6.30pm WATCH: Maria Miller responds in the Commons to the Jimmy Savile allegations

4pm Majority Conservatism: Conservatives must recognise that bold changes are necessary to win the next election

3.15pm MPsETC: Will there be a "showdown" between Andrew Mitchell and the '22 this week?

2pm WATCH: Steve Brine MP says that IPSA should be abolished

1.15 pm James Clappison MP on Comment: It would be wrong, having opted out of some EU home affairs and justice measures, to then opt back into them

Noon LeftWatch: In large measure, the Left's hatred of Mehdi Hasan over abortion is a hatred of religion

ToryDiary: Gove wants an EU referendum as well as a renegotiation – and the Government to concentrate on getting the latter right

Ashley Fox MEP on Comment: Please help me to end the Strasbourg Circus

Columnist Bruce Anderson: To David Cameron and to Tories, the state isn't always an evil

Screen shot 2012-10-15 at 07.44.28
Majority Conservatism: Making the case for a majority rather than another coalition

Local Government: The Local Government Chronicle makes a misleading attack on the Troubled Families programme

Deep End: The EU in one easy formula: Sicily = Italy = Europe

WATCH: McKinnon to learn extradition decision 

The Mail says that eight Conservative Cabinet Ministers are willing to quit the EU after Gove move.  But remember, you read it here first…

Hammond"Eight Cabinet ministers want Britain to threaten to quit the European Union, as the Government today begins the process of reclaiming powers from Brussels. [Michael Gove] swiftly won support from Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who said ‘many’ ministers agree….Tory sources told the Mail that Iain Duncan Smith, Owen Paterson, Chris Grayling, Theresa Villiers and Justine Greening are understood to support Mr Gove’s position." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Following
Gove's intervention, are we witnessing the beginning of a Cabinet push
for David Cameron to strengthen Tory policy on Europe?

> Today:

…As Cable says that Europe could face civil war if the Euro collapses (so who said the single currency was a good idea, Vince?)…

"Mr Cable said: "I think we need
to take stock that if the eurozone were to unravel in a way that destroyed
the European project – and there is a risk that could happen – the
consequences would be absolutely incalculable. We tend to forget, until we were reminded last week of that Nobel Prize, the
European project was constructed in order to rescue Europe from extreme
nationalism and conflict. There is no automatic guarantee that won't return." – Daily Telegraph

…And May prepares to announce UK pulling out of EU policing powers

May Theresa Home Office
"Britain is to pull out of a “block” of more than 100 European justice and policing powers, in the first stage of what David Cameron hopes will be a new negotiated “settlement” between Britain and the rest of the EU. Theresa May, home secretary, will delight Tory MPs on Monday by announcing that the government is minded to exercise in 2014 its one-off chance to claw back the powers, designed to fight cross-border crime and terrorism." – Financial Times (£)

> Today: WATCH – McKinnon to learn extradition decision

Cameron to sign off referendum deal with Salmond today…

"Alex Salmond has been given until the end of 2014 to hold a referendum on the future of the Union, as part of the historic deal between the Scottish and UK governments that is set to be signed in Edinburgh today. A “sunset clause” has been agreed as part of the deal that transfers the legal power to hold the referendum from Westminster to Holyrood, putting in place the strict condition that the vote is held within just over two years." – Scotsman

  • Former SNP leader will tell the party’s conference this week that Alex Salmond’s plans to legalise gay marriage are a step towards “state fascism” – Daily Telegraph
  • An EU vote should concentrate Scottish minds – Brian Monteith, Scotsman

…But Lord Forsyth compares the Prime Minister to Pontius Pilate

Screen shot 2012-10-15 at 07.53.48"A senior source said it was not about "winners and losers" after the former Scottish Secretary said David Cameron had caved in to Nationalist demands, branding the Prime Minister Pontius Pilate. "He is just saying – over to you, Alex. Once that order is passed it's a matter for Alex Salmond, so he is going to dictate the terms," said the Tory peer. He added: "Salmond has been able to get what he wants. If that's called a negotiation, that's stretching the language. It sounds like a walkover to me." – Herald Scotland

  • Rifkind: Referendum deal is 'comprehensive defeat' for Alex Salmond – Daily Telegraph
  • The PM has run rings round Alex Salmond over independence for Scotland so
    far – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – The Union has a 25% lead over Scottish independence on eve of historic Cameron/ Salmond summit

Breaking news: Virgin to get temporary West Coast contract

"Virgin Trains will take over temporary operation of the West Coast
Mainline after the current franchise ends on December 9, the Government
has said. The announcement comes as the Independent reports 30 civil
servants in the Department for Transport, some with direct
responsibility for rail franchising, were axed to cut costs." – Politics Home (£)

  • Economy 1) Osborne is still in denial about his failing strategy – Ed Balls, The Guardian
  • Economy 2) UK economy is growing at last, says Ernst & Young – The Guardian

Stop giving aid to wealthy countries, Justine Greening to tell the EU

Greening Justine"Miss Greening will attend today’s EU foreign affairs council in Luxembourg and will launch a ‘charm offensive’ to persuade other countries to re-order the bloc’s aid priorities. The task would normally be given to junior aid minister Lynne Featherstone but Miss Greening has decided to go because of the issue’s importance. A sixth of Britain’s aid budget goes straight into EU coffers. Among the projects being paid for are a scheme promoting tourism in an Icelandic national park and a pro-EU television series in Turkey." – Daily Mail

