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7.30pm WATCH ‪Dramatic shots of Athens riots‬

6.15pm ThinkTankCentral: New Chairman of Policy Exchange is Daniel Finkelstein

6pm JP Floru on Comment: An inside job – NHS special interests decide UK health policy

4.15pm LeftWatch: Ed Miliband will be answering your questions on Twitter at 5pm via #askEdM

3.30pm Greg Hands MP on Comment is against Britain distancing itself from the IMF – and so is the Chancellor.  Why we should reject any suggestion that we should either leave or not fund the IMF

3pm James Groves on ThinkTankCentral: Gove must be wary when he sets targets

Screen shot 2011-06-15 at 14.23.45 2.15pm Daniel Hamilton on Comment: Police assault laws should be extended to healthcare professionals

1.15pm ToryDiary: Miliband uses third parties as shield behind which to advance at PMQs

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's Republican and conservative news

10.30am ToryDiary: A new reading of A.A.Milne's "Twice Times"

10.00am Elizabeth Truss MP on Comment: Maths, science and language A-levels are becoming the preserve of students at private and grammar schools

ToryDiary: The winners and losers from the NHS saga

Comment: As Osborne prepares to make his Mansion House speech this evening, George Freeman MP says that we don't need an economic Plan B – We need confidence in ourselves to make Plan A succeed

Local Government: Will the Government scrap GCSE Science?

Screen shot 2011-06-15 at 09.03.31
Gavin Poole on ThinkTankCentral: "One slave in this country is one too many,,,I encourage people who think slavery is a thing of the past to look again

Parliament: Has the Treasury binned weekly collections?

LeftWatch: Blair interview – New Labour then! New Labour now! New Labour forever!

International: Sebastian Way reviews Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's post-election Conservative Party Convention in Ottawa and suggests the British Conservatives could learn some lessons from it

WATCH: Hague – The Arab spring is "the main event so far of the 21st century" – more important than the 2008 financial crash, more important than 9/11

New "Yellow B**tard" struggle: Justice White Paper may be delayed after Clegg backs Clarke over prisons

"Mr Clegg used the meeting of the “quad” — David Cameron, Mr Clegg, George Osborne and Danny Alexander — to side with the Justice Secretary, who was also present, against the Prime Minister’s desire to scrap 50 per cent sentence reductions to offenders.  The meeting lasted almost two hours and concluded without agreement over the sentencing White Paper, which had been due to be unveiled on Friday. This is now “ambitious”, according to a source." – The Times (£)

In the meanwhile, two Cabinet Ministers get on the front foot

1) Osborne backs Vickers bank firewalls…

George Osborne headshot "George Osborne is to herald a revolution in British banking, endorsing plans to build a capital wall around the country’s high street branches to help protect them in the event of financial crisis.  The chancellor will accept the central recommendation of Sir John Vickers’ Independent Commission on Banking that big diverse banks, such as HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, should “ringfence” their essential operations – including deposit-taking and payment systems – and inject more capital into them." – Financial Times (£)

"We do not need primarily to change the commercial banks, but to change the way we regulate, control and act as a lender of last resort." – John Redwood's blog

…And battles summons to Brussels under new EU governance rules

"Under a new "pact" all EU countries including Britain will accept increased Brussels "surveillance" and regular "monitoring" recommendations on their economic and budgetary policies. While Britain will not be subject to the same EU sanctions or fines to enforce the new rules as eurozone members, British Treasury ministers do face a summons to explain their policies to MEPs. Britain is opposed to the proposal." – Daily Telegraph

2) Gove tells schools to raise the bar on GCSE exam results…

"The education secretary, Michael Gove, will try to demonstrate the coalition has not lost its zeal for public service reform on Thursday when he announces tougher exam targets for Britain's worst-performing schools. In an attempt to end what he sees as the low-expectations culture in some schools, he will say that by 2015 he expects every secondary school in England to be achieving the current national average of at least 50% of pupils achieving five A*-C grades at GCSE, including English and maths." – The Guardian

…as Maude condemns looming teachers' strike

"The decision of teaching unions to join the first wave of industrial action against government cuts is "irresponsible and wrong", Francis Maude, the cabinet office minister, has said, appealing to those planning to strike on 30 June to reconsider.  The minister…condemned the decision of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers to strike over pensions before talks with the government have concluded." – The Guardian

Private school teachers strike for first time – The Times (£)

Strike fear as 43,000 postal staff axed by £500,000 a year bossDaily Express

May helpless in the face of human rights judgement – compelled to take risks with paedophiles and rapists

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"A Supreme Court ruling has forced the Government reluctantly to draw up new rules allowing serious sex offenders put on the register for life to have their place on the list reconsidered.  The Home Office plans were opposed by child protection campaigners and Conservative MPs, who said some offenders could never be considered completely “safe”. The new rules were drawn up because the Supreme Court ruled that automatic lifetime inclusion on the register breached the Human Rights Act." – Daily Telegraph

Spelman waste fallout: "Every home in the country will be ordered to use a slopbucket"

"The compulsory recycling of food scraps is the most radical in a series of ‘green’ schemes promoted by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.  It marks yet another U-turn for the Coalition. Almost exactly a year ago, Mrs Spelman said categorically: "The Government has no plans to force households to put food into slopbuckets." – Daily Mail

