12.15pm Mark Wallace on CentreRight: We spend too much time building new homes and leaving existing ones to rot
David Lidington MP on CentreRight reports back from a Washington conference on nuclear non-proliferation
- Flintshire Council renames Spotted Dick
- Cllr Lee Martin – Tory candidate for Sunderland Central – wants to Save General Election Night in the city that counts faster than any other
- Cllr Paul Scully: Planning for power in Sutton
Save General Election Night campaign featured in The Telegraph – Read here.
On CentreRight yesterday, David T Breaker suggested moving the results day to a Sunday.
Daily Mail: Cameron is being more straight with us than Darling
"Mr Cameron is beginning to give us some idea of the direction his thoughts are taking. Now contrast his speech with yesterday's waffle from Chancellor Alistair Darling, who promised only that he wouldn't flinch from 'hard choices'. Why, he couldn't even bring himself to utter the word 'cuts'." – Daily Mail leader
"I know the argument Cameron was making: that cutting the cost of politics is merely a way of leading by example. But to devote a whole speech to what he insisted is a looming debt crisis – one measured in the hundreds of billions – to a set of measures which at most will save £120m, a drop in the ocean, was fundamentally unserious. It was gesture politics." – Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian
The leader-writers at The Times criticise Mr Cameron's speech, arguing that cuts risk diminishing Parliament
Moody's ratings agencies is reassured by (near) consensus that cuts are necessary
"A growing political consensus on the need to cut public spending as the economy recovers is set to preserve Britain’s top-notch triple-A credit rating. Moody’s, the rating agency, said on Wednesday that a downgrade was unlikely even though Britain’s budget deficit will soon be the worst among advanced economies. The rating agency said the rise in debt appeared affordable, particularly given signs that all political parties now agreed on the need to reduce public spending." – FT
Tory commitments to prisons and on welfare said to be in jeopardy because of recession
"A Tory plan to fund thousands of new prison places by selling off city-centre jails has been called into question by falling property prices. There are also doubts about pledges to use other voluntary groups to help train the unemployed find new jobs, since charities are being hit by falling donations. Senior Tories are privately reviewing policy commitments made before the recession to see how they stand up to the current economic climate." – Telegraph
Ed Conway: George Osborne's policy errors
"In the early part of the crisis, [George Osborne] opposed Labour plans to pump cash into the economy. In the event, the entire Western world agreed to do precisely that. He implied that he was against, or at least sceptical about, the Bank of England's quantitative easing policy, which is increasingly felt to have helped Britain avoid a harsher recession. Both episodes, in the eyes of key City figures, showed economic naivety and political opportunism. His proposal to hand regulation of the financial system back to the Bank of England hardly went down any better: most in the City think that while the Financial Services Authority has made mistakes, it does a relatively good job, and that Mervyn King is privately aghast at having to take on so many extra responsibilities." – Ed Conway in The Telegraph
Labour attack appointment of Etonian Sir George Young
"Labour questioned Sir George’s reforming credentials, saying he had voted against moves to require receipts for all expense claims and to ban MPs from directly employing staff. It also sought to revive charges of elitism against the Tories. Sir George, like Mr Cameron, went to Eton. Denis MacShane, the former minister, claimed on Tuesday that the Tory leader’s love for his alma mater “knows no limits”. “Sir George is a nice man and will stand up to the media witch-hunt against MPs. But why does David have to have so many Old Etonians on his front bench?” said Mr MacShane." – FT
The Mirror's Kevin Maguire joins in the class war.
> On ToryDiary yesterday Jonathan Isaby welcomed Sir George Young's appointment.
The economic downturn is less tough in swing seats and toughest in Tory-held seats – FT
The spirit of Thomas Paine could yet inspire Cameron – David Marquand in The Guardian
Government's Committee on Climate Change wants higher taxes on air travel – Times
Kevin Maguire: Gordon Brown must unleash a TV hit to crush David Cameron in election showdown – Mirror
Jon Cruddas MP: Labour is in serious danger of drifting into opposition – BBC
"Tax rises for the well-off should form a key part of Gordon Brown's political fightback, the influential Labour backbencher Jon Cruddas said last night." – Independent
Angela Merkel is no Margaret Thatcher – Damien McElroy in The Telegraph
And finally… How cool are David Cameron's Conservatives?
Writing in The Telegraph, Tara Hamilton-Miller examines the Cameroons' karaoke and other credentials.
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