8.30pm WATCH: Boris Johnson explains why he wants a new London airport
6pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: Inflation may be up but Quantitative Easing prevented the UK from falling into Irish-style deflationary slump
4.30pm Contributions to yesterday's Commons debate on the Localism Bill including this central truth from Rory Stewart MP: "We know that communities know and care more, and that they can and ought to do more than distant officials in Penrith, Carlisle, London or Brussels"
3.45pm Richard Harrington MP on Comment: We must ensure that the Localism Bill does not allow "Nimbys" and the disaffected to block all local development
2.45pm Local government:
- Scottish councillor defects to Conservatives
- Eric Pickles: "Hammersmith and Fulham Council is the apple of my eye."
1.30pm ThinkTankCentral: Jill Kirby to leave Centre for Policy Studies after "three very successful years"
12.15pm ToryDiary: David Davis teams up with Jack Straw to oppose votes-for-prisoners
11am Mark Field MP on Comment: Have the authorities decided that tackling inflation will be too painful?
Alex Deane on Comment: Coalition is wrong on minimum alcohol pricing: "People should be free to choose to eat or drink whatever they want, without interference from a nannying government. And it will become ever-more nannying with time if we allow this to happen."
Lord Strathclyde on Comment: Labour is preparing to deny the people of this country their say on whether AV should be used to elect MPs
Professor Tim Bale on Comment: Even Churchill considered an electoral pact with the Liberals in the 1950s
Local government: New free school planned for Hammersmith
Cameron steps up fight with Treasury over fair fuel prices after telling Osborne to 'share pain' with motorists – Daily Mail
"Despite senior Lib Dem moves to scotch a plan to stabilise fuel prices, the PM insisted the Government will "share the burden". Mr Cameron said: "I recognise the pain people are feeling when they fill up the car. When the oil price goes up, yes of course the Treasury gets extra revenue at the pumps. I want to see some method of sharing the burden."" – The Sun
Cameron promises greater respect for public service ethos
"The Prime Minister said he was 'trying to learn the best of what previous governments got right and wrong'. Previous Tory governments had 'really good ideas' about putting people 'in the driving seat', he added. 'But there was insufficient respect for the ethos of public services – and public service. 'I profoundly think that the Conservative government of the Eighties made some good steps forward on choice and competition, but didn't understand enough about the public service ethos." – Daily Mail
Stephen Dorrell's health committee warns about NHS "upheaval"
"MPs on the select committee said they were surprised by the ‘institutional upheaval’. ‘We do not believe that this change of policy has yet been sufficiently explained given the costs and uncertainties generated by the process,’ the report said. ‘We do not believe that the approach adopted by the Government represents the most efficient way of delivering those objectives. The failure to plan for the transition is a particular concern in the current financial context." – Daily Mail
David Cameron claims he is just carrying out Tony Blair's plans for public service reform, particularly in health and education – Guardian
Key verdicts on the NHS reforms:
- "The Government will soon find that every setback and every small problem is attributed to the reform process, even when the connection is spurious." – Times (£) leader
- "The entire reform is predicated on the assumption that GPs are the right people to run services in the future, but that seems to me an ill-conceived notion. Perhaps 10 to 15 per cent of them want to manage, but the vast majority went into medicine to look after patients. So there is no evidence that doctors want this change, even if they have been given the responsibility of making it work. When John Major’s government introduced GP fund-holding in the early Nineties, another attempt at devolution, at first the measure was a success because the most enthusiastic doctors signed up to take control of their budgets. But after the first wave, fund-holding became more problematic as most GPs were not interested in it. The same could happen again two decades later." – David Green in the Daily Mail
- "Mr Lansley wants to take the “National” out of the NHS. By transferring four-fifths of its £100bn budget to general practitioners and dismantling most of its management structures, he intends to transfer oversight from Whitehall. Crucially, the guiding ambition is to shift responsibility and accountability for the NHS away from politicians." – Philip Stephens in the FT (£)
- In The Independent Steve Richards says Cameron is ending the NHS as we know it: "Mr Cameron's crusade goes well beyond putting taxpayers' billions into the hands of GPs, some of whom have enough to worry about already. As Nigel Edwards, acting chief executive of the NHS Confederation, noted in yesterday's Financial Times: "By 2014, the NHS will no longer be a system which still contains many of the characteristics of an organisation … Instead it will be a regulated industry … The Secretary of State will no longer have the power to intervene in NHS organisations which will stand or fail on their own … there will be no power for the secretary of state to prop them up, or intervene if something goes badly wrong … And unless a service is designated as protected, it will also be possible for a hospital or other healthcare provider simply to stop providing a service or operating a site from which it can no longer make money". Approve or disapprove, the policy marks the end of the NHS."
