Newslinks for New Year's Day will appear at noon. Have a great one!
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…
Ben Howlett on Comment: A New Year Message from Conservative Future
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 donors – Guardian
"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
Peter Bottomley last year and this year… Tory MP Roger Gale is knighted – BBC
"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 riots – Express
- 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
"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
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 Miliband – Daily 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 English – Telegraph
Cheap drink blamed for teen pregnancies and STDs – Times (£)
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 message – Scotsman
"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 decade – Sun
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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