Cameron intends to act against superbugs…

Cameron Fightback“Britain will lead a global fightback against antibiotic-resistant superbugs to prevent the world from being ‘cast back into the dark ages of medicine’, David Cameron is to announce today. … The rise of untreatable bacteria threatens an ‘unthinkable scenario’ where minor infections could once again kill, the prime minister told The Times in a warning about what he described as one of the biggest health threats facing the world.” – The Times (£)

  • “Doctors should be able to help terminally ill patients end their lives days or weeks before they die, one of the leaders of Britain’s medical profession has urged.” – The Guardian
  • “People should only work for four days a week to reduce their stress levels, allow them to take more exercise and see their families, one of Britain’s leading public health doctors has said.” – The Independent
  • “A third of NHS spending on community health services now goes to private or voluntary organisations…” – Financial Times
  • “Councils could soon no longer be able to guarantee the safety of elderly and disabled in their care, the leader of adult social services chiefs in England has warned.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “One in five patients are given no information or support after a diagnosis, the Alzheimer’s Society said.” – Daily Telegraph

And comment:

  • “Many people recovering from a stroke don’t like the word ‘disabled’ at all, on the grounds that it suggests a static condition from which one cannot recover.” – Andrew Marr responds to Dominic Lawson in the Daily Mail
  • “Patients, not GPs, are to blame for the antibiotics crisis” – Theodore Dalrymple, The Times (£)
  • “If Labour can’t win on the NHS issue, then it really is in intensive care” – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph

…and “revenge porn”

Google“Ministers are seriously considering a change to the law to protect women from ex-partners who publish explicit pictures of them on the internet. … Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, told MPs yesterday that the Government was looking to take ‘appropriate action’ to tackle so-called ‘revenge porn’, which he described as a ‘big problem in our society’. … Mr Grayling was speaking after a question in the Commons by Maria Miller, the former culture secretary, who is campaigning for action on revenge porn.” – Daily Mail

  • “The ex-chief prosecutor and children’s charities yesterday warned of ‘injustice’ if serial sex attackers such as Rolf Harris are able to hide behind a cloak of anonymity.” – Daily Mail
  • “Domestic violence cases now account for more than 10 per cent of all work done by the Crown Prosecution Service, it has been revealed.” – Daily Mail
  • “More than half of primary school pupils aged seven to 11 have profiles on social networking sites – despite rules meant to stop them.” – Daily Mail
  • “Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan was last night challenged to make public what he knew about allegations in the 1980s that paedophiles were operating in and around Westminster.” – Daily Mail
  • “The Metropolitan police have said they still believe corruption played no part in shielding Stephen Lawrence’s killers from justice…” – The Guardian
  • “The Metropolitan Police discriminated against a black female officer because of her race and sex, an employment tribunal has concluded.” – Daily Telegraph

And comment:

  • “Rolf Harris might have cheated justice if those campaigning to muzzle the Press had got their way” – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

> Today: The Deep End – If we’re serious about shrinking the state, then we need an alternative to longer prison sentences

Northern Ireland’s recovery is on course, insists the Prime Minister

GROWTH Krieg“David Cameron has insisted Northern Ireland’s economic recovery is well on course ahead of a meeting with Stormont’s political leaders in London. … The Prime Minister’s positive assessment came a year on from the implementation of a Government-backed stimulus package aimed at cementing political gains made in the post-conflict era. …. ‘It is great news that the long-term economic plan is working for Northern Ireland,’ he said.” – Belfast Telegraph

  • “Scotland’s economy is back performing at pre-recession levels, a new survey of businesses has suggested.” – The Scotsman
  • “More than one hundred thousand Scots have entered poverty in just a single year, according to statistics showing an alarming jump in deprivation.” – Daily Telegraph

Cameron risks creating more jihadists, warns former director of public prosecutions

Egypt flag“David Cameron risks creating more would-be jihadists because of his ‘cack-handed’ review of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were deposed in Egypt last year, a former director of public prosecutions has warned. … Lord Macdonald of River Glaven QC said the investigation in to what was a democratically elected party sent out mixed messages to young Muslims. … In an extraordinary outburst, he warned the move was a ‘double standard’ that could play a ‘full part in the disillusionment and chaos seen in places like Iraq’.” – Daily Telegraph

Read Lord Macdonald’s Daily Telegraph article in full

  • “Iraq’s apparently irreconcilable politicians have failed to start a process to elect new leaders, lurching the country ever closer to partition and defying desperate calls for unity from regional and global powers.” – The Guardian
  • “A suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 13 on Wednesday in an attack on a bus carrying military personnel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, officials said.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “Mahmoud Abbas must choose between Hamas and peace” – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph

> Today:

