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8.45pm WATCH: Ex-MP David Chaytor admits false accounting

Screen shot 2010-12-03 at 15.42.21 4pm ToryDiary: Nick Clegg can survive and even prosper if he's hated.  What would destroy him as a politician is being made ridiculous.

3pm Parliament: Government whip makes speech from the Despatch Box – is this a first?

Noon Three new posts on Comment:

11.45am LeftWatch: How's Ivan Lewis's call for an inquiry following England's World Cup bid failure getting along?

11am Peter Cuthbertson on Comment: Should we begin training our reservists to drive tube trains?

10am Local Government:

BRADY GRAHAMToryDiary: The 1922 Committee should give the leadership an ultimatum over the next manifesto

Also in ToryDiary: Invest in early years and parenting skills, urges Frank Field – not more benefits

In Comment: Andrea Leadsom MP: Allowing people to have a personal bank account number for life would let them switch banks easily and spark a revolution in retail banking

Also in Comment: Rashad Ali and Haras Rafiq reply to the series earlier this week by Martin Parsons: Sharia doesn't mean what Islamists claim it means

Parliament: MPs give IPSA four months to change its ways over the handling of their expenses

LeftWatch: The American Embassy's view of Labour: Brown was "abysmal", Harman "lightweight", Balls "dull", and McBride "a particularly unpleasant person"

WATCH: Adam Afriyie MP explains why he called for a Commons debate on MPs' expenses

The papers don't maul David Cameron over Britain's World Cup bid.  Instead, they sink their teeth into Fifa and Russia…

Screen shot 2010-12-03 at 09.06.32 "Russia was yesterday handed the 2018 World Cup – on the day it was denounced around the world as being riddled with bung-taking corruption.  The decision by soccer's ruling body Fifa was a huge snub to England, which had mounted a bid widely seen as superior in every aspect.  England 2018 chief Andy Anson said he expected to get up to eight votes. Asked if that meant some members had "looked him in the eye and lied", he said: "I am not going to name names but clearly some people did. We thought we had seven or eight votes."  The rejection was a massive slap in the face for the "Three Lions" who led the campaign – FA president Prince William, PM David Cameron and David Beckham." – The Sun

"England’s humiliating defeat in the race to host the 2018 World Cup sparked a bitter new ‘Cold War’ with Russia last night.  The £15million bid – spearheaded by David ­Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham – didn’t even get past the first round. It secured just two of the 22 votes by committee members of football’s world governing body Fifa in a secret ballot – one of which was cast by England’s own FA chairman Geoff Thompson.  Amid strong suspicions of shady backroom deals, the tournament went to Russia, branded a ‘virtual mafia state’ in leaked U.S. diplomatic cables this week. Last night Downing Street did ­little to hide its anger and said Mr Cameron had no plans to congratulate the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin personally ‘at the present time’." – Daily Mail

"Shuttle diplomacy of David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham yesterday only succeeded in exposing the English bid as out of touch with the brutal realities of Fifa's politics…So much for the English late charm offensive. Fifa treated their bid with contempt. From No 10 downward the leaders of England's bid mis-read the signals and frittered £15m on a campaign that failed to leave a dent in Russia's quest to use football to force through infrastructure change. Putin's greater mission in the hours before the vote had been to deny on CNN's Larry King Live and in other media outlets that Russia was a "mafia state" as alleged via WikiLeaks. From out of this morass, he was able to pull a PR coup that sums up Fifa's manic commercialism." – Henry Winter, The Guardian

…While Ed Miliband's aide apologises to Cameron for "pimping" slur

:An aide of Labour leader Ed Miliband was forced to apologise yesterday after she criticised David Cameron’s campaign to bring the 2018 World Cup to England.  Referring to the controversy over Education Minister Michael Gove’s school sports policy, Katie Myler posted on Twitter: “Hypocrisy of Cameron pimping himself out in Zurich whilst Gove’s school sport fiasco continues at home is breath-taking.  In a second message, she added: “Assume we’ll win the bid.  Cameron wouldn’t deign to do anything as unseemly as publicly plead for something otherwise.” Later she posted an apology: “So sorry for earlier tweets, personal comments that don’t reflect Ed’s views. Wish the bid, and the bid team well.” – Daily Express

Yesterday on LeftWatch: Ed Milband's spokesman accuses David Cameron of "pimping himself" in Zurich

Other World Cup comment –

  • In this World Cup sewer, we reptiles of British journalism hold our heads high – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • A defeat, but one we can take pride in – James Lawton, The Independent
  • My rage against the Fifa machine worked – Frank Skinner, The Times (£)
  • Ruled by crooks, thugs and spies – the country that won the bid – Edward Lucas, Daily Mail

Yesterday –

Cold weather payments rise and commuters struggle as Britain freezes

Screen shot 2010-12-03 at 09.08.08 "Commuters faced a third day of travel misery this morning with rail services cancelled, planes grounded and treacherous road conditions, after Arctic temperatures left the country under a sheet of ice…Transport Secretary Philip Hammond risked the ire of motorists by blaming them.  He said the Highways Agency had invested £100million to deal with snow as well as building a ‘large strategic reserve’ of salt and grit. However, he said abandoned cars had caused gridlock and stopped gritting lorries from doing their job. The AA was incensed and said poor planning – rather than a lack of salt and snow ploughs – had caused vast tranches of the road network to seize up." – Daily Mail

