6.15pm Mark Wallace on CentreRight: Hammersmith & Fulham Council are exposing the Emperor's New Clothes of local government
12.30pm Cllr David Finch in Local Government: In defence of a highly-paid Council Chief Executive
10.30am Mark Field MP on CentreRight: Competition – the ultimate consumer protection?
- Hammersmith and Fulham Council delivers a 3% Council Tax cut for 4th year running
- Brandon Lewis: Do small councils need a CEO?
David Cameron will seek a "manifesto mandate" to renegotiate Britain's relationship with Europe rather than hold a post-ratification referendum on Lisbon
"Last night the influential website ConservativeHome reported that the Tories would not seek a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, which will establish the position of EU foreign minister. The site, which represents Conservative grass roots, reported that there will be no attempt to “unratify” the treaty once it has been agreed by President Klaus of the Czech Republic, the last of the 27 countries to sign. David Cameron will instead promise in the Conservative manifesto to repatriate powers from Brussels to London. A Tory spokeswoman refused to confirm or deny the story." – The Times
> Louise Bagshawe on CentreRight yesterday: "I haven't gone soft on Europe, but I'm not fussed if we don't have a post-Lisbon referendum"
A-List candidate accuses South West Norfolk Tories of misogyny and jealousy
"The battle between 19 members of the South West Norfolk Conservative Association and my A-list colleague Elizabeth Truss has been depicted, in the Guardian and elsewhere, as a confrontation between Conservative central office and local democracy. It is nothing so noble. The local activists who have asserted their power to humiliate Truss are not acting in the name of localism, or any other principle worth defending. Their case consists of misogyny and jealousy in roughly equal parts. As a former member of the Scottish Conservative Candidates Board, responsible for the selection and vetting of dozens of Conservative candidates, and as an experienced parliamentary candidate myself, I have witnessed similar behaviour often." – Dorothy Luckhurst, a former parliamentary candidate who is on the "A-List", writing for The Guardian
Norfolk constituency could have candidate imposed on them – Eastern Daily Press
> Yesterday's posts on the issue:
- Jonathan Isaby speaks in support of Liz Truss on The Politics Show
- Melanchthon explains why Elizabeth Truss should not be deselected
David Willetts joins attack on the "quango state"
"A leading Tory has stepped up his party's fight against quangocracy with a suggestion that some organisations should have public funding withdrawn, forcing them to take their chances in the free market. The comments by David Willetts, the shadow spokesman for skills, are the latest salvos in a battle first joined in July when David Cameron attacked "the growth of the quango state". In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Willetts said that, in the case of bodies covering skills and education, one option was "just to get rid of them". The second option, he added, was to say "you can survive if people are willing voluntarily to pay for your services". – FT
Tories aim to bring in business big-hitters to government
"Business is poised to gain much greater sway over Whitehall under a Conservative government, with corporate “big hitters” being drafted in to help shake up departmental spending and transform the civil service culture. The Tories intend radically to expand the role of the non-executive directors who sit on departmental boards and attract people with “established business careers” to fill the majority of these posts, according to party insiders. Plans are being drawn up to give the business non-execs a direct role, in at least some departments, in areas such as information technology and the procurement of goods and services." – FT
"David Cameron will need to appeal to corporate executives’ altruism to achieve his hopes of greater business representation in Whitehall, according to headhunters. No senior business person would fill the non-executive posts on departmental boards – central to the Tories’ proposed public sector reforms – for the money on offer or the intrinsic rewards of the job itself, leading recruitment consultants told the Financial Times." – FT
Chris Grayling pounces on violent crime statistics
"The proportion of violent crime committed by strangers has risen
significantly since Labour came to power, a report shows. British Crime
Survey statistics seized on by the Tories suggest that half of all
violence was perpetrated by strangers last year – compared with a third
in 1996… Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "The more we
learn about the reality that lies behind the headline crime figures,
the clearer it becomes that we have a growing problem of violence and
disorder on our streets. Ministers seem to be in a state of denial
about it." – Press Association
A Conservative Government would cut MPs' summer recess
"David Cameron is to order Members of Parliament to return to work earlier next year after the row over the 82-day summer break MPs gave themselves this year. If he wins next year’s election the Conservative leader is planning to shorten the recess and force MPs to return to Westminster in September, senior Conservative sources have confirmed to The Daily Telegraph." – Daily Telegraph
Government faces "mass resignations" over sacking of David Nutt
