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18 Sep 2013 08:30:53

Newslinks for Wednesday 18th September 2013

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 19.04.565.30pm ToryDiary: "Here was an unaccustomed effort within the Lib Dems to build up a leadership cult. They were practising power worship. Mr Clegg accommodated the power worshippers. Thus there were a few insidery anecdotes - something about sorting out the furniture when he first became Deputy Prime Minister and also something about meeting Andy Murray." Nick Clegg turns up the volume

4.45pm WATCH: Nick Clegg: "We will bring down the two-party system"

4.15pm Local Government: UKIP start shedding councilllors

2.30pm MPsETC: New edition Loyalty Boris (batteries included, moving parts, press here for anecdotes) hits the shelves

1.30pm WATCH: Osborne wants bank shares for the many and not just the few

11.30am Nick Faith on ThinkTankCentral: "The Government should give away the remaining shares to anyone in the country who is on the electoral roll and has a National Insurance number. Unlike Thatcher’s privatisations of the 1980s, people would not have to pay a penny to receive their allocation of shares." Osborne should use the Lloyds sell-off to put money in all our pockets

10.45am WATCH: Theresa May says "It's not for the Government to tell women what to wear"

10am ToryDiary: Coming for Party Conference - a ConHome redesign (reprise)

ToryDiary: EXCLUSIVE - CCHQ declares Conservative Party membership to be 134,000

In his column, Party Chairman Grant Shapps writes: Yes, Party membership will survive - but it will change. Here's what we're doing to revive it


Also on ToryDiary, we offer a match report on the last three years: Who is winning the Coalition? Us or the Lib Dems?

Also: Henry Hill's Red, White and Blue Column: Welsh FM calls for end to devolution "tinkering"

On Comment:

LeftWatch: Nick Clegg's "free school meals for all" plan clashes with his own principles and policies. Oops.

Local Government: David Skelton on Cities at the heart of devolution

The Deep End: Centralisation plus complexity: a fatal formula for welfare reform

Clegg announces free school meals for every 5- to 7-year-old...

Free school meals are to be extended to all infant pupils in England at a cost of £600million a year. Nick Clegg will announce today that from next September an extra 1.5million children will qualify for the meals, regardless of their parents’ income. Mr Clegg’s announcement at 5pm came only two hours after Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander had told the conference: ‘There’s no spending bonanza around the corner.’" - Daily Mail 

>Today: LeftWatch - Nick Clegg's "free school meals for all" plan clashes with his own principles and policies. Oops.

>Today: Robert Halfon MP on Comment - How a cross-party campaign for free school meals won the backing of Michael Gove and Nick Clegg

…in return for agreeing to Cameron's marriage tax break

"Some senior Conservatives were angry at suggestions that the policy was a “quid pro quo” for the marriage tax allowance…The marriage tax allowance, to be announced by David Cameron at the Tory Party’s annual conference, is expected to cost about £550 million. Both benefits, due to start before the 2015 election, will be spelt out in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement." - The Times (£) 

>Today: ToryDiary - Who is winning the Coalition? Us or the Lib Dems?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - Lib Dems in Glasgow cannot hide harmony in Downing Street

MPs demand transparency over nursing numbers

"MPs called for all hospitals to publish ward staffing levels daily. The Health Select Committee said that patients, regulators and NHS bosses must be able to see how many nurses were working every day and how that compared to the number that should be on duty. Stephen Dorrell, the Conservatice chairman of the committee, said that the Stafford Hospital scandal must be an “electric shock” that galvanised the NHS to become more open." - The Times (£) 

Germans don't trust the EU 

Euro meltdown"A majority of Germans do not trust European Union institutions according to a poll showing a shift to greater Euroscepticism in Europe’s largest economy. The YouGov Deutschland survey also showed a majority of Germans believe a British exit from the EU would be bad for both Germany and the EU. Nearly two in three Germans polled said Germany and Britain could be strong allies in reforming the EU, though France is still viewed as Germany’s most important ally." - Daily Mail  

  • IoD members back renegotiation plan - Daily Express
  • Veil campaign could clash with European law - The Sun (£) 

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - Euroscepticism is rising on the Continent, but is it enough to aid Cameron's renegotiation?

