MPs join large-scale street protests at proposed closure of Lewisham A&E

Tory MPs want Cameron to extend restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians and entering Britain - Observer

Aide to Cameron concedes that inflow of Bulgarians and Romanians could kill off Conservatives' immigration credentials - James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday: "No 10 is keen to limit the impact of the change. One aide says: ‘We’re really kicking the bureaucracy on this.’ But he also complains that Government lawyers are very cautious about what can be done."

John Redwood: The people are interested in Europe, after all

Redwood John Oct 11 2"The first thing to say is that all those who think the UK public are not interested in the issue of the EU or are turned off by parties banging on about Europe need to think again. The press and public interest has been big. The Conservatives have gone up in the polls whilst holding a very public conversation about how far and how fast we should go in a Eurosceptic direction. Just as Mr Cameron got a big improvement in ratings when he vetoed any UK membership of the Fiscal Treaty, so too his ratings have gone up during debates over that speech." - John Redwood

Boris tells The Sunday Telegraph that he'd vote to leave the EU if Britain couldn't get the right deal.

Andrew Rawnsley and John Rentoul... Cameron has aroused an appetite that he will never be able to satisfy...

Cameron's "fundamental problem is the unbridgeable gap between what the rest of Europe might be prepared to swallow to prevent Britain from sliding out of the EU and the price for staying in demanded by a large section of the Tory party" - Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

Rentoul John"Cameron hasn't said what would happen if he fails to secure a renegotiation, as his critics have noticed. This is partly to avoid offending the Germans by appearing to threaten to leave, which they regard as unfriendly. But also because he knows that a renegotiation on British terms is most unlikely." - John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

  • With Merkel on side, PM's gamble may yet pay off - Margareta Pagano in the Independent on Sunday
  • "It’s early days, of course, but the indications are that Cameron’s policy is a winner. Not only does it take votes from UKIP. More importantly, it throws Labour into disarray. Is Ed Miliband for a referendum or against? In the Commons last week he couldn’t give a straight answer." - Niall Ferguson in The Sunday Times (£)
  • At £1 each per week the EU is worth it - David Miliband in The Sunday Telegraph
  • Janet Daley likes Cameron's EU vision but can't see Europe accepting it - The Sunday Telegraph
  • Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday STILL doesn't believe a word Cameron says: "Why do the remnants of the Tory media, not to mention Tory loyalists and voters, swoon repeatedly into Mr Slippery’s unreliable arms? Time and again he dumps them rudely on the floor. Time and again they come simpering back like besotted suitors."

Matthew d'Ancona: Despite banging on about Europe Cameron remains a moderniser

"If Cameron really is caving in to the Right, he has a funny way of showing it. On Friday, his Government published its Bill to legalise gay marriage; last week, ministers announced that more than 5,000 soldiers would be made redundant in the latest tranche of defence cuts; at the same time, the Coalition remains committed to the hugely controversial ring-fencing of the international development budget." - Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph

UKIPUKIP promise to target Labour voters after Ed Miliband refuses to give people an In/Out vote - Nigel Farage writing in the Mail on Sunday

George Osborne's economic performance should be Cameron's biggest worry - Mail on Sunday leader

The Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, tells the Independent on Sunday it is 'utterly irresponsible' not to change economic course.

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: What would George Osborne be doing if he was a Conservative rather than a Coalition Chancellor? It's time for him to say so.

Mark Carney at Davos says central banks may need to do more to ensure economies reach "escape velocity" - Observer

Even some Tories, like Jesse Norman MP, are starting to accept that our free market model doesn't work - Nick Cohen in The Observer

...And Stephen McPartland on ConHome yesterday: My campaign to stop big companies dodging tax

Starbucks unhappy after the Prime Minister said tax-avoiding companies had to “wake up and smell the coffee” - Sunday Telegraph

We can help poorer countries by tackling tax evasion and avoidance - Justine Greening in the Independent on Sunday

Newspapers pump idea that Adam Afriyie is preparing leadership bid

Afriyie Adam"Adam Afriyie, who was being dubbed “the Tory Obama”, has the support of a group of Conservative MPs although he is unlikely to mount a challenge to David Cameron until after the next election." - The Sunday Times (£)

"A wealthy MP dubbed the ‘Tory Barack Obama’ has been accused of undermining David Cameron with a secret leadership bid. The Mail on Sunday has learned that multi-millionaire IT tycoon Adam Afriyie is poised to stand, should a rumoured backbench revolt force the Prime Minister to resign. Two Tory MPs have told this newspaper they were asked to sign a letter endorsing Mr Afriyie as a leadership challenger in the event of such a contest. One said Mr Afriyie’s supporters claimed 40 MPs had already signed – though his allies deny the letter even exists." - Mail on Sunday

> This story is covered in this morning's ToryDiary.

Dominic Lawson on Cameron's long-term bet on gay marriage

" I suspect he is right: when I discuss this with intelligent people in their late teens and early twenties, of no particular political persuasion, they seem faintly amazed that anyone should make a fuss over the idea that same-sex couples should be able to call themselves married." - Dominic Lawson in The Sunday Times (£)

One for the conspiracy theorists...