"Tougher measures to reduce the 10 million tons of packaging produced in the UK annually were ruled out by ministers yesterday.  The Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, also rejected a tax on plastic bags, stricter targets on manufacturers' use of raw materials and the replication of a bottle deposit scheme which campaigners claim would cut litter and save councils tens of millions of pounds a year, following opposition from retailers." – The Independent

Tories forced to deny U-turn on waste – Financial Times (£)

Fortnightly bin collections help recycling, claims LGA – BBC

>Yesterday in Local Government: DEFRA spinning out of Control

Was that Sir Lancelot Spratt? James Robertson Justice-style surgeon upstages Cameron/Clegg health relaunch…

Screen shot 2011-06-15 at 07.46.52 "The Prime Minister confirmed that the powers of a key NHS watchdog will be watered down and that deadlines for the new system taking effect will be relaxed, while there will be a fresh delay of several more months until the law is passed. He also said that nurses and hospital consultants will have to join new GP-led organisations, in a move that goes even further than the recommendations made by a panel of experts brought in to save the plans after they were “paused” to listen to opposition." – Daily Telegraph

"My mind strayed to the press conference the Grand Old Duke of York would have held. "Yes, I marched ten thousand men to the top of the hill. And, yes, there was a spot of grumbling in the ranks. Some of the chaps didn't fully appreciate the strategy. So I paused, I listened and I reflected. Then I marched them down the hill again. Now that is leadership!" – Simon Hoggart, The Guardian

"He stormed into the ward shouting “sorry, sorry, sorry” as the politicians were about to sit down and talk to patients, before confronting the cameramen who had failed to roll up their sleeves as medics are required to do in order to combat the spread of superbugs in the NHS.  Mr Nunn, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Guy’s since 1990, pointed out his own short sleeves and demanded: “Why is it that we’re all told to walk around like this, and these people aren’t?” He was ushered away by aides while Mr Clegg looked on open-mouthed, while Mr Cameron attempted to calm the situation by waving the cameramen towards the door." – Daily Telegraph

…As Coalition MPs rally behind Lansley

"A clear majority of Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs united behind Lansley as he hailed the "significant changes" that will be introduced to the bill when it is "re-committed" to parliament in the next few weeks.  Labour MPs barracked him, but he received a generally warm reception from coalition MPs, as he gave the government's first detailed response to the Future Forum report published on Monday by Professor Steve Field." – The Guardian

Osborne's role in health retreat – Wintour and Watt, The Guardian

Health comment

  • The NHS reform debacle has set back improvements in patient care by five years – Times Editorial (£)
  • A lost opportunity to save the NHS – Daily Mail Editorial
  • UK's health halt – Financial Times (£)
  • Greedy doctors were opposed to the creation of the NHS. Today, the same vested interests are still blocking reform – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail

> Yesterday on ConservativeHome –

Miliband's woes continue: new split with Balls (and he faces PMQs today)

"Ed Balls has rejected demands from allies of Ed Miliband that he admit Labour spent too much when they were in power.  In a fresh sign of tension in the Labour leadership, the shadow Chancellor has ruled out making an apology for what the Conservatives describe as Labour's "overspending" during the Blair-Brown years…Last night, aides of Mr Balls and Mr Miliband insisted that there is no split between them over the party's economic strategy." – The Independent

How can we win? It’s the social values, stupid – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Blair: New Labour – as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be

BLAIR VERY LARGE "The concept can't possibly be over because the concept isn't time related…It is about the Labour party constantly being at the cutting edge, being a modernising party – always being full of creative ideas and isn't pinned in its ideological past. That is always the choice for the Labour party. It is the choice for progressive parties." – Sun interview

….And the Sun Says – Amen!

"Labour leader Red Ed Miliband will never receive better advice than that offered him by Tony Blair in The Sun today." – Sun Editorial

"Godfathers of modern comedy" gang up to tear a comic strip off Blair – The Times (£)

Yesterday in LeftWatch: Miliband urged to bridge the chasm between Labour and the private sector

Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference to raise Islamophobia with UK Government

"The secretary general dismissed the charge that the OIC was a toothless body. “The OIC has been vocal in being the collective voice of the Muslim Ummah. We have spoken in favour of justice for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Our clout has increased massively and the world listens to our concerns but we have to act on behalf of the Muslim world in a responsible manner. I have taken serious steps to make the OIC and effective organisation." – The News

Hunt to announce a new approach to school sport for disabled childrenDaily Telegraph

Louise Mensch (a.ka Bagshawe) puts Channel 4 boss on spot over disabled child jokeDaily Mail

MPs seek aid limit to IndiaThe Times (£)

Zac Goldsmith defends superinjuctionBBC

Coalition and Political News and Comment in brief

  • £2bn profit for companies selling debt on public projects – Daily Telegraph
  • We're being sued by the Government of Bahrain – The Independent
  • Laptop with 8.6million medical records missing – The Sun 
  • Hunt turns down invite to Murdoch summer party as BSkyB decision looms – The Guardian
  • Broadgate victory is great first step – Allister Heath, City A.M
  • For the very people it's meant to help, I fear Terry Pratchett's campaign for assisted suicide could pave the way to Hell – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • No, you can't treat violent and non-violent extremism separately – Unmesh Desai, The Guardian
  • The Archbishop is not wrong this time – Anne Widdecombe, Daily Express
  • Peter Andre and Boris Johnson "pose for the most awkward PR stunt of all time" – OK!

And finally…Black Mischief?

Screen shot 2011-06-15 at 06.55.39
(From the Daily Mail earlier today)

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120 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 15th June 2011

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