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Newslinks for Wednesday 10th July 2013

4pm WATCH: Dominic Raab MP and Jack Straw MP discuss prisoner voting

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 15.55.40
3.45pm ToryDiary: At long last, Cameron is considering an appeal to aggrieved English voters

2.45pm Andrew Gimson's PMQs sketch on ToryDiary: If the noise at Prime Minister's Questions continues at its present deafening level, Cameron and Miliband will soon be unable to hear anything, and be reduced to communicating with each other in sign language. Or perhaps they have already gone deaf, which is why each man ignores what the other has to say. David Cameron reinvents himself at PMQs as the most brutal street fighter in the Commons 

11.15am LeftWatch: Strong Miliband, taking on the unions? Or Weak Miliband, incapable of doing so? Which will it be?

Maude Smiling9.30am As he launches his latest reform initative, Francis Maude MP writes on Comment: "Transparency, self-criticism and openness are difficult territory for both Ministers and civil servants. But we need to stay outside of the comfort zone. The assessment of our reform programme pulls no punches." Fixed-tenure Permanent Secretaries - and much more. Our next steps in civil service reform.

ToryDiary: Royal Mail privatisation gets back on track under Michael Fallon's guiding hand

Henry Hill's Red, White and Blue column: Farage shies away from Northern Ireland pact

In Greg Clark MP's weekly Letter from a Treasury Minister, he writes the third part in this week's series on broadening the appeal of the Party: The key to a Conservative revival lies in our cities

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 07.41.50
On Comment, Adam Afriyie MP recommends this September's Conservative Renewal Conference: Let’s help to transform the Conservative Party with renewal

Also on Comment: George Freeman MP: London Calling - How Britain must now lead the campaign for European reform

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 08.34.35The third post in Local Government's Unite Week: Introducing Cllr Lisa Forbes, Labour's - sorry Unite's - candidate for Peterborough

The Deep End: The long-running left-wing love affair with tyranny 

ECHR murderers release ruling sparks inferno on Tory benches...

“The Strasbourg court stoked a furious response in London by ruling that the UK’s system, in which the most heinous killers are told that they have no chance of release, breaches their human rights. David Cameron’s spokesman said that the Prime Minister was ‘very, very, very, very disappointed’ and that he would not rule out withdrawing from the court if the Conservatives won the next general election” – The Times (£)

...Grayling: Labour and the Liberal Democrats are blocking us from curtailing the court

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 07.51.46"Yesterday’s ruling underlines the need for urgent change. We need to curtail the role of the European Court of Human Rights in the UK...But Labour and the Lib Dems will have none of it. They want things to stay as they are. This is mad. I don’t understand them. But they have more votes in Parliament and have said a clear ‘no’ to change." - Chris Grayling, Daily Mail

  • The 49 monsters given hope of freedom – Daily Mail



  • Strasbourg’s judges yet again abuse their powers – Martin Howe, The Times (£)
  • In some cases, life should mean life - John Rentoul, The Independent
  • It’s vital we stay angry about human rights lunacy – Max Hastings, Daily Mail

Meanwhile Jacob Rees-Mogg points out that opting in to EU criminal justice laws would break the coalition agreement...

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 08.27.04“When this is done the Government will need to make a very strong case for the essential nature both for the specific measure and for the means. This is because any opt-in arguably breaks the Coalition Agreement. This document promises that the Government ‘will ensure that there is no further transfer of sovereignty or powers over the course of the next Parliament’” – Daily Telegraph

> Today: George Freeman MP - London Calling - How Britain must now lead the campaign for European reform

> Yesterday:

...and a former German Chancellor sets out to evade European regulations

“Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt has a stash of 38,000 menthol cigarettes in his home, because he fears the EU will try to ban them. Lifelong nicotene addict Mr Schmidt, 94, puffs away on 40 a day and never appears on TV or in public without a filter tip in his hand or mouth. Friends say he was 'horrified'  to learn that Brussels is currently considering a ban on his only vice. So he has stashed 200 cartons totalling 38,000 cigarettes of his favourite brand - Reyno - in his home. Peer Steinbrueck, his old SPD party's candidate standing against Angela Merkel in this autumn's German general election, revealed his secret in a bid to derail the 'unbearable regulation frenzy' going on in Brussels” – Daily Mail

English MPs are set to gain a sweeping new power of veto 

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“English MPs are to be given the power to ‘veto’ Westminster laws that do not relate to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, as part of sweeping constitutional reforms being drawn up by ministers. Under proposals currently being finalised and expected to be announced in the autumn, English MPs would be able to reject legislation on devolved issues such as education, the NHS, transport and the environment, even if it had been passed by a majority of all MPs in the House of Commons.” - Independent

Miliband prepared to ballot Labour member on his union plans

“Ed Miliband is prepared to go over the heads of union bosses with a party-wide ballot if they try to block moves supposed to weaken their hold over Labour before the election. But his hopes of provoking a defining clash with the organisation that he accused of ‘machine politics’ were set back yesterday when Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, welcomed changes that curb his influence. It also emerged that the former Labour general secretary Lord Whitty, Mr Miliband’s choice to force through reforms aimed at staving off the worst crisis of his three years in charge, had turned down the job on the ground that the plans were ‘unworkable’” – The Times (£)

The Labour leader’s plans receive an editorial welcome from the Times…

Miliband Ed Official“Mr Miliband should be congratulated and his speech welcomed. It has always been anomalous that trade union members should have been assumed to be happy about paying a political levy until they made a decision to opt out. This was once the cause of an acrimonious political fight that resulted in the Trades Disputes Act of 1927, requiring trade unionists to opt in to membership, which Labour then repealed in office. Mr Miliband yesterday allied himself with Stanley Baldwin against his own party” – Times Editoral (£)

