7pm WATCH: Ed Miliband's comedy routine at today's CBI conference

5pm MPsETC: Seventeen Tory MPs write to Telegraph, blaming Hamas for escalating violence in Gaza

3.30pm Rory Meakin on Comment: How to abolish National Insurance

Screen shot 2012-11-19 at 12.54.02
1.30pm ToryDiary: David Davis's Partly Out/Wholly Out EU referendum

11.30am ToryDiary: Will Lynton Crosby clear up Downing Street's cluttered lines of command?

ToryDiary: Why George Osborne can't afford to bring in higher council tax bands

Screen shot 2012-11-19 at 08.33.19
MajorityConservatism: Winning political parties put their faith in polling rather than punditry

Also, on the The Deep End: Conservatives need commentators that tell us what we need to hear not what we want to hear

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Peace for Israel requires a break from history

Tony Lodge on Comment: Why the deal to secure new nuclear power must be transparent and viable

LeftWatch: The lesson from Miliband's CBI speech today: don't assume we'll get an EU referendum

Local Government: Scandal of the "Looked After Children" sent home to face more abuse

WATCH: Eleven civilians killed by Israeli strike, demonstrations in West Bank, Obama says Israel has right to defend itself

Cameron EU Triple Trouble: Triple trouble 1) Davis to spell out EU double referendum option in ConservativeHome speech today…

DAVIS BW"Senior Tory David Davis yesterday raised the stakes by urging Mr Cameron to commit to a double referendum on our relationship with Brussels. He called for the referendum pledge to be enshrined in law because the public are sick of being “lied to” and simply would not trust another promise from the Prime Minister. The former Tory leadership contender is expected in a speech today to warn that failing to address Europe could be a gift to anti-Brussels party Ukip." – Daily Express

  • What is the point of the Lib Dems if they back new law that protects torturers? – David Davis, Daily Mail
  • Lords plan to derail the bill – Daily Mail
  • Loophole that could have made secret courts even more secret is closed – Daily Telegraph
  • Qatada's family say that he intends to sue for £10million – Daily Mail
  • It is security, not secrecy, that we must ensure – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: WATCH – David Davis details his two-stage proposal for an EU referendum

EU Triple Trouble 2) Miliband rules out EU referendum "for now", warns of sleepwalking towards exit

Miliband Ed Official"Ed Miliband will commit Labour on Monday to fight to preserve Britain’s EU membership, even as Tory pressure mounts on David Cameron to hold a referendum and a new opinion poll suggests that most voters want to leave. Mr Miliband will tell the CBI employers’ conference in London that Britain risks “sleepwalking” towards the exit and that Labour sees EU membership as vital for business and building a high-skill economy." – Financial Times (£)

> Today: LeftWatch – The lesson from Miliband's CBI speech today: don't assume we'll get an EU referendum

> Yesterday: LeftWatch – Ed Miliband attempts to worsen David Cameron’s EU headache — but also gives the PM a painkiller

EU Triple Trouble 3) Thanks a lot, Boris!  Mayor piles pressure on Cameron over budget veto

"When David Cameron goes to the EU summit this week, I have absolutely no doubt that he will veto this package, and not only will he have every sensible person in this country — and in the rest of Europe — cheering him on, he will be right politically, intellectually, morally and on just about every ground that you can imagine. Herman Van Rompuy is asking for an increase in spending by Brussels of between 5 and 6.8 per cent, at a time when the whole of the Community has been enduring cuts in public expenditure." – Daily Telegraph

Prime Minister's CBI speech today: The Telegraph goes for the planning angle

Screen shot 2012-11-19 at 05.10.17"The Prime Minister will put reforms of the planning system at the heart of a drive to place the public sector on a “war footing”. The pursuit of economic growth will now come before all other concerns, just as defeating Hitler’s Germany supplanted all other considerations during the Second World War, Mr Cameron will say. The Prime Minister will tell business leaders that to ensure Britain keeps its place in the top tier of world economies, he is willing to put previous concerns aside and “throw everything we’ve got at winning in this global race”." – Daily Telegraph

  • Cameron's former FIAT 500 sparks bidding war at auction – Daily Mail

Lord Lester, member of Government Commission on British Bill of Rights, says that prisoners will get the voteDaily Telegraph

> Yesterday: The Government prepares a compromise to stop Europe giving prisoners the vote

At least 32 MPs have been found to be claiming rent for second homes on
their expenses while simultaneously letting out property nearby

MPs being treated for stress by on-site psychiatristDaily Mail 

MPs are too frightened of voters to make the case for higher pay Financial Times (£) 

Fleet Street greets "The Wizard of Oz"

