6.30pm Andrew Lilico on our Columnists' page: The ECB purchasing government bonds amounts to a tax on Germans to pay for Spanish and Italian government spending
5.30pm ToryDiary: What is the best way of reviving the Spring Forum?
3.30pm Anthony Browne on our Columnists' page: The European Commission's proposal to regulate credit rating agencies is simply shooting the messenger
2pm On Comment, Iain Martin responds to Bruce Anderson's Column: If the Cameroons are going to be three years late to every party, why should the rest of us stand around talking politely and waiting for them to turn up?
Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news
10am MPsETC: Labour MP Alan Keen dies
ToryDiary: Cameron's close shave
Columnist Bruce Anderson: Right-wing pundits should stop the belly-aching and let Cameron get on with a very difficult job
As Merkel's party's conference opens, Andrew Marshall writes on International: Why the CDU's EU policy "is not only a rational matter, but an emotional commitment"
David Merlin-Jones on Comment presents Civitas' report: A strategy for economic growth
Local Government: Is the Teaching profession a ‘closed shop’?
- Boris' campaign reminds voters that Livingstone cost council taxpayers £963.58…
- Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman Keith Vaz: The Border Agency "needs to be fundamentally reformed"
David Cameron declares war on schools that simply "muddle through", failing to push children to reach their full potential
"In an article for The Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister says there is a “shocking gap” between the best and worst schools and their teachers as many “coast” and “muddle through”. He says the “secret failure” of comprehensive schools in wealthy shires and market towns is as significant as the problems facing schools in deprived, inner-city areas". – Daily Telegraph
- "We must give parents the evidence they need to get together to demand better. So that is what we are doing." – the full article by David Cameron
- "David Cameron will meet business leaders to thrash out ideas to tackle youth unemployment this week as ministers brace themselves for the jobless total among 16- to 24-year-olds hitting 1m for the first time." – FT (£)
Next year's Conservative Spring Forum "is to be cancelled"
"…the event, now known as The Spring Forum, is to be cancelled for the first time since the outbreak of war. The decision was taken, without any fanfare, by the party board chaired by Lord Andrew Feldman … The official reason, when the decision is eventually made public, is that the party can’t afford to stage the event. Yet the Tories are awash with cash. The truth is the high command feared unprecedented criticism from its true blue supporters" – Andrew Pierce for the Daily Mail
> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Support for Cameron among Tory supporters is wide but not particularly enthusiastic
George Osborne compares France to Italy, Greece and Portugal…
"Mr Osborne disclosed that his European counterparts were “terrified” by their debt situation but insisted that Britain was in a relatively strong position as plans to cut Government spending were already well advanced. … Asked about spending cuts in Britain, he said: "At a time like this when you see what countries like Italy and France are having to do … I’m not any more just talking about countries like Greece, I’m talking about big, big economies like Italy and France, they are having to take big decisions on public expenditure"." – Daily Telegraph
…While Boris departs from the Government line, and says: break up the Euro
"The whole European enterprise is now devoted to keeping the euro alive on the utterly specious grounds that the currency is synonymous with “Europe”. We are nailing shut the exits of William Hague’s famous burning building. British taxpayers going to be shelling out ever more in bail-out dosh, much of which will ultimately go to banks and bankers’ bonuses. And all the while the southern EU members will be put on ever tougher austerity regimes that frankly don’t suit their needs. No matter how hard I diet, I won’t look like a championship athlete. The Greeks can’t become Germans, and it is brutal to force them to try." – Daily Telegraph
> From yesterday:
- Ruth Lea: Eurozone leaders should stop trying to save the Euro, and move on to preparing for its breakup
- Rupert Matthews on Comment: Britain's fiscal rectitude, hard work and free markets should serve as an example for the rest of Europe
Tory MPs urge Cameron to protect the City of London during Chancellor Merkel's treaty change process
"Tory MPs are looking to Mr Cameron to use his trip to make clear that his support for the swift new EU treaty that Ms Merkel wants — to allow the 17 eurozone countries to deepen their fiscal rules — is conditional. They want him to use the treaty process, likely to begin next month, to secure opt-outs for the City from a raft of directives in the Brussels pipeline, such as so-called Robin Hood tax. Although the bigger prize for most Tory MPs is to repatriate employment and social laws from Brussels to London, that is regarded by many as too much to chew off in the short-term." – The Times (£)
The Bank of England downgrades Britain's growth forecasts to 1% for 2012 - Daily Mail
- "The jobs market is facing a “slow, painful contraction”, with firms scaling back decisions on whether to recruit more staff against a background of global economic turmoil, a new report has warned." – The Scotsman
- The CBI warns: "Britain’s economic recovery is at risk of being “blown off course” by the Eurozone crisis and gloomy forecasts for growth at home" - Daily Telegraph
> From yesterday - WATCH: Ed Balls: "We need a change of course, a Plan B, Labour's plan for jobs and growth, and we need it right now."
