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Newslinks for Thursday 1st August 2013

7pm LeftWatch: What can be learned from the new Labour, Lib Dem and Green peerages?

5.30pm Adam Corlett on Comment: "The government has launched a consultation on simplifying one form of National Insurance for the self-employed. But the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats can be bolder. For a cost of under £260m, it could scrap this entire class of National Insurance." A chance for the coalition to scrap an entire tax

12.30pm ToryDiary: 14 new Conservative Working Peers announced

11.30am ToryDiary: Proportion of Free Schools found to be good or outstanding rises to three in four

Screen shot 2013-08-01 at 11.28.08ToryDiary: "Gove's steady rise will reflect the view of members that he is the Government's most effective Minister - in terms both of shaping policy to Conservative ends and taking on the left. There's no convincing reason for Boris's fall of ten points other than the obvious one: he hasn't been in the news much during the past month." Gove now almost level with Boris as Party members' favourite for next Tory leader

LeftWatch: What must Labour do next? Our panel offer some advice to Ed Miliband

Is Cameron Henry V? Is Boris Falstaff? Adrian Hilton discusses the joys, and dangers, of #BardPoliticians in this week's Culture column

Dr Dan Boucher on Comment: "At the moment we are very unusual internationally in having a tax system that makes no provision for family responsibility. Instead our tax system rests entirely on the individual and there are no compensating provisions that allow for family commitments - be they spousal or parental." Under this Government, we're the most unfriendly country to single earner couples in Europe

MPsETC: Two questions about the MEP candidate selections which CCHQ must answer

Local Government: Let's have fewer roads painted with double yellow lines

The Deep End: British workers have done their bit for recovery, now British capitalists must do the same

Boris will not stand for Parliament in 2015

"The Mayor of London has told the Cameron circle that he will not seek to return to the Commons in a pre-2015 by-election, nor will he stand at the general election. Boris’s decision not to be a candidate in 2015 indicates that he expects Cameron still to be Prime Minister and party leader after the general election. He reasons that if Cameron loses, creating a Tory leadership vacancy, he’ll be able to persuade an MP to rapidly stand aside for him." - James Forsyth, The Spectator 

>Today: ToryDiary - Gove now almost level with Boris as Party members' favourite for next Tory leader

Pickles blasts councils' huge profits from "cash cow" motorists

Eric Pickles"The RAC Foundation said councils must now ‘come clean’ about their parking charges and prove to motorists that they are not being used illegally to subsidise other services. Mr Pickles said the figures showed ‘why we need to review and rein in unfair town hall parking rules’ and urged councils to stop treating drivers as a ‘cash cow’ to subsidise other services.RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: ‘Local authorities should now expect a flood of letters from local residents wanting to know how parking charges are justified." - Daily Mail 

>Today: Local Government - Let's have fewer roads painted with double yellow lines

Shapps: BBC managers impose their personal politics on news reporting

"'The BBC is not a newspaper and needs to remember it’s a state broadcaster who should be providing an objective analysis of events. Too often it seems the senior management allow their personal views to take hold and cloud their editorial judgment when they don’t agree with a policy.’ He added: ‘There was a weekend last autumn where a number of welfare caps were coming in. Watching the BBC you could have been forgiven for thinking this was Armageddon." - Daily Mail 

  • Tories will cut employment red tape - FT (£) 

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Shapps admits that Labour has policies, but warns that they’d be terrible for the country

Fuel duty cut for remote rural areas

"Drivers in remote rural areas will be offered a cut in fuel duty under plans to be announced by the Treasury. Ministers will say that motorists living in isolated parts of Devon, Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Wales could be in line for a reduction of 5p a litre at the pumps. The scheme, similar to that already used in the Scottish islands, is designed to prevent rural drivers paying a premium for fuel." - Daily Telegraph 

"NO": Thatcher vetoed William Hague's Special Adviser job in 1982

Thatcher"Margaret Thatcher sabotaged William Hague’s first proper job in politics, dismissing his appointment as a ‘gimmick’ that would be resented by colleagues. She vetoed the now Foreign Secretary’s job as a special adviser to the Treasury because he had no ‘financial and economic experience’ at the age of 21. Though she cheered him on when, as a 16-year-old schoolboy he gave a historic speech to the Conservative Party Conference, she was less impressed with his keenness to enter government just as he was about to graduate from Oxford…Graciously, Mr Hague conceded she ‘was, as usual, right’." - Daily Mail 

  • Government were prepared for miners' strike a year in advance - FT (£) 
  • How the Thatcher revolution boomed in 1983 - FT (£) 