…but the Telegraph thinks he has picked the wrong fight

“If Ed Miliband thought that picking a fight with the unions would rebrand him as a strong leader, he has made a serious tactical error… He yearns for a Clause IV moment – a clash with the Labour Left that will leave him looking like the kind of centrist, bold leader that he thinks voters want. What he has actually done, however, is to cement popular impressions of Labour as out of touch and out of date. The coming battle could prove bitter and unseemly.” – Daily Telegraph Editorial

Janan Ganesh says that Miliband must renounce more than Unite’s tactics

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 08.46.29“Mr Miliband’s showdown with Mr McCluskey is stuck in micro-politics: the exact forms of skulduggery deployed in Falkirk, the mooted tweaks to party rules, the arcane theology of the union link. The bigger story is Labour’s migration to the left, a phenomenon that transcends Mr Miliband and Unite. The composition of the party has changed in recent years. There has been an exodus of the Labour right” – Financial Times

  • I've acted on Party funding and now Cameron should too - Ed Miliband, Daily Mirror
  • Miliband’s union battle could destroy him – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
  • Give the unions more power. More power! More!  – Seumas Milne, Guardian
  • We need a directly-elected Prime Minister - Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)


  • MILIBAND DAVID red tie"Vehemently he spoke about the sort of MP who has a second or even third job...The public, he fumed, “expect MPs to be representing them, not anyone else… Being an MP should not be a sideline…” Calm down, Ed. David quit the Commons for New York months ago." - Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • "The Labour leader has, amazingly, morphed into Tony Blair. He is channelling Blair. He has become a clone, an avatar. He even has the Blair teeth, like the display shelf in an undertaker's showroom." - Simon Hoggart, The Guardian
  • " ‘We’re gonna take acshun and seethe the moment,’ he thundered. At this, he half-clenched his left fist. It was the moderate gesture of a bourgeois revolutionary, someone who had been told to appear angry rather than a visionary genuinely gripped by outrage." - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

> Today: Local Government - Introducing Cllr Lisa Forbes, Labour's - sorry Unite's - candidate for Peterborough

> Yesterday:

Fallon: Royal Mail flotation will give it the freedom to thrive

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 08.32.13“Half of Royal Mail’s revenues already come from parcels, and last year its parcel volumes increased by more than 6 per cent. But it needs access to private capital to adapt to new technology and to exploit new markets. That’s why the Government intends in this financial year to give Royal Mail access to private investment through a sale of shares.Claims that this is a rushed process are ridiculous” – Michael Fallon, Daily Telegraph

  • UK business department must live up to its name - Chuka Umunna and Andrew Adonis, Financial Times

> Today: ToryDiary - Royal Mail privatisation gets back on track under Michael Fallon's guiding hand

IMF revises its UK growth forecast upwards

“Signs that the UK’s economic recovery is gathering pace were endorsed by the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday when it raised its growth prediction for 2013. The IMF on Tuesday became the latest forecaster to take a more bullish stance on the British economy, using an update of its World Economic Outlook to raise its expectations for growth this year to 0.9 per cent, up from its April estimate of 0.7 per cent” – Financial Times

  • How the IMF got it wrong on the eurozone crisis – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • NHS spending has risen every year since coalition was formed – Daily Mail
  • CBI demands rethink on cost of HS2 – Daily Mail
  • Danny Alexander defends “transformational” HS2 – Daily Telegraph
  • Boris bikes cost the taxpayer £11m a year to keep on road – The Times (£)

MPs to question Murdoch over phone-hacking tapes

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 08.33.20“Rupert Murdoch faces being drawn personally into police investigations on the ‘cash for stories’ scandal that threatens to engulf his media empire. Detectives are preparing to examine secretly recorded conversations in which he suggests to journalists he knew about payments to public officials. Senior officers suspect that the recording ‘may contain evidence of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office’.” – Daily Mail

  • Met commissioner apologises to Andrew Mitchell over Plebgate briefings – Daily Mail

Time to fight this tidal wave of filth

“Not by the wildest stretch of imagination could Liz Earle be considered a fuddy-duddy... So hers is exactly the sort of voice we need to hear when she says that she took her family away from London to live in the country because she was fed up with the sexual content of advertising and wanted to protect her then eight-year-old.
She says that every time we take a step into the gutter we fail to come out again and that we have lost all notion of what is acceptable. 

Hear! Hear! Liz Earle for PM!” – Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express

News in brief

  • The public is wrong about nearly everything - The Independent
  • UK plummets down defence spending league table - The Sun
  • G4S faces damages claim over killing of Jimmy Mubenga - Guardian
  • Egypt’s interim presidency appoints PM and vice-president - Guardian
  • Edward Snowden “has not yet accepted” asylum in Venezuela – Daily Mail
  • Senior civil servants could lose their jobs every five years - Financial Times
  • Footballer John Terry’s father charged with racist attack – Daily Telegraph
  • UK climber becomes first blind man to conquer 3000ft rock – Daily Telegraph
  • Nerves jangle as Ashes battle begins - The Times (£)
  • Heatwave to continue for at least another week – Daily Express

And finally, a statesman needs to be careful which shades he wears…

“There was a reason that David Cameron took his mother to Wimbledon instead of his wife, and that reason was his sunglasses…The sunglasses — or perhaps a better word is ‘shades’, since mid-Nineties eyewear deserves a mid-Nineties descriptor — struck a bum note in Cameron’s otherwise smart attire. Thin, black and wraparound, they came from the same lineage as those other Nineties stalwarts, Oakleys.” – Laura Craik, The Times (£)


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