One year to go before the Scottish referendum

"In exactly a year’s time the Scottish people — or at any rate, those people living in Scotland — will decide whether they wish to remain part of the United Kingdom. Despite opinion polls currently showing a majority would vote “no” (including this newspaper’s YouGov poll today) there should be no complacency in the cross-party “Better Together” campaign. In Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, the “yes” campaign is led by a politician with a popular touch." - The Times Leader (£) 

Everyone to be offered discounted Lloyds shares

"Millions of ordinary investors could be offered a pre-election sweetener next year in the form of cheap shares in Lloyds. The plan emerged after fund managers and insurers snapped up 6 per cent of the state-backed lender in five hours on Monday night, raising £3.2billion for the Treasury." - Daily Mail 

Investigation into Andrew Mitchell police to drag on into next year

Police"Scotland Yard signalled last night that its inquiry into the Plebgate affair could drag on into 2014 after it was handed new information. It revealed detectives are examining ‘three separate pieces of evidence’ passed to the force by the police watchdog and a ‘third party’. Their appearance led to senior prosecutors handing back the case file on the explosive 45 second Downing Street clash." - Daily Mail 

Cameron defends right of Spurs fans to call themselves the "yid army" 

"David Cameron was drawn into a row over offensive football chants yesterday as he defended Tottenham Hotspur fans who shout the word ‘Yid’. The Prime Minister revealed that he thought supporters of the North London club should not face prosecution for chanting the terms ‘Yiddos’ and ‘Yid army’ at games because they are jokingly referring to themselves and therefore not ‘motivated by hate’. But he said other people should be discouraged from using the term, because of the offence it could cause." - Daily Mail 

Miliband's policies are a "pregnant panda", says Jacqui Smith

Labour holes"Former home secretary Jacqui Smith has said she worries Labour's policy review resembles a pregnant panda - a long time in the making but with no-one sure if there is anything in there. It was a reference to giant panda Tian Tian, who is thought could give birth at Edinburgh Zoo soon but keepers are not certain she is even expecting." - Daily Mail 

News in Brief

  • You can abort babies by sex, says abortion clinic chief - Daily Mail 
  • Housing bubble? Price rises only 3 per cent - Daily Mail 
  • Fracking even safer than previously thought - The Times (£) 
  • The welfare state is over, declares new Dutch King - Daily Mail 
  • £80,000 a year for just one wind turbine - Daily Mail 
  • Syrian rebels use iPad to guide mortar fire - Daily Mail 
  • A fifth of workers fear they'll never retire - Daily Mail 

And finally...Osborne's new barnet attracts attention

"The choppy, layered cut is used by hairdressers to make it seem as though their clients’ hair is thicker than it really is, in turn helping them look younger.  It seems to have worked for Mr Osborne. The new style appeared to have taken a few years off the 42-year-old, who was seen in June with thin and greying hair. Mr Osborne was speaking to Lloyds Banking staff in Birmingham after the sale of taxpayer-owned shares." - 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.

17 Sep 2013 08:29:51

Newslinks for Tuesday 17th September 2013

MIDNIGHT ToryDiary: EXCLUSIVE - CCHQ declares Conservative Party membership to be 134,000

6pm ToryDiary: Danny Alexander can't bring himself to celebrate wealth creation

Pound3.15pm ToryDiary: "The political and economic failure of the European project is starting not only to sway the European electorates, and it seems popular scepticism is starting to seep into the seats of power, as it has eventually done in Westminster." Euroscepticism is rising on the Continent, but is it enough to aid Cameron's renegotiation?

2.30pm Adam Afriyie MP on Comment: United, the Conservatives can deliver victory

2.15pm Local Government: "Cllr Hall was elected the new Leader last night by 31 votes to 24 after a number of Independent Labour councillors abstained or voted for her. She and her team are capable and determined and well aware of the need to apply strong Conservative principles to achieve better value for money for local residents." Conservatives take over Harrow Council

1.30pm LeftWatch: "Boot Vince out of the party - and the SDP lot" - that Lib Dem divide isn't going away

Screen shot 2013-09-17 at 11.22.2411.30am Andrew R.T Davies on Comment: Why is Wales's First Minister so silent about Scotland's referendum?

11am Local Government: "Our taxes should not be going into the coffers of Mr Serwotka's outfit. The Communities Secretary is right to be putting a stop to it, and other Government Departments should do the same." Pickles is beating the Pilgrims

9.45am Local Government: John Bald Maria Montessori would have backed revival of phonics

ToryDiary: Lib Dems in Glasgow cannot hide harmony in Downing Street

In his weekly Foreign Affairs Column, Garvan Walshe warns Israel to Beware Egypt’s ambitious General al-Sisi

Graham Stuart MP on Comment: Bad advice is blighting the careers of thousands of young people. Here’s how to do better.

