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6.15pm WATCH: Liam Fox: "Countries that have large amounts of debt… will not be able to invest in defence"

4.30pm Local government: Labour councillors back restoration of death penalty

3.30pm WATCH:

2pm Laura Sandys MP on Comment: "…while individual measures – planning policy, enterprise zones, lower tax for small businesses – can all contribute to greater growth there are also some deeper realities that we must face.  While governments want us to be competitive and reverse decline have we, as a nation, lost that ambition?" - If this nation is to stay great it needs to earn it

12.45pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: Spare our Monk parakeets!

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top American and Republican news

10.30am LeftWatch: Sir Menzies Campbell attacks Danny Alexander over RAF base decision

ToryDiary: Defence Select Committee warns that defence cuts are causing "strategic shrinkage"

John Glen MP on Comment: Without extra spending after 2014 our armed forces won't be able to deliver full spectrum capability

AngiebraympAngie Bray MP on Comment: We now know how wasteful the last Labour government was and Francis Maude is delivering the savings for taxpayers

Local Government: Evicting "neighbours from Hell" to be made easier

Defence Select Committee: Cuts mean forces are unable to properly carry out missions in Libya and Afghanistan

ARMED FORCES"The loss of aircraft carriers, planes and 30,000 front-line troops has meant the Armed Forces are struggling to do “all that is asked of them”, a critical report finds. There is “mounting concern” that the military has fallen below the “minimum utility” needed to conduct present and future operations, says the defence select committee." – Daily Telegraph

  • The debt crisis forces the West into retreat – Telegraph editorial
  • Nightly Britain bombs Tripoli. Bar death, what do we achieve? – Simon Jenkins, in the Guardian
  • David Cameron must now persuade the Palestinians to see reason – Benedict Brogan, in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The buoyant popularity of William Hague

Government pulls the plug on £11bn NHS IT system

LANSLEY ANDREW QT "A plan to create the world's largest single civilian computer system linking all parts of the National Health Service is to be abandoned by the Government after running up billions of pounds in bills. Ministers are expected to announce next month that they are scrapping a central part of the much-delayed and hugely controversial 10-year National Programme for IT." - The Independent

George Osborne "will miss his deficit reduction target"

Osborne NewX"George Osborne is on course to fail the Government’s main economic test of reducing the structural deficit within five years, one of Britain’s most influential think-tanks has said. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research further downgrades Britain’s growth forecasts today and predicts that the Chancellor will break his “mandate” to eliminate the structural deficit by 2015-16. The Treasury will miss the goal by about 1 per cent of GDP, the institute suggests." - The Times (£)

  • Isn't it finally time for silence, Mr Balls? – "‘The Americans are the right comparison,’ he insists. Very well, Mr Balls. Let us compare. Take growth. Despite the fiscal stimulus so warmly approved by our Shadow Chancellor, the U.S. economy has actually grown more slowly than Britain’s over the first half of this year." – Daily Mail editorial

"Tory voters believe cuts should only be temporary"

"The Chancellor has embarked on a programme to slash £81bn from public spending to bring "stability to the economy" and Mr Cameron has made clear he believes the cuts should be permanent. But a survey has discovered that the majority of voters, including natural Tories, thought the savings should only be temporary." – The Independent

"So much for the bonfire" – quangos have been recruiting

"At least 4,500 civil servants have been taken on since the election in May last year by Government departments and quangos – three times the number that have been handed compulsory redundancy notices. The Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact and the Committee on Climate Change are among the quangos which have been busy recruiting." – Daily Mail

Two in three workers see salaries cut or frozen…

"Wages have fallen or remained stagnant for the majority of the population over the last six months, research shows. Two thirds have had their pay frozen or cut since January 2011, despite the rising cost of living." – Daily Mail

…But nearly 300 civil servants are paid more than the Prime Minister

10-downing-street"The pay and perks of 291 senior mandarins and quango chiefs eclipse the Prime Minister’s £142,500 a year. Public sector workers who have had their pay frozen will be further enraged by figures which also show that one in ten of the Whitehall ‘fat cats’ saw an increase in their wages and perks." – Daily Mail 

"The Government announced yesterday that the number of civil servants and quango chiefs on salaries of more than £150,000 had been cut by 54 from 345 in the last year saving £10million." – Daily Express