Boris Johnson and Rupert Murdoch have ANOTHER private meeting
- Observer

Anna Soubry, Nadine Dorries, Claire Perry, Maria Miller... Tory politicians excel at uttering breathtakingly ill-researched and insulting views - Catherine Bennett in The Observer

Cameron is worried about uncertainty caused by the SNP's referendum but with his EU vote

"The Prime Minister looked momentarily wrong-footed. SNP MP Mike Weir had just stood up to ask why it was that David Cameron believed a two-year wait for a Scottish referendum was too long but a five-year delay before a potential EU referendum was “just fine”. “There is a very easy ­answer,” declared Cameron, before ­answering a different question. One pro-UK Scottish Labour MP watching noted: “It was a very pertinent question, I’m not sure he saw it coming.”" - Scotland on Sunday

Tessa Jowell seizes on polling suggestion that support for sport is being cut - Observer

25,000 marched yesterday to save local Lewisham A&E - Sunday Express | Channel 4 report

Lib Dem MP faces party leadership's wrath over Holocaust jibe at Israel - Observer

> Gavin Barwell MP on Comment yesterday: The Holocaust teaches us what educated people are capable of doing in certain circumstances

And finally... John Rentoul offers a preview of a new play in which the Queen played by Helen Mirren meets the prime ministers who've served during her reign - Independent on Sunday


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

26 Jan 2013 09:03:08

Newslinks for Saturday 26th January 2013

7.30pm ToryDiary: ComRes is third pollster to give narrow lead to Out campaign... but "In" set for big win if PM can claim successful renegotiation

5.30pm Spencer Pitfield of the Conservative Policy Forum on Comment: Six questions for Conservative members about Europe

1.30pm Stephen McPartland MP on Comment: My campaign to stop big companies dodging tax

Noon WATCH: "Together we can all help tackle under-nutrition": David Cameron's message to the new "If" hunger campaign

ToryDiary: What would George Osborne be doing if he was a Conservative rather than a Coalition Chancellor? It's time for him to say so.

Barwell GavinGavin Barwell MP on Comment: The Holocaust teaches us what educated people are capable of doing in certain circumstances - and just how many people will ‘follow orders’

MPsETC: Martin Callanan MEP of the ECR Group provides his monthly report from the European Parliament

LISTEN: Tory MPs Robert Buckland and Laura Sandys claim that about thirty of their colleagues are enthusiasts for the EU

WATCH: Boris Johnson says Osborne is right to cut but spending needs to be more focused on housing and infrastructure

The Mail, Telegraph, Times, FT and Sun call for bolder action on economy

Daily Mail leader: "He must cut taxes and make deeper reductions in public spending to pay for them. Major infrastructure projects, which the Deputy Prime Minister now admits the Government has neglected, must be put in train. Banks must finally be made to lend. Red tape and green levies throttling small business must be slashed."

Telegraph leader: "Both Nick Clegg and Boris Johnson have called for a renewed focus on infrastructure and capital spending. This has been presented as a retreat from austerity, or an alternative to it. Not necessarily: there is plenty of scope to boost capital spending – to equip Britain for that global race – while at the same time slashing back the entitlements of a grotesquely swollen state."

The Times (£): "The Bank should also be given a revised mandate. Instead of targeting just inflation, it should target growth as well, much as the US Federal Reserve does with its dual mandate of price stability and full employment."

FT (£): "Ministers could do a little more on the fiscal side. While this newspaper supports the spending squeeze, it would like the Treasury to invest more in infrastructure. This should be offset with further cuts to day-to-day budgets. This could be both stimulatory and, if projects are chosen wisely, a sound investment."

The Sun Says: "Government building projects. The Chancellor must now push on with those new homes, roads and rail links — and make future tax cuts a priority. Cutting wasteful public spending must remain at the core of Coalition policy. In some areas, such as welfare reform, the axe has to bite deeper still."

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 08.38.40Boris reported as urging end to talk of austerity

"The Mayor of London said that not enough was being done to return the economy to growth, adding that it was time to ditch the rhetoric of austerity. Mr Osborne should instead be ploughing money into big housing and transport projects, he said. “The hair shirt stuff, the Stafford Cripps agenda — that is not the way to get Britain motoring again,” Mr Johnson said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos." - Times (£)


John Redwood agrees that there needs to be a change of direction: "The biggest ever fiscal stimulus, Keynsian stimulus, is being tried. It is not working. Instead of asking for a bigger one, more of the same, people should ask what can be done to promote a more buoyant and successful private sector. That, as readers will know, rests on mending the banks, setting competitive tax rates, reforming welfare and tackling costs like energy and transport." -

  • "Senior cabinet members are saying it is a racing certainty that the economy will suffer a triple-dip recession, requiring a further first quarter of negative growth" - Guardian
  • It's the economy, not Europe that should worry the PM - Andrew Grice in The Independent
  • Suggestions that Cameron, Osborne and Boris shared "raucous" meal on Thursday night - Scotsman

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: After the euphoria of the Europe speech, the dysphoria has returned – and how

McCloughlin Daily PoliticsOn Monday Coalition will launch next phase of HS2 as sign of long-term plan for growth - FT (£)

"The second phase of the £34billion project – a Y-shaped route from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds – is to be unveiled on Monday by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Prime Minister David Cameron" - Daily Mail

William Hague claims Tory Party more united on Europe than at any time in last fifteen years - Times (£)

Janan Ganesh says Tory Eurosceptics are enjoying a sugar rush but will soon be back for more from David Cameron - FT (£)

