9pm WATCH: Philip Hammond on Alan Johnson's appointment as Shadow Chancellor

5.45pm ToryDiary: The No To AV campaign had a good week in Birmingham

5.15pm Local Government: Congratulations to Caroline Flint on becoming Shadow Communities Secretary

5pm WATCH: Ed Miliband's new Shadow Cabinet

Screen shot 2010-10-08 at 16.29.03 4.30pm Jeremy Brier on CentreRight: Judge Bathurst-Norman is reprimanded for grotesque anti-Israel rant to jury which got off seven "activists"

3.30pm LeftWatch: Cameron's first Shadow Cabinet appointments showed confidence.  Miliband's show fear

2pm Local Government: Labour gain two seats from the Conservatives in yesterday's local council by-elections

1.30pm LeftWatch update: Full list of the new Shadow Cabinet

1.15pm LeftWatch: Rolling blog of Shadow Cabinet jobs brings confirmation of jobs for Alan Johnson, Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper

1pm Local Government: Conservative councillors are winning the Tweet war

Picture 1912.45pm WATCH: A spoof "rap" version of David Cameron's conference speech

Noon Lee Rotherham on CentreRight: The lost effect of military cutbacks cannot be replicated by bolstering EU military association

11.45am Local Government: Edward Fox sways Purbeck planning committee

10.30am Matthew Sinclair on CentreRight: The problems encountered in translating the Big Society principle into policy

ToryDiary: Five problems with the Big Society

Philip Booth on Platform: John Hutton's report on public sector pensions is a step in the right direction – but he needs to go much further

Local Government: St Edmundsbury Borough Council puts up conkers warning posters

LeftWatch: Only five of Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet supported him for the Labour leadership

Jill Kirby on CentreRight: In engineering the child benefit row, the Treasury has undermined David Cameron's pro-family narrative

Lewis Sidnick on CentreRight: Five reasons why Conservatives should fear Ed (and more than David)

WATCH: Sky News identifies the winners and losers in the Shadow Cabinet elections

Jeremy Hunt's comments on family size continue to make waves

Picture 15 "A Cabinet minister has provoked a storm by suggesting that the workshy should stop having children if they cannot afford them. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt called on the jobless to take responsibility for their families. He said it was not the duty of the state to fund an increasing number of offspring with benefits." – Daily Mail

"The minister, who is viewed as a rising star in the party, stood by his comments, with one aide saying: “He was talking about the policy announced by George Osborne on Monday, that if you are on benefits you won’t get more that the average wage of working families.” And he was backed by economic think-tank Civitas, whose director, Dr David Green, who said: “If you’re on benefits you can’t really afford to have more children." – Daily Express

The teacher who attacked the state school system at the Tory conference is suspended from duties

Picture 17 "A teacher who laid bare the chaos in the state education system has been ordered out of the classroom by her school. Katharine Birbalsingh is facing disciplinary action for daring to speak out at the Conservative Party conference this week about the shambles in state secondaries. The Daily Mail understands that Miss Birbalsingh, 37, was made to work from home after other senior staff at her London academy feared her speech on Tuesday created too much negative publicity." – Daily Mail

"She had brought the Tory conference to its feet on Tuesday after accusing schools of “dumbing down” standards, devaluing examinations and letting down children owing to misguided liberal instincts. She told the conference: “If you keep telling teachers that they’re racist for trying to discipline black boys and if you keep telling heads that they’re racist for trying to exclude black boys, in the end the schools stop reprimanding these children.” She criticised a system in which children were encouraged to think that nothing was their fault and in which “all must have prizes, all must have GCSEs and all must have a place at university”. – The Times (£)

Navy to be reduced to smallest size ever to save carriers

"The Navy is set to be reduced to the smallest size in its history after admirals yesterday offered drastic reductions in the fleet in order to save two new aircraft carriers from defence cuts. Under the plans, the number of warships would be cut by almost half to just 25, with frigates, destroyers, submarines, minesweepers and all amphibious craft scrapped. Even if built, the new carriers could sail without any British aircraft to fly from them after admirals "mortgaged everything" to persuade ministers not to abandon the £5.2 billion programme." – Daily Telegraph