Grant Shapps to allow the eviction of bad neighbours with a track record of anti-social behaviour 

SHAPPS NEW "Currently, court proceedings to evict those responsible for campaigns of unpleasant or vicious behaviour can take a year or more. But Housing Minister Grant Shapps will introduce a new mandatory ground for possession of a property when tenants have a track record of anti-social behaviour." – Daily Mail

  • Landlords to be given new powers to evict 'neighbours from hell' – The Guardian

The curious case of the £500 million of missing CGT revenue - John Redwood's Diary

Sajid Javid MP: Westminster needs a debt ceiling

Screen shot 2011-08-02 at 08.22.11 "The figures speak for themselves. Over the past decade, our net public debt has rocketed from £312 billion to £920 billion (or from 31.5 per cent of GDP then to 60 per cent now). This happened because Labour chose the easy way out instead of trying to find solutions to the long-term challenges facing the public finances. It believed that the answer to every problem was to spend more money: so budgets and debt soared. A debt cap, which would restrict borrowing to a given percentage of GDP, would be no guarantee against such fiscal irresponsibility – but it would make it harder for politicians to rely on their favourite ploy of “buy now, pay later”." –  Sajid Javid, in the Daily Telegraph

Tim Montgomerie: Can bicycling Boris overtake austerity George?

"If Boris is victorious again, he will be able to present himself to the Conservative Party as a winner. He will twice have defeated Red Ken, one of the grassroots’ most hated enemies. He will also have won in London, far from reliable territory for Tories. It won’t be difficult for him to find a route back into the Commons. Most Tory association chairmen would happily put their existing MP into the Lords or, if necessary, a coffin to have Boris represent them. No one will be more alarmed by this popularity than George Osborne." – Tim Montgomerie, in the Times (£)

Ann Widdecombe: Media links are not odd

WiddecombeAnn5mins "The ministers explain policy, the journalists encourage speculation and gossip. It is therefore hardly surprising that at the most senior levels the most senior editors are involved. Prime Minister David Cameron wants a friendly press but it takes more than just meeting editors to achieve that. If there were no contact between Westminster and Fleet Street the coverage would be less well-informed. Let’s get real rather than seeking conspiracies under every headline." – Ann Widdecombe, in the Daily Express

Green taxes top £40 billion 

HuhneSnarl "There is increasing controversy over the Coalition’s reliance on environmental taxation, which topped £40billion for the first time last year. Most fell on motorists, who paid a record amount of £27billion in fuel duties. Air passengers paid a further £2billion, while the levy on rubbish, landfill tax, for the first time raised more than £1billion." - Daily Mail

> Yesterday on Comment: 

Speaker backs launch of e-petition website - The Guardian

> Yesterday on Comment: Andrew Lilico: My view of the death penalty

Ed Miliband's plan to cut union control of the Labour Party

Miliband Ed Yes"He wants to curb union voting power at the party's annual conference and its sway over leadership elections. The move is aimed at making the party appear more democratic. But it will be met with fierce resistance from union leaders who will fight any attempt to weaken their historic links with the party." – Daily Mail

  • Ed Miliband on collision course with trade unions – The Independent
  • "Mr Miliband wants to moderate the power of the three unions that hold four-fifths of union votes at conference. It is not clear whether they will allow this to happen" – Guardian editorial

Tom Watson interview: "Phone hacking is only the start. There's a lot more to come out" - The Guardian

MajorNorma Dame Norma Major strikes a blow against online impersonatorsDaily Telegraph

Legal change for personal CD ripping BBC

"Jonnie Marbles" jailed for Rupert Murdoch pie protestMetro 

> From yesterday, WATCH: Six weeks jail for Murdoch foam pie thrower‬

Baby P killer is free on Friday The Sun

And finally… Ed Miliband's summer reading – growth, Bobby Kennedy, and leadership

"On his summer reading list is a book containing tips on how to be a successful leader. Entitled Leadership On The Line: Staying Alive Through The Dangers Of Leading, it was among a stack of ten political books the Labour leader took home yesterday. Written by two Harvard professors, it gives advice on how to manage a team, suggesting a leader must be in control of his emotions and must not react defensively when people lash out in anger." - Daily Mail

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