5pm ToryDiary: 46% of Tory members want a proper war on drugs; 39% want some form of decriminalisation

Screen shot 2011-12-03 at 16.05.154pm Roger Helmer on Comment: We need to save the patient (Europe), not the disease (the Euro)

1pm ToryDiary: The danger of enshrining targets in law

11.15am Nicky Morgan MP on Comment: Reform of the ombudsmen should be a priority for this government

ToryDiary: The future of compassionate conservatism

Andrew Lilico on our Columnists Page: The Government is stealing the property of ex-public sector workers

Rupert Matthews, Roger Helmer's successor and soon-to-be MEP, on Comment: Only the EU's cheerleaders in the press ignore the issues and focus on discrediting personalities

Also on Comment: Bob Blackman MP's frontline report from Feltham and Heston

Local Government: Will there be a Boris bounce in the by-election?

WATCH: ‪Egypt's parliament begins to take shape‬

Cameron's dilemma: Merkel and Sarkozy to the left of him, Tory backbenchers to the right of him

CAMERON-PENSIVE"The scale of their plans marks a gear-shift for the continent and triggers far-reaching negotiations about how the EU should emerge from the eurozone crisis. Although there are differences in the means set out by Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy, the effect is to make life awkward for the Prime Minister, pitching him between his desire to see a swift end to the eurozone crisis and the calls of Conservative MPs to extract maximum concessions from treaty talks." – The Times (£)

Other Eurozone news and comment

  • Andrew Percy MP: “For me, the priority now is the prime minister doing what he needs to stabilise the eurozone to protect jobs for my constituents." – Financial Times (£)
  • Bill Cash says Merkel plan destined to fail – The Guardian
  • Euro loses its appeal for Scotland – Financial Times (£)
  • Vote UK Out Of EU campaign plans EU referendum in Cameron, Clegg and Miliband constituencies next May – Daily Express
  • "I think there is still a chance that Germany will partially relent on bond buying and money printing by the ECB to buy them more time. There is also a chance that the markets will force break-up, moving fatser than the pace of integration and problem solving within the zone. I put it around 50/50." – John Redwood's blog
  • "Mr Cameron is certain to be accused of a historic betrayal by his own MPs if he comes to the rescue of the euro at Brussels next week. On the other hand, if he fails to act, Mr Cameron believes that he will shoulder the blame for precipitating the greatest financial disaster in living memory." – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

Delors: The Eurozone crisis? Don't blame me

"Jacques Delors, the former president of the European Commission, claims that errors made when the euro was created had effectively doomed the single currency to the current debt crisis. He also accuses today’s leaders of doing “too little, too late,” to support the single currency…Mr Delors claims that the current crisis stems from “a fault in execution” by the political leaders who oversaw the euro in its early days. Leaders chose to turn a blind eye to the fundamental weaknesses and imbalances of member states’ economies, he says." – Daily Telegraph

Full Delors interview – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph 

Yesterday on ConservativeHome

“There is not a great deal of science in this but there is a roughly one-in-three chance of a technical recession.”

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"Even if the eurozone recovers, he says, Britain could be forced back into a double-dip recession. “There is not a great deal of science in this but there is a roughly one-in-three chance of a technical recession.” If the single currency falls apart, “that would make things much more complicated. It’s as much to do with politics as economics . . . Clearly it could be very bad news if you are in a situation in which there is major disruption to the banking systems and people being concerned about legal contracts set up under the euro that have to be renegotiated.”  – OBR head Robert Choate interview, Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson, The Times (£)

Other economy news and comment

  • High court rejects CPI pensions challenge to Osborne – The Independent
  • LibDem MP says Danny Alexander is "a fool" on cuts – Daily Telegraph
  • Mervyn King warns mortgage rates are likely to soar and tells banks to slash bonuses – Daily Mail
  • The economic winter that looks as if it may last forever – Matthew Parris, The Times (£)


Using our money to pay for trade union activity is neither moral nor economic, David Cameron tells new campaign group – Daily Telegraph

IDS says that benefits can do more harm than good for child poverty

"The Work and Pensions Secretary said that increasing “benefit income” simply pushes the “family further into dependency” and makes it less likely that their children will ever escape from poverty. He warned that extra money provided to dysfunctional families may simply be spent on drugs or gambling, rather than on helping children. Mr Duncan Smith decided to intervene in the debate about child poverty amid growing controversy after decisions taken by George Osborne, the Chancellor, in the Autumn Statement were estimated to push 100,000 extra children into poverty." – Daily Telegraph