John Humphrys attacks Beveridge's new giant: welfare entitlement

"I have never seen the sort of political consensus on the benefits system that we seem to be approaching now and our poll suggests the politicians are reflecting a changing public mood. But that consensus has yet to be converted into hard policies acceptable to the nation as a whole. Beveridge tried to slay the fifth evil giant and, in the process, helped to create a different sort of monster in its place: the age of entitlement. The battle for his successors is to bring it to an end." - John Humphrys, Daily Mail 

Ofqual alleges schools are gaming the league tables

"Children are being entered for multiple exams in the same subject as schools try to maximise the number securing at least a C grade at GCSE and maintain their ranking in national league tables. The evidence that schools are trying to push candidates over the bar between a D and C grade by entering them simultaneously for courses run by several different exam boards was presented on Thursday by Ofqual, the examinations regulator." - FT (£) 

  • Depressing and unsurprising tricks - FT Leader (£) 
  • Marx would be proud of Free Schools, says Gove - The Guardian 

Cameron Dark
Judge criticises Cameron's treatment of Peter Cruddas

"In a further blow for the Prime Minister, Mr Justice Tugendhat used his ruling to issue a withering assessment of Mr Cameron’s behaviour. Mr Cruddas, a 59-year-old self-made businessman, was forced to resign in March last year shortly after the claims were published and Mr Cameron went in front of the television cameras to condemn his behaviour and set up an inquiry. The judge said that Mr Cruddas had been subjected to a ‘massive public humiliation’ by the Prime Minister, when Mr Cameron said in a speech in the wake of the reports that what Mr Cruddas said was ‘completely unacceptable and wrong’." - Daily Mail  

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment - As Peter Cruddas wins a resounding High Court victory against The Sunday Times, the Party needs to learn major lessons from this debacle

>Yesterday: WATCH - Peter Cruddas after his libel victory: "No-one in the Conservative Party wanted to listen to my side of the story"

£12.2 billion: the net cost of our EU subscription

EU Exit"The Prime Minister has insisted that Britain will be £600million better off this year, having argued for a cut in EU spending at a summit in February. However, the Treasury’s bill alone for EU membership has more than trebled in the last decade, increasing from £2.9million to £9.5billion in 2012. James Harvard, of campaign group Get Britain Out, said: ‘We’re often told that one of the benefits of EU membership is the grants and payments that it makes to Britain. But these figures expose the truth: For every pound we receive from Brussels, we’ve first had to give them more than two.'" - Daily Mail 

Now Clegg attacks Theresa May for border check progress

Lib Dem Bird Tory"In a surprise attack on Theresa May, Mr Clegg said he was “concerned” about the urgency with which the Home Office was dealing with the troubled multi-million pound project to introduce immigration exit checks by 2015. Mr Clegg said he has asked Liberal Democrat minister David Laws to act as a troubleshooter and put pressure on the Home Office to pursue the issue." - The Times (£) 

Michael Fallon: Shale gas offers benefits to all parts of the country

"North, south, east and west, shale gas represents an exciting new potential resource for Britain that could contribute to our energy security, growth and jobs. We only have to look across the Atlantic to see how it has reinvigorated the US economy: gas prices have halved, cutting costs for industry and consumers, and creating thousands of jobs and billions in new investment. For its part, this Government is serious about shale." - Michael Fallon, Daily Telegraph 

Court quashes Hunt's decision on Lewisham A&E

NHS_Logo"There was clapping in court yesterday as a judge ruled Mr Hunt lacked the power to downgrade casualty and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital in south-east London. Mr Hunt was trying to deal with problems created by the financial collapse of neighbouring South London Healthcare Trust, which was losing £1million a week. Quashing Mr Hunt’s ‘unlawful’ decision, Mr Justice Silber declared he had breached provisions of the National Health Services Act 2006." - Daily Mail

  • Stafford Hospital to be dissolved - Daily Mail 

Spain blockades Gibraltar-bound trucks

"Lorries containing concrete were refused entry at the border yesterday. It is understood the concrete was earmarked for the expansion of an artificial reef off the coast of Gibraltar, a project that has infuriated Spain. The Gibraltar government, which has already protested about what appeared to be a blockade of its territory last weekend when 10,000 cars were stopped at the frontier, has launched an investigation." - Daily Express 

News in brief

  • Zimbabwe needs change - The Times Leader (£) 
  • What the Queen would say in a nuclear World War III - Daily Mail 
  • Female journalists receive bomb threats - The Guardian 
  • Scottish police apologise after their Twitter account insults Toby Young - Daily Mail 
  • SNP accused of running "Labour for Independence" front group - The Times (£) 
  • Doreen Lawrence to become Labour Peer - Daily Mail 


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