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23 Aug 2013 08:31:39

Newslinks for Friday 23rd August 2013

7pm WATCH: The ONS revises growth upwards

2.45pm John Bald on Local Government: This year, as ever, Labour has failed on exams

Labour Cost
12.15pm ToryDiary: CCHQ launches a new attack website - How much would Labour cost you?

10.45am ToryDiary: Michael Fabricant is right, we must give political equality to England

ToryDiary: "Mr Darling is right. Peter Mandelson is right. Boris Johnson, Cheryl Gillan and Dan Hannan too. UKIP is right. It's an unusual alliance but it is now very clear that HS2 has become too expensive. The danger for the Conservatives is that they plough on with this project for all the wrong reasons." Scrap HS2 and scrap it now

Majority Conservatism: If it embraces pro-working class economic policies the Right can devastate the Left

DaleIain Dale's Friday Diary: UKIP - a ragtag and bobtail pressure group of well-intentioned and enthusiastic amateurs

Lord Flight on Comment: "Henry Ford, Bill Gates and Walter Disney experienced major setbacks or failures on their road to success.  We need a culture in which the young people taking part in the Government’s recently launched start up loans initiative will continue to their second or third attempt if the first fails and not give up “out of shame”." Don't let today's anti-business establishment freeze out tomorrow's entrepreneurs

Local Government: Local government must look to the past

The Deep End: "Solar power is the only significant technology that enables ordinary consumers to generate their own electricity. For that reason it shouldn’t just appeal to environmentalists, but also to those of a libertarian mindset." Heresy of the week: Solar power is the most rightwing form of energy

Stop HS2Darling: This should be the end of the line for HS2

"The next Government and the one after that will be very short of money to spend on the infrastructure that we desperately need. To commit ourselves to spending so much on a project that rules out any other major schemes seems foolish. And the costs are not yet nailed down. The facts have changed. The case for HS2 was just about stateable in 2010. I don’t believe that it is today." - Alistair Darling, The Times (£) 

  • Might Labour oppose the scheme? - The Times (£)  

>Today: ToryDiary - Scrap HS2 and scrap it now

Assad's slaughter of the innocents

"Around a million child refugees have been forced to flee Syria’s bloody civil war. And at least 7,000 children have now been killed in the 2½-year conflict, charities say. The revelations come a day after horrific images emerged of rows of dead children, among 1,000 slaughtered in suspected nerve gas attacks." - The Sun (£) 

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - The horror of Syria's massacres and the limits of western power

>Yesterday: Garvan Walshe's Foreign Affairs column - The Foreign Office should stop fiddling with the peace process - and attend to the burning Middle East

Miliband mulls an early EU referendum pledge

EU Exit"Another option is to push Mr Cameron to hold a vote in 2014 or on election day in 2015 to “lance the boil”…One party aide said there had been discussions about Mr Miliband calling for a referendum in his keynote conference speech in Brighton on September 24: “The idea was that it would be a truly eye-catching announcement.” One Labour frontbencher said: “There has been a lot of pressure from the shadow cabinet for quite some time now.”" - FT 

>Today: Iain Dale's Friday Diary - UKIP - a ragtag and bobtail pressure group of well-intentioned and enthusiastic amateurs

We need a new Act of Union, to give England equality

Fabricant-Michael"My constituents see their health and education services voted on by MPs who, because of devolution, are completely unaffected by that legislation. While there isn’t an appetite for yet another tier of government in the form of a separate parliament, there is a demand for only English MPs to be able to vote on English laws. The nature of the changing Union has seen power edging away to the nations." - Michael Fabricant, Daily Telegraph 

Stamp duty will catch more and more people in coming years

"Around 80 per cent will be liable for the tax within five years, rising from 68 per cent last year. And 39 per cent will be in the higher brackets — up from just 25 per cent. The TaxPayers’ Alliance, which did the survey, called for stamp duty to be cut, saying: “It will be more expensive to move than ever.” But the Treasury said reducing it would create a “significant cost”." - The Sun (£) 

Candidate Map
Labour's estrangement from the working class is a Tory opportunity

"Labour’s estrangement from its base provides a significant opportunity for the Conservatives if they can convince lower-income voters that they aren’t the party of the rich and big business. Tories should show that they are actively working to help people’s wages stretch further. Having already lifted the poorest out of income tax, Tories should consider increasing the minimum wage — especially if the impact on job creation can be minimised." - David Skelton, The Times (£) 