Work and Pensions Secretary fury over tax credit freeze – The Sun

Mitchell wants overseas aid pledge written into law

MITCHELL ANDREW PORTRAIT-1"International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell is demanding Parliamentary time to introduce the controversial legislation. Officials from his department are in talks with Tory whips and Leader of the House Sir George Young to ensure the Bill is passed.  Officials from his department are in talks with Tory whips and Leader of the House Sir George Young to ensure the Bill is passed." – Daily Mail

In hard times, charity should begin at home – Daily Mail Editorial

Church "may have to offer gay weddings" if Cameron's plans given go-ahead

"The admission was made by officials in a paper on the impact of new civil partnership regulations. The rules, which come into effect on Monday, mean that, for the first time, churches would in theory be able to host same-sex civil partnership registration ceremonies…But if Mr Cameron pushes ahead with a marriage reform bill to allow fully-fledged gay weddings, then equality laws will apply to churches, the document warned." – Daily Mail

"Many will quit Kirk over stance on gay marriage" says minister – Scotsman

Extra £500m for high-speed rail tunnel to protect Chilterns

"The change to the plans will mean that a final decision on whether to give the green light to the HS2 project will now be delayed from this month to mid-January… Transport secretary Justine Greening will say early next week that the extra money will pay for a 2.4kilometre-long (1.5 miles) tunnel under the Chiltern Hills beyond Amersham. It would mean that the train line will not scar an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Chilterns, as had been feared and could head off a rebellion among Tory MPs unhappy about the route." – Daily Telegraph

Miliband gives his MPs a free vote on Dominic Raab proposal to overhaul extradition laws

"The Labour leader has dropped plans to force his party to oppose a motion in the Commons on Monday which calls for an overhaul of the Extradition Act. Instead senior sources say he ‘will not stand in the way’ of MPs who want to publicly express a view that the laws need changing to safeguard the welfare of British citizens…The U-turn is significant because it means Mr Miliband accepts that the law, introduced by the last Labour government, is flawed." – Daily Mail

"Ed Balls has turned into the Coalition's trump card"

Balls-large"At this point, the offi cial Hansard record of proceedings merely notes that there was an “interruption”. That hardly does justice to what happened. In fact a chant was started by a Tory backbencher that was spontaneously taken up by colleagues. “It’s you!” went the cry each time Balls listed an excuse Osborne had allegedly relied upon. Many Tory MPs pointed at the bulbous head of the shadow chancellor as they took it up: “It’s you, it’s you, it’s you!” And they were right. It is him." – Patrick O'Flynn, Daily Express

  • How the Tories are dangerously underestimating the Labour threat – Simon Heffer, Daily Mail
  • An age of austerity just might benefit the Tories – Andrew Grice, The Independent

> Yesterday: LeftWatch – In the week of the Autumn Statement, Ed Balls is under attack from business groups, economists, his own party, and the public

Boris: Clarkson was right – The Sun

School tells 11 year olds to lobby Government over teachers' pensionsDaily Mail

OBR says Ministers will not reduce average annual immigration down to the "tens of thousands" over the course of this parliamentThe Independent

It is "deeply alarming" that only one in five knife offenders end up behind bars, says Priti PatelDaily Express

Oxford University Conservative tries to take two knives into Number Ten Daily Mail 

Coronation Oath "threatened by council prayers ruling" Daily Telegraph

Other Political News and Comment in Brief

  • Lessons in gambling urged for all children – The Times (£)
  • New schools Chief Inspector tells teachers to be smart for class – The Sun
  • Honour crimes against women rising rapidly – The Guardian
  • University fees lowered to fill degree courses – Daily Telegraph
  • Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes) profile – The Independent
  • Loughgall inquiry finds IRA fired first – Irish Times
  • Daniel Finkelstein's Comment Central returns – The Times (£)
  • The terror of Aids inspired a revolution that changed society – Graeme Archer, Daily Telegraph

And finally…Cameron's kitchen cabinet: An intimate (and carefully orchestrated) portrait of the PM at home with his familyDaily Mail