Hammond to speed up Britain's withdrawal from Afghanistan

"Britain will bring home 4,000 troops from Afghanistan next year
under plans to speed up the pace of British withdrawal. Defence
Secretary Philip Hammond revealed the mass pullout, the first senior
minister to put a concrete number on the scale of the drawdown. David
Cameron has previously announced that British combat operations in
Afghanistan will be over by the end of 2014." – Daily Mail

  • Ex-military Chiefs facing MOD ban after lobbying scandal – Daily Express

End secrecy over police misconduct, says Damian Green

Green is pressing for police disciplinary hearings to be opened to the
public. “There is a need to increase public confidence through greater
professionalism, greater transparency and greater accountability,” he
said. Asked whether the proposals applied to all hearings, he said: “It
goes across the board. So whether Independent Police Complaints
Commission hearings should be more often in public is one issue that we
will be considering.” – The Times (£)

Mitchell 1) Hammond, Grayling and Shapps warn police to move on as Andrew Mitchell goes back to workThe Times (£) 

Mitchell 2) 1922 Committee Executive to discuss Mitchell when it meets this week Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – The bully isn't Andrew Mitchell, it's the Police Federation

Gove to make schools pupils learn about 200 key British figures from Anglo-Saxons to Winston Churchill

GOVE MICHAEL NW"History lessons will be rewritten to include 200 key figures, such as Winston Churchill, and events which shaped Britain under a new national curriculum drawn up by education secretary Michael Gove. The current syllabus, previously attacked for being too politically correct, will be scrapped with the intention of giving children a deeper understanding of history." – Daily Mail

  • Don't scrap GCSEs in Wales, says new poll – Wales Online

Senior Tories continue to push more-state-funding-for-boundary-review plan (but the LibDems are still saying no) 

"Senior Conservatives are plotting an audacious “cash-for-seats” offer to Nick Clegg, where the Liberal Democrat leader would back a Conservative-friendly Commons boundary review in exchange for millions in state funding for his party. Grant Shapps, Tory chairman, said on Sunday he had not “given up hope” of winning Mr Clegg’s support for the boundary review, which could give David Cameron 15-20 extra seats at the next election." – Financial Times (£)

Owen Paterson's style guide: Environment Secretary produces a 10-point guide for his civil servants on the pitfalls of common punctuation errors including the Oxford Comma

Screen shot 2012-10-15 at 08.06.55"He wrote: "You should not accompany 'and' or 'but' with a comma." Both words should only be used once per sentence, Mr Paterson added. Other commands applied to brackets – to be avoided at all times – and dashes, the use of which are to be limited. "A general rule of thumb is 'the simpler, the better,'" the document adds. "All sentences should be as short as possible," and the use of jargon is to be avoided." – Daily Telegraph 

Global warming "stopped in 1997" Daily Express 

William Hague: It's time to stop rape as a weapon of war

"I believe that the time has come for a concerted international
effort to challenge the use of rape as a weapon of war and to shatter
the culture of impunity. Our predecessors came together to abolish the
19th-century slave trade and drive it from the high seas. In our
generation, the world has come together to act against landmines and
cluster munitions… It is time to act in the same way against rape as a
weapon of war and other forms of sexualised violence, seizing another
crucial moment to shape our world for the better." – The Times (£) 

ConservativeHome's Jill Kirby says that child benefit change for higher earning taxpayers will be a disasterDaily Mail 

Tim Montgomerie: Thatcher was no libertarian

"Margaret Thatcher was arguably Britain’s most remarkable peacetime leader but too many Tories give the impression that party history began in 1979 and ended in 1990. Worse, they hold a distorted memory of those Thatcher years. Her pragmatic approach to the BBC, the NHS and the welfare state is forgotten. Her many libertarian disciples who hold a leave-us-alone view of government’s role have forgotten her use of state power to support order, family values and national greatness." – The Times (£)

  • Don’t honour a Brussels office block: give the Nobel to Maggie – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

Kris Hopkins MP on Boris: “It is easy to play the buffoon and be popular"Financial Times (£) 

Police quiz 14 members of loyalist flute band Irish News 

UK Drug Policy Commission says taking cannabis is 'moderately selfish', similar to a diet of burger and chipsThe Times (£) 

 MPs face cuts in their gold-plated pensions, but could get a higher basic salary, it emerged yesterdayDaily Express 

Whitehall departments to be given power to share details of government debtorsThe Independent 

Is Bradford losing respect for Galloway after his rape comments?The Guardian 

And finally…Tale of a whale: Cameron records chapter of Moby Dick for website

"David Cameron has recorded a chapter of the American novel Moby-Dick as part of a project aiming to introduce the novel to a new generation. The prime minister read chapter 30 of the novel for The Moby-Dick Big Read, which is broadcasting all 135 chapters of Herman Melville's classic work over 135 days. He joins stars including Stephen Fry, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sir David Attenborough." – The Guardian


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