  • Funding boost for seaside towns - The Independent
  • Anti-frackers are totalitarian and harming the poor, says Bernard Ingham - The Independent
  • Sussex Labour jump on the anti-fracking bandwagon - FT
  • Wind farm house price report to be revealed - Daily Telegraph

>Today: Majority Conservatism - If it embraces pro-working class economic policies the Right can devastate the Left

Police start criminal investigation into David Miranda files

Police"Counter terrorism police started a criminal investigation last night into thousands of secret intelligence files obtained by The Guardian newspaper. Scotland Yard said documents seized from David Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, contained ‘highly sensitive material ... which could put lives at risk’. Carrying documents that could be useful to terrorists carries a maximum ten-year jail sentence under the controversial Terrorism Act 2000." - Daily Mail 

>Wednesday: ToryDiary - The David Miranda incident gets murkier and murkier, but some conclusions are already clear

Rigorous GCSEs right an educational wrong

School"Every year when they were in government, Labour politicians would go on TV to proclaim victory and "another record year" for GCSE results. In reality, they were letting children down. Pass rates in GCSEs soared but standards declined. Young people were pushed into low-quality courses and told they were worth the same as academic subjects. And universities and employers lost confidence." - Liz Truss, Daily Telegraph 

>Yesterday: Chris Skidmore MP on Comment - Talking of exam results, this is also a day to celebrate the success of the Ebacc

>Yesterday: Karen Lumley MP on Comment - Redditch's GCSE and exam results show that, in education, it’s leadership that matters

Will a tax break for marriage make any real difference?

"Two thirds of all married couples will be excluded from the plan. Is it really thought that there are married couples on the verge of divorce who will think again now that the State is offering them £150 a year? If any flaky co-habitees are prepared to marry for the welfare bounty, do we really want them to? A proper Conservative response to this idealism would be to point out that there is no connection, in fact, between the status of marriage in the tax system and how people behave." - Philip Collins, The Times (£) 

Lobbying Bill threatens the free speech of charities

Red Tape"Some of Britain’s biggest charities are consulting lawyers over new rules that they fear will stop them speaking out on issues of major public concern. Oxfam, the Royal British Legion and the Salvation Army are among the organisations seeking urgent legal advice over new lobbying rules, which they say could have “disastrous unintended consequences” on their ability to speak out during election campaigns." - The Times (£) 

Is the BBC licence fee suited to a digital age?

"The BBC has revealed a record number of viewers now watch its programmes on the internet, fuelling fears thousands of households are legally dodging the licence fee. New figures show the corporation’s iPlayer website received 242million hits last month, up 38 per cent on last year. It is thought many viewers who use the iPlayer service do not own televisions, meaning they are not required to pay the £145.50 annual licence fee." - Daily Mail 

  • £100m wasted because of a broken internal culture - Daily Mail 

News in brief

  • Renationalise the railways - Caroline Lucas, The Guardian 
  • Hewitt says send the NHS to India - Daily Mail 
  • SNP expel wife-beating MSP, but he won't resign - The Times (£) 
  • Over a million young people are NEETs - Daily Mail 
  • Taxpayers forced to clean up after Abu Qatada - The Sun (£) 
  • Bishop supports Guide leaders who don't want to ditch God - Daily Mail 
  • Convicts attack eight prison officers a day - The Sun (£) 

And finally….

It's the Prime Lobster

"Mr Cameron then went on to remove his trusty polo shirt. It seems he may have already spent too much time in the glorious Cornish sun, for he revealed a painful-looking dose of sunburn – another curse of every holidaying English male. The Camerons are enjoying their fourth holiday of the year (almost as many outings as that polo shirt, by the way)." - Daily Mail 


> 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.

