7.15pm WATCH: Nick Robinson travels to Afghanistan with David Cameron
12.30pm Seats and candidates: Caroline Dinenage wins Gosport ballot
10.15am Mark Field MP on CentreRight warns that we allow UK banks pay bonuses or we will lose the brightest and best to other financial centres
- Tories lose North Thanet ward to Labour
- Councils face £11 billion spending cuts
- Wandsworth and H&F Councils quit costly inspection
John O'Connell on CentreRight: Fat cat pay in the public sector is still going up… fast
Science graduates 'will have student loans paid off by Tory Government if they become teachers'
"Top science graduates will have their student loans paid off to encourage them into teaching under a future Conservative government. Under the plans, graduates with a first class or 2:1 degree in science, technology or maths subjects would be able to save themselves up to £40,000." – Daily Mail | FT
> Yesterday evening's ToryDiary reported the science announcement but also encouraged George Osborne to limit frontbenchers' tendency to spend all the proceeds of savings they make.
Ken Clarke slams Labour's failure on manufacturing
"The Tories seized on Financial Times analysis showing that manufacturing has declined almost three times faster under Labour than it did during the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher. Ken Clarke, shadow business secretary, asserted that the “unprecedented and catastrophic collapse” of the sector in the past 12 years exposed the government’s “false excuse” of blaming their Tory predecessors." – FT | Yesterday's LeftWatch
One in four farmers is living in poverty
"Jim Paice, the shadow agriculture minister, said: “There is no more important industry than the production of food but these figures show how tough life is for many farmers. Despite welcome increases in incomes large numbers of farm businesses are barely breaking even as the costs and regulatory burdens imposed by Government increase." – Telegraph
David Cameron and Barack Obama
"If Cameron is the next prime minister, one of his first tasks will be to make sure that he is not left hanging by Obama as Brown has been; a US U-turn on Afghanistan could well come early in Cameron’s first term, owing to the American electoral cycle. It would be embarrassing, and hugely damaging for the special relationship, if Cameron were to set about reorganising government the better to support the Afghan mission only to find that Obama was calling time on it. A potential problem for Cameron is that his team lacks anyone with a personal relationship with the key players in the Obama administration. But in one respect Cameron is fortunate that Obama is in the White House. Obama’s cautious approach to the world means that the splits between Cameron and his more hawkish colleagues are unlikely to be brought into the open." – James Forsyth in The Spectator
Lord Lawson and David Davis attacked by Ed Miliband as climate "saboteurs" – FT
Bill Carmichael in the Yorkshire Post urges David Cameron to dump the green agenda: "we have an immensely rich man, with a healthy and understandable aversion to paying tax himself, demanding ever increasing green taxes be imposed on hard-pressed families. Does anyone in Cameron's team ever pause to wonder how this plays out at the school gates or in the bus queue? Well, let me tell you – it stinks, and largely explains why Cameron cannot build up that decisive lead in the polls. Drop the trendy obsession with global warming, David. It won't win you a single vote. Instead concentrate on things that actually matter to potential voters – jobs, tax, public services and security."
Matt Ridley in a letter to The Economist:
"SIR – Now that we know from leaked e-mails that some of the raw data behind the most widely used graph of global temperatures have been lost or discarded; now that we know that the peer-review process in climate science has been hopelessly incestuous; now that we know that some sceptics’ concerns about corrections for urban heat islands were privately shared by those who dismissed them in public; now that we know that proxy graphs were truncated specifically to “hide the decline” and avoid giving fodder to the sceptics—you are free to start covering the science of climate change again (“A heated debate”, November 28th). It is not settled."
"In Berlin, I inadvertently almost reduced a young green to tears of anger when I questioned a green commandment: to buy local food and use “food miles” to determine energy use. She did not think it right that flowers were flown into Europe from Africa. Pointing out that European flowers received unhealthy energy and fertiliser subsidies and Kenyan flowers used less energy, plus that her approach would cost Kenyan workers some of the best jobs in their country, was dismissed. “Why have flowers off-season anyway?” she wailed." – Mike Moore in the FT
Martin Wolf: The Thatcher era emphasis on financial markets and less government is over – FT
Gosport announces its choice of Tory candidate later today – BBC
Nadine Dorries slams Speaker after Sally Bercow attacks David Cameron
"The Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, a critic of John Bercow, said: "We desperately need to restore both authority and respect to parliament. What this interview has done is remove any painstaking progress parliament has made and reduced the Speaker and his office to that of a laughing stock."" – Quoted in The Guardian
Sally Bercow is the latest in a long tradition of politicians’ embarrassing relatives – Times leader
> Yesterday on Centreright: What Sally Bercow thinks of David Cameron and the Conservatives…
Plans to scrap tax breaks for childcare have been scaled back following a revolt by Labour MPs – BBC
"The truth may be out there. But now we'll never know. The Defence Ministry is closing its UFO department to save money. Even ET can't escape the recession." – The Sun Says
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