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7.30pm Lee Rotherham on CentreRight: Britain's contribution to the EU Budget should be cut

5.45pm LeftWatch: Tony Benn and his pals on the extreme Left seek to organise a "broad movement of active resistance" against the Government

HUGHES SIMON 25.15pm ToryDiary: Simon Hughes cements his position as the Lib Dems' Coalition-sceptic-in-chief

12.45pm Steve Baker MP on CentreRight: Conservatism, liberalism and the little platoons – do ideas matter?

11.45am Local Government: Grant Shapps launches swap scheme for social housing tenants

10.45am WATCH: David Cameron talks about family life as he looks ahead to "baby time"

Michael Gove pensive 2010ToryDiary: Gove marked down in July's Cabinet league table

Local Government:

Luke Tryl on Platform: The Tory right shouldn’t fear gay rights 

Terry Arthur on ThinkTankCentral: Does Britain need a financial regulator?

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Who are the most influential backbench parliamentarians?

Parliament: Andrew Rosindell seeks Commons memorial to Ian Gow, murdered by the IRA twenty years ago

General Election Review: The 1922 want YOUR views on the General Election campaign

Seats and Candidates: Former Labour MP among the latest four Conservative candidates selected for next year's Welsh Assembly election

David Cameron: there will be light at the end of tunnel after spending cuts

Picture 4"David Cameron has promised that there will be ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ following the immediate spending cuts which are needed to tackle the record deficit. He said that once the nation’s finances were rebalanced, Britain would enter a decade of success, with a stronger economy the “prize” for enduring the pain of the austerity drive currently under way across government. The Prime Minister also warned that unless tough action was taken now, “completely drastic and violent cuts” would be necessary to cope with the consequences, as growth collapsed and the international money markets lost confidence in sterling." – Daily Telegraph

Coalition will create strains, admits David Cameron

"David Cameron admitted yesterday that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition would create "stresses and strains" for the two party leaders. During a visit to Birmingham, the Prime Minister said he and his deputy Nick Clegg were "learning as we go along" and "won't get everything right". But he made clear that the new administration was a "good, strong, stable Government". – Birmingham Mail

Cameron rejects Pakistani President's assessment of War on Terror

"The President of Pakistan flew into London having claimed that the international community was losing the war against the Taleban and had “lost the battle for hearts and minds”. In a barely coded rebuke to Mr Cameron over his decision to set a timetable for the withdrawal of combat troops, he said that the insurgents had “time on their side”. Mr Cameron rejected that assessment and continued to defend his criticism of Pakistan’s authorities for “looking both ways” on terror." – The Times (£)

Theresa May reportedly warned George Osborne that Budget cuts could break equality laws…

Theresa May Home Secretary "Theresa May, the home secretary and equalities minister, warned the chancellor that cuts in the budget could widen inequality in Britain and ran a "real risk" of breaking the law, a letter leaked to the Guardian shows. The letter was sent to George Osborne on 9 June, less than a fortnight before his emergency budget, and was copied to David Cameron. May wrote "there are real risks" that people ranging from ethnic minorities to women, to the disabled and the old, would be "disproportionately affected". – The Guardian

…as she scraps power to ban domestic abusers from victims' homes

"A scheme to protect women from domestic abuse by removing violent partners from the family home is being scrapped by the Government as part of its drive to cut public spending… A Home Office spokeswoman said Mrs May had made clear she regarded tackling violence against women as a priority. "However, in tough economic times, we are now considering our options for delivering improved protection and value for money," she added." – The Independent

Government marketing and advertising department to shed 40% of it staff

"The Central Office of Information, the body which co-ordinates government marketing and ad spending, is to cut 40% of its 737 staff… The COI, which spent more than £530m on advertising, marketing and communications in the 12 months to the end of March, is restructuring to reflect a work volume reduced by up to 50% as a result of the coalition government's cuts." – The Guardian

Unions threaten legal action over drastic cuts in Government jobsThe Times (£)

Unions plot the 'Autumn of Discontent' in a wave of coordinated strikes

"Crippling strikes are set to sweep the country as unions unleash an
'autumn of discontent'. Nurses, teachers, railwaymen, firemen and civil
servants are planning to join the campaign against deep cuts in public
sector spending, pay and pensions. A day of action has been proposed
for October 20, when Chancellor George Osborne is due to unveil the
results of a spending review designed to cut billions." – Daily Mail

Chris Grayling exposes Labour's legacy of under-24s on long-term incapacity benefit

Chris Grayling 2010 square "A
staggering 100,000 young adults aged 16 to 24 are living on state
handouts as they claim to be too ill to work. And a fifth, or 20,000,
have been on incapacity benefit – worth up to £91.40 a week – for five
years or more… Employment minister Chris Grayling, who uncovered the
shocking statistics, said the figures were a sad indictment of the
state of the welfare system inherited from Labour." – Daily Mail