Local Government: Localism saves money

The Deep End: The sinister purpose of academic jargon

LibDem Conference: Vince Cable keeps his red lines private

Screen shot 2013-09-17 at 08.46.56“Vince Cable stunned colleagues last night by declaring that the Coalition could break up before the election and indicating that he has private ‘red lines’ that would prompt him to walk out of the Cabinet. In an act of open rebellion, the Business Secretary made a bid to be Chancellor in a Labour government and savaged his Tory coalition colleagues. Mr Cable said it is ‘a possibility’ that the power sharing deal with the Tories will collapse before 2015 – directly contradicting his leader Nick Clegg, who has repeatedly said the Coalition will survive until polling day. The veteran minister also faced Tory anger last night after dismissing his Conservative colleagues as ‘nasty’, ‘callous’ and ‘ugly’ opportunists” – Daily Mail

  • Cable is the most disloyal and dishonest politician of our times – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • Now it’s the Lib Dems who talk of power and the Tories who plot – Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph
  • Nick Clegg is becoming the heir to Blair – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
  • Lib Dems can reconcile head with heart – Guardian Editorial
  • Lib Dems accidentally leak tax document – Daily Telegraph
  • Lib Dems plan tax rises for the “very wealthy” – Daily Telegraph
  • Lib Dems wage war on motorists – Daily Mail
>Today: ToryDiary: Lib Dems in Glasgow cannot hide harmony in Downing Street

Sale of Lloyds shares seen as vote of confidence in UK

Snip20130917_3“The UK government on Monday launched the reprivatisation of Lloyds Banking Group with the sale of £3.3bn of shares in the bank, marking a momentous turnround in the UK’s fortunes after the financial crisis. Five years to the day since Lloyds’ disastrous takeover of HBOS, which led to its £21bn bailout, the Treasury is set to make a profit of at least £60m on the sale of 6 per cent of the bank. The sale – the UK’s second-biggest share placing ever – is a milestone in Lloyds’ recovery…It is also a potent symbol of the UK’s return to health after a catastrophic failure in financial markets brought the banking industry to the brink of collapse in October 2008” – Financial Times

Women "feel alienated by David Cameron"

“Should David Cameron lose the next election, it will be because women deserted him. That is the stark finding of a piece of research this week showing the extent to which Mr Cameron now has a problem with women. Mr Cameron has not always had a problem with women. Three years ago, when the public perception was of a normal ‘kinda’ guy who took his children to school and made it home for bath-time, 36 per cent of women backed the Tories, compared to 31 per cent for Labour. But a new Ipsos Mori survey for Mumsnet this week showed that only 29 per cent of women support the Tories, compared to a figure for Labour of 42 per cent” – Melissa Kite, Daily Mail David Cameron: we must preserve the memory of the Holocaust - Daily Telegraph


Tim Loughton condemned for attack on childless Sarah Teather

“Tory MP Tim Loughton has been vilified for saying that Sarah Teather was a bad families minister as she had no family of her own…He described his frustration that Ms Teather had refused to take seriously his arguments for a married tax allowance. ‘The person who was actually in charge of family policy amongst the ministerial team at the DfE was Sarah Teather. Which was a bit difficult because she doesn’t really believe in family,’ Mr Loughton told the Conservative Renewal conference in Windsor. ‘She certainly didn’t produce one of her own. So it became a bit of a family-free zone. I think that is a huge disappointment” – The Times (£)

Iain Duncan Smith warns Tories to stop “finger-wagging” at the unmarried and the poor

“Conservative must stop ‘finger-wagging’ at the unmarried and the poor, Iain Duncan Smith declared yesterday. He warned the ‘harsh punitive language’ used by some in the past had wrongly given the impression the Tories did not care about poverty. The Work and Pensions Secretary added that the party would win more support for marriage if it stopped attacking people whose ‘lifestyles don’t fit’. Mr Duncan Smith said voters responded better to ‘less finger-wagging, more arm around the shoulder’ when talking about social issues” – Daily Mail

  • Daniel Pelka tortured and killed after social work blunders – The Times (£)
  • Bishop attacks Michael Gove on use of food banks – The Times (£)