22 Aug 2013 08:28:11

Newslinks for Thursday 22nd August 2013

6pm WATCH: Bradley Manning says that he is female and wants to lives as a woman named Chelsea

1pm Two Education articles on Comment:

Two posts on the Middle East lead ConservativeHome:

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 06.41.55
With rumours of a reshuffle in the air, Andrew Gimson profiles Karen Braldey MP and Nicky Morgan MP: Two women whips who will help define Cameron's next reshuffle

Max Chambers on Comment: Give PCCs power to hire and fire prison governors

Local Government: How Rochdale's council housing has been taken over by a mutual

The Deep End: Inside every terrorist there’s a petty bureaucrat trying to get out

Terror 1) Hague condemns chemical weapons attack in Syria

“Hundreds of Syrians have been killed or injured in what appears to be the worst chemical weapons attack on civilians since Saddam Hussein gassed Kurds in Iraq 25 years ago...William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said that if confirmed, the attacks would prove to be a ‘shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria’. He added: ‘I hope this will wake up some who have supported the Assad regime to realise its murderous and barbaric nature’” – The Times (£)

  • The evidence seems compelling, but remember there’s a propaganda war on – Patrick Cockburn, Independent
  • The innocents caught in the crossfire of Syria's dirty war - Michael Burleigh, Daily Mail
  • Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to be released from jail - Guardian
  • "Footage shows victims of chemical attacks in Syria. It is plausible that the regime has descended further into barbarity" - The Times (£)

Terror 2) Coalition battle looms over anti-terror laws

Clegg Unhappy“Nick Clegg and Theresa May are heading for a confrontation over the future of Britain's anti-terror laws in the aftermath of the controversy over the detention of the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. As Europe's human rights watchdog warned that the treatment of David Miranda could have a ‘chilling effect’ on press freedom, senior Liberal Democrat sources indicated they were prepared to press for major revisions to the Terrorism Act 2000. The Lib Dem move was flatly rejected by the Home Secretary” - Guardian

  • Miranda’s detention was unlawful – Charles Faulkner, Guardian
  • What about some respect for the UK’s security? – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
  • Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in jail - Guardian

Matt Ridley: Why I'm torn between liberty and security

"The case of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda versus the British and US governments has me swinging like a weathervane in a squall between liberty and security. I can persuade myself one minute that a despicable tyranny is being gradually visited upon us by a self-serving nomenclatura and the next that proportionate measures were taken by the authorities to protect British citizens from irresponsible crimes perpetrated by self-appointed publicity seekers." - The Times (£)

A blast of the trumpet from Iain Martin: David Cameron should stop planning for coalition

MARTIN IAIN“Mr Cameron’s team...have already started to plan for a second coalition with the Liberal Democrats after the next election…This plotting by the Tory leadership is a terrible mistake, and another classic example of the worst aspects of Cameroonism, which sometimes involves seeing problems through the wrong end of the telescope. Rather than drawing up plans now for what happens when they fail to win an overall majority, the emphasis should be relentlessly on developing bold policies” – Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph

Amidst rumours of Treasury unhappiness with HS2's costs, the Times is briefed that Osborne is ready to campaign for it

"The Chancellor’s aides insist he is unmoved by internal worries or the increasing number of business and political figures coming out in opposition following an admission that costs had soared to £8 billion. However, they said that a concerted effort to sell the benefits of the project was being planned to coincide with the publication of an updated analysis of its costs and benefits due before the end of the year." - The Times (£)

Ben Wallace MP: Local residents should be better rewarded for fracking

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 08.34.42“Ben Wallace, the Conservative MP for Lancaster and Wyre, has written to the Prime Minister asking that the Treasury decrease its tax rate on shale income and increase the percentage that is siphoned off for local communities. That way the energy companies would still pay out the same proportion of money, but with a better balance between local communities and the Treasury. Wallace says that ‘if there is to be any hope of persuading my constituents to back shale gas, we in Lancashire need to feel some direct ownership of it. One per cent is risible’ – Isabel Hardman, Daily Telegraph

  • Anti-fracking protesters give up and leave Balcombe – Daily Mail

Blairite ex-Minister calls on Ed Miliband to quit to save Labour…

“Ed Miliband should consider resigning for the sake of the Labour Party, a senior Blairite warned yesterday. Brian Wilson, who served as energy minister under Tony Blair, said the Labour leader had a duty to 'look in the mirror and honestly answer the question: 'Will the electorate ever assent to me being Prime Minister?' Mr Wilson, who held a number of other senior roles, said opinion poll findings on Mr Miliband's personal popularity were 'somewhere between dire and disappointing'” – Daily Mail