Patrick O'Flynn: Don't rule out Cameron leading the 'No' campaign

"Note that this week David Cameron did not completely rule out leading the No campaign in his referendum. So long as Ukip keeps up the pressure and most Conservative grassroots members remain hostile to the EU there is a good chance that Cameron the pragmatist will decide the deal from Brussels is not good enough." - Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

  • Unemployment, poverty, the weakening of democracy, and then revolt - Charles Moore fears for the worst if the Eurozone continues to persist - The Telegraph

HEFFER SIMONThe Europe issue proves Red Ed is totally out of touch with the British people - Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail

Labour has been too nervous in challenging Mr Cameron's Euroscepticism - Independent leader

  • Four reasons why David Cameron's Europe speech was a dud: "Since Cameron can't say whether he will vote yes or no until he has secured all his demands, the field will be left to the anti campaign" - Jonathan Powell in The Guardian
  • In The Independent, Lord Kinnock gives his recipe for defeating the Outers: "Keep on telling the truth about the multiple economic and political advantages of EU membership in return for paying less than 1 per cent of our GNP, the risks and costs of losing them, and the scope for achieving improvement in the EU as a strong, effective participant."
  • Tony Juniper says environment will suffer if Britain leaves EU - Guardian

Sam Cam and Mum Cam don't agree on gay marriage...

David Cameron's wife Samantha is the 'driving force’ behind gay marriage - Telegraph

“David just won’t be told” - The Sun claims that Cameron's mum is against gay marriage.

  • Tory MPs complain that Government isn't giving proper parliamentary time for scrutiny of gay marriage bill - Express
  • Ivan Massow says most of Tory Party is ready to support gay marriage - Independent

"I like to cut through the crap and get things done" - International Development Secretary Justine Greening talks to The Guardian

Greening long

Ms Greening names and shames global leaders' response to Syrian refugee crisis: "Russia, which has repeatedly vetoed any action against Syria at the UN security council, has provided only £5m, worth 0.0003% of its gross national income (GNI). Similarly China, another opponent of action, has provided £4m, worth 0.0001% of GNI. France has provided £10.8m, worth 0.0007% of its GNI." (The Guardian).

Michael Gove wants new schools to open in hotels and offices - The Sun

  • Forty PRIMARY school pupils expelled for violence every day - Telegraph

Tory MPs, led by Robert Halfon, are plotting to restore the 10p tax band - Daily Mail

Crouch TraceyTracey Crouch raises awareness of health consequences of excessive alcoholic consumption - Daily Mail

Henry Smith is The Sun's hero of the week for wanting crackdown on 'NHS tourism' - The Sun

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has announced plans to take her party down the route of extended devolution for Scotland little more than a year after she ruled out such a move - The Herald

Forsyth Michael NewThe Telegraph reports Lord Forsyth's unhappiness: "I supported Ruth Davidson on the basis she told me that she passionately believed in a line in the sand on further devolution and she didn’t believe in further tax powers beyond those in the Scotland Act. I expected her to stick to what she said.”

 > Yesterday's ToryDiary: Ruth Davidson moves to distance Scotland's Conservatives from England's

Lib Dem MP David Ward could be kicked out of party after suggesting 'the Jews' had not learned the lessons of the Holocaust - Daily Mail

"No wonder the economy is in a mess – our leaders have lost sight of the national interest as they pursue party advantage" - Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian

And finally... Stripclub owner Peter Stringfellow has suggested he could stand against Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the General Election due to be held in 2015...

"The 72-year-old has twice been singled out by the Liberal Democrat leader as someone who does not deserve state-funded pensioner benefits" - Sky News


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

25 Jan 2013 08:30:21

Newslinks for Friday 25th January 2013

6pm Catherine Marcus on Comment: "The last ten years has seen an explosion in mobile technology that means school kids can access porn at the touch of a button, young girls report the need to shave ‘down there’ in order to conform to the pornographic ideal of feminity, and doctors are reporting an unprecedented rise in the number of young girls seeking counselling due to raised anxiety and depression." No, Zoe Williams - it is not anti-feminist to be concerned about the effects of pornography on young teenagers

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 18.06.103pm Lord Risby on Comment: Never, ever again must Tory differences on Europe pave a way for Labour

2.15pm Local Government: Cllr Philippa Roe on The EU's hidden cost to Council Taxpayers

1.30pm Local Government: Council byelection results from yesterday

12.30pm ToryDiary: Warsi - under a quarter of Britons think Muslims are compatible with the British way of life

10.30pm ToryDiary UPDATED: GDP shrank by 0.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2012

9.30am ToryDiary: GDP shrank by 0.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2012

9.30am As the world goes bonkers about the brilliance of Clare Foges, David Cameron's speechwriter, ConservativeHome republishes her Comment article on the death of political rhetoric: Antiseptic oratory

ToryDiary: Ruth Davidson moves to distance Scotland's Conservatives from England's

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 08.33.39On ConservativeHome's culture column, Paul Goodman peers at Pinter's adolescent views and mature art as he reviews the playwright's Old Times

Andrew Lilico on Comment: What would we need to renegotiate in order to stay in the EU?

Also on Comment: Peter Luff MP - Training more engineers should become a national priority

John Bald on Local Government: Elizabeth Truss is right about maths - why do some teachers disagree?

