Miliband’s bid to fix fuel price blows up in his face

Miliband Red Ed“Ed Miliband was accused of ‘economic vandalism’ yesterday after his shock proposal to fix energy prices wiped almost £2billion from the value of Britain’s two largest power firms…Shares in British Gas owner Centrica and SSE – the only two ‘big six’ power giants on the London Stock Exchange – plunged by 5 per cent, wiping £1.9billion from their combined value…Digby Jones, who served as trade minister under Gordon Brown, said: ‘The sheer damage it will do to the economy does not bear thinking about. They are talking that this will be the end of the energy market – it’s far more dangerous. This is sheer, unbridled socialism’” – Daily Mail

  • Mandelson warns that Labour in danger of being seen as going backwards – The Times (£)
  • The Miliband plan is pure schoolboy Marxism – Daily Mail Comment
  • Freezing bills could put Britain in the dark – Angela Knight, Independent
  • Miliband’s threat adds to Britain’s reputation for regulatory caprice – Financial Times Comment
  • Miliband’s masterclass in dishonest populism – Jesse Norman, Daily Telegraph
  • Miliband’s Wonga economics – Dominic Raab, City A.M.
  • Miliband’s breathtaking hypocrisy on energy prices – Matt Ridley, The Times (£)
  • Awkward Ed is now Terrifying Ed – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph

Ian Birrell says Miliband has handed Cameron an opportunity…

“Miliband has presented David Cameron with a golden opportunity. Instead of drifting to the right and following a brutalist blueprint that proved dismally unappealing in the past, the prime minister should revive and update the compassionate conservatism that proved so popular in his early months as party leader. Not only is this the best way the Tories can overcome an electoral system stacked against them; it is also essential to secure a sustainable future” – Guardian

…but James Forsyth says Cameron has got to woo UKIP voters…

FORSYTH, James“If Cameron plays this right, voting Ukip could become the gateway drug to voting Tory for disillusioned Labour voters…Many Cameroons will find this emphasis on winning over Ukip supporters distasteful. But they must understand that the alternative to wooing these voters is the Tories losing power. Cameron has 20 months to reunite the right. If he can’t do this, the Tories won’t be a party of government any more” – Spectator

…while Tim Montgomerie warns that unlike Kinnock, Miliband might win

“For Tories, Mr Miliband is today’s Neil Kinnock — the left-wing Labour leader that Middle England will never trust with the highest office in the land…Nos 10 and 11 should remember that Mr Kinnock came within an ace of denying the Tories a majority in 1992. If only 11 Conservative candidates had together received 2,473 fewer votes in total they wouldn’t have been elected and John Major might not have been prime minister. And in 1992 the Tories had advantages they don’t possess now” – The Times (£)

  • YouGov/Sun poll gives Labour nine point lead – UK Polling Report
  • Miliband challenges Cameron to “stop ducking and diving” and sign up to TV debates – Daily Mail
  • Unite the Right – email Toby Young – Spectator
  • Andrew Mitchell: “UKIP are mostly our cousins and we want them back”  – New Statesman
  • Godfrey Bloom to sit as independent MEP but stay in UKIP – The Times (£)
  • Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham faces the chop – Daily Express

George Osborne takes EU to court over bank bonus capOSBORNE WITH BBERRY

“Britain is taking legal action against an EU cap on bankers’ bonuses in an attempt to strike down the measure on the grounds that it hurts financial stability. George Osborne, the UK chancellor, filed the case at the European Court of Justice last week – in a step to protect pay freedom that most banks thought would be too politically unpalatable for the Treasury” – Financial Times

  • Chris Grayling: I want to see our Supreme Court supreme again – Spectator 

MPs accuse Whitehall of mismanaging rural broadband

“MPs on the Public Accounts Committee said the programme – originally intended to give super fast broadband to 90 per cent of homes by 2015 – had been run badly. They complained that the programme was structured to give British Telecom, Britain’s biggest telecommunications provider, a ‘quasi monopolistic position’. The MPs’ report is embarrassing for Lord Livingston of Parkhead, who quit as chief executive of BT earlier this year to take over as a Government trade minister” – Daily Telegraph

Labour calls on Tories to return Michael Spencer’s donations

Screen shot 2013-09-26 at 08.42.28“Three former interdealer brokers including one dubbed ‘Lord Libor’ were charged with wire fraud and conspiracy on Wednesday as their former employer ICAP was revealed by US and UK authorities as a linchpin in the global rate-rigging scandal…The allegations counter earlier statements by Michael Spencer, ICAP’s founder and a former Conservative party treasurer, that the company played a peripheral part in the worldwide probe, in which ICAP is the fourth institution to settle. The opposition Labour party were quick to make political capital from ICAP’s settlement and demanded that the Tories – to whom Mr Spencer is still close – return £4.8 million in donations” – Financial Times

Philip Hammond proclaims our forces far superior to Argentina’s

“Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has launched a scathing attack on Argentina after former UK top brass insisted they outrank us in military might. The Tory minister told The Sun the claims were ‘a gross slur’ on Our Boys and Girls. And he poked fun at our former enemy Argentina, saying it couldn’t get its fighter planes off the ground” – Sun (£)

Iain Duncan Smith urged to give tax breaks to younger families

Screen shot 2013-09-26 at 08.43.44“Marriage tax breaks should be targeted at couples with children under the age of three, a think-tank set up by Iain Duncan Smith is urging. The Centre for Social Justice says that with limited resources, the Government should start by directing support when it can do most to improve the formative years of child development. Its intervention is significant, since it was instrumental in drawing up plans for the Conservative Party on supporting marriage in the tax system” – Daily Mail

William Hague must respond to Iran’s peace overtures

“It is almost two years since a mob ransacked and set fire to the British embassy in Tehran. Very reasonably, William Hague sent the Iranian ambassador packing and diplomatic relations went into the deep freeze. However, the events of two years ago are no real excuse for the Foreign Secretary’s grudging response to the latest remarkable overtures from the new Iranian leadership. The message from President Rouhani, fully endorsed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, could hardly be warmer” – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

Iain Dale could face assault charges over Brighton protester

Screen shot 2013-09-26 at 08.45.07“Damian McBride’s publisher could face a charge of common assault after grappling with a protester during a live television interview. Iain Dale, a Tory blogger and radio presenter who runs Biteback Publishing, intervened to push the anti-nuclear campaigner out of shot yesterday morning after he tried to disrupt a series of live interviews that Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor was giving on Brighton seafront” – The Times (£)

News in brief

  • Ten Britons now feared dead in mall massacre – Daily Mail
  • Green MP to be prosecuted over anti-fracking protest – The Times (£)
  • Greatest comeback ever as USA retains America’s Cup – The Times (£)

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