…while Miliband plans to link benefits to good behaviour

Miliband Red“Plans to reward good citizenship with better access to housing, and to tie benefits to prior tax contributions, will form a significant part of Ed Miliband’s autumn campaign. The Labour leader has been widely criticised in recent weeks for failing to spell out his prospectus for government and allowing the Conservatives to shape the political weather. After a series of attacks from Blairite figures, Mr Miliband was attacked from the left yesterday when Diane Abbott accused him of failing to counter what she described as the Government’s anti-immigration message” – The Times (£)

Nigel Farage vows to get a grip on UKIP

“Following criticism from Will Gilpin, UKIP’s former chief executive, Mr Farage said that he will now do ‘less politics’ in a bid to ‘professionalise’ the organisation…’I will have to do less politics, fewer interviews, fewer public meetings, fewer appearances and I will have to spend more time directly overseeing the jobs being done, because the problem we have had is one of non-delivery’” – Daily Telegraph

  • Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP, says firms should be allowed to sack pregnant women – Daily Mail
  • UKIP official says that Churchill admired Hitler - The Times (£)

GCSE results: top grades expected to fall

Gove Michael June 2011“The number of test papers awarded A* to C grades is expected to drop for the second year in a row following an overhaul of exams for 16-year-olds. As around 600,000 children prepare to receive their results, it was anticipated that around 22 per cent of test papers will be marked A*/A and just over two-thirds will be awarded at least a C grade. The fall comes despite more than two decades of rising grades in the run up to 2012” – Daily Telegraph

TV licence offences account for over one in ten court cases

“More than 180,000 people – almost 3,500 a week – appeared before the Magistrates Courts, accused of watching television without a valid £145.50 licence. The figure has been steadily rising as TV Licensing, which is responsible for catching and prosecuting non payers, improves its ability to identify those responsible and becomes more determined in its approach. But with Magistrates handling a total of 1.48 million cases last year, it means that around 12 per cent of their workload is now being made up of TV licensing offences” – Daily Telegraph

Treasury suffers its first July deficit since 2010

Osborne Penknife“The recent run of good news on the UK economy came to an unexpected end on Wednesday after data on the public finances showed Treasury coffers were drained last month for the first July in three years. July is usually the month when the government collects the second-highest tax receipts, owing to the timing of corporation tax and self-assessment payments. However, despite the early signs of economic recovery seen since the spring, official data showed the government had to borrow for the first July since 2010” – Financial Times

Hedge fund manager told to dig deep for luxury basement

“Kensington council has demanded a fee of more than £800,000 from a hedge fund manager seeking to build a vast subterranean extension underneath two adjacent west London properties…The new basement, at about 900 square metres, is equivalent to eight average-sized new-build family houses, and is a symbol of the trend for London’s most wealthy homeowners to extend downwards” – Financial Times

News in brief

  • Grayling defends prisoner sales scheme - Daily Mail
  • Race bias of stop and search charges - The Guardian
  • Trial of Bo Xilai opens in China – Daily Telegraph
  • Soldiers who join up aged 16 'twice as likely to die in Afghanistan' - Daily Express
  • British “drug mules” refused bail in Peru – Daily Mail
  • Boris Johnson’s transport chief paid me for sex - Sun
  • Comedian Jim Davidson will not face sex assault charges – Daily Mail
  • Skegness named most deprived seaside town - The Independent
  • Australians have a good day at the Oval – Daily Telegraph

And finally...Churchill failed to inspire Britain? Never, never, never

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 08.38.23
“In The Roar of the Lion, Richard Toye claims that Winston Churchill’s famous wartime speeches did little to inspire the British people. His source is Mass Observation…Throughout the war, Gallup’s polls supplied the reliable numbers that Mass Observation couldn’t…His figures remained stratospheric throughout the war, despite the devastation of the Blitz, the loss of Greece and Crete, Japan’s capture of Malaya and Singapore, Rommel’s sweep through North Africa. Only once did Churchill’s rating slip below 80 per cent” – Peter Kellner, The Times (£)


> 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.