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: The Big Society leaves no room for the little platoons

WATCH: Osborne - not for turning on the economy

Today 1) Growth figures to be released.  And Osborne's not for turning as he snubs IMF plea to ease austerity...

Osborne as Thatcher"The Chancellor insisted he will plough ahead with spending cuts until 2017. The IMF’s chief economist Olivier Blanchard had called for the UK to slow down its austerity programme. But speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Osborne said: “I don’t think it is right to abandon a credible deficit plan.”… “We do have to carry on with the cuts,” he said. “We’re not about to bring that programme to an end. It will go on until 2017. We are walking a difficult road but we are going in the right direction.” - Daily Express

...But the Curse of Clegg strikes again as LibDem leader agonises over Coalition policy in haplessly-timed House Magazine interview

"Mistakes have been made over the economy by the Coalition, Deputy PM Nick Clegg dramatically said last night. He risked a huge row with Chancellor George Osborne by admitting the Government should have spent MORE on big building projects to boost jobs. The Lib Dem leader’s startling honesty is terrible timing for the Treasury as it braces itself for a fresh dose of grim tidings today" - The Sun

  • Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 07.48.45Full Clegg interview: woe, woe and thrice woe - PoliticsHome
  • "LibDem Ministers are demanding action on growth" (So who would they be, Vince?) - The Independent
  • Cable wants business rates revaluation decision to be revisited - Financial Times (£)
  • Clegg’s confession on the economy is startling and troubling - Sun Editorial
  • Petrol prices to rise by 4p a litre - Daily Telegraph
  • Labour refers Prime Minister to statistics watchdog over debt 'error' - The Guardian

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - Fraser Nelson is right – the Tories should stop saying that they’re paying down Britain’s debts

Today 2) Same-sex marriage bill to be published.  "The most divisive vote of Cameron's leadership."

Gay Tory logo"The issue threatens to shatter the Tory unity that Mr Cameron engendered with his Europe speech this week. MPs have warned party whips that the issue of gay marriage is by far the most toxic for them among grassroots party members. The Times has spoken this week to MPs from all parts of the country, all of whom have reported that local association members are deserting the party over the issue. Opposition to gay marriage had dominated their postbags and was driving members to UKIP, the MPs said." - The Times (£)

Today 3) Ruth Davidson to distance Scottish Tories from English party

Ruth Davidson"She will say the Conservatives are unfairly characterised as controlled by Westminster, and they need to prove to voters “beyond all reasonable doubt” they put Scotland first. Although many people north of the Border continue to share Tory values, she will argue the party’s hostile attitude to devolution has meant they are perceived as “a brake on the aspirations of Scotland and not a torch bearer”. Senior sources close to Ms Davidson said she had not yet decided to cross the constitutional “line in the sand” she promised to draw during her successful leadership campaign in 2011." - Daily Telegraph

  • Salmond in appeal to UK over Scots EU membership - Scotsman
  • Most wind farms in Scotland after SNP 'overrules' councils - Daily Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary - Ruth Davidson moves to distance Scotland's Conservatives from England's

No early poll bounce for Cameron's EU speech

"The first YouGov poll since the Prime Minister's speech, the fieldwork for which was conducted between 5pm on Tuesday and 5pm yesterday, shows no sign of an early boost for the Tories. Instead, support for Labour has risen by two points to 43 per cent, while the Tories are unchanged on 31 per cent. We will, of course, need to wait until the weekend polls for a clear picture of what effect, if any, Cameron's speech has had on the Conservatives' standing." - The New Statesman

  • Populus poll finds that Britons would vote to quit the EU. "The poll also shows that the Prime Minister’s landmark speech on Tuesday did little to improve his chances of an outright Tory victory at the next election in 2015" - The Times (£)

The Prime Minister meets Merkel in Davos.  She doesn't mention his speech during hers...

Cameron and merkel
"Cameron held a 20-minute meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss his plan to negotiate a new deal for Britain. She had indicated a “fair compromise” could be possible to allow the UK to loosen ties. He also met other EU premiers including Italy’s Mario Monti and Enda Kenny of Ireland. Mr Cameron made a passionate defence of his referendum plan in a speech to the Forum. He said: “This is not about turning our backs on Europe – quite the opposite." - Daily Express

...But Clegg suggests EU referendum wouldn't hold up a second Coalition...

"Nick Clegg, Britain’s deputy prime minister, said Mr Cameron’s proposals for a renegotiation were “vague” and it was “wholly implausible” that a future Conservative government could rewrite the rules to the sole advantage of the UK. However the pro-European Liberal Democrat leader did not rule out the possibility that he would back Mr Cameron’s call for an in-out referendum, if the 2015 general election propels his party back into a second coalition with Mr Cameron’s Tories." - Financial Times (£)

  • Clegg: I won't stop my wife if she wants to send our eldest son to a private school - Daily Mail

...Though Boris concedes it could split the Conservatives...