The Prime Minister wants civil servants to sign up as reserve troops

CAMERON soldiers“David Cameron is turning to the men in grey suits in his hour of need, urging 1 per cent of Whitehall staff to sign up as reserve troops to plug looming gaps in Britain’s military forces. … The prime minister told his cabinet colleagues on Tuesday they should encourage more departmental staff to join up as reserves, with recruitment lagging well behind target.” – Financial Times

  • “Manslaughter charges will not be brought against the two soldiers who oversaw a gruelling selection exercise for the SAS in searing heat in the Brecon Beacons last summer in which three Army reservists died.” – WalesOnline

And comment:

  • “The cross-party Trident Commission has concluded that the UK should retain its nuclear deterrent, and its case is compelling.” – Daily Telegraph editorial

Schools, benefits and British values: the focal points of the next Tory manifesto

“Raising education standards, instilling Britons with a greater sense of national identity and reforming welfare will be at the centre of the Conservative manifesto for next year’s general election. … The party’s high command believes fresh measures on education and welfare will help it woo the less well-off families that Labour leader Ed Miliband has been targeting since his autumn pledge to freeze energy prices.” – Financial Times

  • “More than £30m in bonuses is due to be paid to companies delivering the government’s welfare-to-work programme, despite its failure to help nine out of 10 of the most disadvantaged benefit claimants find work.” – Financial Times

Ministers consider emergency measures to spur home-building

House icon“The number of houses started in Britain is expected to fall this year, despite concerted efforts by minister to get building, including passing controversial reforms to the planning system. … The figure will be released in February 2015, three months before the general election, according to documents seen by BBC Newsnight. … Ministers are considering ways to kick-start building on land that already has planning permission, the documents indicate. … They are also considering how to make councils build new houses with the revenues collected from right-to-buy sales.” – Daily Telegraph

Hancock to dangle £10,000 in front of would-be maths teachers

“Desperate ministers plan to offer graduates a ‘golden hello’ of up to £10,000 to become maths teachers. … The unprecedented signing-on fees will be lavished on new recruits teaching 16 to 19 year-olds in further education or training colleges. … Skills and Enterprise Minister Matt Hancock will reveal the measure – saying it’s part of a push to put maths and English at the ‘heart of education’.” – The Sun (£)

“Building the engineers of the future” – Matthew Hancock writes for the Daily Telegraph

  • “Four fifths of Britain’s schools are being used ‘beyond their life cycle’ and should be replaced with buildings which provide a healthier learning environment, a new report claims.” – Daily Telegraph

> Today: John Bald on Local Government – Turning the Tide in Tottenham?

> Yesterday: Sir Andrew Green on Comment – On immigration, the Higher Education lobby is treating us like fools

“Maude’s picking on us!” wail Microsoft and Hewlett Packard

Francis Maude“They are two of the largest technology companies in the world with a combined market value of £180bn and annual profits of £14bn. … But in a striking case of Goliath accusing David of bullying, the American giants Microsoft and Hewlett Packard have complained that they are being unfairly picked on by the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.” – The Independent

Wollaston wants school-children to be weighed each year, to help combat obesity

“Primary school kids should be weighed every year to help tackle the obesity timebomb, the new chair of the Commons health committee has declared. … Tory MP and former GP Sarah Wollaston told The Sun it was wrong that children are only measured in reception class and in year six. … And she said food companies should charge more for high-sugar drinks to deter kids from guzzling calorie-laden pop.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Schools must also teach them more about nutrition and the risks of piling on the pounds.” – Sun editorial (£)

The Tories’ war chest is three times the size of Labour’s

UK notes and coins“The Conservatives will have up to three times as much money as Labour to spend in the run-up to the next election, senior party figures have warned. … Drastic changes to the way Ed Miliband’s party will fight the next election are being made to to minimise the effect of the Tories’ extra millions. … Spending on direct mailings and poster campaigns are being scaled back to focus resources on a string of local campaigns in key seats as well as targeting voters online.” – The Times (£)

  • “While Labour has moved away from the financial backing of wealthy individuals who supported Tony Blair, concerns have been raised within the party over the growing reliance on one private donor who has continued to give.” – The Times (£)
  • “The Liberal Democrats are planning to fight the next election on a shoestring budget amid fears that they will struggle to match the £4.7 million they spent during the last campaign.” – The Times (£)

This fundraiser probably helped

“Details of the web of bankers, businesspeople and lobbyists helping the Conservatives’ bid for a second term in power have been exposed as the Guardian reveals key guests at last year’s secretive annual party fundraising dinner. … The 449 attendees at last year’s Thameside event on 24 June had a combined wealth in excess of £11bn, with elite diners sitting at tables costing up to £12,000 each to rub shoulders with David Cameron, Theresa May, Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson, as well as the secretaries of state for health, transport, culture and justice.” – The Guardian