Spending cuts in Northern Ireland could be revisited

"Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has pledged to look again at the level of spending cuts proposed in Northern Ireland. It comes amid claims from NI ministers that a major cut in the region's capital expenditure budget would break a deal struck during the peace process. Mr Clegg held talks with the first and deputy first ministers on Thursday." – BBC

Michael Brown: Cameron is ceding philosophical ground to opponents over "fair" cuts

Michael Brown 2009 "Mr Cameron's attempt to design "fair" cuts seems outwardly attractive, but he is unwittingly ceding philosophical ground to his political opponents – even to those on the Lib Dem backbenches already nervous about their relationship with the Coalition… The omens for the Government being able to maintain its fairness defence are not good. Already, when a junior health minister proposed a withdrawal of universal free milk to children of nursery age – a potential saving of £500m – the Prime Minister was quick to backtrack lest the tag of "milk snatcher" define his premiership. Yet that was a genuinely "fair" cut affecting everyone regardless of income." – Michael Brown in The Independent

Benefit cuts will squeeze vulnerable out of London, say housing associationsThe Guardian

Civil servants' redundancy offer revisedBBC

Government's bonfire of the quangos "will cost as much as it saves"The Guardian

Tim Montgomerie: Conference is over but the real debate is online

"Today’s conferences are a lot more refined and a lot duller… The cost has started to exclude people for whom politics is not a professional imperative or an overriding ideological passion… Four or five times as many Tory activists visited my website in the past week as went to Birmingham. Political blogs are the new all-year-long fringe meetings, constantly debating big issues in greater depth than any conference event or mainstream media outlet." – Tim Montgomerie in The Times (£)

Philip Collins: The Big Society is a powerful idea that is being waffled into oblivionThe Times (£)

Unions warn of strikes over Lord Hutton's proposed public-sector pension reform

Picture 18 "Millions of public servants face the triple blow of working longer, paying larger pension contributions and having less money to live on when they retire. A drastic overhaul of the pensions paid to NHS staff, teachers, civil servants, council workers, police and other state sector employees is inevitable after a government-commissioned report warned their schemes were in financial crisis. Lord Hutton, its author, said it was "unsustainable" for most public sector employees to retire at 60 on final salary pension schemes and backed proposals requiring them to pay more money towards their retirement. Battle lines were drawn between the Government and unions last night as George Osborne, the Chancellor, praised the conclusions as "impressive" while angry union leaders warned that workers would fiercely resist the changes." – The Independent

"Only an idiot would argue against reforming public sector pensions. Step forward, then, Bob Crow. The RMT boss (on £133,000 a year) brands even the slightest tweak to centuries-old deals a callous assault on working people." – The Sun

"It has turned out to be good policy as well as good politics. In June, when the Con-Lib coalition asked John Hutton, a former Labour minister, to carry out an independent review of public sector pensions, it might have been no more than a “big tent” gimmick to provide cover for unpopular cuts. But the interim Hutton report published on Thursday deserves a welcome as a thoughtful and substantial approach to one of the thorniest issues facing the government." – FT (£) editorial

> WATCH: Lord Hutton says that public sector final salary pension schemes can no longer be deemed reasonable and fair

> WATCH: George Osborne on the Hutton Commission: Pensions must change

Jack Straw: A third of the new Shadow Cabinet is "incapable"

Jack Straw Commons "Speaking hours before the names of the 19 elected positions to new leader Ed Miliband’s front bench team were announced, Jack Straw, the former home secretary, predicted that “half a dozen” would not be “capable” of serving in government. He described the system under which Labour MPs have the power to elect the shadow cabinet as “daft” and “barking mad”. – Daily Telegraph

"Yvette Cooper topped the Shadow Cabinet elections comfortably and will be rewarded with a senior portfolio today. She was followed in the voting by John Healey, a supporter of her husband, Ed Balls, and by Mr Balls himself. Such an endorsement by Labour MPs of senior figures who take a hard line against government cuts will put Mr Miliband under pressure to give the key job of Shadow Chancellor to one of them, possibly Mr Balls, despite the misgivings of some MPs." – The Times (£)

> Last night's LeftWatch: Results of the Shadow Cabinet elections

Now Spending Review coverage is in doubt over BBC strike threatThe Times (£) 

British bankers face EU cap on bonusesDaily Telegraph

Average house prices take record plungeThe Guardian


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37 comments for: Weblinks for Friday 8th October 2010

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