The Sun calls for a partial ban on wearing the veil 

Screen shot 2013-09-17 at 08.50.59“British justice must be transparent. And religious belief cannot trump the law of the land. That is why Judge Peter Murphy was dead right to demand that a Muslim woman remove her full-face veil to give evidence at her trial…The Sun also believes niqabs have no place in hospitals or schools…We would ban veils in other areas too, such as airports and banks, where covered faces are a security threat…The Sun believes that in a British street people should wear what they like” – The Sun Says

Euroscepticism rises in Germany, France, Italy and Spain

“There has been a sharp increase in Euroscepticism among four of the big European Union players, according to a new poll…While most people questioned still consider membership was good, there was a significant increase in those saying it was bad for their country, according to the French daily La Croix. In Spain, 37 per cent of respondents said EU membership was a bad thing, up from 26 per cent in June 2012, rising to 43 per cent in France (from 38 percent), 44 per cent in eurozone powerhouse Germany (from 36 per cent) and 45 per cent in Italy (from 39 per cent)” – The Times (£)

  • Ignore the doomsayers: Europe is being fixed – Wolfgang Schäuble, Financial Times
  • There is an alternative to Angela Merkel – Andrew Gimson, The Times (£)
  • Miliband and Clegg should not promise an EU referendum – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
  • EU wants to ban Union flag from being displayed on meat reared in Britain – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Thirteen dead in shooting spree at US Navy HQ – Guardian
  • Ban Ki-moon says gas attacks in Syria were “war crime” – Daily Telegraph
  • Billy Connolly has prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease - Independent
  • Costa Concordia declared vertical – 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.

16 Sep 2013 08:30:08

Newslinks for Monday 16th September 2013

5.30pm LeftWatch: Beneath the tedium of the Lib Dem conference is an ideological battle between social democrats and classical liberals

Borwick4.15pm Cllr Victoria Borwick on Comment: Why aren't the Conservatives encouraging more events like Conservative Renewal?

3.15pm ToryDiary:"Should the Labour Party get the most votes it is most unlikely that they will need to be bothering Mr Clegg and his colleagues." 2015 coalition conundrums: What if Labour get the most seats but Conservatives get most votes?

2.30pm WATCH: Cable on the Conservatives: "Not our kind of politics"

1.30pm ToryDiary: "Today's vote certainly points to a welcome degree of pragmatism among many of the delegates (memorably, one of the rebel speakers actually criticised the idea that policies should be pragmatic) but it is not final proof that the Lib Dems are willing to make all of the tough decisions involved in being in government." Clegg faces down the Lib Dem left over economic policy, but they remain a disunited party

11.15am Nick Webb on Comment: A Conservative countdown to Silk

10am WATCH: Nick Clegg: "We have to keep our nerve on the economy"


ToryDiary: The Molotov-Ribbentrop, Ed Miliband-Nigel Farage Pact

Also on ToryDiary: Coming for Party Conference - a ConHome redesign

Columnist Jesse Norman MP: It's time for us all to talk and listen to each other a little bit more

Syed Kamall MEP on Comment: How we Conservatives can roll up our sleeves to help get people off welfare and improve their lives

Local Government: Cllr John Hart says Localism in Devon means helping the unemployed find jobs

The Deep End: The German economic model is a poor alternative to Anglo-Saxon capitalism

GuardiancableClegg v Cable: Lib Dems at war over economy

"In an attempt to take credit for the emerging recovery, Clegg has decided to stage what Cable and some on the left regard as an artificial showdown over economic policy during a set-piece two-hour debate and vote on Monday. Clegg wanted Cable to speak in favour of the call not to break from the coalition's agreed deficit reduction plan, with his aides pointing out that the deputy prime minister expected all Lib Dem MPs to turn up for the vote. But Cable's aides said he will stay away from the debate, which is being billed as a test of Clegg's authority. Cable believed a compromise could have been reached between the leadership and the left over their amendments to the economic motion, especially the right for councils to borrow more to build." - The Guardian

  • The Liberal Democrats were plunged into civil war last night as Vince Cable openly defied calls from Nick Clegg to back the Government’s economic policy. The Business Secretary signalled that he would not back a motion supporting the Coalition’s deficit reduction plans, which will be put forward by the Lib Dem leader today at the party’s conference. Mr Cable issued a statement last night saying there were ‘aspects’ of the motion he could not support. This was seen as a clear signal that he wants the Government to increase borrowing." - Daily Mail

