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John Major 2010 10.15pm ToryDiary: Sir John Major expresses support for longer term Tory-Lib Dem co-operation

7.45pm WATCH: Baroness Warsi reflects on the Government's achievements in its first six months in office as she tours the country

6pm WATCH:

5.30pm Gazette: Full list of the latest appointments at the NO2AV Campaign

4.30pm Gazette: Welsh Assembly Tory leader Nick Bourne announces changes to his Shadow Cabinet

Picture 173.45pm Daisy Meyland-Smith on ThinkTankCentral: Coalition plans for a universal pension remove the last justification for the National Insurance system

3.00pm Local Government: Council byelection results from yesterday

1.45pm WATCH: Daniel Hannan: ‪Ireland – bale out, not bail-out‬

12.30pm LeftWatch: Cllr Phil Taylor probes some of the people and forces behind this week's student finance protest violence

12.15pm ThinkTankCentral: Policy Exchange wants independent panels to assess the requirements of pupils with special educational needs

10.15am Parliament: "The stupidest man in the House of Commons"

ToryDiary: A response to respondents to: The Conservative Party is dying on its feet. But whose Party is it anyway?

On Comment

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Sir George Young MP: The Coalition is renewing the health of Parliament, giving backbenchers and select committees more power

Iain Anderson: Today's Sanderson Report opens up the possibility of radical change for the Scottish Party

George Trefgarne: Let us raise a glass to the campaigners who kept Britain out of the €uro

Local Government: Pickles attacks LGA "scaremongering"

Parliament: Argy-bhaji from Pickles at DCLG questions

LeftWatch: Virtual author pens Miliband article

WATCH: Protesters occupy the office of Simon Hughes

The all-party No to AV campaign kicks off with a fighting piece by John Reid in the Daily Telegraph…

REID John smiling "There aren’t many subjects on which I find myself in agreement with William Hague, Sayeeda Warsi or Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers’ Alliance. But we – along with a number of my senior Labour colleagues – have put aside our political differences to join the non-partisan NO to AV campaign because we believe it is in the best interests of our country to secure a “No” vote in next year’s referendum on the Alternative Vote. I firmly believe that AV would be a backward step for British democracy. That was the view of many of the people who have now set themselves up as the cheerleaders for AV – people like Nick Clegg, who called AV a “miserable little compromise” just two weeks before the general election; or Chris Huhne, who dismissed it in February, saying “it does not give voters real power”." – Daily Telegraph

 …The Guardian plays up Labour's divisions over electoral reform…

"The depth of division within Labour over voting reform was exposed tonight when it was announced that Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, is to lead a group of the party's big beasts in a campaign to reject the reform in a referendum on 5 May.  Beckett will chair the campaign against the alternative vote system, with the help of figures including two former Labour home secretaries, David Blunkett and Lord Reid, former lord chancellor Lord Falconer, and the former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott.Labour's manifesto committed the party to the referendum, and several shadow cabinet members, including Alan Johnson, John Denham and Peter Hain, will campaign for a yes vote." – The Guardian

…And Michael Gove is undecided, claims the Independent

"Opponents of electoral reform suffered embarrassment last night after wrongly claiming that a senior Cabinet minister would play a prominent role in the drive for a "no" vote in next year's referendum. They named Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, as a patron of the "No to AV" campaign. But a spokesman for the minister told The Independent that Mr Gove was "undecided about the issue" and there had been a "misunderstanding" over his involvement. The 5 May referendum will ask voters whether they want to keep the first-past-the-post system for electing MPs or to replace it with the alternative vote (AV), under which candidates are ranked in order of preference." – The Independent 

Coalition News in Brief

  • Philip Lawrence's widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Daily Mail
  • Biggest ever British trade mission arrives in Russia – Daily Telegraph
  • George Osborne to be investigated by watchdog over cuts – The Guardian
  • Pace of cuts misjudged, warn council leaders – Financial Times (£)
  • Net immigration up to 215,000 as Britons stay home – The Guardian
  • Bank chief Mervyn King accused of political support for Coalition's cuts – Daily Mail
  • Defence Chiefs seek guaranteed spending rise – Financial Times (£)
  • Osborne softens 'tough' stance on bank bonus rules – The Independent

