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8.45pm WATCH: Boris Johnson: "I can't completely guarantee that I won't do something crazy" at the Olympics closing ceremony

4pm JP Floru on Comment: How to win Corby

Hague Syria aid3pm WATCH: William Hague: "Today we are greatly increasing what we will do" to support the Syrian rebels

1.15pm ThinkTankCentral: Andrew Lansley's plain cigarette packaging plans called "a draconian attack" on freedom by the IEA

12.15pm LISTEN: David Cameron: "I think there's still a big problem" with a lack of competitive sports in our schools

Cooke Joe210am Joe Cooke on Comment: As last night's "Young, Bright and on the Right" showed, we need a cultural change in the young Conservative movement

ToryDiary: Fleet Street won't acknowledge ministers' role in London 2012's success (but papers would have hammered them if the Games had gone wrong)

Bruce Anderson: Sir John Major is the right man to build on our Olympic success

John Howell MP on Comment: Gay marriage's contribution to a tolerant society is something which all Conservatives should support

Local government: Wandsworth Council sickness level just over half public sector average

The Deep End on the decline of Microsoft: "A hugely successful enterprise is taken over by a bunch of salesmen, who, for all their ruthless capability, have not only neglected the development of new ideas, but also forgotten what made the company so successful in the first place. Can you think of any other organisations like that?"

WATCH: Visiting Corby with Ed Miliband, Michael Crick finds mixed views of Louise Mensch

WATCH: On CNN, Sam Gyimah MP worries at US regulator's language towards Standard Chartered

William Hague has ordered senior diplomats to forge political links with the Syrian oppositionTimes (£)

Hague FCO long 2

The Foreign Secretary in The Times (£): "One thing is crystal clear: the Assad regime is doomed. It has burnt its bridges with the Syrian people and the outside world. By refusing a political compromise, it has driven many Syrians to take up arms in self defence. It has turned Syria into a magnet for men of violence, from the regime’s barbaric militias to terrorists slipping across the borders. Millions of Syrians are paying the price for the regime’s colossal miscalculation."

"George Osborne has spoken to Tim Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, three times in the space of two days over the New York regulatory probe into Standard Chartered in a sign of the British government’s mounting concern."FT (£)

  • The FT (£) urges support for Howard Flight's amendment to the Financial Services Bill, which would prevent naming and shaming of banks that have been accused of wrongdoing but have not been found guilty.
  • Drop in exports to EU and non-EU nations sees trade deficit widen – Metro

Ministers are to help developers build 200,000 homes which have been placed on hold, in an attempt to stimulate the economy

"Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, is to send troubleshooters into 13 local authorities to help negotiate the resumption of large housing developments. He believes that kick-starting existing developments will avoid the need for further deregulation of the planning system." – Telegraph

Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah to join David Cameron at hunger summit

"The Downing Street meeting is likely to set a target to reduce the number of children stunted by malnourishment worldwide by as much as 17 million by 2016. Cameron is co-hosting the mini-summit at the Olympics' close with Michel Temer, vice-president of Brazil, where the next Games will take place. The event is designed to show that the Olympic family is aware of the gaping inequalities from which competitors come." – Guardian

  • "Petitions from aid charities, signed by 500,000 people, calling for government action to combat global hunger will be handed into Downing St later. They want action in regions including Sahel, West Africa, where more than 18 million people are suffering from the impact of drought and high food prices." – BBC

Boris says schools should provide two hours of PE dailyIndependent

"Boris Johnson yesterday called for all children to have to do two hours of school  sport each day – just like he did at Eton. In an implied criticism of the Government’s decision to scrap Labour’s two-hour-a-week target for compulsory sport, the Mayor of London said ministers should set the bar even higher." – Daily Mail

Boris is the big political winner of the Olympics

"Forget those weird things Wenlock and Mandeville, Boris Johnson was the unofficial mascot of these Olympics. Like a cuddly hyperactive Big Brother. Rarely in a free democracy has one man so dominated so many media channels. It really is worth watching this footage again and again of the Mayor on top form. Listen to the crowd’s response. We just don’t do this in this country. Labour is beginning to wake up to the implications of a Boris-led Conservative Party. My colleagues are right to be worried at this uncontrollable force. They should be terrified." – Henry G Manson for PoliticalBetting

  • Stephen Pollard agrees, in The Guardian: "A political heavyweight with mass appeal – Boris Johnson is the holy grail of Conservatism"

John Major has already been given a political gold medal by ConservativeHome for his investment in UK sport but guess who is also recognising him…?

