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9.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron says religious faith is not a problem to solve but an integral part of national life

1pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: What ‘right-wing’ questions would you like interviewers to ask?

11.45am Tom Greeves on CentreRight: A quick question about the London Assembly

ToryDiary: The use of the proposed Star Chamber to resolve spending disputes is a mistake

Nik Darlington on Platform: It looks like Lord Browne is making the right call on higher education funding

Two guest posts on Local Government:

WATCH:  The Pope’s speech yesterday to both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall

In a co-ordinated push, Nick Clegg, Vince Cable, Chris Huhne and Danny Alexander give Saturday interviews to prove the Government’s Liberal Democrat credentials – as their party’s conference gathers

Nick Clegg confrence speech ” ‘The Lib Dems never were and aren’t a receptacle for left-wing
dissatisfaction with the Labour Party. There is no future for that;
there never was…’ Ruling out an electoral pact with the Tories at the next election, [Clegg] said: ‘Voters
tell politicians what they want through the ballot box. Constantly
second-guessing them by speculating whether the parties should gang up on
each other misses the point.’ Perhaps surprisingly, he does not rule out a coalition with Labour next time.
His approach will be “exactly the same” as this year – that the
party with the most votes and seats in a hung parliament should have the
first crack at forming a government” – The Independent

“…Mr Huhne
is adamant that his party should not be hoovered up by the Conservatives. ‘It’s frankly inconceivable that we would have an electoral pact at the next
election. I can see that for some Conservatives the obvious strategy is to
hug the Liberal Democrats very close and attempt to absorb them. That’s what
happened to a lot of Liberal MPs in the 1920s and 30s’.” – The Times (£)

Tax avoidance clampdown to be announced at Liberal Democrat conference, as the Guardian quizzes Danny Alexander…

Screen shot 2010-09-18 at 08.50.51 “A clampdown on tax avoidance among the super rich is to be announced…next week as part of a drive to show that Nick Clegg’s party remains committed to fairness. David
Cameron has given the Lib Dems clearance to announce introduction of
measures against tax avoidance. The Treasury held back from any move in
the budget in June to allow consultation.” – The Guardian

…While Vince Cable signals to the Telegraph that richer graduates will have to pay more than poorer ones after taking the same courses

“But on one issue in particular, Mr Cable is not prepared to budge. While he
favours higher education being paid for by a graduate contribution, he has
previously declined to pre-empt Lord Browne’s report on university funding,
to be delivered next month. Now, disposing of that fig leaf, he says the
Browne report will be ditched if it does not conform to his plans…Mr Cable maintains that “if you’re an investment banker or doctor you pay
more for your education than a youth worker or nurse” and that “contributions”
will go back to universities. Some graduates, he confirms, will have to
repay more than the cost of their education.” – Daily Telegraph

Andrew Grice: As the Lib Dem conference begins, can Clegg calm the party’s jitters?

Screen shot 2010-09-18 at 08.53.34 “He will make three appearances and will do a lot of
flesh-pressing as he appeals to his party to keep a cool head about its
falling opinion-poll ratings. Although the
jitters are palpable, the conference may not be the bloodbath hoped for
by much of the media. Crunch time will probably come at next year’s
conference. But genuine worries in the party about the Coalition
Government’s policies on education, health, welfare, university fees,
housing and Trident may well surface this time” – The Independent

Caroline Spelman says that climate change could benefit UK farmers

“Ms Spelman said the UK was unlikely to suffer the severe water
shortages that scientists predict will afflict other parts of the world,
and that British farmers should be able to exploit greater demand for
their produce.Countries
that have water are going to be better placed than those who don’t in a
climate change world,’ Ms Spelman told the Financial Times. ‘I think we
will see globally a rise in commodity prices as a result of that.’ ” – Financial Times (£)

Service Chiefs disagree with Liam Fox (and each other) over the Defence Review

Screen shot 2010-09-18 at 09.09.54 “Mr Fox is proposing that Britain sticks with its plan to build two new
aircraft carriers at a cost of more than £5bn, while buying just 70
Joint Strike Fighters, half the number originally planned. His proposal
rules out an extended delay in the replacement of the four submarines
that can launch Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent…But Army chiefs are launching a last-minute assault on Mr Fox’s plans,
demanding he goes further in slashing high-tech platforms for the Royal
Navy and Royal Air Force which they believe the UK does not need.” – Financial Times (£)