Allister Heath: Why unemployment remains so high

"It
is vital that all of these rules and benefits be torn up and replaced
by a single, simple universal benefit, as advocated by Duncan Smith,
and for the poor to be able to retain as much of any income they earn
in the labour market as possible, to incentivise them to quit welfare
and get a job. David Cameron must back his secretary of state all the
way." – Allister Heath in City AM

Trident future hangs in balance over funding row

"The decision on whether to replace Trident could be put off for at least another 15 years, according to a group of senior former military chiefs… Writing in The Times today, Field Marshal Lord Bramall and Generals Lord Ramsbotham and Sir Hugh Beach argue that we no longer have the “military need for such a deterrent and certainly not an ‘all-singing, all-dancing’ version as presently planned." – The Times (£)

"Trident costs have traditionally been borne by the Treasury on the grounds that it is a political rather than military weapon, guaranteeing as it does our permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The Chancellor's diktat, say the military, has undermined attempts to come up with a budget that meets the demand for cuts while maintaining the core capabilities of the three services… The nation's security is too vital an interest to be handled in such a slapdash way, with internal party bickering obstructing sensible decision-taking." – Telegraph editorial

The Tory councillor who refused to back Barnet's inflation-busting allowances is invited to tea with Eric Pickles

"Cllr Kate Salinger attended the meeting with her husband, former council leader, Councillor Brian Salinger, and said Mr Pickles was “horrified” with the allowance increases for some party members, which came into effect on Sunday. She said: “He just wanted to offer me his support. He told me it was dreadful and should have been a free vote. It was nice to meet him, and I think he was genuine. I think he thinks Barnet has lost the plot, which of course they have." – Barnet Times

> Last month in Local Government: Councillors in Tory-controlled Barnet give themselves bumper pay rises

David Cameron to fly to Rome to meet embattled Berlusconi

Berlusconi "David Cameron will receive a crash course in Italian-style politics today as he arrives in Rome to a backdrop of decisive parliamentary votes and sex scandals. Just two hours before the British prime minister arrives, Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi will face one of the tightest and most important votes of his political career in the Chamber of Deputies." – Politics.co.uk

Ann Widdecombe: There's nothing wrong with a set retirement age

"Some people retain their energy and cutting edge well past 65 and indeed some will still be doing complex work at 85. Others, however, begin to slow down and it is right that there should be a point when both worker and boss can reassess the situation. A specified retirement age provides that point naturally. Without one bosses are going to be in the difficult position of sacking long-term loyal workers who have started to fail but who somehow don’t want to acknowledge it." – Ann Widdecombe in the Daily Express

Neil O'Brien: Give the falling property market a push

"To be fair, the new government is reforming planning law. But its objective is not clear. Ultimately, if we do not want spiralling prices, then, as Mr Cameron noted during the election, “we’ve got to build more houses”. That is the right aspiration, but to achieve it his government should be bolder, and move to break Britain’s house price ratchet once and for all." – Policy Exchange's Neil O'Brien in the FT (£)

Anthony Painter: It's a funny thing but Cameron's on to something with the "big society"

"A couple of days before the election, Labour released a video featuring a harassed mother juggling her commitments to her family, her volunteering as a mobile call-centre agent for emergency services, and fundraising to pay for the local GP's salary. It's funny. But findings from a new YouGov poll commissioned by Demos suggest that the last laugh could be on Labour. David Cameron is on to something and, whether the big society brand is right or not, Labour would be mad to ridicule it again." – Anthony Painter in The Guardian

Lloyds bank group back in profit Press Association

And finally 1… Ex-Play School presenter and Lib Dem peer set to stand for London mayor

Picture 5 "Children's TV star Floella Benjamin is being lined up to take on Boris Johnson in the race for London mayor. The former Play School and Play Away presenter is a long-standing Lib Dem who was recently made a peer… Lib Dem chiefs hope the huge affection still felt for Lady Benjamin by people who watched her or let their children see her TV shows would give her a big boost in the 2012 contest. They also think she can stop oddball ex-MP Lembit Opik, who dated a Cheeky Girl before losing his Westminster seat in May, embarrassing the party by becoming the candidate." – Daily Mirror

And finally 2… The Sun brands the Prime Minister David Grey

Picture 6 "The stresses of power are turning David Cameron GREY. This snap, taken in Birmingham yesterday, reveals the Premier's dark brown locks are rapidly losing their colour. Just as former leaders Gordon Brown and Tony Blair went grey after taking office, a silver patch has appeared behind the PM's ears… Aides say the Premier would never use hair dye, despite claims that he used make-up for an election poster. A No10 official said: "It just shows how hard the PM is working." – The Sun

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21 comments for: Weblinks for Wednesday 4th August 2010

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