21 Aug 2013 08:46:06

Newslinks for Wednesday 21st August 2013

6pm ToryDiary: The David Miranda incident gets murkier and murkier, but some conclusions are already clear

2.30pm ToryDiary: "Will Gilpin, UKIP's Chief Executive, has left his job after only nine months, citing a fundamental disagreement with Farage as his reason for departing. Gilpin was much-touted as the man to professionalise UKIP, taking it from its Godfrey Bloom-esque roots to the next stage as a more serious, consistent outfit. Instead, he says that he ran up against Farage..." UKIP have been on a roll, but their latest infighting shows they aren't invulnerable

10.45am LeftWatch: Haringey's mayor praises the London riots, continuing two shameful Labour traditions

ToryDiary: "For the police to acquiesce to crime is an abdication of their duty. That aquiescence starts at very low levels - when you think about it, posters telling people to hide their valuables due to the risk of pickpockets is a clear message that police are giving up, and resorting to victim-blaming rather than crime-fighting." Police failure in Balcombe has spurred on mob rule across the country - the Sussex PCC should get tough

Henry Hill's Red, White and Blue column: McLeish supports the Union - but not if it includes Conservatives

Blue BadgerLorraine Platt on Comment: "Badgers are a protected species and a valued intrinsic part of our countryside, loved by the British public. An e-petition recently attracted more than 263,000 public signatures against the planned cull. Recently, a letter was sent to David Cameron signed by 100 celebrities, conservation organisations, scientists and vets." The Government must heed the scientific evidence against the badger cull

Also on Comment, Grant Shapps presents an invitation: Join me at this year's Conservative Party Conference in Manchester

Local Government: Public sector reform: How Cameron is succeeding where Blair failed and Brown didn't try

The Deep End: Soak the savers, we’ve got a national debt to pay off

Home Secretary was briefed in advance on David Miranda arrest

Police"The home secretary has confirmed that she was given advanced notice of the decision by the police to detain David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, at Heathrow airport. As part of an offensive by the government to justify the detention, the home secretary praised the police action on the grounds that Miranda possessed sensitive documents which could help terrorists and "lead to a loss of lives"." - The Guardian 

>Yesterday: WATCH - David Miranda to sue Government over detention

Drilling to restart in Balcombe

Growth ConHome"After a day of action where the protesters were cleared away from the main gate, lorries and workers were yesterday escorted safely by police onto the site. Following the arrest of 29 people – including Green MP Caroline Lucas – campaigner numbers have fallen to a third of the 1,200 present during the weekend. The ‘Reclaim the Power’ camp that was set up two miles away in a farmer’s field was also being dismantled yesterday and due to be completely cleared by tonight." - Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary - Police failure in Balcombe has spurred on mob rule across the country - the Sussex PCC should get tough

>Yesterday: The Deep End - How the police could turn themselves into human CCTV cameras

Hurd: Schools failing to give pupils the grit to get a job

"Young people are failing to find work because they lack ‘grit’, a minister has warned. Nick Hurd insisted that ‘social skills and discipline’ are every bit as essential for success as qualifications – yet they are not being taught in schools. The minister for civil society also said he was struck by the ‘crushingly low’ self-confidence of many youngsters and the effect this has on their employment prospects." - Daily Mail 

  • Unite produce propaganda posters for schools - Daily Mail 
  • Classroom rebels should pipe down or get out - The Sun Says (£) 
  • Prince Charles' 'mole' worked in Hurd's private office - Daily Mail 

Treasury estimates HS2 cost at £73bn

"Treasury officials are privately warning that the cash cost of the controversial High Speed 2 rail line will hit £73bn, in a sign of the entrenched and escalating concern within the department over the project. The official projected cost of the flagship scheme is £42.6bn, but senior Treasury officials are using a much bigger figure to add bite to their criticism of the scheme." - FT 

  • It will drive growth, says Osborne - FT 

Miliband is failing the key tests of opposition

Labour Rose Wilting"There are three basic rules for a modern opposition party — practised with overmastering aplomb by Tony Blair, who won a landslide, and with less success by David Cameron, who didn’t win at all but nonetheless gained a big swing and ousted a government. The Labour leader has broken every one of them." - Paul Goodman, The Times (£) 

All hail Maude's Whitehall savings

"Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude is to be congratulated for overseeing a major change in the culture of Whitehall when it comes to more responsible stewardship of taxpayers' money. A saving of £6.5billion by reducing waste, clamping down on tax-dodging and targeting welfare fraud may only amount to about one per cent of overall public spending. But it still equates to £400 per working family." - Daily Express Leader 

EU Exit
£205 billion is not enough - Greece needs another bailout

"Debt-riddled Greece will need a third bailout as the crisis in the eurozone rumbles on, German’s finance minister declared last night. Wolfgang Schaeuble, one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s most powerful allies, warned that the previous rescue packages totalling £205billion will not be enough to save the stricken country. ‘There will have to be another programme in Greece,’ he said." - Daily Mail