Alexander v Falkner: Lib Dems at war over Trident

"The Lib Dem policy motion proposes "going to sea only with unarmed missiles and storing a reduced stockpile of warheads for redeployment within a specified timeframe". But more constant patrols could be resumed for limited periods when "a deteriorating security picture demands this". Baroness Falkner, co-chair of the Lib Dem backbench international affairs committee, ridiculed the policy, saying: "How does a posture of sending out boats unarmed actually deliver credibility?"... Mr Alexander replied: "This proposition that a nuclear threat from another nuclear weapons state, overnight, out of the blue, to be a threat to the United Kingdom, is not supported by any analysis that I have seen." - BBC

PatersonPaterson v Davey: Coalition at war over turbines

"Mr Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, accused Conservatives of attempting to “destroy” the UK’s renewables industry. He singled out Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, warning that he is trying to “cull” wind turbines." - Daily Telegraph

Lib Dems would demand tax free minimum wage in 2015 coalition talks 

"Nick Clegg says he will push to ensure no one on the minimum wage pays income tax if the Lib Dems are in government after the next election. The Lib Dem leader said coalition government was good for the UK but did not indicate whether he favoured partnership with the Tories or Labour." - BBC

  • "The Liberal Democrats, like their leader, remain a paradox – and contradiction is not an attractive quality when the economic stakes are so high." - Leader Daily Telegraph

IndependentlibdemsMost Lib Dems think Party has changed for the worse

"More current Liberal Democrat supporters – those who would still vote for the party now –  believe the party has changed for the worse since the 2010 election (36 per cent) than think it has got better (20 per cent), according to a YouGov survey.. ...The YouGov poll, commissioned by the Labour Uncut blog, shows that a majority (53 per cent) of current Tory supporters believe their party has got better since the last election, with only 11 per cent saying it has got worse. Among Labour supporters, the figures are 46 per cent and 14 per cent respectively." - The Independent

  • "According to polling that YouGov have done for Labour Uncut, 50 per cent of Labour supporters think Labour should go into coalition with the Liberal Democrats – even if it means Nick Clegg staying in government as Liberal Democrat leader – if that's necessary to stop a continuation of the current coalition." - Jonathan Todd The Independent


Cable promises to end abuse of zero hours contract...

"Business Secretary Vince Cable will vow to end the abuse of zero-hours contracts by some employers in a speech to the Lib Dem conference in Glasgow. He will say economic recovery must not come at the cost of workers' rights." - BBC

...and ban on "rogue" company directors

"A "small rotten core" of company directors, including bankers, are to face tougher laws to ensure they are banned from running British businesses, Vince Cable will say on Monday as he unveils a series of measures to promote a fairer economy. In his keynote speech to the Liberal Democrat conference, the business secretary will announce plans for a tightening of the law to end the "slap on the wrist" approach to "dodgy directors"." - The Guardian

Lib Dems "will offer EU in/out referendum"

"Nick Clegg plans to include a referendum pledge in his party’s next manifesto. The move will leave Labour as the only mainstream party resisting demands for voters to have a say on the country’s links with Brussels. It is another boost to the Daily Express’s crusade for Britain to quit the EU. But Tory backbenchers last night insisted that the Lib Dems had betrayed voters in the past over Europe and could not be trusted." - Daily Express

Government should "consider" ban on veils says Lib Dem Minister..

"The government should consider banning young Muslim women from wearing veils in public places such as schools, a Home Office minister has said. Jeremy Browne said he was "uneasy" about restricting freedoms, but urged a national debate on the state's role in stopping veils being imposed on girls." - BBC

Wollaston...Sarah Wollaston agrees

"This past month should be a wake-up call for feminism. Birmingham Metropolitan College has lifted the ban on students wearing the niqab and Blackfriars Crown Court has similarly allowed a defendant to give evidence whilst fully veiled. In my opinion it is time for politicians to stop delegating this to individual institutions as a minor matter of dress code and instead set clear national guidance. There are serious consequences for women if they are hidden from view in our courts and our classrooms. For individual campaigners this may be a free choice but what of those who, once the niqab becomes an accepted norm, are pressured into compliance as a badge of piety or purity? It would be naive to think that a thirteen year old would have complete freedom to reject family or peer group pressure." - Sarah Wollaston Daily Telegraph

