Good news 1: Cuts haven’t harmed services, finds BBC poll (which they fail to publicise)


“A majority of voters say the quality of public services has been maintained or improved – despite government cuts. A survey commissioned by the BBC showed that most voters believe schools, bus services, parks, libraries and bin collections have improved in the past five years, even as budgets have been reduced. Overall, six out of ten people think public services have maintained or improved their quality.” – Daily Mail

  • End of the assumption that more money equals better services – The Times Leader (£)

Good news 2: Austerity did not slow growth, says the OBR

“Austerity is not to blame for the longest downturn in more than 100 years, the independent budget watchdog said yesterday. The Office for Budget Responsibility blamed weaker than expected growth over the past three years on high inflation, a slump in business investment and sluggish demand for exports.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What the battle over living standards tells us about Osborne’s deficit reduction plan

Good news 3: Leaked memo shows Labour’s panic over welfare polling

MILIBAND Ed red background“A leaked private briefing shows how concerned Labour is about the popularity of welfare reform. Mr Miliband’s pollster, James Morris, was recorded telling a private meeting that “politically salient target groups” were overwhelmingly supportive and that Labour faced a “very severe” challenge.” – The Times (£)

  • Miliband has forgotten what his party is meant to stand for – Daily Express
  • Anger over father of twelve who is getting a council ‘super-home’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Cameron welcomes the return of Karl Marx to British politics

Immigration Bill to see tighter checks for those here illegally

“Banks could be forced to carry out background checks to stop illegal immigrants opening accounts. The proposal – one of several in the long-awaited Immigration Bill – would force managers to check potential customers against a database of foreigners known to be in the country illegally. Applicants for a driving licence would also have to prove they were in Britain legally.” – Daily Mail

  • Public believe rules aren’t applied properly, not that we need new rules – The Independent
  • Iraqi terror suspect gets his British passport back – Daily Mail

Huge demand for Royal Mail shares

Pillar Box“More than 700,000 private investors have applied for shares in Royal Mail – in a rush that could leave many people empty-handed. The controversial privatisation has been over-subscribed nearly seven times over, it was announced yesterday.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Thanks to Michael Fallon’s steady hand on the tiller, the Royal Mail privatisation is going well

Plans to jail paedophile suspects without conviction

“Sexual predators who target children face up to five years in jail under tough new powers that can be enforced even if they have not been convicted of an offence. The move to clamp down on the sexual grooming and exploitation of children would allow police to act on the basis of strong intelligence or evidence, even if a criminal prosecution is not yet possible.” – The Times (£)

Owen Paterson: The badgers have moved the goalposts

“Why had marksmen shot fewer than half the original target number, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was asked. And he was in no doubt as to who was to blame: The badgers. They had ‘moved the goalposts’.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: WATCH: “The badgers moved the goalposts”

SNP wasted £20,000 hiding EU legal advice that didn’t exist

“Alex Salm

EU Exit

ond spent almost £20,000 of public money attempting to hide legal advice on an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU — knowing all the while that the advice did not exist. The First Minister fought a desperate battle to keep quiet whether or not he had any evidence to back up his claims that a separate Scotland would enjoy automatic membership of the organisation.” – The Times (£)


Cameron joins MI5 criticisms of Snowden leaks

Police helmet“David Cameron yesterday joined the attacks on the Guardian for publishing secret files that have put national security at risk. The Prime Minister threw his full weight behind MI5 director-general Andrew Parker who has warned the leaks are a ‘gift’ to terrorists.” – Daily Mail

Peter Oborne explores the prospect of the phone-hacking “trial of the century”

“The trial is of extraordinary political significance. For the past two decades, Rupert Murdoch’s News International was more than just a newspaper group. It became part of the process of government, first under Tony Blair, then Gordon Brown and finally David Cameron.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

“Please don’t use drugs…it’s risky”: what one prison wrote to its inmates

“Prisoners have been sent letters politely informing them not to take drugs and asking why inmates want to escape. Bosses at Ford Open prison admitted in a letter there had been an ‘increase’ of Class A drugs and reminded them of the ‘risks’ of taking them. Local MP Nick Gibb said officials need to be tougher on drug use inside the prison and said residents expect a ‘zero tolerance’ approach.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief

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