5.30pm ToryDiary: Conservative members still want the Coalition to end shortly before the election (and are opposed to the idea of another afterwards)

4.30pm ToryDiary: After the summer bounce, the autumn lull – our latest Cabinet league table shows little meaningful change from the last

3pm On ToryDiary, Andrew Gimson's PMQs sketch returns after the summer recess: Both the Prime Minister and Ed Miliband would benefit from a lighter touch at PMQs

12.45pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: "All is far from well with the British economy.  I expect a fully-fledged old-fashioned inflationary boom-bust cycle, including inflation at levels many of us had forgetten were possible and mass unemployment to follow.  But that is all two, three, maybe five years away. For now, George Osborne will take his well-earned plaudits." Some thoughts about the improving UK economic data

10.45am LeftWatch: GMB cuts its Labour affiliaton fees by 87% – and the balance of power shifts even further to Unite

ToryDiary: "What is happening to Syrians themselves is a humanitarian disaster and the calamity which they are undergoing threatens to undermine Syria's neighbours – and Britain's interests.  The scale of suffering challenges description, so I take refuge in numbers. According to DFID, there are almost seven million people in need of assistance in Syria, out of a total population of some 23 million." What Britain can do to help Syrians

UK Aid 2
Also on ToryDiary, Harry Phibbs presents the third piece in our series debating the case for and against UK Aid: The wrong sort of Aid

Greg Clark MP's Letter from a Treasury Minister: Help to Buy is part of a Conservative tradition of prudent support to achieve home ownership

Henry Hill's Red, White and Blue column: Welsh teachers 'demoralised' by assessment and reform

Jeremy Hunt DrJeremy Hunt MP on Comment: "Every day, all over the country, patients are failed by the disgracefully inadequate condition of IT across the health and care sector. They deserve better – as do the staff who are working tirelessly to care for them…Today I have announced £1 billion of new investment in IT." Why we will not repeat Labour's mistakes on NHS IT spending

Local Government: What Eric did over the summer holidays

The Deep End: Germany’s eurosceptics dare to be different

economy picking up speed and outpacing rivals, says OECD

Growth ConHome“Britain’s
economy has finally started to recover in line with normal rebounds after
recessions and it is doing so faster than most of its peers, the Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Tuesday. In an update to its
near-term economic forecasts before the Group of 20 meeting this week, the
international organisation predicted that growth would accelerate in the second
half of the year, with the economy expanding by 1.7 per cent between June and
December” – Financial

  • Two quarters of growth
    don’t mean Osborne’s policy has worked – Ed Balls, Guardian
  • Treasury chief warns “no
    blank cheque” for HS2 – Financial
  • Elderly care crisis
    forces sale of a million homes – Daily
  • The million middle-class
    families who can’t afford to buy a home – Daily
  • Benefit recipients say
    the cash stops them looking for work – Daily


Downing Street forced to deny that Britain will arm Syrian

Syria“David Cameron on Tuesday insisted that he will not return to
the Commons and ask MPs to again vote on military intervention in Syria.
Despite stressing that ‘no decision has been taken’, the Prime Minister’s
official spokesman on Tuesday afternoon failed to exclude the option of instead
sending arms to the Syrian opposition…However, just hours later Downing Street
was forced to clarify its position, insisting that arming the rebels is now
‘not on the cards’” – Daily

  • Obama secures Republican
    support for Syrian attack – Telegraph
  • Draft resolution allows
    Obama 90 days for Syria campaign – Guardian
  • Enough of playing Hamlet:
    Obama needs to act now – Jonathan Freedland, Guardian
  • Pictures emerge of John
    Kerry dining with President Assad – Independent
  • Boris Johnson says UK
    should “think again” if US acts – Daily
  • Actually Mr Gove, you’re
    the “disgrace” – Ann Widdecombe, Daily
  • Not even IDS faced the
    venom now directed at Ed Miliband – Mary Riddell, Daily

>Today: ToryDiary - What Britain can do to help Syrians

>Yesterday: Garvan Walshe's Foreign Policy column - Miliband's moral bankruptcy

Bill” could force websites to close

“Blogs and websites face being shut down and
rallies could be prevented under a controversial new law designed to tackle
political lobbying, Britain’s election watchdog has warned. Jenny Watson, head of the Electoral Commission, said
that the Government’s proposals were so broad that they posed ‘real questions
around freedom of speech’ and that legislation may even be impossible to
enforce…Ministers hinted that the plan may have to be altered yesterday after
it took a battering in the Commons. One MP described the legislation as the
‘worst Bill ever to be placed before Parliament’” – The Times


Welfare recipients think benefits are too high and discourage work

"Previously unreported findings show that 62 per cent of Britons think unemployment benefits are ‘too high and discourage work’. Incredibly, 59 per cent of those who said that either they or their spouse were receiving the handouts agreed. The figures from the 2011 British Social Attitudes Survey suggest that concern about the welfare system rocketed during Labour’s term in office." – Daily Mail

Stop HS2
Treasury official warns on HS2 costs

"The High Speed Rail project could still be scrapped if costs continue to soar, the Treasury’s top civil servant has warned. The government has not signed a ‘blank cheque’ for the railway line linking the capital to the Midlands and North, Nick Macpherson, the permanent secretary at the Treasury told MPs. His words are in contrast to Chancellor George Osborne’s insistence just two days ago that HS2 would go ahead." – Daily Mail

Britain’s borders in chaos

staff shortages and a failing system to screen criminals have left Britain’s
borders in a state of chaos, officials warn today. Terrorists and offenders are
slipping through the net, while tens of millions of passengers are arriving on
flights and ferries without proper background checks, they say…The inquiry by the
National Audit Office found the database used to stop terrorists, dangerous
criminals and illegal immigrants getting into Britain – the Warnings Index
system – is deeply ‘unstable’” – Daily

GMB slashes Labour donations in row with Miliband

Miliband Labour Left"The GMB union is to cut the affiliation funds it gives Labour from £1.2m to £150,000 in the wake of a row over reforms, the union has announced. The union said there would also be cuts in spending on Labour campaigns." – BBC News

  • Do Unite control Labour's Syria policy, too? – The Sun Says (£) 

Planning mistake sees Cuadrilla leave Balcombe

"After weeks spent facing down activists in Balcombe, the energy company Cuadrilla Resources has beaten a humiliating retreat from the West Sussex village because of a planning foul-up, apparently of its own making. The shale gas driller will leave the oil exploration site at the end of the month with the job unfinished." – The Times (£)

in brief

  • How much porn is accessed in Parliament? – BBC News
  • MPs
    vow to publish secret “bluechip hacking” list – Daily
  • Well-dressed
    women dying of strokes as doctors miss signs – Daily
  • Anna
    Soubry admits taking up smoking because of “gorgeous” packets – Daily
  • BA
    customer pays for promoted tweet to attack airline for losing luggage – Daily
  • Candeleda unveils the Avenida John Major – Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

finally…Fryscraper: the City tower that can fry an egg

Fried Egg“Every day over
the past week, for two hours from around midday to 2pm, the bright light
reflection of the sun has moved slowly across a stretch of pavement in
Eastcheap — just by the Monument, the massive column that marks the spot where
the Great Fire of London began. Even on a relatively cloudy day like
yesterday, it was possible to fry an egg on the pavement where the glare lands.
I know
because I tried it” – Harry
Mount, Daily


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