ToryDiary: Questions for end-August survey
The Treasury/Work & Pensions tension on welfare reform
"A furious Iain Duncan Smith told Chancellor George Osborne to ‘show more respect’ in an explosive row over plans to slash Britain’s £180 billion welfare bill. The two men hurled insults at each other when Work and Pensions Secretary Mr Duncan Smith accused the Treasury of trying to block his crusade to end the scandal of welfare dependency." – Mail on Sunday
Tim Montgomerie comments: "This account of the row between IDS and George Osborne may be true but it is also somewhat out-of-date. Since the disagreement the Treasury and Work & Pensions Department have agreed a ring-fenced budget that IDS can use to deliver welfare reform if he also delivers more savings from his budget. A small cross-departmental working party is crafting a package of reforms and although there is some way to go before agreement is reached, David Cameron has made it clear that he wants a positive reform programme to emerge from the discussions. IDS' position is helped by the fact that he also has the support, in principle, of Nick Clegg and Oliver Letwin. Advisers to George Osborne fear that any welfare reform package could create too many losers and these losers could become a powerful group of voters in the run up to the next election. Although committed to the principle of reform they insist that the devil is in the detail."
"The first really big argument in the coalition was not between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, but between Duncan Smith and George Osborne. The Work and Pensions Secretary knows that he has to spend money to get people into work to cut the benefits bill. But the Chancellor will let him spend money only if he saves it in his own department. Hence the need to look again at cuts that were denounced only weeks ago as Labour lies." – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday
Charles Kennedy: "I will go out of this world feet first with my Lib Dem membership card in my pocket."
"Charles Kennedy has described claims he is considering joining the Labour party as "complete rubbish", following reports that he was about to resign in disgust at theeral Democrat pact with the Tories. The former Lib Dem leader emerged from a meeting with constituents in Dingwall to declare he would not be joining Labour. "It is absolute rubbish," he said. "I am not joining the Labour Party and have not had any discussions about it with anyone from the Labour Party." – Scotland on Sunday
"With rumours of defections and a surly party conference to come, the question is: what's the plan, Nick?" – Gaby Hinsliff in The Observer
"Whether it's splinter or split, some kind of LibDem break-up now looks inevitable. And the Tories will be dearly hoping they can gobble up whatever remains." – Fraser Nelson in the News of the World
Lib Dems' Activists' discussion paper outlines closer ties with Labour at election – Independent on Sunday
> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Will Charles Kennedy and any other Lib Dems defect to Labour?
Conservatives 41%, Labour 38%, Liberal Democrats 12% – YouGov for The Sunday Times (£)
Tip-offs from public-sector staff lift the lid on wasted billions
"George Osborne has ordered Whitehall departments
to take on scores of cost-cutting ideas suggested by the public, in an
effort to help slash Britain's multibillion-pound national deficit. A
huge number of tip-offs from public-sector staff about where the bodies
are buried when it comes to wasting taxpayers' money are already being
used by the Treasury to draw up its deficit-reduction plans." – Independent on Sunday
The Independent on Sunday lists eighty money-saving ideas.
Inflation is the most dangerous guest at Cameron's 100 Days party – William Rees-Mogg in the Mail on Sunday
Hague will scrap Foreign Office's annual assessment of human rights abuses across the world
"A Foreign Office source said a huge amount of effort went into the report each year, with some embassy staff spending months uncovering atrocities. He said the team had been told the future of the study was "under review" and staff had been asked to "hold fire on it". He added: "The word has already gone out to the embassies that we need to concentrate on trade. It's not surprising, but it's very sad."" – Observer
Liam Fox’s outrage over computer game that lets players be Taliban, shooting British soldiers
"Liam Fox, the defence secretary, has described as “tasteless” a computer game that allows the player to act the role of the Taliban and kill US and British troops. Fox said he was disgusted by the idea of recreating Taliban attacks on allied soldiers and urged British retailers to “show their support for the armed forces by banning it”. An updated version of the Medal of Honor computer game, to be released in October, is based on allied special forces fighting the Taliban and allows gamers to opt to play the role of the insurgents." – Sunday Times (£)
Irish terror groups target Conservative party conference in Birmingham – Observer
You can take the middle class's benefits – if you lower their taxes – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
Lord Ashcroft's public post-mortem on the Tory election result – Sunday Express
David Miliband sets out his policy themes and rejects civil libertarianism: "Decisions to drop ASBOs and dismantle CCTV is just out of touch" – The Sunday Telegraph
The left-right divide is deepening at the intellectual level – Andrew Adonis in The Sunday Times (£)
Five shamed Labour MPs fail to repay £40k expenses – Mail on Sunday
"The drug laws have not been enforced for years. There is no ‘war on drugs’. The ‘decriminalisation’ these people seek happened decades ago." – Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday
And finally… Unflattering photographs of William Hague in baseball cap again – Mail on Sunday
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