  • “…all Labour’s fundraising efforts next week are likely to be cancelled out by the money raised during the Conservative summer ball at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in London tonight.” – The Times (£)

And comment:

  • “State funding will save politicians from scandal” – Alice Thomson, The Times (£)

Clegg-a-rama 1) He forces the Tory leadership to support a foreign aid law

CURSE OF CLEGG one“David Cameron will support an attempt to compel Britain by law to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid, after his hand was forced by the Liberal Democrats. … At the last election, all three main parties promised to introduce the law, but the Prime Minister quietly ditched the policy following fierce protests from the right of his party. … However, in a move calculated to provoke a damaging Tory split on the issue, Nick Clegg yesterday endorsed a Private Members’ Bill on the 0.7 target – causing the Conservatives to quickly say their party leadership would support the measure in any Commons vote.” – Daily Mail

  • “David Cameron should have stood up to the Lib Dems on this issue.” – Sun editorial (£)

Clegg-a-rama 2) He won’t match the Tories’ EU referendum promise

“Nick Clegg has defeated an attempt by senior Liberal Democrats to match the Tories by guaranteeing to hold a ‘seductive’ referendum on Britain’s EU membership in the next parliament. The deputy prime minister, who has faced direct calls from ministers for a change of stance on the EU, won the agreement of the Lib Dem parliamentary party to stand by the current policy. This is to hold a referendum only if UK sovereignty is passed to the EU.” – The Guardian

  • “The Conservative Party law promising a referendum on the UK’s European Union membership raises the ‘serious’ possibility of British exit, the MP overseeing the reform has said.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “Britain risks missing out on a top job in the European Commission unless it fields a heavyweight candidate, allies of Jean-Claude Juncker have warned.” – The Times (£)
  • “Tens of thousands of Spaniards are escaping the deep economic crisis at home to find jobs and a new life in Britain, official figures revealed yesterday.” – The Times (£)

And comment:

  • “Mr Cameron has demonstrated his seriousness by putting the election of Mr Juncker to a vote, and out of what is at first sight a humiliating defeat, may actually have prepared the ground for victory.” – Allan Massie, The Scotsman

> Yesterday:

Clegg-a-rama 3) He wants PMQs to go prime-time

TV“Prime Minister’s Questions should be shown live on TV in a prime time slot, Nick Clegg has claimed as he railed against the ‘ridiculous’ spectacle of MPs hollering at each other each week. … The Lib Dem leader said voters should be able to send in questions to be answered by the Prime Minister as he called for an end to the ban on MPs calling each other by their names.” – Daily Mail

  • “One of Britain’s most successful businesswomen has attacked the ‘braying toffs’ of Westminster for putting women off politics.” – The Times (£)

Farron’s anger: “Does George Osborne really want to derail the future of our planet?”

“We are heading towards a crucial point in climate negotiations, so when I heard rumours that the Treasury wanted to water down our fourth carbon budget, my Lib Dem colleagues and I took up arms to defend our national interests. Osborne’s ignorance threatens to derail the future of not only our economy, but also our planet.” – Tim Farron, The Independent

A Cabinet minister for unions, and the other demands that Unite is making of Labour

Miliband Labour Left“The union bankrolling Labour’s general election campaign wants a new Ministry of Labour to represent the interests of trade unionists if Ed Miliband gets into Downing Street. … Unite is in talks with the party about creating a powerful department headed by a secretary of state, whose role would be ‘batting for 30million working people’, a senior union figure has revealed. … In secret recordings passed to the Daily Mail, Steve Turner said Unite would also press for the repeal of trade union laws including the rule that unions can only call strikes after holding a postal ballot.” – Daily Mail

  • “Unions have warned that a planned walkout by power workers on the Tube could cause travel disruption for more than a week and have an impact on commuters when the Tour de France cycle race visits the capital on July 7th.” – The Independent

Miliband lacks a sense of direction, complains Glasman…

“We have an England football team of a government, and the reserves are no better. … There has been much talk, in particular about Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour party and his inability to connect with voters. Most of it is uninteresting. The government is not dominant; Labour can win under Mr Miliband. What is missing is a sense of direction.” – Maurice Glasman, Financial Times

  • “Former senior Labour advisers have rounded on Ed Miliband, warning him that his party has no direction and will not win a general election while it is perceived as ‘anti-business’.” – The Independent

And comment:

  • “Labour doesn’t know what radicalism looks like” – Rafael Behr, The Guardian

…yet Cruddas insists that Labour has a “vision” for the country

CRUDDAS Jon green background“The Labour party is behind on competence and ahead on vision, and no political party yet owns the future, Jon Cruddas, Labour’s policy review co-ordinator, said in his first public assessment of the state of politics since a tape was revealed in which he denounced ‘the dead hand’ of the Labour leader’s office on policy development. … He said the result of the next election was all to play for, adding ‘the unpredictability of it means it is going to be quite lively’.” – The Guardian

> Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment – My new poll suggests that Labour would win 17 seats from the Lib Dems were the election held today

Who’s right about job creation in London? Labour or the Tories?

