7.30pm ToryDiary: By conceding the need for spending cuts Ed
Balls has made the job of the next Conservative government a lot
easier… George Osborne now wants Labour to also concede the need for
tax rises

5pm WATCH (if you dare): Lord Mandelson dancing

4.45pm CentreRight updates:



Lorraine Mullally on Platform: David Cameron should promise a referendum on reforming the EU

Seats and candidates: Twenty people who would make excellent Conservative MPs

Mark Wallace on Local government: Newcastle Council arts project £2.7 million over budget

David T Breaker on CentreRight: Obama's decision on 'missile defence' is an act of betrayal

Cameron: Nick Clegg is driving an unnecessary wedge between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives


"This week, many will be looking to Bournemouth and the Liberal
Democrats' party conference. But just when Britain needs a strong
coalition for progressive change in our politics, I believe their
leader is taking his party in the wrong direction. Instead of
explaining what unites Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, he's trying
to drive a wedge between us." – David Cameron writing in The Observer

The Tory leader's Observer article is an example of his inclusive style, analysed by Dominic Lawson in The Sunday Times: "His tricks of political oratory are precisely the opposite of Brown’s,
which is to say, he is a follower of Tony Blair. This involves not the
setting-up of dividing lines, but a form of language that is
“inclusive” — phrases to which nobody could possibly object. He is in
favour, as Americans would say, of motherhood and apple pie. The
problem is that such political language must have the flavour of food
that might appeal to anyone, which means almost no flavour at all."

Liberal Democrats may ditch pledge to abolish tuition feesThe Observer

Nick Clegg would cut number of government departments from 24 to 14 in £2bn saving plan – BBC

Vince Cable's ten point plan for renewing Britain's democracy includes a 150 cut in the number of MPs – Mail on Sunday

In the Independent on Sunday
Nick Clegg warns that a vote for the Greens would be a wasted vote –
only the Liberal Democrats have both the will and the power to tackle
climate change.

70% of voters want a Conservative government to offer a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, even if it is already law when they come to power

The Sunday Telegraph/ICM poll also finds that 40% of voters want Britain to leave the EU altogether.

George Osborne: Labour plans secret £15bn tax rise


"Labour is planning a secret rise in income tax worth the equivalent of 3p on the basic rate, the Tories claimed last night. Treasury documents forecast a surge in tax revenue that the Conservatives say cannot be explained purely by a recovery in the economy." – The Sunday Times

"Robert Chote of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the leading independent analyst of budget projections, said it was possible to question whether growth and therefore tax revenue really would bounce back so quickly, "but there is no hidden policy change here". The government's growth projections have already been widely questioned." – The Observer

And so it begins… Ed Balls sets out £2bn of education cuts


"Ed Balls, the schools secretary, last night became the first
minister to spell out how Labour would make spending cuts, announcing
plans to axe thousands of school staff and restrain public sector pay."
The Sunday Times

The Mail on Sunday reports Ed Balls' move as "Thousands of teachers face the axe as schools budget to be cut by a staggering £2bn."

Matthew d'Ancona: Gordon Brown has given permission for everyone to talk about cuts

"He has decontaminated the very word he so successfully drenched in ugliness and horror. For more than a decade it was brave at best, and sometimes politically suicidal, to declare oneself a "cutter". That was thanks to Gordon Brown. With bleak symmetry, it is he who has declared an end to this once-robust consensus. It is he who has given "permission" for others to argue for much deeper cuts." – Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph

Neither of the two main parties have yet really levelled with the public on Britain's debt mountain – Sunday Telegraph leader

'The Tories are wrong to talk about cuts in public spending': "Among the lessons the Conservatives might like to draw from history is that the famous "cuts" budgets by Howe in 1979-81 were actually very bad for the economy; the seeds of recovery were sown not by "cuts" but by a relaxation of monetary and exchange rate policy for which the late Sir Alan Walters deserved considerable credit. Again, although Kenneth Clarke made a serious point of attacking the fiscal deficit in 1993-97, this was only after recovery was well established – something it would be difficult to argue about the present economic conjuncture." – William Keegan in The Observer

David Willetts: The Government was aware of potential problems with the student loans system as early as JanuaryMail on Sunday

'I was the victim of Tory smears', says Edward McMillan-Scott The Sunday Telegraph

UK’s first hedge fund billionaire is new financial backer for Conservatives The Sunday Times

Defeated? The unions are still running Britain – Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday

Brown prepares a reshuffle as Attorney General set to quitIndependent on Sunday

Blair 'brands Brown a quitter, not a fighter' who will 'duck out' of next electionMail on Sunday

And finally…

Booze, speculation and gossip are the real attractions of the party conference season, says Quentin Letts – Independent on Sunday


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.