New Lib Dem groping allegations

"Fresh sex harassment claims against senior Lib Dems emerged last night. Both male and female members told a meeting they were pestered or groped by party figures, while others claimed there remained a ‘cultural problem’ with sexism. One female activist described how older men would often hug her, but then put their hands on her lower back before letting them ‘slip’ to her bottom. Others felt they just ‘had to put up with’ abuse and claimed their concerns were still not being taken seriously, despite Nick Clegg vowing to tackle the problem following disputed allegations involving Lib Dem peer Lord Rennard." - Daily Mail

Lib Dems reject block on internet porn

"David Cameron’s plans to introduce tougher controls on the internet to block hardcore pornography were rejected on Sunday night by Liberal Democrat activists. They denounced the moves – designed to make it difficult for youngsters to access explicit sites – as “illiberal” and overwhelmingly demanded a rethink by the Coalition." - The Independent

BorisBoris attacks Lib Dems over Mansion Tax

"They would be providing many homeowners – especially those on the threshold of being clobbered – with a weird incentive to reduce the attractiveness of their homes, perhaps by planting buddleia on the roof or artistically smashing the windows for when the inspector calls." - Boris Johnson Daily Telegraph

Quentin Letts on Tim Farron leadership ambition

"Forwards, friends, toward the setting sun! Tim Farron MP, ‘president’ of the party and off-the-peg northerner (his favourite football team is called ‘Rovers’), made a speech of astonishing baldness. He was talking about Nick Clegg’s job – and he wanted it. ‘Life is short and we will all be forgotten,’ cried Mr Farron (translation: Clegg, you’re expendable). ‘I want to build and lead a new consensus’ (translation: I want to be party leader and coalesce with Labour).... 'On my watch we will not join the anti-immigration rhetoric,’ said Mr Farron. He said ‘on my watch’ more than once. It was difficult to hear this speech as anything but a leadership challenge. Not even Gordon Brown back in the days of Tony Blair’s premiership was this unsubtle." - Quentin Letts Daily Mail

TimesfraudBenefit fraudsters face ten-year prison terms

"Benefit cheats face increased jail terms of up to ten years under an unprecedented crackdown on those who “flout the system”, Britain’s most senior prosecutor will announce today. More cases will be pursued and tougher sentences sought by sending suspects straight to Crown Court, Keir Starmer, QC, will say as he sets out new guidelines for the Crown Prosecution Service....The move comes amid a general government crackdown on benefit fraud. In August it claimed to have saved hundreds of millions of pounds by introducing better fraud prevention and reducing errors in the tax and benefit system. Measures included more rigorous monitoring of claims by the DWP and the naming and shaming of fraudsters. The amount of money confiscated from benefit cheats has also risen 50 per cent in the past year." - The Times (£)

>Today: Syed Kamall MEP on Comment: How we Conservatives can roll up our sleeves to help get people off welfare and improve their lives

Cameron calls on interns to speak out

"David Cameron will urge unpaid interns to report their employers to the authorities if they are being asked to do a job rather than just work experience. He has thrown his weight behind a TV campaign this autumn that will inform young people of their rights and employers’ responsibilities when they accept unpaid positions." - The Times (£)

GillianduffyGillian Duffy unimpressed by Ed Miliband

"The Rochdale pensioner who sealed Gordon Brown’s downfall before the last general election has issued a damning verdict on Ed Miliband and his Shadow Cabinet...In a blow for the current Labour leader, Mrs Duffy said that Mr Miliband was not on course to become Prime Minister. She said that the party had failed to draw up attractive policies and that shadow ministers were anonymous. “He’s going to have to pull his finger out isn’t he, and get moving, get some policies out,” she said. “They’ll be very lucky if they get in, Labour. You know, you talk to people and they don’t know who they are. ‘Who are you talking about’, someone will say, and so you don’t carry on talking. Ask anybody in the street, I bet they can’t name who they are. They’re not doing well up north, there’s nothing happening up here at all. “[Ed Miliband] wants to start saying what he’s going to do if he did get in.” - The Times (£)

TimmontgomerieTim Montgomerie chronicles Obama's decline and fall

"Fast forward to the last month and Mr Obama began to distance himself from his own red line. It wasn’t my red line, he pleaded, but the world’s. There have been almost too many flip-flops to mention. John Kerry, Mr Obama’s Secretary of State, first said that any the military strikes would be “unbelievably, small, limited”. Mr Obama had to disown him by asserting that the “US military doesn’t do pin pricks’” After Mr Kerry had opened the door to “boots on the ground”, Mr Obama ruled them out. Then, after Mr Kerry had perhaps accidentally floated the possibility of allowing Assad to decommission his chemical arsenal, a State Department official described Mr Kerry’s words as entirely “rhetorical.” She went on to explain: “This brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons.” But America is now trusting him to disarm. Worse, the channel for this trust is Vladimir Putin, a man trained by the KGB to lie and deceive." - Tim Montgomerie The Times (£)