Charles Moore: The Coalition is right about cuts, but it has some explaining to do

“It is precisely because our dreadful welfare system has been falsely
represented as “fair” for more than half a century that it has resisted
reform so successfully. It is not fair that the poor are trapped and the
enterprising are penalised.  When that is at last understood, the heart (an organ which the Tories
are always supposed to lack) will finally go out of socialism.”- Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday in ToryDiary: A narrative for this government (Draft #5), by Max Wind-Cowie

Matthew Parris: Nick Boles’ suggestion of a pact points towards a merger

Screen shot 2010-09-18 at 08.55.28 “Who knows what the crunch issues will be but, issue by issue, the Lib
Dem Left and the Tory Right will have to buckle down or bail out. A
fraying at the edges could make the centre stronger. Organically
and by stealth, it is the core of this coalition — to both sides of the
notional Lib Dem-Tory divide — that could morph into a putative and
finally a real party. And that, people would more than understand: they
would approve. – The Times (£)

David Cameron and Nick Clegg look to Sweden for inspiration on winning

“But hopeful news arrives from Sweden. The Conservative-Liberal coalition appears to be on course for victory
in the general election four years after it unseated the mighty Social
Democrats. A second consecutive victory for Fredrik Reinfeldt, the
Swedish prime minister who leads the conservative Moderate Party, will
be a highly significant achievement. Reinfeldt’s fortunes
will be watched carefully by the Tories and the Lib Dems back here.
Cameron is a great admirer of Reinfeldt who modelled the modernisation
of his party on Tony Blair’s creation of New Labour. Reinfeldt calls his
party the New Moderates.” – Wintour and Watt, Guardian

Andrew Mitchell interview in the Independent: “‘Monitoring how aid is spent is as important as the amount we give”

MITCHELL ANDREW PORTRAIT “By
the middle of next year, we will express Britain’s offer of support and
help to the developing world in a results-based framework that I
believe will make every Britain proud of the way that the country is
contributing to development around the world, in the same way we feel
proud of the contribution our armed forces make to peace and security.” – The Independent

PM slaps down Cable after Business Secretary attacks ‘damaging’ immigration cap

“Dismissing
Mr Cable’s comments, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said yesterday: ‘He
is raising the concerns of business and we are aware of those concerns
and we are keen to implement this policy in a way that allows the
brightest and best to come and work in the UK…There is a clear
coalition pol¬icy on this and that was established pretty much on day
one. The government believes that Britain can benefit from migration but
not uncontrolled migration.’ ” – Daily Mail

Graham Brady to propose AV bill amendment restricting referendum voting rights to British citizens

“Dame
Marion Roe, former Tory MP and voting rights campaigner said: ‘I
believe very strongly that only British citizens should have a vote in
any referendum that is proposing to change the democratic infrastructure
of the UK.’ Senior Tory backbencher Graham Brady is proposing an amendment to
the referendum Bill that would restrict voting rights to Britons. Mark Harper, Constitutional Affairs Minister, said: ‘The Government has no plans to restrict the franchise for referendums.’ “- Daily Mail


Screen shot 2010-09-18 at 06.15.26 David Cameron says sad farewell to father
Daily Express

Pope set to meet Prime Minister before Hyde Park vigil BBC

Harman and Pope tangle on EqualityDaily Telegraph

The Pope’s battle to save ChristmasDaily Mail

Is this the new Bin Laden? – Philip Johnston on Anwar Al-Awlaki in the Daily Telegraph

Kinnock says David Miliband’s supporters spreading “bloody bile” about Ed MilibandThe Guardian

“Of course I’d work for Ed”, says David Miliband Daily Mail


And finally…Nick Clegg helps David Cameron put flatpack furniture together for baby Florence

Screen shot 2010-09-18 at 08.24.26 “The pair, whose blossoming friendship once saw them dubbed “the Brokeback
Coalition”, put together the flatpack furniture for Mr Cameron’s new
daughter Florence. In an exclusive interview [for the Sun] on the eve of the Lib Dem conference, Deputy PM Mr
Clegg told how he helped out two weeks ago in the Camerons’ refurbished
Downing Street flat…’I went up, and found her asleep, but the Prime Minister struggling with an
IKEA cupboard which he was assembling. I felt I was able to provide some helpful tips, having struggled with IKEA
cupboards myself before.’ “- The Sun

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28 comments for: Weblinks for Saturday 18 September 2010

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