Claimants face cut in benefits under Osborne's plan to end inflation link
"The Chancellor is exploring ways of saving up to £1.5 billion by abandoning precedent when it comes to the annual uprating of benefits. He is looking to limit the increase to less than 5.2 per cent, the September inflation figure to which the following year’s rise is usually pegged." – The Times (£)
- "Workers claiming state help with childcare and housing costs will be expected to seek longer hours, or risk sanctions that could include loss of benefits or a requirement to undergo training, in a radical shift in Britain’s welfare system. The proposals will make it one of the most demanding regimes in the world, say experts." – FT (£)
Cameron to announce more state land identified for housebuilding to spur growth
"David Cameron is poised to announce a sharp rise in the number of brownfield sites owned by Whitehall departments, paving the way for a surge in homebuilding, as the government looks for ways to kick-start the economy. The prime minister has previously said sites for 50,000 homes had been identified after departments came forward with unused land but that figure has now risen to 83,500, according to coalition insiders." - FT (£)
- "British cities could be lost in a tangle of rust belts and creeping suburban sprawl unless the Government’s new planning framework is rewritten, a leading architect has warned." - The Times (£)
Andrew Lansley threatens to sack NHS chiefs who ration care to save money
"Health secretary Andrew Lansley is to announce that he is prepared to sack NHS bosses who attempt to save money by rationing treatment or making patients wait longer for operations. The move… is a response to a damning July report by the Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP), which accused primary care trusts (PCTs) of "reducing or delaying access to care"." – Guardian
- Britain's oesophageal cancer rate is the worst in Europe – Guardian
The next big Coalition policy likely to inspire rebellions: HS2
"David Cameron is bracing himself for a further revolt among Tory MPs when the route for the £34billion High Speed Rail link between London and Birmingham is announced next month. The connection, which will be built between 2016 and 2026, will cut the journey time between the two cities by 35 minutes to less than 50 minutes." – Daily Mail
- "The link will shave a modest 23 minutes off the fastest existing train service to Birmingham, and even that saving will be virtually negated, as passengers will be dropped off at a new terminal 15 minutes walk from the city centre." – Daily Mail editorial
Patrick Mercer considering legal action over Cameron remarks
"Mr Mercer, who represents the rural constituency of Newark in Nottinghamshire, has referred the matter to lawyers after claiming that his comments, allegedly made at a private party, had been obtained by “subterfuge”." – Daily Telegraph
> Yesterday on ToryDiary: "We'll get rid of him"; The words Patrick Mercer MP is claimed to have used against David Cameron
Chris Heaton-Harris MP calls for Early Day Motions to be scrapped – PoliticsHome
- "I'll happily raise subjects with Ministers, ask questions in the House or try to have a Westminster Hall debate – in other words, do things that actually count – but I'm not going to waste time and money on sponsoring or signing EDMs." – Heaton-Harris writes for PoliticsHome
Ex-Tory MP held over 'false claim to be minister Oliver Letwin's aide' - Daily Mail
Charles Moore reviews "The Conservatives: A History" by Robin Harris - Daily Telegraph
Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary will declare opposition to any further transfer of power to Brussels if it damages UK growth
"In a major rethink of its European policy, Labour is to declare it will oppose any further transfer of power to Brussels if it damages UK growth, and view any treaty change sought by Germany in response to the euro crisis as a legitimate occasion to look at the balance of powers between Europe and nation states." – Guardian
Parliament faces possible new curbs on debating sensitive legal matters
"[Master of the Rolls] Lord Neuberger’s report made clear that there was no question of courts or court orders restricting parliamentary debate. But Parliament could, if it chose, limit debate on matters that were sub judice." – The Times (£)
Institute for Government says MPs are too white, male and middle-class – BBC
- "Candidates seeking to become MPs should have a statutory right to time off work and state funds to cover loss of income as part of proposals to make parliament more diverse" – Independent
The making of "The Iron Lady" film has turned its star, Meryl Streep, into a fan of Mrs Thatcher
"Many feared the worst when they heard Meryl Streep was to play Margaret Thatcher in a new film. …Such fears are misplaced. Having just seen the film in a London preview before its release in January… I can state categorically that the doomsayers were wrong. … The 62-year-old star, who was in London to see the completed film, explained how she admired Thatcher’s willingness to stand and be leader, a decision which meant she had to offer her life, and her family’s, ‘on an altar’ to the public good." - Baz Bamigboye for the Daily Mail
US officials worried about security at London 2012 Olympics – Guardian
And finally… Knife your foes, don't be a nice guy… join any party to get on: The ruthless political philosophy of a young Chris Huhne – Daily Mail
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