MerkelBoost for Merkel in Bavaria

"Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chances of winning this week’s German general election were given a major boost last night after her Bavarian conservative allies won an overwhelming victory in a key poll in the country’s richest state." - The Independent

>Today: The Deep End: The German economic model is a poor alternative to Anglo-Saxon capitalism

News in brief

  • Parents to be able to "shop around" for school uniforms - BBC
  • More small firms recruiting - Daily Mail
  • Rightmove predicts six per cent housing price rise - The Guardian
  • Legalising cannabis would cit budget deficit by £1.25 billion - The Independent
  • NHS spends £4 million on gagging orders - Daily Telegraph

GoveAnd finally...Gove's tips for visiting Glasgow

"Michael Gove has hatched a cunning plan to revive the economy — deploy Lib Dems to help spread economic growth beyond the South East. The Education Secretary has been advising them on where to visit, eat and generally spend, spend, spend in Glasgow. He told David Laws, one of his ministers, to dine out at Rogano, a decidedly posh art-deco fish restaurant, and warned him not to miss out on the city’s plentiful bookshops. He also advised Mr Laws to head to Ibrox, home of Rangers FC, who were taking on Arbroath. Had he obeyed, Mr Laws would have witnessed a blue team outwitting, overpowering and outplaying a relative minnow. Rangers won 5-1. A cruel joke from the boss?" - 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.

15 Sep 2013 09:02:23

Newslinks for Sunday 15th September 2013

7.30pm WATCH: Vince for leader! Coalition with Labour in 2015! Higher taxes! Meet the Lib Dem Councillors

4pm LeftWatch: Further evidence that Ed Balls wants the economy to fail, so he can succeed

EU Exit1.45pm ToryDiary: "The Swiss story is precisely what British eurosceptics need. We must put forward a positive, viable vision for our future without the EU - and we must be able to rebut the unfounded fears raised bythe project's fanatics, whether they are talking down Britain's economic capabilities or threatening the prospect of a re-run of World War One."  Switzerland shows that life outside the EU isn't just possible, it can be better

11am ToryDiary: What Party members want most from Cameron is a little bit of love

ToryDiary: "Suddenly, when your job involves deciding to support one policy or another rather than supporting both in different leaflets across the country at the same election, you can be pinned down. You have to be one thing, not all things, to voters - and you have to take responsibility your decisions." The problem with the Lib Dems: No-one likes them, and they do care

On Comment, Lord Ashcroft presents his latest polling: "The encouraging news for the Tories, such as it is, is that Labour have made no further progress in their top targets seats than they had when I conducted a similar exercise in 2011...Despite this, Labour’s lead in these seats has grown from nine to 14 points over the last two years, largely because of the defection of Tory voters to UKIP." UKIP's ratings in Conservative-Labour marginals threaten to put Miliband in Number 10 

Lib Dem Conference 1: Jeremy Browne calls on colleagues to be proud of the Coalition

"Ministers fear Lib Dem activists at the party’s annual conference, which starts this weekend in Glasgow, are set to rebel against key Government policies and may vote to reinstate the 50p rate introduced by Labour weeks before it lost power in 2010. ‘The fundamental question for Liberal Democrats gathering for conference is this: are we proud of our Government or ashamed of it?’ Mr Browne said. His remarks will be seen as a rebuke to colleagues on the Left of the party – including Business Secretary Vince Cable and president Tim Farron – who have begun to complain publicly about coalition policies." - Mail on Sunday 

>Today: ToryDiary - The problem with the Lib Dems: No-one likes them, and they do care

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - A plastic bag tax would hit the poor and small shops but wouldn't help the environment

Lib Dem Conference 2: Could the Lib Dems cosy up to Labour?