Screen shot 2012-11-19 at 07.22.42
"Lynton Crosby, dubbed the “Wizard of Oz” by his grateful clients, made his name masterminding successive election victories for John Howard, the former Australian prime minister, but is now based in London where he is hot political property. Boris Johnson this month urged David Cameron to “break the piggy bank” to sign up Mr Crosby, who helped to run both of the London mayor’s successful election campaigns." – Financial Times (£)

  • Crosby: dark arts master, a brilliant communicator, or both – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • Livingstone: I was framed as anti-semitic tax dodger – The Guardian
  • Clegg described Crosby as “rottweiler-in-chief from down under” who “sprinkles fear and loathing in the public debate” – The Times (£)
  • Crosby is a disastrous signing for the Tories – Ian Birrell, The Independent
  • Rowson's view in the Guardian

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Lynton Crosby set to become Cameron's chief consultant

of Committee on Standards in Public Life repeats call for less private
and union political party funding
The Independent 

David Burrowes squeezes admission from Elizabeth Truss that faith school teachers could face disciplinary action for refusing to promote gay marriage

BURROWES"Liz Truss, an education minister, refused to rule out the possibility that teachers, even in faith schools, could face disciplinary action for objecting on grounds of conscience. Miss Truss said simply that it was impossible to know what the impact of the legislation would be at this stage. Her admission came in a letter to a fellow Conservative MP, David Burrowes, last month.  Mr Burrowes, a practising Christian, originally wrote to Maria Miller, the equalities minister, raising concerns about the impact on schools of the Coalition’s plans to change the marriage laws." – Daily Telegraph 

Church of England ready to vote on women bishopsThe Guardian 

Hendry to Cameron: sort out Davey and Hayes (and yourself)

"David Cameron’s former energy minister has called on the prime minister to get a grip over Britain’s energy policy and put an end to a coalition stand-off between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats over green power. Charles Hendry, who held the position until September’s reshuffle, warned that without a ceasefire there was a risk that “even if the lights don’t actually go out” the cost of energy bills for consumers and industry will “go through the roof”." – Financial Times (£)

> Today: Tony Lodge on Comment – Why the deal to secure new nuclear power must be transparent and viable

Swinney and Darling fight over oil revenue warningHerald Scotland 

Cable hints at property tax for the rich deal with Osborne

Cable Vince Yes"A Coalition row has broken out over calls for the owners of expensive homes to pay more tax. Business Secretary Vince Cable yesterday re-stated the Lib Dems’ demands for a so-called mansion tax. It followed reports that George Osborne was set to strike a deal with Nick Clegg over changes to council tax. The plan would mean those in the most expensive properties would see their bills soar." – The Sun

> Today: ToryDiary – Why George Osborne can't afford to bring in higher council tax bands

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – George Osborne should arm wrestle David Cameron into considering a deal over council tax bands

Tim Montgomerie: Is Britain's right-wing commentariat leading the Conservative Party towards defeat?

"Many British pundits provide models for the Conservative Party to avoid. There are the angry, self-declared patriots who seem to hate multi-ethnic Britain. There are the Basil Fawlty columnists who can’t mention the EU without resorting to Second World War imagery — one most recently suggesting that Angela Merkel wanted to create the Fourth Reich. Then there is the sink-or-swim libertarianism of much of the right-wing blogosphere. Written largely by young, childless ideologues it promotes a conservatism where government should always be off our backs. It doesn’t begin to speak to the anxious voters who fear big business and market forces more than a helping hand from government." – The Times (£)

> Today:

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Previewing a week-long ConHome series – The Wrong RightTim Montgomerie lists ten of his conservative beliefs

Eleven Palestinians killed in air strike, Tel Aviv targeted for fourth consecutive dayFinancial Times (£)

> Today: Columnist Bruce Anderson – Peace for Israel requires a break from history

> Yesterday: Paul Uppal MP on Comment: In Jerusalem, I hear air raid sirens go off – evidence of the escalating struggle between Israel and Hamas

Ash disease 'is now in back gardens' claims after two more cases raise fears killer fungus has spreadDaily Mail 

NHS overpaying for supplies Politics Home (£)

McAlpine lawyers may sue 10,000 Twitter accusersThe Times (£) 

Loser Prescott desparate for Celebrity Big Brother place claimDaily Star 

And finally…Good news: Britain tops "soft power" survey for the first time

"After staging an inspiring Olympic Games,
producing the world’s best-loved spy and our singers topping global
charts, Britain can now claim to be the most powerful nation on earth. According to a survey published today, when it comes to “soft power", Britons project more positive influence around the world than any other nation. This
is the first time Britain has beaten the US to the top spot in the
annual survey of global soft power – a term used to describe how
countries use attraction and persuasion, rather than coercion or
payment, to change behaviour." – Daily Express


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