UKIP Chief Exec quits over Farage's unaccountable dominance

UKIP_mag 3"He joined Ukip last year, and said he found a chaotic and disorganised party built around Mr Farage’s personality and whims. "The thing I am most shocked by is that Nigel does his own thing without the party knowing where he is or what he is doing,” he said." - Daily Telegraph

  • Godfrey Bloom offends some more people - The Times (£) 

News in brief

And finally…

Rats in Parliament

"More than £100,000 has been spent clearing vermin from the Houses of Parliament in 16 months, it emerged yesterday. Most of the cash was spent laying traps and poison for mice in offices, bars and corridors across the eight-acre estate." - The Sun (£) 


> 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.

20 Aug 2013 08:29:19

Newslinks for Tuesday 20th August 2013

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 17.45.116pm Joe Armitage on Comment: It's time to nationalise exam marking

5.30pm WATCH David Miranda to sue Government over detention

4.30pm ToryDiary: "I’ve referred to Halfon’s work many times on ConservativeHome, including in this article – and I make no apologies for doing so. It’s a demonstration that working with the unions, rather than just politicking at their expense, can have an appreciable effect. And that’s a point that bears repeating." CCHQ should ask a simple question about Robert Halfon’s popularity among trade unionists in Harlow – how?

Noon ToryDiary: Let’s look ahead to the Autumn Statement – it could be the first of a new breed

ToryDiary: Where's the ambition? And what's the plan?

Ed Staite on Comment: As the summer draws nearer its end, it's time for MPs to sharpen their stump speeches

LBDAlso on Comment, Louise Burfitt-Dons says that a return to family values could win the Tories ethnic votes"The message that going out to work pays is a good one. But now is the time to reflect on home issues that also contribute to standing on your own two feet. Traditional parents deserve policies which empower them, but which reward their sacrifice and commitment at the same time."

Local Government: Using Zipcars is saving Croydon Council £756,000 a year

The Deep End: How the police could turn themselves into human CCTV cameras

Cameron warned that he will face a coup if he tries to force another Coalition on Tory MPs


"Mr Cameron is said to be prepared to offer Tory MPs a vote on any future coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats to bind them into a decision to go for a new pact, just as Nick Clegg did with his MPs in 2010. ... But Conservative MPs yesterday said that the party ‘will not swallow another coalition’ and demanded that party members, as well as MPs, are given power of veto. ... They privately warned that Mr Cameron’s critics could seek to oust him if he tries to team up with Mr Clegg again." - Daily Mail

"A panel of five senior Tory MPs, including two standard-bearers of the Right, is being lined up to vet the details of any second coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 general election." - The Times (£)

  • "Political parties must be transparent about their strategy for any hung Parliament" - Times Editorial (£)
  • "Don't settle for yet another coalition" - Daily Mail Editorial

> Today on ToryDiary: Where's the ambition? And what's the plan?

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Any proposal for a second Coalition should be put to all Party members – not just MPs

And Clegg faces demands about the nature of any future Coalition, too

"Liberal Democrats should be formally consulted before British troops are sent to war as part of any future coalition agreement, one of the party’s MPs has said." - The Times (£)

"Nick Clegg is being told he would struggle to win support within his party for a fresh coalition with the Conservatives..." - Independent

As the current Coalition argues over a report into wind farms

Wind turbine"The newspaper has learnt that a new Government row over wind farms is blocking a report that could provide official confirmation that the controversial turbines can harm rural areas. ... Sources have said that the Department of Energy and Climate Change — run by Ed Davey — wants to stop Owen Paterson publishing a major report that he has commissioned on renewable energy and the rural economy." - Daily Telegaph

David Miranda's detention at Heathrow: Home Office and Met asked to explain themselves

"Britain's anti-terrorist legislation watchdog has called on the Home Office and Metropolitan police to explain why anti-terror laws were used to detain the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald for nine hours at Heathrow airport. ... Amid mounting concern across the political spectrum over the treatment of David Miranda, David Anderson QC said the detention of Greenwald's partner on Sunday appeared to be 'unusual'." - The Guardian

Further reports:

  • "They said I would be put in jail if I didn't co-operate." David Miranda interviewed - The Guardian
  • Labour demands review of anti-terror powers - The Guardian
  • White House was given "heads-up" over David Miranda detention in UK - The Guardian

