Published:

6.45pm ToryDiary: If you exclude North Sea oil and the City, Britain IS recovering

5.15pm Colin Bloom on Comment: Christian Conservatives can be proud of this Coalition's record but a lot more still needs to be done

6a00d83451b31c69e2017ee99c5a8c970d-500wi

ToryDiary: David Cameron celebrates hitting 0.7% overseas aid target in his Easter message

ToryDiary: Boris should seek to return to the Commons in 2015

Joe Armitage on Comment: The cheap populism and economic illiteracy of UKIP

Matthew Sinclair on The Thinkers' Corner: The three elements of good climate policy

Video: Ann Widdecombe says mocking of Christianity has gone too far (but she also tells her favourite Christian joke)

Grant Shapps tells Patrick Hennessy that there's a 50% chance of the Tories winning a majority at the next electionThe Sunday Telegraph

George Osborne faces a whispering campaign at the highest levels of the Conservative Party over his competence and judgment

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 07.46.28"There are renewed calls for Mr Osborne to give up his role coordinating the party’s campaigning, as fears mount of disastrous results in May’s English local elections. Some critics are demanding that he should be replaced as Chancellor by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary… Concerns centre on what is perceived to be his failure to understand the middle classes, their values, and their economic struggle." – The Sunday Telegraph

Janet Daley launches a stinging attack on George Osborne: The Chancellor refuses to deal with arguments, interpreting every disagreement as an act of treachery or a personal attack – The Sunday Telegraph

  • The Chancellor has a 50-50 shot of achieving the tricky triple dip – Observer
  • The Mail on Sunday's Black Dog: "Asked about George Osborne's decision to let the Bank of England's new Governor, Canadian-born Mark Carney, pump more cash into the economy, one of the Chancellor's aides confided: 'It's simple: Carney's job is to turn on the printing presses and not turn them off until the recession is over.' A cynic's translation might be: Cause as much inflation as you want if it wins us the next Election – we don't give a damn what happens afterwards."
  • "One effect of the Chancellor's monetary laxity, in generating so much money through quantitative easing, is that inflation targets have effectively been abandoned – this is falling hard on the poorest. John Major used to talk about the moral case for keeping inflation low; his successor appears to have other ideas." – Independent on Sunday leader

Boris Johnson could quite reasonably seek a parliamentary seat at the next General Election – Matt d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph

Johnson Boris Pointing 2
  • "After Boris admonished scheming Cabinet Ministers to ‘put a sock in it and back the Prime Minister’, Cameron joked that things must really be getting bad if Boris was trying to be helpful." – James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday
  • Boris is deadly serious about wanting the top job – Adam Boulton in The Sunday Times (£)

878,300 people have dropped their claims for incapacity benefit rather than face the new medical tests introduced by Iain Duncan SmithITV

Duncan Smith Jan 2012"As well as the 878,300 who chose to drop their claims, another 837,000 who did take the a medical test were found to be fit to work immediately, while a further 367,300 were judged able to some level of work. Only 232,000 (one in eight of those tested) were classified by doctors to be too ill to do any sort of job." – The Sunday Telegraph

  • Iain Martin previews the benefit changes about to be implemented – The Sunday Telegraph
  • David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, says "bedroom tax" will not save money in long-run and will cause human misery – Observer
  • "For anyone who wonders why welfare reform is so difficult, here is the explanation. State handouts are taken for granted. They are viewed as an entitlement, equivalent to wages or property.  In the eyes of the Left (and the BBC),  to reduce them is not to give less, but to take away money that is the claimant’s by right. So it is no surprise that the Coalition seems to be suffering from cold feet. If Mr Duncan Smith’s plans run into trouble, he can rely on his Cabinet colleagues to let him take the blame." – Mail on Sunday leader

Overall, nearly everyone is WORSE off

TAX-TAKE"The massive cost of austerity is shown in a report by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies. It claims the £700 tax cut given to 25 million working people has been more than wiped out by other changes. Tax rises combined with cuts in benefits and credits since 2010 outweigh any boost in this year’s Budget. The average family will be £17 a week worse off — or £891 over the year — according to Labour analysis." – The Sun

The Tories condemn an inaccurate Labour advertising campaign which
portrays the cut in the top rate of tax as a lottery-style windfall for
millionaires
Mail on Sunday

Stay-at-home mums tell Cameron: ignore us at your perilThe Sunday Times (£)

Cameron said to back Celtic and Rangers joining English football leagues in bid to hurt SNPSunday Mirror

  • Andy Murray warns that independence might go "tits up" – Scotland on Sunday
  • A more independent Scotland will be a more socially-just Scotland – Blair Jenkins for Scotland on Sunday

"Andrew Mitchell has launched a stinging attack on Scotland Yard over its inquiry into the 'plebgate' row. In a letter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, he claims the force leaked contents of its own report."BBC

One hundred Tory MPs want Commons vote on referendum pledge BEFORE electionMail on Sunday

Former Archbishop's attack on 'anti-Christian' Cameron government is widely criticisedIndependent on Sunday

> Lord Bates on ConHome yesterday: George Carey should worry a little bit more about global poverty and a little less about David Cameron

…meanwhile…

  • Four churches have joined forces to accuse the government of welfare payment cuts they say are unjust and target society's most vulnerable – BBC
  • The Sunday Times (£): "The bishops and the anti-poverty groups have become campaigners for an unreformed welfare state."

Big business and consumers form pressure group to head off coalition policies that will bring ‘soaring bills’The Sunday Times (£)

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 07.53.34"An ambitious policy would see energy as a strong basis for job creation: unlike financial services or pharmaceuticals, it is not an industry that could disappear. But our policy vacuum is sending profits offshore. We are importing wind turbine blades from Denmark, solar panels from China and nuclear expertise from France, because there is not a sufficiently firm commitment to any technology to give companies the confidence to invest in Britain." – Camilla Cavendish in The Sunday Times (£)

The idea of a single financial regulator… central bank independence… inflation targeting… free capital movement – Dan Atkinson for ThisIsMoney on post-war economic ideas that are going out of fashion

The decision to back the NHS chief is morally wrong, and has lost the coalition a rare opportunity to gain trust on health – Ian Birrell in The Independent on Sunday

"Jeremy Hunt has [insisted] that the best way to cure the NHS is for nurses to focus on “hands-on caring”. You can tell the Health Secretary has never wiped a patient’s backside in his life, can’t you? Otherwise he would know that “caring” already forms a major part of nurses’ training, both at degree level and in practice on the wards." – Camilla Tominey in the Sunday Express

France's
unpopular Socialist government is warning to Ed Miliband that you might
win office without proposing an honest economic plan but trouble will
follow
– Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

And finally… Labour's Lisa Nandy ran a sex casebook diary when she was a studentMail on Sunday

Email_subscribe

> 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.

Comments are closed.