Boris Johnson smiling"Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, put a question mark over whether he would support continued EU membership in the referendum. “I can’t say now,” he told an interviewer at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “But my overwhelming instinct would be that we can get sufficient changes, reforms and improvements to the treaty to make it sensible, for most people in my country to vote to stay in the single market.” - The Times (£)

  • More than 100 Conservative MPs could vote for Out, including Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, Owen Paterson and Chris Grayling -  Daily Telegraph

...And meanwhile, Miliband has EU troubles of his own

"Labour’s rifts on Europe deepened yesterday when ex-minister Kate Hoey said party leader Ed Miliband had “got it wrong” by declaring his opposition to a nationwide poll. Mr Miliband insisted he was acting “in the national interest”. He said: “It’s clear what the priorities of the British people are — growth and jobs.” - The Sun

  • Labour’s referendum position is inconsistent, wrong and a political error - The Times (£)
  • Under Miliband's leadership, the Opposition has become the party that will do anything for the working class: except trust them - Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

David Jones: Let's debate the EU in Wales

David Jones"The Welsh Government should not shut down a “vitally important” debate about the future of Britain’s relationship with the EU, Secretary of State for Wales David Jones warned yesterday. The Conservative Clwyd West MP met with leading Welsh industrialists yesterday as the impact of the Prime Minister’s pledge to hold an in/out referendum on EU membership continued to reverberate through Wales and beyond." - Wales Online

UK may be fined over failure to honour single market agreement - The Independent

Over half of young people in Spain are out of work - Daily Mail

"Dear Britons, please stay!  You are so gloriously crazy!": European reaction to the speech - Daily Mail

The Daily Mail profiles Clare Foges, the woman who wrote the speech

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 08.05.26"Clare is on the same traditionalist wing of the party as Mr Duncan Smith, with her beliefs forged as a young girl when she watched her mother, a foster parent, care for children in their family home. She has said: ‘I used to think about what happened to the children when they left care, and how the State works in terms of welfare…A few years ago, she set out her beliefs about what was important in political speeches. In an article  for ConservativeHome  website, she lamented the death of rousing political speech making." - Daily Mail

Read Clare Foges's original ConservativeHome article here

Paul Goodman: Cameron's speech was a gamble to get the Euro-sceptic monkey off his back

"So why has this cautious politician, naturally restrained in temperament and outlook, taken such an extraordinary gamble, risking the very unity and future of his party? There is no great mystery about the answer. It is the only way he can think of to get the eurosceptic monkey off his back. Almost half his backbenchers voted for an EU referendum last year. The rightwing newspapers have clamoured for one. In some opinion polls, the UK Independence party has overtaken the Lib Dems as the third party of British politics." - Financial Times (£)

  • Now for the real hard work, Mr Cameron - Daily Mail Editorial
  • Cameron's speech told Europe's emperors to get dressed - Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • Does the speech herald the end of Tory modernisation? - Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph
  • David Cameron has appeased Tory backbenchers for now - but may have fatally wounded his party - Amol Rajan, The Independent

Andrew Lilico> Today: Andrew Lilico on Comment - What would we need to renegotiate in order to stay in the EU?

> Yesterday:

Cameron planning major speech to woo ethnic minority voters...

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 08.12.57
"Senior government sources say that David Cameron is so concerned that the issue of race is damaging support for the Tories that he is planning to address it head-on with a speech in the next two months. The Prime Minister chaired a Cabinet meeting last week at which ministers were shown evidence that the single biggest factor in voters not backing the Tories is race – far outweighing wealth, class or where someone lives." - Daily Mail

...And in Davos, he calls for worldwide tax avoidance clampdown

"He said that firms have a moral duty to pay tax - in comments which angered global business leaders meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Mr Cameron is to spearhead an international tax "transparency" drive this year which is expected to lead to firms being forced to publish details of where and how much tax they pay…The Daily Telegraph today publishes the responses of more than 50 FTSE companies. The letters show that 32 of the 52 members of the FTSE-100 who have responded warn against publishing more details of their tax affairs." - Daily Telegraph

General Houghton tipped to lead military - Financial Times (£)

Women on march towards frontline combat - The Times (£)

It's not sensible to predict Romanian and Bulgarian numbers, says Mark Harper

Harper Mark"Mark Harper, the immigration minister, has said it would not be “sensible” to try and predict how many Romanians and Bulgarians are expected come into the country after getting the right to live and work in the UK. He insisted that the Government is not doing any research on their likely impact because “there are so many variables”…n an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live Mr Harper said the Government is “not going to start speculating about numbers." - Daily Telegraph

Ministers consider clampdown on 'industrial users' of Freedom of Information - BBC

Crime plunges, but Iphone and Ipad thefts soar as the figures are questioned - The Sun

Truss prepares to issue childcare vouchers and slash childminder rules

"Working families are to be given an extra boost to help pay for childcare as the coalition tries to ease the burden on parents struggling to meet the soaring cost of nursery fees and encourage more mothers back to work. The coalition is working on a package worth up to £1.5bn involving a new voucher scheme for families with young children as part of a wider overhaul of childcare. Each family is expected on average to receive at least £1,000 per year in extra support." - Financial Times (£)

> Today: John Bald on Local Government - Elizabeth Truss is right about maths - why do some teachers disagree?

