8pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: On reasons for believing

Screen shot 2010-08-27 at 18.52.08 6.45pm WATCH

4pm ToryDiary: Crispin Blunt decides "to come to terms with his homosexuality", and separates from his wife.

3pm Local Government: The Conservatives lost two seats in yesterday's local council by-elections

2.30pm Local Government update: Kent Police now say a Special Constable can be a councillor – but the councillor in question has already resigned and a by-election cannot be avoided

2pm Robin Simcox on CentreRight: Gordon Brown's immigration incompetence

12.45pm Charles Tannock MEP on CentreRight: The idea that EU diplomats have more say than William Hague on the Union's foreign policy is misguided 

Ed Balls tieless12.15pm LeftWatch: Wannabe shadow chancellor Ed Balls forecasts economic "hurricane"

11.30am Local Government: Tory councillor resigns just a fortnight after by-election victory

10.45am LISTEN: Michael Gove was the Tory on Today this morning, saying that that banding by ability "has a role to play" in schools

10.30am Local Government: Communities Secretary Eric Pickles writes his latest fortnightly column for ConHome: "I’m sure that taxpayers would much rather their money was being spent
on fixing potholes or keeping council tax down rather than on signs to
point out the blatantly obvious."

ToryDiary: Being Prime Minister means taking risks

Yes Prime Minister art ConHome Competition: Win a pair of tickets to see Yes, Prime Minister on stage in London!

Martin Sewell on Platform: Why is it so difficult to engage with the “Progressive Left” on the issue of poverty and social mobility, without provoking an angry response?

NIgel Huddleston in General Election Review: New survey confirms the Leaders' debates had a significant impact on voting intentions

Cllr Colin Barrow in Local Government concludes his series on Foundation Councils by looking at incentives for delivering good results

Also in Local Government: Eric Pickles slashes red tape to make it easier to hold a fete or street party

Q. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? A. President Jed Bartlett! – Nicky Morgan MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

WATCH: ABC News reports on the demands being made of the two potential Prime Ministers by the three Independent MPs who hold the balance of power in Australia

Net immigration poses problem for Cameron

David Cameron listening "A sharp rise in immigration into the UK is sure to add to the pressure on David Cameron, prime minister, to say how his proposed cap on annual immigration will work and at what level it will be set. The government has pledged to cut net immigration from the 150,000-plus each year added to the UK population back at least to below 100,000. And it has already capped work visas for non-European Union migrants, at 24,100 between June and next April – 1,300 fewer than last year." – FT (£)

"Under Labour, migration policy was a shambles. We look to the Coalition to get a grip." – Sun editorial

Immigration is more than an economic issue – Daily Telegraph editorial

"Vince Cable, business secretary, urged fellow ministers on Thursday night not to hobble Britain’s competitiveness with excessive extra border controls, after new data showed a jump in net migration of 20 per cent." – FT (£)

> WATCH: Immigration minister Damian Green says that the latest annual net migration figure of 196,000 demonstrates the extent of the challenge facing the Government

The papers further scrutinise party fundraising efforts

"David Cameron has been dragged into the Conservatives’ “cash for access” controversy with the disclosure that the party is offering meetings with the Prime Minister to supporters who pay £2,000. The Tory fund-raising operation is inviting financial backers to join Team 2000, a donors’ group whose members are promised “first-hand” insights into government policy from Mr Cameron." – Daily Telegraph

"It was also discovered this week that the Lib Dems are offering supporters the chance to discuss Government policy with their ministers at dinner – for as little as £250. Alternatively, wealthier donors can pay £800 to attend a ‘corporate day’ at the Lib Dem conference in Liverpool, including a ‘special forum’ with Business Secretary Vince Cable and Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The Party needs private money. But it should raise smaller donations from many more people

Neil O'Brien: Who decides what is fair, and what isn't?

O'BRIEN-NEIL "The kind of analysis the IFS used – which Gordon Brown used to adore – offers policy-makers the comforting illusion that they can accurately control social outcomes using the tax and benefits system, that social justice is just a mouse-click away. Every one of Gordon Brown's Budgets was designed to lead to a nice curve on the IFS's graphs, showing how the poor were set to gain more than the rich. But something must have gone wrong with the spreadsheet: despite all the lovely graphs, society became more unequal under Labour. Being "progressive" turned out to be a rather empty concept." – Neil O'Brien in the Daily Telegraph

Wednesday's ToryDiary: The Coalition cannot win on 'fairness' if the Left sets the terms of the debate

Could rebel MPs sink the AV referendum at the Bill's Second Reading?