Amidst the student protests and mounting pressure, Nick Clegg fears that he "may be toast", and could abstain on student finance vote

"Nick Clegg and Vince Cable are preparing to abstain from the pivotal Commons vote on increasing tuition fees, putting the policy on a knife-edge.  Liberal Democrat ministers are discussing plans to abstain together, alongside most of their backbenchers, as the best way to hold the party together.  A final decision has not been taken but senior Lib Dems indicated that this was the likely outcome, leaving a hardcore of just over a dozen Lib Dem rebels voting against.  The move would present the coalition with its gravest test to date, leaving Conservative MPs to vote the fees rise through and raising questions about the Lib Dems’ credibility." – The Times

"Nick Clegg has told pals he "may be toast" in a year's time – as the Lib Dems' taste of power backfires on him.  His confession comes amid a dramatic slump in his party's fortunes, The Sun can reveal. The Lib Dem leader fears for his job over uproar at huge hikes in university fees, growing speculation he will LOSE May's referendum on changing the voting system – and the party being tipped for a drubbing in local elections the same day. Mr Clegg – the Coalition's Deputy PM – told a group of senior party members: "We are on a hard path. All we can do is what we think is the right thing, and that is what we've done." – The Sun

Met chief warns of new era of unrest – The Guardian

Rioter was in London for job interview – The Sun

Mary Dejevsky: Everything else is being cut, so why not student numbers? – Mary Dejevsky, The Independent

Yesterday in Comment: David Willetts MP: Under Coalition plans poorer graduates will pay less

Storm over Tory peer who said benefit cuts would "encourage poor to breed"

Howard Flight "A newly-appointed Tory peer was forced to make a grovelling apology yesterday after saying that cuts to child benefit will encourage the poor to ‘breed’.  The party’s former vice-chairman, Howard Flight, said taking the handout away from the middle classes will put them off having children.  But poorer people, who will continue to draw child benefit, will have every incentive to continue producing offspring. His comments sparked outrage and were immediately disowned by Downing Street. Mr Flight issued his apology within minutes of David Cameron demanding one. But the remarks are embarrassing for the Prime Minister because they come just a week after he recommended Mr Flight for a peerage. He has yet to take his seat in the Lords." – Daily Mail

Howard Takes Flight -  Iain Dale

Howard Flight: a man with a record for right-wing soundbites – The Independent

Yesterday in LeftWatch: "Eugenics is the dirty little secret of the British left"

David Willetts goes in to bat for well-being, happiness and quality of life

"The ONS is not, therefore, going to try to find out how happy we are. But it is going to develop some measures of subjective wellbeing. These can influence policy without our becoming a nanny state. What if the work confirms that how satisfied you are with your life depends heavily on which age group you belong to or where in the country you live? What if we find that the amount of time you can spend relating to others and volunteering depends on how much of your time goes on commuting to work, which in turn depends on the quality of transport links?" – The Times (£)

If Cameron's wellbeing is seats on trains, affording a ticket comes first – Martin Kettle, the Guardian

Why happiness gurus are wrong – The Enlightened Economist

Other Comment

  • Simon Jenkins: Napoleon Gove can dictate its terms but the school curriculum is bogus – The Guardian
  • Ross Clark: High-speed U-turn needed on our railways – The Times (£)

Labour’s biggest donor refuses cash over fears about Miliband

"Labour’s biggest benefactor is refusing to give another penny until he receives assurances about the direction in which Ed Miliband is taking the party, The Times has learnt.  Lord Sainsbury of Turville, who has donated more than £12 million over the past five years, was alienated by Mr Miliband’s leadership campaign and subsequent comments apparently intended to draw a line under new Labour.  The former Science Minister with an estimated £1.3 billion fortune from the family’s supermarket business was a strong supporter of David Miliband and deeply upset by the result of the contest." – The Times

Yesterday in Comment: Lord Ashcroft: Conservatives should not give Ed Miliband the attention he craves

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64 comments for: Weblinks for Friday 26th November 2010

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