First-time buyers will need a £60,000 deposit by end of decade - Daily Mail

Soubry latest: "It's disgusting eating lunch over a keyboard"

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 08.36.07"Health minister Anna Soubry said busy workers should not eat over their computer keyboards, but should take a proper lunch break to give them time to 'enjoy' their food. But research has shown that 60 per cent of workers eat their lunch at their desk every day, with many admitting they would feel 'guilty' if they left the office for an hour. Ms Soubry's comments came after she sparked controversy by suggesting that poor people were more likely to be obese." - Daily Mail

Ministers and MPs who oppose hospital changes risk 'perpetuating mediocrity', says NHS Chief - The Guardian

Persistently high death rates at eight hospitals - Daily Telegraph

Looking back at the reshuffle, Heywood says sacked Ministers were harshly treated

GIBB NICK"He disclosed that members of the Government are left in the dark to such an extent that they can be sacked following a year of “silence” from their superiors. “It would be quite good to think about how we can continue to give feedback to ministers between reshuffles because it’s a pretty brutal system,” Sir Jeremy said. “Most ministers don’t really get much feedback about their performance until the moment they are reshuffled and they are either promoted or sacked or kept in place. That feels a bit binary.” - Daily Telegraph

Britons urged to flee Benghazi in terror alert - Daily Express

Bashar al-Assad's mother has fled Syria, US ambassador claims - Daily Telegraph

Free schools: Pickles helps Gove out

"Free schools will be able to open in offices, hotels and warehouses without planning permission under changes to be announced by ministers today. Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, will announce new rules that will allow proposed free schools to speed through red tape. This will include rewriting planning laws to allow schools to open before they have received council permission to occupy their new buildings. They will have 12 months’ grace before requiring change-of-use approval." - The Times (£)

GCSE results set to accelerate drive to turn schools into academies - The Guardian

Inmates eat rats in the secret North Korean prison camps made public by Google Earth - Daily Mail

Hogan-Howe calls in outside force to police Plebgate response - The Times (£)

In the bleak mid-winter: more snow on the way - Daily Express


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

24 Jan 2013 08:30:42

Newslinks for Thursday 24th January 2012

5pm Nicholas Boys Smith on Comment: High-rise living means crime, stress, delinquency – and social breakdown. Instead, we must Create Streets

2.45pm Local Government: Will UKIP councillors return to the fold?

1.45pm WATCH: Two clips from David Cameron's speech at Davos...

1pm Columnist Garvan Walshe: What Israel’s electoral upset means

12.15pm Comment: Richard Ashworth, the leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs, says that David Cameron's is a vision of Europe we can all share

11.30am ToryDiary: Fraser Nelson is right – the Tories should stop saying that they’re paying down Britain’s debts

ToryDiary: David Cameron will enjoy this morning's newspapers

David Campbell Bannerman MEP on Comment: I now know I made the right decision in leaving UKIP and joining the pro-referendum Conservatives

Roger ScrutonAlso on Comment, Roger Scruton says that border control must be at the heart of any EU renegotiations

In his latest Red, White and Blue column, Henry Hill asks: Why is Labour standing clear of Northern Irish politics?

MPsETC: What is the Bruges Group? Matthew Barrett profiles the long-running Tory Eurosceptic group that helped the Maastricht rebels

On Local Government, Brandon Lewis MP launches a new series on how Conservative councils are saving money, starting with the Forest of Dean

On Thinkers' Corner, Michael Bentley says that the market cannot provide the cultural values we need to flourish.

The Deep End: Shale gas: Good news for Europe, bad news for Putin

Support for David Cameron's speech from Angela Merkel

Cameron Merkel"Downing Street was delighted and surprised as Chancellor Merkel, Europe’s most powerful figure, responded to Mr Cameron’s speech by opening the door to a renegotiation of Britain’s membership terms. ... ‘Germany, and I personally, want Britain to be an important part and an active member of the European Union,’ she said. ‘We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes and we must find a fair compromise. We will talk intensively with Britain about its individual ideas.’" - Daily Mail

> Yesterday on International: Reaction abroad to Cameron's Europe speech.

...and from various Tory figures...

  • Liam Fox"Conservatives must rally behind the Prime Minister, because yesterday he spoke in the national interest and not just the party interest. We have waited a long time to hear this message – we must not squander the opportunity." - Liam Fox, Daily Mail
  • "...Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, the Cabinet’s Eurosceptic standard-bearer, told the Daily Mail that Mr Cameron’s long-awaited speech on Britain’s future in Europe was ‘bloody marvellous’." - Daily Mail
  • "David Cameron has changed the political landscape by being honest about the problems that the EU faces." - John Redwood, The Times (£)

> Yesterday:

...and from the centre-right newspapers...

  • Mail"After the months of build-up and delay, David Cameron pulled off the seemingly impossible yesterday. He delivered a speech on Europe that not only lived up to the high expectations raised of it, but even exceeded them. ... At a stroke, he wrong-footed Labour, while making the Lib Dems look even more arrogant and remote than before." - Daily Mail leader
  • "...many of the arguments in yesterday’s speech were made in another keynote address, delivered by Margaret Thatcher in Bruges in 1988. ... What even she did not offer, however, was to let the people decide whether they wanted to stay in. In proposing that they should, Mr Cameron has taken an audacious and momentous step, and one deserving of the highest praise." - Daily Telegraph leader
  • "Mr Cameron has not caused a problem, but elucidated one. The rest of Europe must join him in solving it." - Times leader (£)
  • "Some will fear the PM’s big speech could yet turn out to be a cynical stunt — a promise he won’t deliver. ... But Mr Cameron insisted yesterday that he will keep his pledge. ... If he does, one thing is clear — in or out, it WILL finally be our shout." - Sun leader
  • "[David Cameron] will have a powerful and popular proposition to put before voters at the next election: that, if he is returned to No. 10, the question of British sovereignty will finally be decided by the British people. It now falls to the hierarchy of the European Union to give us their best offer." -  Spectator leader

> Today on ToryDiary: David Cameron will enjoy this morning's newspapers

...and from various commentators...