Coalition plans minimum price for alcohol
"Plans for a minimum price for alcohol in England and Wales are to be announced by ministers. Shops and bars will be prevented from selling drinks for less than the tax they pay on them. The minimum pricing would work out at 38p for a can of weak lager and £10.71 for a litre bottle of vodka." – BBC | Telegraph
Boris Johnson to launch campaign for new London airport
"Boris Johnson will step up pressure on the government to change its aviation policy with a report warning that London will lose jobs to European competitors unless David Cameron backs a new hub airport in the south-east. The London mayor has lined up senior business leaders, including Richard Reid, London chairman of KPMG, and Stuart Popham, former senior partner at Clifford Chance, to back his call for ministers to act more urgently in addressing the need for greater air capacity." – FT (£)
Coalition in brief:
- Clegg and IDS differ publicly on case for marriage tax breaks – Daily Mail
- "David Cameron has put himself back in the firing line on bank pay after insisting that bonuses are "not a done deal" and the Government is still working to impose restrictions." – Telegraph
- Campaign grows against cuts that would shut 375 libraries – Independent
- "There seems to have been a significant shift in YouGov’s daily polling over the last week, with the Labour lead widening from around 3 points to 5 points or more, and the Conservatives dropping below 40% to the mid to high thirties." – UK Polling Report
Our National Debt pushes through £1 trillion barrier to reach £40,000 per household – Daily Mail
Liam Fox and William Hague at Watson's Bay, Sydney – the first visit by a British Foreign Secretary to Australia since 1994
"Australian and British foreign and defence ministers have discussed cyber threats, outer space security and the military rise of China at top-level talks in Sydney. The Australia-UK ministerial talks, dubbed AUKMIN, will become an annual event after both sides declared the meeting a success. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said his delegation with UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox was “the most substantial British visit to Australia in many decades”. The pair spent hours with Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith discussing common strategic issues, and were to dine tonight with Julia Gillard." – The Australian
Ed Miliband urges Labour MPs to focus on David Cameron's "broken promises"
"Mr Miliband accused Mr Cameron of breaking election pledges to introduce a fuel duty stabiliser and jail sentences for knife crime, and with the Government's reorganisation of the NHS. "While Nick Clegg has been given a hard time, not enough of a spotlight has been shone on the broken promises of David Cameron," Mr Miliband told Labour MPs and peers. We have to go after him on his broken promises."" – Telegraph
The relations between Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, and their parties, are thawing rapidly – Mary Riddell in The Telegraph
Blair misled MPs on Iraq, says for former Attorney-General Goldsmith – Times (£)
Lord Taylor of Warwick in court over expense claims – Independent
The Sun backs CCTV
The Sun Says: "Who would cheer loudest if the police were denied access to CCTV footage and much of their DNA database? Violent murderers, vile sex offenders and vicious terrorists, that's who. Oh, and extreme, politically-correct civil liberties campaigners. Over the last two days The Sun has listed some of the criminals who have been caught thanks to scientific advances in detection. Advances which can also CLEAR the innocent. Of course we reject the use of spying devices by local councils to check our rubbish and parking authorities to harass motorists. But when it comes to SERIOUS crime, properly supervised DNA and CCTV must be tolerated for the greater good of society."
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