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Newslinks for Thursday 25th July 2013

6.30pm ToryDiary: "It seems Justin Welby, unlike his predecessor, actually understands how markets work - and has retired the jerky knee Williams used so regularly. For instead of demanding state intervention, he is using the Church's financial might to go into competition with payday lenders." Archbishop Welby's Wonga plans show a welcome change in the Church of England's politics

4pm LeftWatch: The Blairites who predicted disaster if we didn't join the Euro are back - to repeat their mistakes

2.45pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: How significant a player could a CANZUK Federation be?

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 14.02.012pm WATCH: As growth figures are released, Osborne joins the night shift

Noon ToryDiary: "If all continues to go well, over the next two years the Government will have built up an economic story to shout about in time for the election. For now, the good news blunts any attempts by Labour to go on a "Plan B" offensive - and that is welcome in itself." 0.6% growth is good news - but we should be careful about how we use it politically

11.30am LeftWatch: A reality check - most LibDem members prefer a post-2015 coalition with Labour to one with the Conservatives

9.45am Local Government: Unions protest at Pickles no longer collecting their subs for them


Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 07.53.35In this week's Culture Column, Mike Weatherley MP is out and loud about his love of heavy metal: “Screaming Guitar is music to my ears”

Binita Mehta On Comment: Another royally pride-worthy British summer – how about a British Pride Day to sustain its effects?

Local Government: Cutting the spare room subsidy is reducing overcrowding in Bedford

The Deep End: There’s a good reason why people don’t trust the Government on planning 

Royal baby is named George Alexander Louis…

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 07.54.55
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge embraced 300 years of royal tradition yesterday when they named their son George Alexander Louis. The third in line to the Crown will be formally known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, setting him up to become King George VII when he finally accedes to the throne. The name is the most popular for British monarchs in the modern era, and a tribute to the Queen’s late father George VI, the baby’s great-great-grandfather” – The Times (£)

…and the Royal Family has successfully modernised itself

“For more than a week there have been reporters and photographers outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital and eventually they were rewarded with a story so ordinary as to be banal — a mother and father left a maternity wing with their new baby carried in a car seat, climbed into a car and drove off. Yet what they were reporting was worth the wait, because they can claim to have witnessed a small part of one of the big stories of the past 30 years — the gradual but nonetheless significant transformation of the British monarchy as it turns to face the modern world” – Times Comment (£)

> Today: Binita Mehta On Comment - Another royally pride-worthy British summer – how about a British Pride Day to sustain its effects?

The Economy 1) Return of the feelgood factor

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.33.34“Confidence in the British economy is at its highest level since the Coalition came to power amid signs the recovery is gathering pace. A report published today by polling experts YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research think tank shows the mood among UK households is the most optimistic since April 2010” – Daily Mail

The Economy 2) Archbishop vows to put Wonga out of business

“The Archbishop of Canterbury  has vowed to put payday lenders  out of business by using the Church to build up Britain’s network of credit unions… In an interview with Total Politics magazine, he said: ‘I’ve met the head of Wonga and we had a very good conversation and I said to him quite bluntly “we’re not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we’re trying to compete you out of existence.” He’s a businessman, he took that well’” - Independent

The Economy 3) Jane Austen confirmed as face of new £10 note

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.34.47“Confirming the central bank’s decision to select Jane Austen as the next historical character on the £10 note, Mark Carney, the new Governor, said the Bank will reconsider the criteria it uses to select characters to ensure banknotes ‘celebrate the full diversity of great British historical figures and their contributions in a wide range of fields’” – The Times (£)

Blue chip dirty tricks “bigger than phone hacking”

“Banks and pharmaceutical companies are on a secret list of blue-chip firms that hired private investigators who break the law, The Independent has learned. The revelation that firms from two of this country’s biggest industries may have commissioned corrupt PIs – without facing prosecution – will fuel concerns that corporations potentially involved in the unlawful trade in private information have so far escaped proper investigation” – Independent

  • Why aren’t there dawn raids on these blue-chip firms? – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Bercow wants to recall MPs if Mandela dies during recess

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.35.50 1“Commons Speaker John Bercow is ‘pushing hard’ to recall MPs from their summer holidays if Nelson Mandela dies this August - at a cost to taxpayers of more than £40,000…But his enthusiasm for a recall - which would be unprecedented for a foreign leader - has irritated some MPs. They believe Mr Bercow is seeking ‘penitence’ for his membership, in the 1980s, of the ultra-right wing Conservative Monday Club and the Federation of Conservative students which both disparaged Mr Mandela’s fight for freedom” – Daily Mail

Cameron wants to export gay marriage round the world

“David Cameron vowed last night to ‘export’ gay marriage around the world as he held a party to celebrate the passage of legislation in Britain. The Prime Minister told a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender reception in Downing Street of his personal pride at legalising gay marriage. Addressing an audience that included BBC presenter Clare Balding and her partner, the former newsreader Alice Arnold, Mr Cameron boasted that Britain was now ‘the best place to be gay, lesbian or transgender anywhere in Europe’ – Daily Mail