  • "His was a strong speech, a bold speech, and almost certainly the best of David Cameron’s life, delivered with a passion so often missing from his performances." - Max Hastings, Daily Mail
  • "How the Prime Minister outfoxed his foes" - Simon Heffer, Daily Mail
  • "My marks: 8/10 for eloquence, 8/10 for strategy, and (this is where I differ from most commentators) 10/10 for caution." - Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

> Yesterday on Comment: Ian Birrell—a former speechwriter to David Cameron—annotated a copy of the PM's speech

...and the businesspeople who have written to the Times

A letter to The Times signed by 56 industry and City leaders has endorsed Mr Cameron’s promise of a negotiation followed by an 'in-out' referendum within five years. It is 'good for business and good for jobs in Britain', they say." - The Times (£)

But the centre-left newspapers aren't nearly as impressed...

  • Independent"Hopes of a fudge to come are, at best, cold comfort. Five years of uncertainty on so fundamental an issue would be damaging at any time. With the economy flatlining, they are potentially catastrophic." - Independent leader
  • "But the prospect of repatriating real powers from Brussels may prove fanciful. ... The notion of the UK unpicking old treaties and enjoying access to the market without observing its laws will provoke disbelief not only in France, which has never shared the UK’s liberal take on Europe, but Germany, which broadly does." - Financial Times leader (£)
  • "Most likely Mr Cameron will be left securing cosmetic concessions. He then has to follow Harold Wilson in 1975, and claim these are something much more – or else actually start the march to the door. Either way, the promise of seeking a popular mandate for a radically reformed Europe disappears in the haze." - Guardian leader
  • "Whether you regard Mr Cameron’s gamble as a sincere attempt to reform and improve Europe or a cynical ploy to head off party opposition to his leadership, he does not seem to be a man with a plan." - Peter Mandelson, Financial Times (£)

...and neither is Nigel Farage...

Farage"In a mere 15 months, the Prime Minister has done a complete U-turn from the shambles of that October to now telling the people that he is the man to deliver their wishes for a change in our relationship with the EU. Why should we believe him, especially when he has the power to offer an In/Out referendum in this parliament?" - Nigel Farage, Independent

> Today, by David Campbell Bannerman MEP on Comment: I now know I made the right decision in leaving UKIP and joining the pro-referendum Conservatives

...nor Peter Oborne...

"The Prime Minister has moved the bomb, but he has not defused it. It remains in the room, ticking away. It is simply in a different place, and the circumstances have changed: Mr Cameron, by committing the Tories to an in-out referendum, has greatly increased the likelihood that Britain will eventually leave the European Union, while a formal split within the Conservative Party over Europe now looks almost certain." - Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

...nor the French

French flag"President Hollande rejected any renegotiation to satisfy Mr Cameron’s demands. 'Europe must be taken as it is,' the French President said. 'We can help it evolve tomorrow, but we can’t offer to reduce it or diminish it on the ground of [Britain] staying in it.'" - The Times (£)

The New Statesman says that "Lord Ashcroft is right to warn the Tories not to bang on about Europe" - New Statesman

> Yesterday, by Lord Ashcroft on Comment: So we've got a Europe policy – now all we need is a Tory government

Both Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg distance themselves from an In/Out referendum

Flag 2"The next general election campaign took dramatic shape yesterday after Ed Miliband set himself against an 'in-out' referendum on Europe. ... Nick Clegg also critcised the offer of a referendum in 2017 for opening 'years of grinding uncertainty' about Britain’s future EU membership." - The Times (£)

  • Ed Miliband unnerves colleagues by rejecting in-out EU referendum - Guardian

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Ed Miliband issues the Anti People’s Pledge in PMQs

The newspapers report yesterday's encouraging employment figures

"The number of people in work is at a record high of almost 30million. ... At the same time, unemployment dropped by 185,000, the biggest annual fall for more than a decade, to 2.49million. This is around the same level as when David Cameron entered Downing Street in May 2010." - Daily Mail

And yesterday's A-level annnoucement

MG"The exam system in England faces the biggest upheaval in its history after Michael Gove confirmed plans to shake up A levels and GCSEs in the same year. ... Pupils taking A levels will be examined once, at the end of their two-year course. AS levels, a stepping stone to the full A level for the past 12 years, will become a stand-alone qualification." - The Times (£)

Yet another immigration backlog

"Border inspectors have discovered a new backlog of 16,000 immigrants who have not yet been told whether they can remain in Britain with their spouse, raising fresh concern over the operations of the UK Border Agency. ... The Home Office said the agency was 'taking action' to deal with historic backlogs and had a “transformation plan” that would put it on a surer footing." - Financial Times (£)

  • "Immigrants are being granted permission to settle in Britain despite having ‘zero income and no employment’, a government inspector warned last night." - Daily Mail

> Today, by Roger Scruton on Comment: Border control must be at the heart of any EU renegotiations

The Tory leadership is making a final push to secure the boundary reforms

Boundary"Andrew Lansley, the leader of the House of Commons, urged backbench MPs to help the Government to keep changes to constituency boundaries. ... The Commons will vote on Tuesday to try to overturn a vote by peers which effectively pushed any change to after the expected 2015 election. ... Mr Lansley is understood to have told a meeting of the 1922 committee that the peers’ intervention was 'constitutionally' unjustified because they are unelected." - Daily Telegraph

