1.15pm ToryDiary: Chris Grayling proposes a "Dragons’ Den" for the jobless

11am International: Australian Liberals object to ending of prayer at start of parliamentary proceedings

ToryDiary: Conservative frontbench reemphasises opposition to Sharia law

Local government: It’s possible to win when standing up to poor service from a council

Gareth McKeever and Manish Singh on Platform: The financial system is stabilised, but the real economy is in danger of a serious recession

Whitehall civil servants being paid more than £50m despite having no role should be found work or sacked, say Tories

Official figures obtained by the party showed there were 1,743 permanent civil servants classified as "staff without posts" across Government departments – Ananova

Conservative party faces demands last night to repay loan from a member of the Rothschild family

LadyderotschildAn Observer investigation has found that the party has benefited from a £1m loan from Lady Victoria de Rothschild, made via a ‘non-trading’ company that conducts no business – Observer

Hidden loan that boosted Tories – Observer

Ministers are drawing up highly controversial plans to tighten the rules on foreign donations to political parties

"The move will see ministers accused of a direct political attack on the Conservative Party, which has received hundreds of thousands of pounds from UK companies whose overall controllers appear to be foreign-based businessmen." – Telegraph

Tories take note: Brown’s team is back on top form – Iain Martin in the Telegraph

Tory support for Scots’ fiscal autonomy would ‘alienate’ Scotland’s Tory voters

Johnmasonmp"Only just over half of an electorate of four million pay tax; 22% of people of working age are claiming a key benefit or receive a tax credit; 23% of the workforce is in the public sector, as is 55% of the economy. Where is the constituency there for fiscal continence? Fiscal autonomy would sound the death-knell for small businesses, wealth creators, people on fixed incomes. It would throw to the socialist wolves every element in Scotland that traditionally, though decreasingly, votes Tory." – Gerald Warner in Scotland on Sunday

Poll finds support for Scottish Nationalists has plummeted in wake of financial crisis – Sunday Times

Cameron knows all his rebranding can be undone if voters come to regard him and his top team as a smugly posh gang of public-school boys who haven’t a clue or a care about the lives of the less affluent – Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer

Plans by Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, to spend his way out of the recession facing Britain have been branded "misguided" by 16 leading economists

The letter to the Telegraph was written by Andrew Lilico, a regular contributor to CentreRight Sunday Telegraph

> Andrew Lilico’s CentreRight thread about the letter

Darling: slump will be long and deep

Chancellor will concede in a speech this week that the economic downturn is likely to be longer-lasting than first thought – Sunday Times

Party_2Pay rises and Christmas parties cancelled as companies cut costs – Observer

Ministers are planning a huge increase in ‘green’ spending to create jobs and help to get Britain out of the coming recession – Independent on Sunday

Chancellor will try to halt slide in sterling by saying he will stick to plans that assume a slowdown in growth of public spending – Sunday Times

Capitalism won’t die: it will only emerge stronger – Irwin Stelzer in the Sunday Times

Is Gordon Brown pondering an early election? Telegraph

We’re underdogs, Labour admits, as Brown rallies Glenrothes vote Observer

A YouGov poll shows approval of Brown’s handling of the credit crisis has propelled his party back into the lead among Scottish voters for WestminsterSunday Times

How Mandelson’s last act in Brussels boosted Russian oligarch

Mandelson_headshot_casually_dresssePeter Mandelson’s last act as European Trade Commissioner was to advocate new trade rules that will directly benefit the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska – Independent on Sunday

High Court judgment details links between Oleg Deripaska and the former boss of one of Russia’s most powerful criminal gangs – Sunday Times

Mandelson to face investigation over links to super-rich French aristocrat – News of the World

"MEPs and freedom of information campaigners last night accused the European Commission of breaching its own transparency rules by refusing to publish details of meetings between Lord Mandelson and the controversial Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska." – Telegraph

John Hutton backs European army

John Hutton has become the first defence secretary to back a French plan for a European army, branding those who dismiss it as “pathetic” – Sunday Times

Hutton confident over Taleban war – BBC

Faith groups spreading the word on the wings

"Religious organisations working in British jails claim spectacular success in cutting rates of reoffending. The government wants to expand their role – but critics believe that, with entire blocks now under the control of some faith groups, tensions within prison are bound to grow" – Observer

Stress due to mounting debt costs NHS millions, report calculates Telegraph

Ten years of government transport policy has been dismissed as "a big disappointment" by a team of academics BBC

Red tape to be slashed to speed up Scotland’s planning systemThe Scotsman

Obama victory could mean the end of conservative radio in America

RushlimbaughUnder Congressional Democrats’ proposed Fairness Doctrine, "If a station ran a big-audience conservative programme… it would also have to run a left-leaning alternative". But, since nobody listen to liberal radio, "stations would probably have to trim back conservative shows to avoid airing unsuccessful liberal ones" – Peter Preston in the Observer

And finally … Britain as insanely violent as you thought it was, government admits

"Home Office officials admitted that since 1997 gun crime had been defined as ‘offences involving Howitzers and other heavy artillery’, while the majority of knife incidents had been dismissed as ‘pirate fun’. But Jacqui Smith insisted it was very easy to interpret a 22% rise in violent crime as a 15% fall, especially if you were willing to lie about it. Members of the public welcomed the revised figures saying it helped to explain why they kept coming home from work covered in blood." – Daily Mash (Satire)


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