2.30pm CentreRight updates:
- Matt Sinclair argues that the financial crisis wasn’t caused by light regulation
- And, blogs Alex Deane, international regulation would only have made things worse
12.45pm Local Government:
ToryDiary: "It is politically essential that Cameron-Osborne show that they aren’t just prepared to cut things that hurt others but that they are prepared to cut things that will be seen to be uncomfortable for Conservatives too – either personally or politically."
Patrick Mercer MP on Platform: The counter-terrorism lessons we should learn from Northern Ireland
Tories pledge new academy boarding schools – Guardian
> Last night’s ToryDiary: Michael Gove moots expansion of state boarding school provision for the most vulnerable children
The £585bn bank bailout has failed, say Tories – The Herald
Owen Paterson’s statement on the murder of a policeman in Northern Ireland
“This is shocking news and our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to the family and colleagues of the murdered policeman. We all owe a huge debt to these brave men and women in the PSNI. This killing is brutal and will not achieve its political aims. It is vital that everybody helps bring these evil murderers to justice; they must not be allowed to divert us from the great progress made in recent years. We must all be vigilant, but continue to go about our normal everyday business.”
Polly Toynbee calls on Labour to ride the anti-rich mood
"Next month’s budget will be Labour’s last chance to catch the public mood. Why not raise top tax, not to the puny 45% after the election, but 50% now? The well-paid who keep their jobs are flourishing as mortgage rates and prices tumble." – Guardian
Jobless professionals could be fast-tracked into teaching within six months – Times
Former Australian PM John Howard warns against Gordon Brown’s nasty medicine – Telegraph
Steve Richards: The decline of political parties is not healthy
"The rise of David Cameron has been accompanied by an increase in the membership of the Conservative Party, but not one that compares with Labour’s soaring membership in the early years of Tony Blair (the last time a political party breathed with deceptive life). The decline of the bigger parties is not a healthy development. Already the consequences are depressingly evident. They include the lack of any credible candidates to be Labour’s next leader, the limited talent on the Conservative benches and the rise of fringe parties, with the BNP expected to perform well and possibly pick up a seat or two in the European elections this June." – Steve Richards in The Independent
[Steve is wrong about Tory membership numbers. They are actually DOWN].
MPs have praised the Prison Service for saving £120m in five years – BBC
Lord Mandelson: Migrants work in jobs unemployed Britons are unwilling to take – Telegraph
Prime Minister’s rubbish ‘stealth tax’ nets £1bn for Treasury – Daily Mail
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