And comment:

  • AR"As the events in a Heathrow transit lounge – and the Guardian offices – have shown, the threat to journalism is real and growing" - Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian
  • "This incident is also a reminder that UK anti-terror laws are too sweeping. Under the 2000 Act, Britain’s police can detain any individual, even if they have no prior suspicion of terrorist activity by that person. This is nothing less than a draconian piece of legislation." - Financial Times editorial

> Yesterday, by Nick Pickles on Comment: David Miranda's arrest shows why our anti-terror laws need a comprehensive overhaul

Brussels to help negotiate a Gibraltar settlement, as Britain considers legal action

"On the day that British naval ships pulled into the territory, the Spanish government and European Commission agreed that an EU mission should help negotiate a settlement between the two countries. ... Downing Street said: 'We are actively considering legal action.'" - Financial Times

> Yesterday's video to WATCH: HMS Westminster docks in Gibraltar

No.10 faces pressure to rethink its Draft Bill for reforming lobbying rules

"MPs and industry experts said the proposals have huge loopholes, including only requiring inclusion on a register for firms whose main activity is lobbying. ... But David Cameron’s official spokesman said that the government had consulted ‘widely’ and ‘carefully considered the committee’s report’ into how to tackle secretive lobbying. ... He added that ‘we don’t believe that we need further pre-legislative scrutiny’." - Daily Mail

  • "The planned register of lobbyists is too narrow" - Independent editorial

Hague warns that Egypt's turmoil could last decades

Flag 2"William Hague has warned that the turmoil in Egypt could continue for ‘decades’ as it emerged that the former dictator Hosni Mubarak is soon to be freed. ... Mr Hague told the BBC yesterday: ‘What’s happening now in the Middle East is the most important event so far of the 21st century, even compared to the financial crisis we’ve been through in terms of its impact on world affairs and I think it will take years and maybe decades for it to play out.’" - Daily Mail

  • "Stability, not an election, is what Egypt needs now" - Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
  • "Algeria's civil war is a dreadful precedent for Egypt" - David Blair, Daily Telegraph
  • "Europe and the US have failed to craft a coherent response to Egypt’s crisis so far, but failure is not an option in Sinai" - Times editorial (£)
  • "Egypt’s plight worsens by the day. But the rest of the world can still help" - Independent editorial

Damian Green announces that the age limit for jury service will be lifted to 75

DG"Under existing rules, 69 is the age limit for a juror but the Government intends to change the law to include those aged 70 to 75. ... Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green said the shift would enable the criminal justice system to benefit from the knowledge and ‘life experiences’ of older people." - Daily Mail

  • "Why the age limit on jurors should be raised to 75" - Damian Green, Daily Telegraph

Ministers to investigate claims that schools are operating as though Section 28 never went away

"Ministers have ordered an immediate investigation into evidence suggesting dozens of schools and academies have been enforcing the rule – known as Section 28 – ten years after it was abolished. ... According to research by the British Humanist Association, at least 44 schools and academy groups in England have sex and relationship education policies that either echo the controversial clause or appear not to be aware that it had been repealed." - Daily Mail

  • "Section 28 hurt the Tories more than young gay people" - Andy McSmith, Independent

Builders face curbs on the construction of "rabbit hutch" homes, under terms of new Government consultation

RABbit"Housebuilders would be forced to construct homes with larger rooms under proposals to curb the proliferation of 'rabbit-hutch' estates. ... Don Foster, communities minister, will on Tuesday launch the space consultation, which will also promise to slash red tape for housebuilders." - Financial Times

  • "Help to Buy is a dangerous political placebo" - Dominic Lawson, Independent

The Guardian calls on the Government to "look again" at drugs legislation

"Portugal has successfully decriminalised the possession of small amounts of some drugs. New Zealand has just introduced regulation for recreational drugs. At the very least, the Home Office should hand over responsibility for drugs policy to the Department for Health. And if even that feels too risky, then start developing policy based on evidence rather than emotion." - Guardian editorial

  • "The ‘war on drugs’ has been a disaster" - Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£)

"A few days ago the Government slipped out its most recent Civil Service recruitment statistics. And, for anyone who cares about equality, they make depressing reading" - Oliver Wright, The Independent

"Prepare to add HS2 and Universal Credit to our depressing list of fiascos" - Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

