9.30pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight: "All of us will be reviewing our household budgets and making economies where we can. Very few voters would find the concept of the government performing the same exercise incoherent; quite the reverse. And what better mechanism for forcing the government to reduce its wasteful spending than by reducing its income, i.e. by reducing the amount of the money it takes from our payslips."
11.30am Douglas Carswell MP on CentreRight: "Defence procurement policy is run in the interests of a few contractors – not our armed forces. It is better at putting money on to the balance sheet of big corporations than at equipping our armed forces. No amount of friendly lobbying by the big contractors can change that fact. Noone can improve procurement without recognising the fact."
William Hague MP on Platform: We must act to step Bosnia becoming a failed state
Today’s must-read: SAS chief quits over ‘negligence that killed his troops’
"The commander of Britain’s SAS troops in Afghanistan has resigned in disgust, accusing the Government of "gross negligence" over the deaths of four of his soldiers. Major Sebastian Morley claims that Whitehall officials and military commanders repeatedly ignored his warnings that people would be killed if they continued to allow troops to be transported in the vulnerable Snatch Land Rovers." – Telegraph
"The list of equipment failures and shortages with which the Army has had to contend in Iraq and Afghanistan is long, familiar and lamentable. Units have deployed ill-supplied with body armour, night-vision goggles and helicopters. Ten men died in an RAF Hercules because of what a coroner described last week as systemic failure to equip it with safety features that have been incorporated in similar US aircraft since the 1960s. Another coroner has said that MoD officials should hang their heads in shame over their failure to equip a rescue helicopter with a winch. Forced to land, its downdraft detonated a mine that killed Corporal Mark Wright." – Times leader
"A convicted drug dealer claimed that he bribed former Home Secretary Michael Howard £400,000 to get an early release from prison" – Telegraph
Gordon Brown set to approve third runway for Heathrow – Telegraph
Brown senses victory in the Glenrothes by-election – Independent
Brown will fly out to the Middle East today to ask wealthy Gulf states to help ease the global economic slowdown by stabilising oil prices – Sky
Vince Cable attacks Government as RBS puts aside money to pay bonuses who help bank recover – Guardian
Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission – and its stronger powers – replaces Child Support Agency – BBC
Half of councils use anti-terror laws to watch people putting rubbish out on the wrong day
"The shocking way in which the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act – an anti-terror law – is being used was revealed through freedom of information requests made by the Daily Mail. MPs and civil liberties groups last night accused councils of using the draconian powers for trivial reasons." – Daily Mail
Simon Heffer is impressed by New York
"Like his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, Mr Bloomberg has done a superb job. The city is clean, safe, well ordered, efficient. Everything works. Riding the subway – something I felt distinctly queasy about doing even during the day 20 years ago – is a far superior activity to taking the Tube. Mayors here have more power than those at home, but there are two big lessons for government that our rulers simply refuse to take: if you want to make a city work, then get really tough with criminals, and have someone in charge who hates spending money. Zero tolerance really has worked here: and Mr Bloomberg, like Mr Giuliani, holds himself to account about the way in which citizens’ dollars are spent. There is no hidden agenda. Would that be so impossible for us to achieve at home?" – Simon Heffer in The Telegraph
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