12.30pm ToryDiary: The Scrap of 2012, notes Pete Hoskin, was between the parliamentary Conservative Party and the Conservative leadership… "The entire year has been punctuated with fights, both large and small, between segments of the parliamentary party and their leadership…"
Lord Lexden on Comment: Forty years ago today Britain entered the EEC on Edward Heath's false prospectus
The Deep End: America's fiscal cliff – you ain't seen nothing yet
By 89 votes to 8 Senate passes a compromise deal that gives America two more months to resolve fiscal cliff – BBC
The UK assumes its year-long presidency of the G8 group of nations – BBC
…Writing in The Telegraph Tory Chairman Grant Shapps insists the party can win the next election.
Mr Shapps was responding to Paul Goodman's claim that a Tory majority was almost impossible.
> On ConHome yesterday Tim Montgomerie argued that there was nothing inevitable about a Miliband victory.
Tories lost a fifth of their voters in 2012 – The Independent
- Compared to woefully inadequate Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, Mr Cameron
is the only man who looks remotely like a leader on the British
political scene – In an extended leader the Daily Mail offers optimism about Tory fortunes.
- Michael White in The Guardian
predicts a tricky 2013 for Cameron: "From Damascus to Brussels, William
Hague's foreign policy looks enfeebled, truculent police officers
resist Theresa May's overdue reforms at home and George Osborne's
remedies offer no convincing sign of economic recovery beyond the
frantic January sales."
- There are big, thought-provoking issues at stake here for a country grappling with the fall-out from a cataclysmic economic collapse and politicians are spending too much time point scoring – Telegraph leader
UKIP will edge towards 20% in the opinion polls during 2013 and do what the SDP did to Labour and make the Conservatives unelectable – One of Simon Jenkins' predictions for 2013 as part of a Guardian panel.
- Courting Tea Party voters cost Romney the election. If Cameron isn't careful, Farage's party could cause similar havoc here – John Kampfner in The Guardian
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The rise of UKIP was the event of 2012
A look back at highlights from Britain's forty year relationship with the EU – Telegraph
Christopher Booker tells Daily Mail readers that our politicians have lied and lied about the true purpose of the European behemoth.
In The Independent Dominic Lawson joins the Outers: "I know that many think there is actually something uncivilised in not being a member of the EU. But I have never felt, when in Switzerland, that I am far from civilisation; nor that Switzerland’s international image is somehow diminished by its lack of membership of this particular political club. Forty years on, it is high time to reassess the terms of our own partnership: as with some marriages, amicable separation might be preferable to fractious co-habitation."
"David Cameron must very soon decide if he is prepared to lead an unstoppable movement to restore British sovereignty. If he decides not to do so then a people’s army will march right over the top of him." – Express leader
Britain must stay in EU, warns CBI chief – FT (£)
- Merkel emphasises financial regulation in her new year message – Times (£)
- François Hollande on Monday vowed to press on with his super-tax on the rich, despite a damning decision by France's top court to throw it out as unconstitutional – Guardian
UK 'faces a 50-50 risk of suffering triple-dip recession' say economists as they warn of eurozone risk – Daily Mail
- Osborne was dealt a New Year blow today as experts warned he does not “have a path back to economic growth” – The Sun
- John Redwood claims that David Cameron is ‘misleading’ the public by bragging about having slashed the nation’s budget deficit – Daily Mail
- The Times (£) leader: "The politics of 2013 will be dominated by the actual experience of austerity. This will be the year in which the reality of spending cuts actually bites."
It is unwise to stake a political reputation on an IT system, and one anonymous cabinet minister is already calling universal credit 'a disaster waiting to happen' – Guardian leader
John Harris says that the poor simply cannot afford the Coalition's welfare squeeze – Guardian
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The benefits cap was the policy of 2012
Michael Gove facing rebellion from teachers and architects over plans to simplify new school buildings after study claimed well-designed classrooms could improve pupils' progress by up to 25% – Guardian
- School that spent £500,000 giving its pupils iPads admits that HALF are now broken – Daily Mail
Pope warns David Cameron on gay marriage 'damage to family' in New Year message – Daily Mail
Government figures showed that collecting refuse fortnightly – a policy considered by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to be rubbish – increases recycling – Independent
The Conservatives are planning to target English voters as the battle over Scottish independence enters its penultimate year – The Herald
Maria Miller, Andrea Leadsom, Jo Swinson, Rachel Reeves and Stella Creasy are five women to watch in 2013 – Cathy Newman in The Telegraph
A warning to George Osborne to stop boosting Alistair Darling
"David Cameron and George Osborne amuse themselves by treating Labour’s former chancellor Alistair Darling with exaggerated respect in the Commons – knowing it annoys shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. Senior Tories consider the ploy dangerous. They suspect Labour leader Ed Miliband is plotting to oust Balls and replace him with the more credible Darling. So the PM and Chancellor are playing with fire." – The Daily Mail's Ephraim Hardcastle
Britain is facing an “obesity epidemic” costing £5billion a year – Express
"More weight-loss surgery, obesity specialists in every hospital and a Minister for Fatness are needed to give the increasing number of overweight patients the treatment they need, according to leading doctors." – Times (£)
"Britain has been building a new form of inequality, close to the searing gap of the Victorian era"
Along with the United States and a number of other countries, Britain has in the process, turned itself into a near-plutonomy, a society where spending power and economic decision making has become increasingly dependent on the unpredictable and capricious actions of the few." – Stuart Lansley for The Independent
- Britain's poorest kids are more than TWICE as likely to drink themselves into oblivion as rich youngsters – The Sun
Rejoice in the great revival that has taken place since BR's privatisation but something needs to be done about fares – Andrew Gimson in The Guardian
The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, in 2015, is fast approaching, and we should do it justice
– Philip Johnston in The Telegraph
And finally… The Sun insists Britain should start 2013 with confidence
"The UK is still the world’s seventh largest economy. We are not a Division Two nation: we are a nuclear power with one of five permanent seats on the UN Security Council. We have the greatest football league in the world. The Rolling Stones and One Direction prove we still lead the way in pop culture. If 2012 taught us anything it’s that we are at our best when we believe in ourselves. Here’s wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year." – The Sun Says
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