Philip Hammond raises further concerns about same-sex marriage legislation

"Mr Hammond made clear his opposition last May, insisting gay marriage was ‘not a priority’ for voters. ... But he went further when replying to a letter from a student in his constituency last week. ... He wrote: ... ‘I do not believe there is a compelling reason to prioritise legislation to go further at the present time and I have concerns about the robustness of the protections for religious organisations that are being put in place.’" - Daily Mail

Edward Timpson warns councils: buck up, or we'll take adoption away from you

"Children’s Minister Edward Timpson will today outline plans to create new powers for ministers to intervene in councils which fail to recruit more adoptive parents and consider the needs of children nationally. ... They could be stripped of their role recruiting and assessing potential parents and instead required to deal with voluntary agencies to find them." - Daily Mail

"The Government’s flagship energy-saving scheme was branded a 'rip-off' last night — as it emerged that families face eye-watering interest rates." - The Sun

People should be able to stick with a favourite GP after moving house, according to Government review - Daily Telegraph

  • Cameron's patient ratings system could cost £600 million - Daily Telegraph

Sajid Javid is interviewed in The Spectator: "I'm still a Thatcherite"

Sajid"What will particularly cheer the party, though, is Javid’s heavy hint that the coalition will not raise taxes again. ... This isn’t the end of Javid’s tax agenda. ‘I’m still a Thatcherite,’ he boasts. ‘I believe in a smaller state and I believe in not just lower taxes but flatter taxes, simpler taxes.’" - James Forsyth, The Spectator

Could Labour drop their demands for statutory underpinning of press regulation?

"Labour has postponed its plan to force a Commons vote on the Leveson report amid signs that it might drop its demand for statutory underpinning of a new press regulator. ... Harriet Harman, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said the party did not want to rule out options in cross-party talks, including the Conservative idea of underpinning a press regulator with a Royal Charter." - The Times (£)

  • But... "[Harriet Harman] said the problem was no one knew how a royal charter would work in relation to the press. 'It's a bit like Dolly the sheep, it might look like a sheep, but we do not know if it will do all the thing that a sheep is supposed to do,' she said." - Guardian

Chuka Umunna leads calls for a "full investigation" into blacklisting in the construction industry

"MPs have called for a 'full government investigation' into blacklisting in the construction industry after The Times revealed that trade union officials helped to block their own members from work. ... Labour used an Opposition Day debate to call for construction companies to apologise for the 'secret, insidious, shameful practice' which Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, said was a national scandal." - The Times (£)

Andy Burnham warns that "production line" hospitals are failing the eldery

Burnham"Andy Burnham says there is a 'deep' problem in the NHS that requires a comprehensive overhaul of treatment. ... Writing on The Daily Telegraph website, Mr Burnham concedes that a report into the Mid Staffordshire NHS trust scandal, due later this month, will find that 'regulatory failures' led to the deaths of hundreds of elderly people. He claims that the problems were down not to poor nursing standards but systemic issues." - Daily Telegraph

Scottish support for independence has slumped to 23 per cent - The Times (£)

Northern Ireland considers a "border poll"

"The largest unionist party in Northern Ireland has said it may support Sinn Féin’s call for a poll on the province’s constitutional future as it could bolster the link with Britain rather than lead to a vote for a united Ireland." - Financial Times (£)

> Today, in his latest Red, White and Blue column, Henry Hill asks: Why is Labour standing clear of Northern Irish politics?

Last year, the resisdents of Rochdale spent the equivalent of "£340 for every man, woman and child in the town" on high stakes betting machines - Daily Mail

Policy Exchange suggests that terrace homes replace high-rise tower blocks

High rise"Modernist tower blocks should be demolished and replaced with streets of terrace houses and low-rise flats that people actually want to live in, an influential Conservative thinktank will claim on Thursday. ... [Policy Exchange] quotes wide-ranging research showing ... that [high-rise housing] is linked to problems including crime and poor health in communities, stress and neurosis among tenants and hyperactivity and juvenile delinquency in their children." - Guardian

"Nearly one in three leading employers are forced to leave graduate jobs open because they are unable to find suitable candidates to fill them" - Daily Mail

The number of stay-at-home fathers has reached a record level - Daily Mail

And another record: it now costs, on average, £222,500 to raise a child to the age of 21 - Daily Mail

And finally 1)... civil servants, or cyberslackers?

"Cyberslacking civil servants are spending thousands of hours browsing shopping, social networking and sports websites at the office. ... Whitehall officials found time last year to log on to Facebook, Twitter and Sky Sports millions of times, official figures have revealed. ... However, a spokesman said it was part of civil servants work to ‘engage with the public’ on these sites." - Daily Mail

And finally 2)... one last bit of reaction to David Cameron's Europe speech

Blazing Saddles"[Tony Blair] compared Mr Cameron’s negotiating strategy to a scene in Blazing Saddles, the satirical Western comedy directed by Mel Brooks, where a character threatens to shoot himself in the head. ... Mr Blair, who was speaking from Davos in Switzerland, also said it was 'pretty mad' to suggest that Britain could potentially leave the EU." - Daily Telegraph


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

Conservative Intelligence