"Their plan is to back an amendment to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – on its second reading that day – to delay the referendum ballot from May to September. Because there will be two late-night sittings in succession, whips are confident that, amid the post-vacation excitement, “tired and emotional” (drunk) MPs will fall back in line." – FT (£)

Support for the EU at nine-year low

EU-FLAG "Public support for the European Union has collapsed to a nine-year low in all of its 27 countries, a poll has revealed. The European Commission says fewer than half of voters across Europe are in favour of the union." – Daily Express

Bagehot: The coalition will struggle to agree on crudely populist policies

"Neither Mr Cameron nor Mr Clegg can easily announce policies that drip with the red blood of partisan conflict. By happy accident, the very things that Lib Dems might enjoy humbling (eg, people who live in big houses), or that make Tories fume (eg, Europe), are cherished by the other side. Tories hate higher taxes, Lib Dems anything that smacks of xenophobia. Their respective bases cancel each other out." – Bagehot in The Economist

Editorials disagree about Eric Pickles' "clear the clutter" campaign

Eric Pickles cheerful "The Government’s letter to local councils urging them to reduce street clutter is an excellent development. Eric Pickles is right that Britain is “overrun by scruffy signs, bossy bollards and railed-off roads”. Our urban environment is a tangle of steel, plastic, glass and tin. It not only looks hideous, it is probably counter-productive." – Times (£) editorial

"If some plain solution existed to the problems pinpointed by Eric Pickles, the clutter would already have been swept away." – Guardian editorial

> WATCH: Eric Pickles – scrap "silly barriers, silly signs"

Quentin Letts writes a memo to MPs unhappy with IPSA : If you don't like it, resign

"Farmers have for years done battle with the Rural Payments Agency, an arm of Whitehall so obtuse and abstruse that some smallholders have gone bankrupt and even committed suicide while awaiting their dues. MPs, with their expenses watchdog, have only been getting a taste of what modern British officialdom is like. You don’t like it, guys? You find it slow and unhelpful and overly bureaucratic? Join the club!" – Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail

We MPs are being turned into petty clerks – Labour MP Denis Macshane in The Times (£)

> Yesterday in Parliament: Senior Tory backbencher wants IPSA investigated by the Standards and Privileges Committee for breach of parliamentary privilege

Con Coughlin: If Britain wishes to remain a global power, it needs Trident Daily Telegraph

Ed Balls warns of double-dip recession…

Ed Balls 2010 "Ed Balls will today launch the most aggressive attack since the election on the coalition's economic policies, fuelling speculation that he now has his eye on the second-most important position in opposition: shadow chancellor. Balls is to warn that the government is in danger of encouraging a "perfect storm" that could trigger a double-dip recession in Britain, and that the world faces a dangerous time as many governments embark on premature fiscal retrenchments." – The Guardian

…as Ed Miliband hits back at brother's criticism…

"Ed Miliband will today hit back strongly at his brother David's attempt to portray him as preaching to Labour's traditional supporters rather than reaching out to middle-class voters. As the brothers’ battle for the Labour leadership becomes increasingly bitter, the Shadow Climate Change Secretary will reject David Miliband’s suggestion that he would shift the party back towards Old Labour if he wins the contest." – The Independent

…and Andy Burnham proposes a land value tax

Andy Burnham Manchester "Today I am setting out a plan for a radical reform of the tax system. At its heart is a land value tax (LVT) – an idea so old-Labour it can be traced back to Thomas Paine. But it is also a plan that draws on the best instincts of New Labour. The LVT, an annual tax on the market rental value of land, would allow for the abolition of stamp duty – a tax on the aspirations of young people to put down roots and get on in life." – Andy Burnham in The Guardian

Cuts undermine David Cameron's 'big society', says LabourThe Guardian

Asil Nadir calls on Government to intervene in his caseDaily Telegraph

Warning of new terrorist risk from inmates ‘radicalised’ in jail

"Britain faces the greatest threat from home-grown terrorism in the Western world, with a potential wave of attacks by lone extremists, including hundreds of radicalised prisoners, inspired by al-Qaeda, a leading think-tank said today. The influential Royal United Services Institute the new risk was posed by highly motivated amateurs carrying out random attacks in public places rather than the more “professional” carnage orchestrated by Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders." – The Times (£)

David Cameron, Prince William and Becks will make final push in England 2018 bid

Picture 4 "England 2018 plan to build on their successful FIFA inspection visit by parading their 'three lions' at the World Cup vote in Zurich on December 2 – David Beckham, FA president Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron. The closing statement from the FIFA team leader Harold Mayne-Nicholls described the line-up of celebrities his group had met during their four-day trip as 'world class'." – Daily Mail


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