“The Labour leader set out the plans in Leeds to rebalance the economy citing figures, drawn from the Centre for Cities thinktank report in January, showing that 80% of private sector jobs between 2010 and 2012 were created in London. … But the cities minister Greg Clark pointed to Office for National Statistics data showing that fewer than one in four additional private sector jobs in the last four years had been created in London.” – The Guardian

  • “If Miliband were as radical as his aide, Jon Cruddas, wants him to be, he would set aside Adonis’s worthy mercantilism and ponder how genuinely to re-energise the old industrial cities.” – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • “The radical option to halt and then reverse this trend would be to construct a tax regime that privileged the north over the south, and industry over finance.” – Guardian editorial
  • “None of these moves, however, address the deficiency that still lurks underneath Mr Miliband’s terrible ratings on the economy.” – Times editorial (£)
  • “Since there is little appetite for more layers of politicians either in regional government or an English parliament, basing devolution around the cities is a good idea that works well in continental Europe.” – Daily Telegraph editorial

MPs freeze booze prices (for themselves)…

Champagne“Hypocrticial MPs have quietly frozen cheap booze prices in their bars for another year – at the same time as taking a hefty pay rise, The Sun can reveal. … A pint of beer costs as little as £2.90 in Parliament’s exclusive drinking dens. … As they are still heavily subsidised, taxpayers have to pick up the rest of members’ bills, to the tune of around £7m a year. … But despite repeated promises to reduce their cost burden, senior MPs on the Finance and Services Committee recently decreed how much they charge will be kept on hold until at least May 2015.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Millions of Britons are paying an average of £440 extra a year because they do not use the internet to buy goods and services, a report reveals today.” – Daily Mail
  • “New figures from the Department of Work and Pensions reveal that Wales has the highest percentage of people on low incomes in the whole of the UK.” – WalesOnline
  • “Research into the impact of tax and welfare reforms means Welsh households are an average of £11 a week worse off, a report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found.” – WalesOnline
  • “Savers are unlikely to benefit from putting money into new Super Isas as official figures show banks have cut rates by a tenth since the Budget.” – Daily Telegraph

…will they cut their own numbers?

“The prospect of a radical review of Britain’s electoral map in 2016 will on Wednesday prompt warnings from senior MPs and peers of ‘mass disruption’ unless the rules of the exercise are changed. … Labour officials say an incoming Ed Miliband government would pull the plug on Mr Cameron’s proposed reforms, enshrined in a 2011 act, not least for reasons of pure political advantage.” – Financial Times

  • “Do we really need MPs now we have Twitter?” – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Do Scots have a strong sense of British identity? asks the FT’s John Kay

Scottish flag“Although that is just an outside chance, it is now probable that the vote for independence will be large enough to keep the issue alive. John Curtice, the Scotland-based doyen of pollsters, offers an important insight into why matters stand as they are. The key to voters’ preference, he explains, is not whether they feel a strong sense of Scottish identity; the overwhelming majority of Scots do. The question is whether they also feel a strong sense of British identity.” – Financial Times

  • “The Palace has a long memory and knows of the controversy in 1979 when a speech the Queen made, in which she said she was very aware of having been crowned ‘Queen of the United Kingdom’, was taken by nationalists – probably correctly – to be a statement of her opposition to devolution.” – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

And news stories:

  • “Campaigners for Scottish independence are not making enough progress to win September’s referendum on leaving the UK, according to the FT’s poll of polls.” – Financial Times
  • “Former First Minister Jack McConnell has said that the fight against Scottish independence would continue even after a No vote, and backed what he said should be a ‘new conference of the Union’.” – The Scotsman
  • “A Labour parliamentary candidate resigned yesterday after tweeting an image of the Hitler Youth in response to the publication of a photograph of children at a pro-independence demonstration outside BBC Scotland’s headquarters.” – The Scotsman

News in brief

  • The Queen’s new portrait – Daily Telegraph
  • Dow Jones hits all-time high – Daily Mail
  • Coulson paying a “higher price” because of his ties to Cameron, suggests lawyer – Daily Mail
  • Barclays hires Cameron adviser – Financial Times
  • Sarkozy placed under formal investigation in corruption case – Financial Times
  • Met Office warns that the El Nino weather phenomenom is likely to strike this year – The Independent
  • The new Monty Python show reviewed – The Sun (£)