9.30pm David T Breaker on CentreRight reflects on last night's Question Time: "I guess the lesson from this is that some people are just crazy"
4pm Latest on CentreRight:
- Rob Wilson MP: It was right to put Nick Griffin on last night's Question Time as it damaged the BNP's credibility
- Nick Bosanquet: Only a low tax economy will help deliver recovery across the UK
- 'easyCouncil' takes shape: "Barnet Council has moved a step closer to its easyCouncil model with plans for Council Tax discounts or extra charges depending on the amount of services being used. "The day of one size fits all has gone," says Barnet Council's leader Cllr Mike Freer."
- Were PVC windows to blame for Lakanal House tragedy?
- Yesterday's local by-election results
- Highlights of Nick Griffin's appearance on BBC1's Question Time
- The Communications Workers Union may stop giving money to Labour
"The BBC gave Griffin the oxygen of publicity. He choked." – Tom Sutcliffe in The Independent
Tim Montgomerie's verdict: "Forgeting the theatre of tonight the BNP will persist so long as the parties aren't strong enough on immigration, patriotism and social justice. The BNP can't be defeated in sixty minutes but tonight showed that Griffin can be beaten in the end."
Melanchthon's verdict: "It was a significant error on the part of the BBC to devote so much of the programme to the BNP. Just because the BNP had to be on didn't mean there had to be a whole show devoted to questions about the BNP. He was entitled to be on, and the rest of us were entitled to hear his views on bankers bonuses, on MP expenses, on Gordon Brown's biscuit problems, on whether the banks should be broken up, and so on. He was either on there as part of the normal process or he wasn't. If he was only there as part of the normal process, as the BBC insisted, then it should have been a normal show."
Tories will put ministers back in charge of major planning decisions
"The Tories would abolish a new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) set up by Labour to streamline the system after long-standing complaints from industry that decisions took several years. Now some business leaders are worried that the Tory proposals will create delays as ministers agonise over sensitive applications." – Independent
The Young Conservatives
"The office of George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, generates many of the Tories’ best ideas, and some less good ones. Mr Osborne himself is 38, stunningly young for a would-be chancellor. But he seems venerable beside his advisers. His fecund brains trust comprises Rohan Silva (28) and Rupert Harrison (30). Matthew Hancock, his chief of staff, has just turned 31 [pictured]. It isn’t only the Osborne nursery. News footage of Mr Cameron on the night before his conference speech showed the leader conversing with his wife, Mr Osborne, William Hague (the shadow foreign secretary)—and Ameet Gill. Mr Gill is Mr Cameron’s main speechwriter. He is 27. The head of the party’s policy unit is 33." – The Economist's Bagehot
Samantha Cameron’s M&S polka-dot dress… hand-made by Alison Mansell – Times
Gordon Brown calls on Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union to "get round the table" to bring an end to industrial action – BBC
English councils will be required to publish chief executives' salaries by the end of 2009 – BBC
Foreign Secretary David Miliband accuses public of climate change apathy – Times
MPs investigate Lockerbie bomber's release – Sky
Allister Heath: A reminder of financial services' importance to the UK economy
"Financial services alone account for 7% of UK GDP, with half of this made up of banking. In 2008, which of course was a much better year for the industry than this year, the financial sector’s net exports hit £50.5bn. Bank earnings made up 62% of the total; prior to the recession, banking export earnings were worth £30bn-£40bn a year, paying for a lot of imported manufactured goods. We must put in place policies to avoid another boom, bubble and bust cycle; but over time we need strong, independent banks that can continue to prop up the UK economy in this way. Financial services paid £12.4bn in corporation tax – 27% of the total – and £18.7bn in employees’ pay as you earn taxes – 15% the total – in the year prior to the recession. A last statistic: volumes of new lending to small businesses are holding up, with over £5bn of new loans provided so far this year, while the stock of lending has grown over 4% in the last year. It is obviously a myth that all small firms are seeing all their funding slashed (though of course overdraft rates have shot up and banks often fail to distinguish between good firms and risky ones)." – Allister Heath in City AM
Ageism within the NHS and social care is set to be made illegal – Guardian
72,000 people signed petition calling for Brown to resign – Telegraph
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