2pm Roger Helmer MEP on CentreRight: Stern Warning to go Vegetarian (but first eat the dog)
- Final six for Devizes
- Jonathan Isaby's open letter to Conservative MPs: Will you undertake to decide whether to stand again before Christmas?
- Gosport will be the next constituency to run an all-postal primary
- The unacceptable treatment of Liz Truss
- Iain Martin launches 'FT Watch'
- Louise Bagshawe is appalled at the treatment of Liz Truss: "SW Norfolk's Executive have damaged the reputation of our national party. They have damaged all the work that David Cameron and many other forward-thinking associations round the country have done to show how we have changed, selecting candidates from a broad base, women as well as men."
- Mark Wallace is pretty impressed by what Christopher Kelly is recommending for MPs
MPs will be banned from claiming the cost of mortgage interest payments on second homes – BBC
"[Sir Christopher Kelly] is also prepared to push ahead with plans to ban MPs from employing family members. More than 100 employed wives, husbands or their children to work in their offices despite concerns that taxpayers’ money was not being spent prudently. MPs have considerable freedom to set salaries, bonuses and other working conditions for their staff." – Telegraph
The TaxPayers' Alliance's Matthew Elliott backs Bernard Jenkin after he is asked to repay £63,000: “It seems unfair to pick out people such as Bernard Jenkin, because when he set up the agreement with the Fees Office and his wife's sister's property, they were fully aware of it. In fact my understanding is the rent was below the market value, so it wasn't a bad deal for taxpayers. I do think that he's been slightly hard done-by when other MPs have done far worse and, frankly, got away with it.” Quotation from East Anglian Daily Times. Background on the BBC website.
Alastair Campbell and Simon Heffer attack George Osborne
"One of the reasons for his strategic weakness is the sense that he is more interested in short-term political tactics than he is in long-term economic policy, a problem the effect of which is exaggerated by his dual role as shadow chancellor and general election campaign co-ordinator. His initiative on curbing bankers’ bonuses, which fell apart on minimal scrutiny, is but the latest to draw fire from City and business leaders. It was attacked not for being tough, but because it was not thought through." – Tony Blair's former press secretary Alastair Campbell in a letter to the FT
"Mr Osborne is not stupid, and we all learn as we get older: but he does seem to struggle with the notion of how things really are, and how we might best proceed out of the hole. He was praised for his party conference speech, though three weeks later all any of us remember of it was the repetitive statement that "We are all in this together". The problem with the speech, as I wrote at the time, was that as well as understating the difficulty, it also gave no hint of what a government might do to bring about the conditions in which the economy can grow. It is that, in particular, that has spooked the City and which, to be frank, jolly well spooks me." – Simon Heffer in The Telegraph
Iain Duncan Smith asked to find solutions for tax poverty trap – The Times
Phillip Collins reviews the Conservative Party's Victorian reforms
"In the 19th century the Tories were, quite rightly, keen for the State to regulate factory work. Lord Liverpool’s Cotton Mills and Factories Act, 1819, prohibited the employment of children under 9 years of age. Shaftesbury’s Factory Acts in the 1840s reduced working time for women and children and introduced the idea of state responsibility for health and safety. Disraeli’s Factory Act of 1874 made education compulsory for children up to the age of 10. In 1901 Lord Salisbury raised the minimum working age to 12. The Victorian Conservative Party also had a developed sense of the public realm and regulated without compunction. The Public Health Act of 1875 forced councils to clear refuse and sewage and to provide an adequate water supply. The same year the Artisans’ Dwelling Act began the clearing of urban slums." – Phillip Collins in The Times
A plan for the Tories to curb public sector strikes – Proposed by Tim Leunig in the FT
Nick Hurd MP rebuked by statistics chief for questioning census – Times
David Cameron dismisses Alex Salmond’s SNP as 'irrelevant' in general election – Times
Andrew Lansley has confirmed there will be a new GP contract if the Conservatives take office – Healthcare Republic
Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock will be broken up and parts of their businesses sold off to create three new banks under Labour plans – Independent
'Superstar' Tony Blair is wrong man for EU president, says Nick Clegg – Guardian
President Blair? Why doesn't he just stick to solving the Middle East? – Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail
"Mr Blair would soon become the focal point of Europe's response to any major eventuality. And so the powers of this unelected and unaccountable position would grow. To anyone opposed to losing more sovereignty to Europe, that is reason enough to reject Mr Blair." – Telegraph leader
And finally… David Cameron invents a new word
"Dave says that he doesn’t want Europe to have a president but if it must have one, he should be “chairman-ic”. This is a Dave-ism. (You just wait, we may have an entire Dave language soon.) It means someone who acts like a chair, not as in piece of furniture but, certainly, someone who is wooden." – Ann Treneman in The Times
"The president, he said, should have a "chairmanic" role. A what? It almost rhymed with "Germanic". We stared at each other. "It means going mad, but in a seated position," said my neighbour. I don't think that's what Cameron meant. He seemed to be saying that it was all very well for the president to chair boring old meetings of the council of ministers, but not go round the world being the hotshot president." – Simon Hoggart in The Guardian
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