"Around four million old and vulnerable people this week received the first cold weather payments of the year.  But the early arrival of wintry weather threatens to punch a hole in the budget of the Department of Work and Pensions, which makes the payments.  Low temperatures this week triggered extra payments to pensioners and other welfare recipients, who get £25 for each seven day period of extremely cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.  Payments are triggered when temperatures are recorded as falling to freezing point over seven consecutive days.  The first payments arrived in recipients’ accounts on Wednesday.  The DWP said it has spent £103 million on the payments this week. However, the Treasury projection for cold weather payments this year had been only £76 million." – Daily Telegraph

  • Snow chaos is turning UK into a joke – Allister Heath, City A.M
  • Are we freezing because of global warming – Roger Highfield, Daily Telegraph

Yesterday – Donal Blaney on Comment: Britain's roads are snow joke anymore

Conservatives spent twice as much as Labour on election campaign

David Cameron at second leaders debate "Labour's failed attempt to win the last general election was fought on a shoestring budget of just £8m – a £10m drop compared with the last election and half the Conservatives' spending, the party's election accounts, published today, reveal.  The Conservatives spent £16.7m, but no party spent the maximum of £19.5m, the cap set by the Electoral Commission for any party fighting all seats in a general election. The commission published the parties' election accounts today, revealing everything from their transport costs to viral internet marketing campaigns and PR stunts to the bill for airbrushing their campaign posters. The total spend by the 43 political parties who contested the 2010 general election was just under £31.5m, a significant drop compared with the £42.3m spent in 2005. Liberal Democrat spending rose slightly to £4.8m." – The Guardian

  • David Cameron spent £66,000 on TV coaching by Obama's body language expert during election campaign – Daily Mail
  • Tories payed thousands to right-wing bloggers – The Times (£)
  • Tories/UUP topped election spending – Belfast Telegraph

MPs' expenses fall

"Expenses claimed by MPs have halved in the new Parliament, the first breakdown of payments since the general election has revealed. They were paid £3.1m between May and the end of August, with more than 70 MPs claiming nothing over that period. Although there were numerous bizarre claims – including 14p for car mileage and £1 for cleaning gloves – the new regime appears to have deterred MPs from treating their expenses as a "nice little earner". The average bill for expenses of about £800,000 a month contrasts with a monthly average of nearly £2m in 2009. Since May, expenses payments have been administered by the new Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which has faced bitter criticism from MPs for running a system that is too complicated and inflexible." – The Independent

  • MPs pay heavily for the error of their ways – Daily Telegraph
  • MPs feel victimised by the expenses system that they themselves set up – Andrew Gimson, Daily Telegraph

Other Coalition News in Brief

  • Institute of Directors warns Government not to 'wobble' on austerity measures – Daily Telegraph
  • Churches told not to expect money for involvement in the 'big society'  – The Guardian
  • Harman’s law halted as Tories shelve plan to expose pay gap – The Times (£)
  • Heseltine begins regional road show – Financial Times (£)
  • Employers could favour women for jobs in the workplace – Daily Telegraph

Danny Alexander says on Question Time that he's trying to persuade the LibDems to vote for tuition fees

"A Lib Dem cabinet minister has said he is still trying to persuade his fellow MPs to vote for the coalition's plan to almost double tuition fees in England.  Danny Alexander told BBC One's Question Time his MPs were discussing the matter "collectively" but had not reached an agreement ahead of next week's vote.  The situation facing the party on the issue was "not ideal", he acknowledged.  Lib Dem MPs have come under fire after they all signed a pre-election pledge to oppose any rise in fees.  The party has been the focus of student protests ahead of a vote on 9 December on coalition proposals to raise the tuition fee limit from £3,290 to £6,000 and allow universities, under certain conditions, to charge up to £9,000 for some courses." – BBC

Britain’s most hated politician – Nick Clegg – is a man of judgment and courage

CleggNickDeclaring "Clegg [attained these victories]… by entering the worldly, pragmatic and sometimes sordid world of coalition politics.By concentrating on his major concession, rather than his numerous policy wins, Clegg’s internal critics are blindly refusing to accept the logic of coalition – even though that is something they have argued for all their political lives.  That is why I believe that Clegg is an honourable and strong politician, who has acquitted himself with shrewd judgment and considerable courage. His problem is that his kind of political courage does not fit easily with the British national narrative. This involves a man of principle standing alone against the crowd: Churchill against the appeasers; Thatcher defying the unions." – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

Other comment

  • When will Red Ed learn that calling the PM a child of Thatcher is not a slur but the ultimate acolade? – Tom Utley, Daily Mail
  • Quick, quick, slow – Britain’s official economic forecaster paints a broadly reassuring picture – The Economist

And finally…George Osborne to be given a free Christmas tree for 11 Downing Street

"Cost-cutting Chancellor George Osborne is being given a free Christmas tree for 11 Downing Street.  He said he would not spend £800 of taxpayers’ money on one for his official home.  But tree grower Peter Prince, 64, from Rushall, near Pewsey, Wilts, then offered Mr Osborne a free one, which he will deliver next Monday.  Mr Prince’s wife Anne, 60, said yesterday: “Peter has taken a day off and is going up there with a friend.”  About £4,000 was spent decorating 10 and 11 Downing Street last year." – Daily Mirror

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60 comments for: Weblinks for Friday 3rd December 2010

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