Major John 470

Much of the success of London 2012 would not have been possible without John Major – The Guardian

  • Staff working on BBC News bulletins receive memo urging them to focus more on the achievements of other countries, and not just Team GB – Daily Mail
  • The Olympics may not change much but, so what?, it has been a golden moment to enjoy – Economist

Francis Maude deserves credit for cutting waste but, in truth, the need for cuts has "barely begun"Daily Mail leader

Corby Tories want a local candidate, not an A-listerTimes (£)

  • Ed Miliband launches Labour campaign for Corby by-election after Louise Mensch's shock resignation – Independent | BBC
  • Tory MP Stewart Jackson says Cameron should sack Lib Dem ministers who vote against boundary review – The Herald

Nick Clegg has ordered his senior ministers to draw up a list of economic reforms as he vies with David Cameron to fill the void left by the collapse of the Government’s House of Lords reformsTimes (£)

The Independent's advice to the Coalition: "Time to stop bickering and build some houses"

  • Clegg has two and a half years to put a strongly liberal stamp on government as it seeks a path out of the economic mire – John Kampfner in The Guardian
  • Lib Dems to oppose secret courts at conference – Independent

Ministry of Justice planning to run call centres from inside prisons as marketing email boasts of a 'rehabilitation revolution'Guardian

20120811_cna400The Economist: A controlled break-up of the euro would be hugely risky and expensive. So is waiting for a solution to turn up

"Southern Europe’s economic rot is deepening and spreading north. Politics is turning rancid as the south succumbs to austerity fatigue and the north to rescue fatigue (see article). Populism only makes a grand bargain more elusive. For the moment, breaking up the euro would be riskier than fixing it. But unless Mrs Merkel presses ahead, the choice will be between an expensive break-up sooner and a really ruinous one later." – The Economist

90% want a vote on EuropeThe Express reports on yesterday's referenda in two North West seats

> Yesterday's MPsETC: Two People's Pledge ballots in North West Lib Dem seats find overwhelming majority favour EU referendum

Alex Salmond is facing a growing revolt over plans to drop the SNP's historic opposition to Nato, with at least seven MSPs now throwing their weight behind a campaign to keep the policyHerald

"Underneath the pompous facade, these young Tories are a bit tragic – and amazing" – Sam Wollaston reviews last night's 'Young, Bright and on the Right'Guardian

Iain Hollingshead in The Telegraph: "The problem with this sort of documentary is that taking the mickey out of young Oxbridge Tories who are foolish enough to agree to appear on television is like clubbing a baby seal. It’s just not that difficult. Leave the cameras on for long enough and they’ll do all the work for you, talking pompous nonsense, wearing ridiculous clothes and scheming viciously about trivialities."

Despite what politicians say, most people are richer and freer than they have ever been: "A country is not shaped by manifestos or five-year plans, but by the courage and ingenuity of its people" – Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph

London has looked fabulous. Can we keep it that way, please? – Mary Dejevsky in The Independent

And finally…

“We’ve got a system that seems to be delivering. It’s driving the French mad,” Mr Cameron told Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2. “I did an interview with French television yesterday and they virtually accused us of cheating. I think they found the Union Jacks on the Champs Elysee (at the end of the Tour de France) a bit hard to take. We have got a great system so let’s build on that and then when we go to Rio in 2016 we can have a good experience.” – Daily Express

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But Cameron's apparently staged photo of him watching Olympics on TV gets a KO from Twitter – Guardian

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