Huhne faces questions over his new job

"Chris Huhne, the disgraced former Energy Secretary, is facing questions about whether he misled the watchdog which advises the Government on job applications by ex-ministers. ... Mr Huhne has been appointed European chairman of Zilkha Biomass Energy" - The Times (£)

More disheartening news for Ed Miliband: only 46 per cent of Labour voters reckon he should lead the party into the next election

EDM"Of those who backed Labour in 2010, 34% say he should not lead the party into the 2015 General Election, while only 46% say he should. ... Among Labour backers, 31% are dissatisfied, while just 45% think he is doing a good job.... Martin Boon, of ICM, which did the poll, said: 'Let’s not be in any doubt that with less than half of 2010 Labour voters satisfied with him he is polling miserably.'" - Daily Mirror

But at least he can count on the support of... erm... Ken Livingstone

"The former London Mayor said Mr Miliband was 'the most impressive Labour leader' since John Smith, who died in 1994. ... He also labelled Lord Prescott — who launched a scorching attack on Mr Miliband at the weekend — 'an embarrassment'." - The Sun (£)

Chuka Umunna talks jobs and zero-hours contracts

"Some people welcome the flexibility of a zero-hours contract. But their growth is symptomatic of a wider issue – increasing job insecurity and falling living standards in David Cameron's Britain. ... government must use all the levers at its disposal to incentivise firms to adopt business models that pay people a living wage and treat them fairly." - Chuka Umunna, The Guardian

  • "We love the poor in fairytales, but survey after survey shows we are all too quick to blame real people who fall on hard times" - Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

The Battle of Balcombe rages on: Caroline Lucas is among those arrested

Fracking"Green MP Caroline Lucas was among more than 30 people arrested yesterday as police finally went on the offensive in the Balcombe anti-fracking protest. ... The Brighton MP was among dozens of activists blocking the entrance of the West Sussex site preventing energy company Cuadrilla’s trucks entering." - Daily Mail

"David Cameron has unnecessarily stoked resistance to shale gas drilling in Britain by making people believe this potential new energy source was 'literally coming out of the ground' now rather than being a decade away, Labour has warned." - Financial Times

  • "Why stage a protest against fracking at a site where there is no fracking? ... Cuadrilla, the firm being targeted, is certainly operating in Balcombe. But it’s not fracking there. ... It’s drilling for oil." - Sun editorial (£)
  • "Anti-fracking zealots are the enemies of progress" - Daily Telegraph editorial
  • "Caving in to the anti-fracking fanatics is a craven surrender to mob rule" - Christopher Booker, Daily Mail
  • "What is behind this fracking mania? Unbridled machismo" - George Monbiot, The Guardian

Record number of official warnings for substandard care homes and hospitals

"A record number of care homes and hospitals were issued with official warnings last year after the health watchdog uncovered ‘unacceptable’ standards of care for the most vulnerable. ... Inspectors issued 910 ‘warning notices’ prompted by examples of pensioners forced to sleep in dirty beds, use dirty commodes  and live in unheated rooms over the winter." - Daily Mail

  • "Public Health chiefs have blamed flu for the unexpected deaths of thousands of elderly people over the past year..." - The Times (£)
  • £300 million programme of health checks for the over-40s is branded a waste of money - The Times (£)

News in brief

  • New crime unit boss quits "after failing security checks" - Daily Mail
  • The number of public toilets has fallen by 40 per cent in ten years - Daily Mail
  • Oxford student Tory accused of "cruel and arrogant" prank - Daily Mail
  • Ukip chief executive Will Gilpin stands down - The Guardian

And finally 1)... The cost of David Miliband

"David Miliband is expected to cost the International Rescue charity in New York around £1million in his first year, taking into account his own £300,000 salary and relocation and other costs, together with the costs of his imported sidekicks, Ravi Gurumurthy and Ollie Money, respectively his former political strategist and PR man." - the Mandrake column in the Daily Telegraph

And finally 2)... Bambi's voodoo doll worked

Deer"David Cameron has injured his back, forcing him to cancel plans to hunt deer during his Scottish holiday. ... The Prime Minister has had a painkilling injection after suffering a protruding disc in his spine. ... In an interview on the remote Hebridean island of Jura, where Mr Cameron and his family were on their third summer holiday, he said his ‘phenomenally bad back’ had been a ‘bore’." - Daily Mail


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