Newslinks for New Year's Day will appear at noon. Have a great one!


6pm MPsETC: It's not quite Guy Fawkes but Tory MP Mark Lancaster plans pyrotechnics over Big Ben tonight

4.30pm The break up of the €uro. An easy re-election for Obama. More riots in Britain. Civil war in Syria. Andrew Lilico's 2012 predictions…

4.30pm WATCH: Andrew Lansley explains why he is establishing an expert inquiry into safety of breast implants

Screen shot 2011-12-31 at 09.09.13

ToryDiary: Michael Gove is ConservativeHome's Conservative of the Year

ToryDiary: New leader of Scotland's Tories, Ruth Davidson, says Alex Salmond is the "Agitator in Chief"

Local government: Westminster Council says Council Tax Benefit should be linked to behaviour

Ben Howlett on Comment: A New Year Message from Conservative Future

WATCH: Tears run down Newt Gingrich's face as he remembers his mother's love

London 2012 Olympics will NOT be 'austerity Olympics', says Jeremy Hunt

"Jeremy Hunt believes that hosting the Games is an “incredible stroke of luck” during the global economic crisis as it will provide a “huge plus sign” for the struggling British economy. He also says demonstrators will be tolerated as long as their protests are legitimate and lawful." – Telegraph

Cameron claims Big Society dimension to New Year Honours but controversy attaches to awards to Tory donorsGuardian

Screen shot 2011-12-31 at 07.39.42"Ex-convict Gerald Ronson – the great survivor of the Guinness share-trading scandal – is made a CBE. And there is a knighthood for Tory donor Paul Ruddock, who has given more than £500,000 to party coffers since 2003. His firm, Lansdowne Partners, made a staggering £100million from the financial crash by betting that the price of Northern Rock shares would fall and also made millions in a matter of days by predicting the likely slide of other banking shares." – Daily Mail

Ex-drug dealer gets OBE for becoming Crimestoppers activist – Express

Roger_gale_1Peter Bottomley last year and this year… Tory MP Roger Gale is knightedBBC

"Roger Gale MP has been nominated to receive a knighthood in the New Year's honours. Elected to the Margate, Herne Bay and The Villages (now Thanet North) constituency in 1983, Sir Roger lives in Preston, near Canterbury, with wife Suzy, who is his office manager. They have three children. A backbencher for the Conservative Party, Mr Gale is passionate about animal welfare. He has held positions including vice chairman of the Conservative Party. His name was mooted as Speaker of the House of Commons but John Bercow MP was elected instead. Before entering politics he worked for the BBC as a producer and was a DJ on the pirate radio ship Radio Caroline." – ThisIsKent

The Independent notes that Bob Russell MP, Nick Clegg's most active parliamentary critic has also been knighted.

From CND activist to Dame for Joan Ruddock – Telegraph

  • Nick Watt has noticed the revival of political honours by Cameron – Guardian

Lord Howe denies that he wanted a “managed decline” of Liverpool after the 1981 riotsExpress

  • In The Times (£) Tony Travers says "managed decline" is sometimes necessary: "How rational is it to spend public money on regeneration while at the same time public policy attempts to curb the expansion of successful towns and cities? Places such as Cambridge would probably grow into new Manchester-scale cities if they were not constrained by planning and green belt policies."
  • "Guardian critic Xan Brooks writes that the biopic The Iron Lady, with Meryl Streep, gives us 'Thatcher without Thatcherism' – glossing over what a controversial and divisive political figure she was." – Guardian

> Videos of Heseltine and Howe remembering the 1981 debate on Liverpool

Dorrell-Stephen-newStephen Dorrell urges more focus on ”unsexy“ areas such as mental illness, dementia and diabetes

"Mr Dorrell told The Independent that claims for and against the controversial health reforms had been “grossly overstated” and had taken away from more urgent issues facing the health service."

David Davis joins up with Frank Field to recommend right-to-buy be extended to one million families living in housing association properties

"Under the Field-Davis plan any money raised from the sale of housing association homes would go into building new social housing. Mr Field and Mr Davis said that the Government’s policy was an insufficient response to a housing “crisis” that could lead to fewer than two in three Britons owning their own home by 2020, according to some estimates." – Times (£)

> On MPsETC yesterday we noted that David Davis was the most visible Tory backbencher in 2011

John Redwood wants conviction politicians in 2012

"All too often politicians duck the issue because the solution polls so badly. Many of the successful Thatcher reforms polled badly when undertaken, but have not been reversed as the country and the Opposition came to see the sense of them." – John Redwood

  • "If thrift really does produce civilisation, then welfare will tend to degrade it. Are our leaders brave enough to tackle that problem?" – Charles Moore in The Telegraph

NORMAN JESSEAn influential Conservative backbencher, Jesse Norman, calls Goldman Sachs employees “greedy” and the CBI “lamentable”

In a pamphlet Mr Norman urges colleagues to find a Tory response to Ed Miliband’s warnings of “predator capitalism” – Times (£)

  • Obama advisor urges Miliband to stick with predator capitalism argument. It could be transformational, he tells the FT (£).

Research by Rob Wilson MP finds the Speaker has intervened 60 times against the Prime Minister, compared to 15 times for Mr MilibandDaily Mail

Graeme Archer is not happy that one of his relatives in England gets no long-term care but another in Scotland does, paid for by the EnglishTelegraph

Cheap drink blamed for teen pregnancies and STDsTimes (£)

Fighting for jobs and health care – and against second-home council tax perks – Tim Farron MP for The Guardian's Northerner blog

A video of Alex Salmond's new year messageScotsman

TOYNBEE-POLLY"In my political lifetime there has been no more callous or inept crew in charge – nor a government more skilful at disguising its nature." – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

The number saving for a private pension plunges to lowest level for over a decadeSun

Ignored by her children again: Mark was in Barbados, Carol was skiing. Only the intervention of her housekeeper saved Thatcher from spending Christmas alone – Andrew Pierce in the Daily Mail

And finally… some good news… for 2050

"Long-term forecasts by investment bank Goldman Sachs suggest the UK will fare better than its neighbours over the next four decades. Britain is the third biggest economy in Europe behind Germany and France, but by 2050 it will have leapfrogged both countries. The UK will also jump from being the sixth wealthiest country in the world to third, based on national income per head." – Daily Mail


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