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4pm WATCH:

3pm Lord Ahmad on Comment: Rays of hope in a divided land; reflections from Israel and Palestine 

Mailtel 2.15pm ToryDiary: Who's winning in the battle between Right Minds and Telegraph Blogs?

1.45pm WATCH:Vince Cable says that the government is "walking a very tight tightrope" over public finances

1.45pm WATCH:Michael Portillo says the Dale Farm travellers "had every opportunity of due process"

1.30pm MPsETC: Priti Patel makes her first appearance on Question Time

Noon ToryDiary: Help us fix website bugs

Elephant Noon ConHomeUSA: Bad reviews for Rick Perry from last night's GOP debate

11.45am Local government: Damning report on Wirral Council

11.30am Charles Tannock MEP on Comment: The need for new thinking in the Conservative Party on our relations with Germany

10.30am LeftWatch: Chris Huhne moves to top of Yellow B**tards League table

ToryDiary: An early test for the new Prevent strategy

Screen shot 2011-09-23 at 08.31.22 ConservativeAccountability: Hugh Robertson MP on how the Coalition is getting more Lottery money into sport

Danny Kruger on our Columnist's Page asks: Powers are being decentralised but are local people organised to seize them?

Bernard Jenkin MP on Comment: Can government change fast enough? Or will the whole public services reform agenda fail?

Brandon Lewis MP on Comment: Without some amendment the concessionary travel scheme will become unaffordable

Local Government: Councils should be rewarded for health screening role and Waltham Forest spend £15,000 on legal action against a woman who gave away a cardboard box

WATCH: Alistair Burt says he wants "to make sure Iran is open about its nuclear policy"

Cameron says that the world is "staring down the barrrel" of a new economic disaster, blaming the failure of US and European leaders to tackle government deficits 

Mail "The Prime Minister spoke in Canada after delivering a blunt warning to President Barack Obama and eurozone leaders about the need to follow Britain’s example and curb their deficits. In a speech in Ottawa, Mr Cameron said that Western politicians must show more “leadership” and warned that political indecision would only worsen the crisis" - Telegraph

  • Daily Mail Comment tells Cameron that it is the economy that counts - Daily Mail
  • Samuel Brittain: 'Use the UK's state bank holdings to speed a recovery' - FT
  • John Ivison in Canada's National Post on the closeness of Cameron and Stephen Harper politically, and why Canada is no longer Britain's "junior partner" - National Post

Cameron urges European leaders to agree to "a lasting solution" to stabilise the single currency

"The problems in the eurozone are now so big that they have begun to threaten the stability of the world economy," Cameron said. "Eurozone countries must act swiftly to resolve the crisis. They must implement what they have agreed and they must demonstrate they have the political will to do what is necessary to ensure the stability of the system. One way or another, they have to find a fundamental and lasting solution to the heart of the problem – the high level of indebtedness in many euro countries" - Guardian

  • Philip Stephens: 'Wanted: a plan to save Europe' - FT (£)

In order to boost the economy, Britain's top 50 companies will be given "unprecedented access to government ministers"

"Bosses of companies, including BP and GlaxoSmithKline, will be able to telephone directly to the top of Whitehall departments in new individually tailored relationships with senior ministers who will act as their “buddies”. The initiative is designed to boost business investment, but civil servants are concerned that ministers may be accused of favouritism or being too close to specific business interests" - Times (£) | Telegraph

Peter Oborne argues that Osborne must press on with his austerity package, or the situation could get much worse

Oborne "If Osborne doesn’t press on, the dangers are greater. So far, Osborne has been a strong Chancellor who carries genuine credibility in the City of London. That credibility is of fundamental importance because it means that, unlike Italy or Spain, we can finance our national debt at cut-price rates in international markets – the essential point which the expansionary shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, fails to understand. If Osborne loses that credibility, it is not just the Coalition that is sunk – Britain is too" - Telegraph

  • 'Blairites blame Balls for failure to gain traction as the economic news worsens' - Guardian
  • Martin Kettle says that until both sides of the Labour party own up to their own economic record,they are unelectable - Guardian

Ministers water down reforms intended to ease planning lawTimes (£)

A lobby group says that the Government can save £900m from public sector pensions BBC

A government adviser raises fears that an extra £1.7bn a year will not be pumped into elderly care reforms due to the economic crisis - Telegraph

NHS managers warns that PFI contracts could leave hospitals half empty 

Lansley "David Stout, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, the umbrella body for health trusts, said: “These deals were devised at a time when funding coming into the NHS was growing and income was stable. The issue now is that the NHS is undergoing fundamental change and income for hospitals to cover the costs of PFI will become less stable, primarily because the NHS faces an unprecedented financial challenge.There is a real danger that we will be paying for hospitals that are not being fully used” - Telegraph

> Yesterday's LISTEN: Andrew Lansley discusses NHS PFI commitments

… however some NHS managers have accused Andrew Lansley of misleading claims regarding PFI contracts

"Privately some accused the Health Secretary of attempting to blame PFI for the wider problem of cuts to hospital budgets, which will require the NHS to save £20bn over the next four years. They also expressed concern that Mr Lansley was unnecessarily worrying patients that their local hospital was in danger of going bankrupt. "To suggest that our financial problems are about PFI is nonsense," said one trust executive" - Independent

  • Andrew Haldenby in The Telegraph says PFI is not the real problem in the NHS: "Andrew Lansley’s problem isn’t private contractors in the NHS. His problem is bigger and harder – it is the fact that the NHS has over-spent for many years and the fact that much of Whitehall is bad at getting good deals for the taxpayer."