"The Government is facing mass resignations from the official advisory body on drugs after the sacking of its chairman, The Times has learnt. Two members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs quit yesterday in protest at Alan Johnson’s dismissal of David Nutt in a row over the relative harm caused by drugs and alcohol. Les King, an expert chemist, was the first to resign. He said that the Home Secretary had denied Professor Nutt his right to free speech and called for the council to become truly independent of politicians. He was swiftly followed by Marion Walker, a pharmacist and clinical director with the substance misuse service at the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust." – The Times
Bruce Anderson: Legalise drugs and society would benefit – The Independent
> Related posts from the weekend:
- Aware that "expert class" is ready to bite Conservatives, Chris Grayling backs dismissal of Government drugs adviser
- Graeme Archer on CentreRight disapproved of the decision to sack David Nutt
- WATCH: Alan Johnson told Adam Boulton yesterday that he sacked scientific adviser David Nutt because his position had become untenable
Sir Ian Blair criticises Tory plans for directly-elected police commissioners
"It would completely change the operational independence of the chief officer. It is the pattern in the US that the mayor comes in and appoints a new police chief who suits him – and when it doesn't suit him, that police chief is gone. You've got the danger at one end of them becoming populist. That's not a very British way, but that danger does exist. And you also have to recognise that it's quite possible somebody from a far-right background could be elected." – Sir Ian Blair quoted in The Guardian
Tony Travers: Cost-cutting at Hammersmith & Fulham is a taste of things to come
"Hammersmith & Fulham Council and its leader, Stephen Greenhalgh, have self-consciously made the case for radicalism within a single local authority. Ever since the Conservatives promised a 3 per cent per year cut in council tax at the time of the 2006 local elections, the council has been in the news. As a Tory government becomes a real possibility, it is inevitable that people will look to Hammersmith & Fulham for indications of how a Cameron government might operate… Hammersmith & Fulham is the shape of things to come." – Professor Tony Travers writing in The Times
Adam Holloway: We need to understand what we mean by the word "Taliban"
"It is a mistake to talk of the Taliban as if they are no part of Afghan society, as if they are somehow "other". It is also a mistake to think of them as an organised mass movement. Originally supported by the Pakistani Directorate of Inter-services Intelligence (ISI), what started as a small group of religious "students" unexpectedly won mass support. They grew because they met the needs of the population at the time, weary of civil war and desperate for order and security." – Adam Holloway MP writing in The Independent
Boris Johnson prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
"We celebrate next week the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – the ultimate triumph of simple human instincts over an evil and degenerate system… Communism took power away from the people, eroding democracy with the promise that the system would improve their quality of life in exchange. It failed dismally. Remember, remember the 9th of November, and remember all the idiots – some now running this country – who supported communism in their youth. Peter Mandelson, Alistair Darling – how will you be celebrating the Fall of the Wall?" – Boris Johnson writing in the Daily Telegraph
Margaret Thatcher was 'horrified' by the prospect of a reunited Germany – Daily Telegraph
Kit Malthouse: We need a bold, humane approach to dealing with "weapon dogs"
"In Ontario… the provincial government produced a law that banned all bull breeds and derivatives, including pitbulls and the Staffordshire bull terrier. All such existing dogs had to be registered, neutered and muzzled, leading to the bull-types dying out and owners learning to love the labrador or pug. The result? A huge fall in the number of dog-related injuries and incidents. This approach manages to be both humane to those who have a dog of this type and draws a line under the problem." – Kit Malthouse writing in The Times
Harriet Harman moots watering down of Kelly proposals on MPs' expenses
"MPs should not be forced to sack husbands or wives who work for them, Harriet Harman said as she suggested that planned radical reform of the expenses system could be watered down. The Commons Leader spoke out as Sir Christopher Kelly, the civil servant charged with rooting out corruption in Parliament, prepares to publish his wide-ranging proposals to simplify and cut allowances paid to MPs." – The Independent
Frank Field: Legg risks letting the quality of MPs falling even lower
"To believe that the Legg Inquiry would draw a line under the expenses fiasco must rank as one of the Prime Minister's most fatuous judgements. The most junior observer of the parliamentary scene knows that this saga is going to run right up to the General Election campaign. Worse still, it will continue to ricochet into the new Parliament… As the current debate charges on, devouring an increasing number of souls on its way, my guess is that the quality of MPs will have fallen even lower when the public marks the next House of Commons." – Frank Field writing in The Independent
And finally… Michael Caine defects to the Tories
"British film icon Sir Michael Caine has abandoned his support of the Labour party and announced he will vote Conservative at the next general election. The actor, 76, a former Labour supporter, condemned the “terrible state” that has been allowed to develop in Britain and said he planned to change his allegiance at the next election." – Daily Telegraph
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