Pickles is going to ban spitting in the street

Pickles Eric Close Up“Spitting in the street will be made an offence punishable with an £80 fine. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has backed a council that wants to pass a bylaw banning the habit. Anyone caught spitting ‘without reasonable excuse’ would be committing an offence. The change will come into force in Enfield, North London, from early September…Mr Pickles called spitting ‘deeply unpleasant’, adding: ‘Spitting on Britain’s streets is not socially acceptable" – Daily Mail

Doctors demand double pay to work evenings in A&E

“Casualty doctors say they must be paid double to work evenings and weekends. It follows concern that there are too few staff to cope with the soaring numbers turning up in A&E. But the demand drew an angry response from patients’ groups, one of which said: ‘It’s not a part-time business they’re working in, it’s a full-time job’” – Daily Mail

Why Cameron would prefer not to win outright in 2015…

Cameron LibCon“Privately, some senior Tories think a small overall majority might be worse than another coalition because it would leave Mr Cameron dependent on the Commons votes of Bone & Co – crucially, at a time when Europe would top the agenda in the run-up to the in/out referendum Mr Cameron has promised in 2017. ‘Imagine picking up the phone to Peter Bone and asking him what he wanted in return for supporting the Government,’ one Cabinet minister sighed” – Andrew Grice, Independent

…but Gove predicts Tory victory in 2015

“Speaking at an event organised by the polling firm, Populus, Mr Gove said Labour should be further ahead with less than two years before the next election…‘I am convinced that the next government will be a majority Conservative government with David Cameron as Prime Minister,’ he said” – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: LeftWatch - New polling shows the public back Gove, not the NUT, over strikes and paying teachers by performance

Paul Goodman calls for Lynton Crosby to go on Tory payroll full-time to end “infection”

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.38.04"David Cameron risks a damaging "infection" over the business links of the Tory party's general election strategist unless Lynton Crosby is appointed on a full-time basis to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest, the influential ConservativeHome website has warned. As Crosby's business partner accused the Guardian of launching a ‘vile mini jihad’ against him, the editor of ConservativeHome challenged a ruling by the cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, that the ‘letter and spirit’ of rules have been observed.” - Guardian

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - Yesterday's statements won't quell the Crosby controversy

Peter Oborne: Cameron’s empty referendum gesture could spark a British rebirth...

“What gives Mr Cameron his opportunity is the crisis in the Eurozone…negotiating for ourselves a much looser, trading relationship...would have the advantage of allowing us to re-emerge as a global trading nation…Our independence would be restored – a welcome side-effect – and the Conservative Party reborn” – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

...but lobbyists are waging a propaganda war to keep Britain in Europe

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.39.10“A group of businessmen and retired mandarins are waging a behind-the-scenes propaganda war aimed at derailing moves to take Britain out of the EU. Appalled by the prospect of a vote to withdraw, they have formed ‘Business For New Europe’ to fight a public and private campaign to keep Britain in the union…Roland Rudd, an arch networker and lobbyist who runs the successful City PR company Finsbury, is the driving force behind the group” – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: MPsETC - Sajjad Karim, Tory MEP, labels eurosceptics a "Taliban"

Clegg’s new election pledge: to keep tuition fees

“Nick Clegg plans to fight the next election on a pledge to stick to the Coalition’s controversial decision to raise university tuition fees to a maximum £9,000 a year. A Liberal Democrat policy paper, seen by The Independent, rejects calls by some of the party’s activists for fees to be cut to a maximum £6,000 a year or replaced by a graduate tax. The report by a Lib Dem working group proposes that the £9,000 limit be retained” - Independent

Unite boss warns Miliband funding for Labour is conditional

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.40.32“One of Labour’s biggest union backers has issued a warning to the party, urging Ed Miliband to drop his support for austerity. Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, told his members that he was willing to cut the organisation’s political funding for the Labour party, if it continues to back coalition cuts. Mr McCluskey said that continued Unite backing for the party would depend on “a Labour party that our members want to support…Not a party that is a pinkish shadow of the present coalition” – Financial Times

News in brief

  • Mysterious rise in British death rate – The Times (£)
  • Up to 56 dead in Spanish rail crash - Independent
  • Man charged with killing PC Keith Blakelock – Daily Telegraph
  • Bo Xilai to face corruption charges – Financial Times
  • British scientists plan manned mission to Mars – Daily Telegraph
  • High fluoride levels in cheap tea bags could make you ill – Daily Mail
  • Anthony Weiner’s wife stands by him in New York “sext” scandal - Independent
  • American journalist apologises for “terrible” mistake of describing Irish President as homosexual - Independent


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