The taxpayer looks set to fund NHS IT project, despite it being scrapped Times (£)

Cameron uses his UN General Assembly address to attack Iran after Ahmadinejad prompts walk out 

Screen shot 2011-09-22 at 21.06.24 "David Cameron, who addressed the assembly shortly after Mr Ahmadinejad, said: "He didn't remind us that he runs a country where they may have elections of a sort but they also repress freedom of speech, do everything they can to avoid the accountability of a free media, violently prevent demonstrations and detain and torture those who argue for a better future" - Telegraph

  • Cameron presses for tougher sanctions on Syria - Times (£)
  • 'David Cameron rewrites UN speech to attack Iranian President Ahmadinejad' – Sun 
  • A rift between the French and the British looks likely after Cameron failed to back Sarkozy's plan to give the Palestinians enhanced status - Independent
  • Defence experts say Cameron was "the accidental hero" of Libya - Daily Mail
  • Kim Sengupta argues that Cameron's foreign policy may be 'Blair-lite' following success in Libya - Independent

> Yesterday's 

The Commons home affairs select committee has said that radical police reforms should be delayed for six months because of ministerial failure 

May "The Commons home affairs select committee says it is "unacceptable" that more than a year after ministers first proposed shutting down the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which runs police national databases and other "critical" services, it is still unclear how many of its functions will be carried out" - Guardian

  • Police forces who were most likely to use stop-and-account powers disproportionately against black people, are to stopGuardian

Volunteering at its lowest level since 2001, providing a blow to Cameron's 'Big Society'

"Similarly, only a third of people took part in civic events such as a demonstration or petition, or contacting a local politician – also the lowest for a decade. The declining public involvement is a set back for the Prime Minister who won power on a campaign for give people more say in how their communities are run" - Telegraph

Citizens have a "civic right" to look at Michael Gove's emailsFT leader (£)

Nominations for the Scottish Tory leadership are due at Noon today, but MSP Margaret Mitchell may decide to stand at the last minuteScotsman

Ulster Unionist leader rules out election pact with the Tories Belfast Telegraph

Frank Field argues that with boundary changes coming into effect, MPs should adjust their roles and become leading social entrepreneurs  

FIELD FRANK MP "My 40-year career in public life has centred on trying to combat poverty. Despite governments spending beyond our wildest dreams, over a period when national income has itself risen by 130 per cent, huge amounts of entrenched poverty remain in most of our constituencies. Millions and millions of poor people are proof that the best endeavours of Westminster politicians haven’t worked" - Telegraph

New report finds that the new expenses system (introduced after the expenses scandal) is inefficient 

"An examination of the system released on Friday has found 38% of claims are for less money than the average cost of processing them. The public accounts committee report suggests the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which implements the system, does not do enough to distinguish between high-risk areas of expenditure and those where the risk of abuse remains low" - Guardian

The High Court is set to come to a decision on whether the residents on Dale Farm can be evicted BBC

> Yesterday David Campbell-Bannerman on Comment: Dale Farm eviction efforts indicative of Conservative struggle

Economist "To survive and prosper, the Lib Dems need to be more strategic, and less keen on cheering themselves. Mr Clegg gets that better than his party."The Economist's Bagehot

Phillip Collins argues that Ed Miliband will remain a loser until he chooses what ha actually stands for

"Labour faces a government with no clue how to grow the economy as the cuts are biting and the third party has been cut in half. There should be no excuse for not winning. But the leader has not yet finished his self-portrait. In a year of his leadership he has not answered the Rolf Harris question: “Can you see what it is yet?” - Times (£)

  • While Labour remains in denial about its economic record it will be stuck in a dark alley – Martin Kettle in The Guardian

The Labour party intends to close the gap between the struggling middle class and those on high salaries

"Mr Byrne, one of the leading Blairites in the Shadow Cabinet, said: “What people are sick of is that Britain is becoming a country of haves, have-nots and have yachts.” He told The Times that while 15 years ago people worried about the gap between top and bottom, now the main concern was the “new inequality” between the middle and very top" - Times (£)

Tesco chief says the "squeezed middle" class has now reached 80% of the population – Daily Mail

Peter Hain says that the previous government stopped listening to people, as he heads project to "open up" the party – Independent

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26 comments for: Newslinks for Friday 23rd September 2011

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