12.45pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight: "I think that Labour will win the Glenrothes by-election"
WATCH: Please start the interview again (and again and again). Canadian Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion struggles to understand an interviewer’s question about the economy and asks for the interview to be be restarted (again and again).
Today’s two must-reads: Capitalism v State control
Mark Field MP uses his website to defend capitalism: "Indulging in the bashing of bankers and global capitalism will prove tempting for many – even amongst Conservative Party supporters. As a defender of free markets, free trade and global capitalism, I am willing to bet that whilst government needs to play a crucial role in stabilising and revitalising our confidence-battered economy, it will eventually be hard work, enterprise and freedom in the market place which will ensure our economy thrives once again."
Dominic Lawson in The Independent looks at the NHS, the Olympics and defence procurement to remind us that we should be worried whenever we turn to the government to deliver value for money.
The Sun blames John Prescott for councils’ Iceland woes
"It turns out that idiotic John Prescott issued the instructions to councils to seek the best interest rate regardless of where they were sticking taxpayers’ money." – The Sun Says
Brown begins regional tour to sell bailout package to public
"Gordon Brown yesterday insisted that the £500bn bail-out for the banks would not lead to cuts in health or schools spending. His comments came as he began a mini-regional tour to sell the package, appearing on GMTV to claim that the bankers responsible for the crisis would be "punished"." – Guardian
Brown cranks up rhetoric on City pay – FT
"We must lead the world to financial stability" – Gordon Brown writing for The Times
Iain Martin: Brown’s political recovery won’t last long
"In the years ahead there will be unemployment, hardship and social dislocation. Borrowing will be higher, taxes will rocket, spending on services will fall, and it will have its origins not in the Thatcherite mid-1980s but in the past decade of the most reckless financial mismanagement. Labour over-spent, over-borrowed and failed to regulate adequately. Brown wants taxpayers to pay for these mistakes and then have us say thank you. I don’t expect that to have wide appeal." – Iain Martin in The Telegraph
"The Tories know it would look unpatriotic to attack the government right now, and lack alternative policies for dealing with the crisis anyway. But Mr Brown’s tinkering may be vulnerable to criticism when partisan politics returns. His new National Economic Council has 17 members—too many for efficient deliberations, say some. Others worry that there are now three chancellors, with Mr Brown, Mr Mandelson and Mr Darling competing for control of economic policy." – Economist
Party Conference season narrowed Tory lead from 20% to 14% – Independent
Government considers Tory proposal on annuities – Times
Why top Tories are turning their backs on John McCain – Iain Dale in The Telegraph
Iain endorses Obama on his blog.
Quentin Letts records Mike Penning’s questioning of Harriet Harman over local councils’ deposits in Iceland – Daily Mail
And Gordon Brown closes his eyes as he passes photograph of Tony Blair – The Sun
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