Lib Dem Bird Tory"Liberal Democrat members are demanding Nick Clegg make a deal with Labour at the next election, an exclusive poll has revealed. The extraordinary poll will put pressure on the Deputy Prime Minister, who opened his party conference in Glasgow yesterday, to start distancing himself from the Conservatives and open talks with senior Labour figures." - Independent on Sunday 

Rising UKIP vote threatens to let Miliband into No 10

UKIP_mag 3"The UKIP threat is draining Tory support in key marginal seats so much that the party could let Ed Miliband into Downing Street, according to a poll released today by Lord Ashcroft, former deputy chairman of the Conservative party. Ashcroft finds a 14-point Labour lead in the 32 marginal seats where it is the main challenger to the Tories, enough to put Miliband in No 10 with an overall majority. However, the poll of 13,000 people finds the increased lead is due not to a surge in Labour popularity but to a tripling of the UKIP vote in the marginals." - Sunday Times (£) 

>Today: Lord Ashcroft on Comment - UKIP's ratings in Conservative-Labour marginals threaten to put Miliband in Number 10

Farage fears the pace of leading UKIP may burn him out

"He says he is not looking beyond the Euro elections next year and the general election of 2015. And then what? Will he resign? “No. I’m not even saying that. I’m just saying that to think beyond 2015 for me personally is impossible. To think of 2020 — no way.” But why? He is 49 now, he will only be 56 then. Or does he think he’ll be burnt out? “I think that’s a danger. If I go on like this, I’ll be burnt out, yes.”" - Sunday Times (£) 

>Yesterday: WATCH - UKIP founder Alan Sked launches New Deal party

US and Russia strike a deal on Syria

"The United States and Russia have overcome their differences and agreed to put Syria on a short leash, giving it one week to account for all of its chemical weapons, to submit to surrendering them for destruction according to a strict timetable, and to give international inspectors “unfettered access” to its territory." - Independent on Sunday 

Ken Clarke attacks deficit hawks and eurosceptics

Clarke17"‘I think we have made the biggest cuts in public spending that any democratically elected government has tried to do in modern times,’ said Mr Clarke. The more fervent of our colleagues may think it is peanuts and we should have gone further but that’s simplistic nonsense'…Mr Clarke also renewed his attack on the Eurosceptic element of his party who advocate leaving the EU. ‘I don’t think the majority of MPs would have the first idea how to look after the interests of the United Kingdom in a world in which we’d suddenly decided to leave the European Union,’ he said." - Mail on Sunday 


Boris: No to wind farms, yes to nuclear

"They seemed to be everywhere and I asked myself: When were we consulted? Was there a referendum? Did someone ever warn the British people that these moaning seagull-slicers were going to be erected on some of the most sensational scenery that God ever called into being? The answer is that no one warned us, because no one really took the decision to do it. It just sort of happened. We’ve contracted these mills like a disease because of our pathetic apology for an energy policy." - Boris Johnson, The Sun on Sunday (£) 

Shadow Cabinet infighting breaks out over economic recovery

Labour Rose Wilting"Disagreements spilled out at a Shadow Cabinet meeting called to discuss how to reverse the decline in Labour’s fortunes in what has been a torrid summer for their leader. Defence spokesman Jim Murphy threw down the gauntlet by insisting that the party had to revise its message now that the economy was clearly recovering. He clashed with Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls by insisting Labour could no longer argue the economy was ‘flat-lining’ – a taunt made famous by Mr Balls." - Mail on Sunday 

  • Jeremy Clarkson may run against Ed in 2015 - Mail on Sunday
  • Miliband steels himself for McBride's book on the Brown years - Sunday Times (£) 

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - It's the standard of living, stupid

Climate report shows the IPCC acknowledge their computer models were wrong

"The leaked report makes the extraordinary concession that the world has been warming at only just over half the rate claimed by the IPCC in its last assessment,  published in 2007.  Back then, it said that the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade – a figure it claimed was in line with the forecasts made by computer climate models.  But the new report says the true figure since 1951 has been only 0.12C per decade – a rate far below even the lowest computer prediction." - Mail on Sunday 

25 Tory MPs write to Cameron over defence cuts

Defence cuts""John Baron, the MP for Basildon and Billericay and a former army officer, said: “There is growing concern about the unanswered questions over the extent of cost savings and the resulting capability gap. Reports of the Ministry of Defence’s failure to meet its reserve recruitment targets add urgency “Surely the axeing of the regular battalions should now be stopped at least until we know the government’s plans for the reserves will work?”" - Sunday Times (£) 

>Yesterday: Tobias Ellwood on Comment - We need two aircraft carriers to be a military power of the first rank

News in brief


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