2pm Bob Seely on CentreRight: "It’s clear there are problems in Afghanistan. NATO has not focused
enough on winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people – the “win
the people and you win the war” strategy. Political leadership here and
the US has been unfocused, weak and reluctant. The Taleban have had
tactical success. Yet some of this is changing. The MoD is more
focused. We are getting the right strategy. The overwhelming majority
of Afghans want us there, the insurgency is focused in a few pockets
and progress is tangible in many parts of the country.
can we get that on TV? No. TV has decided: Afghanistan is a bad news
story. Sadly it hasn’t yet realised that leaving it will be worse."
11.15am Dan Hamilton on CentreRight: "As Daniel Hannan predicted back in August, support for the Icelandic Government's application for European Union membership is falling faster than a piece of molten rock discharged by the Hekla Volcano."
Labour are the handouts party
"Labour has been accused of relying on the 'welfare vote' after the Conservatives published a provocative league table ranking Commons seats according to the number of benefit claimants. A total of 189 constituencies in the first 200 are represented by Labour MPs, which the Tories claim explains why Ministers are failing to tackle the spiralling welfare bill." – Mail on Sunday
"A political party that truly cared about the working class would make sure there was decent work for them to do. It would do all in its power to foster an economy in which business was not choked by taxes, regulations and costly employee 'rights'. The extraordinary correlation between welfare spending and New Labour's political heartlands shows up Gordon Brown's party as one that cares little for the working class, but whose real aim is to keep itself in power, by making as many voters as possible dependent on it for handouts." – Mail on Sunday leader
Janet Daley backs David Cameron on NOT holding a referendum…
"The Cameron argument that I do find unexceptionable is that a referendum would have been a heroic (and hugely expensive) gesture that would have accomplished nothing except to distract an incoming Conservative government from the desperately urgent business of rescuing the economy, confronting the terrifying national debt, and reforming the country's public services." – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
Matthew d'Ancona: Cameron's will be the first unequivocally Eurosceptic government of modern times
"Amid all the detailed argument about the Lisbon Treaty and referendums, it is easy to ignore a basic truth about Cameron's EU strategy and the trajectory upon which he is now set. This will be the first unequivocally Eurosceptic government of modern times, more united than Margaret Thatcher's ever was in its unambiguous opposition to federalism and its equally clear commitment to repatriating powers from Brussels to Westminster and to holding a referendum on any further transfer of sovereignty to the EU. "Never again," Dave pledged, would there be a Lisbon-style sellout." – Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph
"One central plank of the new policy is a "sovereignty act". Any major EU treaties in future would be subject to a national vote. This is a sham. The point of Lisbon was to settle EU institutional arrangements for good, removing the need for further treaties. Mr Cameron's law would never be invoked." – Observer leader
Head to head on Europe: William Hague and David Miliband answer questions from News of the World readers
Tory hostility to EU extradition law 'risks a new Costa del Crime' – Observer
Tony Benn and Clare Short offer some support to Conservatives
"Short, international development secretary for six years until 2003, last week addressed a private meeting of Tory frontbenchers giving advice on overseas aid policy. She said: “The Conservatives have committed to keeping up the budget and keeping up the commitment on poverty and keeping a separate department, so I am pleased about that." Meanwhile Benn, the veteran radical campaigner, confessed that that his views on civil liberties and Europe were closer to the Conservatives than Labour." – The Sunday Times
'Never had it so bad' Cameron needs to stop the promises – Martin Ivens in The Sunday Times
Baroness (Trish) Morris: Having an affair should not be a barrier to becoming an MP – The Sunday Telegraph
The Sunday Times profiles Liz Truss.
A Scottish Labour MP made sexually provocative comments to Nadine Dorries MP – Mail on Sunday
CCHQ takes control of Kaminski's press appearances
"Conservative press officers have take over management of Kaminski’s media appearances and are said to hand-pick his interviews, which are conducted in the presence of at least two Tory advisers. A Conservative official now runs the ECR’s press operation." – The Sunday Times
Channel 4 drama reveals Queen's spats with Margaret Thatcher – The Sunday Times
The evidence shows that cannabis is more damaging than Professor David Nutt believes – Alasdair Palmer in The Sunday Telegraph
"Some of Britain's leading drug experts yesterday launched an attack on Professor David Nutt, who was sacked as chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) after he argued that alcohol and tobacco were more dangerous than cannabis." – Independent on Sunday
Barack Obama's reaction to bad news is to play it so cool that
Americans yearn for a bit more drama – and some even for his
predecessor – The Sunday Telegraph
And finally… Gordon Brown takes up jogging
"The Prime Minister, who is 58, can be seen slogging it out in the genteel surroundings of St James's Park, Green Park and Hyde Park each morning to the surprise of dog walkers." – The Sunday Telegraph
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