Windfall taxes, the EU and a shot at IDS – Sir John Major rocks the boat

gas-energy“The former Conservative prime minister piled pressure on David Cameron to act against the “big six” energy companies, suggesting they should be hit with a windfall tax. Sir John said it was “unacceptable” that energy companies were raising prices up to 10 per cent, leaving some people with a choice between eating and heating their homes in the event of a cold winter.” – FT

>Yesterday: WATCH: Sir John Major makes the case for a one-off windfall tax on energy firms

David Davis calls for police to wear cameras to prevent abuses

“When doubts first emerged about the police account of the Andrew Mitchell affair, Andrew expressed concern about the police forces investigating themselves. I told him I thought we could rely on the police investigating officers to do a proper job of identifying their own bad apples. I now think I was wrong.” – David Davis, The Times (£)

  • Chief constables to be questioned by MPs over the Mitchell row – BBC News

New policies aimed to bring down cost of driving

Petrol pump“In the most eye-catching move, high-tech signs will be installed on motorways detailing the exact cost of petrol and diesel at different service stations on the route. Ministers hope it will highlight the sums being charged by some garages that believe they have a ‘captive market’, and encourage them to compete for custom.” – Daily Mail

  • Fuel price will rise if Grangemouth closes – The Times (£)
  • New checks to prevent false whiplash claims – The Times (£)

George loves fracking

“Mr Osborne said it was part of the UK’s “history and tradition” to be at the forefront of technological developments like fracking. “I would love fracking to get going in the UK and I am doing absolutely everything I can to encourage it,” he said. “Of course there are proper environmental regulations there to protect local communities, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for having to spend years trying to get planning permission.”” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Florian Bay: Coal gave us an advantage over France. Shale could do the same today.


Go Home vans scrapped

“Mobile advert vans urging illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest” have been ditched, the Home Secretary revealed yesterday. Theresa May admitted the controversial campaign was “too much of a blunt instrument”’ – The Sun (£)

Axing grammars caused the fall in school standards

“The collapse in educational standards was caused by the end of the British grammar school system, experts said last night. A report this month found that English school leavers had poorer literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills than their grandparents –  the only place among 24 wealthy nations where this was the case. But a new analysis of the data has found that Britain’s over-55s actually outperform their peers in other countries.” – Daily Mail

>Today: Henry Hill: Welsh schools are worse than any in England, report finds

BBC DG admits the Coporation needs to tackle left-wing bias

BBC“Lord Hall conceded it was curious that the BBC buys more copies of  the left-leaning Guardian than any other newspaper. And he appeared to concede the BBC had made a mistake in describing the Government’s housing benefit reforms as a ‘bedroom tax’, which Mr Davies said was ‘clearly a political term’.” – Daily Mail

  • Auditor gets new powers to scrutinise Auntie – FT

Lawson: Fast-track the marriage tax break

“Margaret Thatcher’s Chancellor endorses the principle of David Cameron’s plan for transferable tax allowances worth up to £200 a year. But he says the tax break should be extended and must come into effect earlier than the start date announced by the Government, which is April 2015 – just one month before the election – to avoid the risk of it being rolled back by Labour.” – Daily Mail

Rory Stewart warns that we worship our children while neglecting our elders

“Mr Stewart claimed that British children were now the new ‘opium’ of the people, twisting the infamous statement by revolutionary philosopher Karl Marx that ‘religion is the opium of the masses’. He said: ‘Our ancestors have been addicted to honour, craved virtue and wealth, been hooked on conquest, on adventure, and on God.  But ours is the first civilisation to find its deepest fulfilment in its descendants.'” – Daily Mail

  • 1 in 3 women have no pension at all – Daily Mail


Beware the health service culture of silence

“The NHS is paralysed by a Mafia-style code of silence that stops whistleblowers highlighting poor care, MPs were told last night…David Prior, the chairman of the Care Quality Commission watchdog, said there was a ‘chilling’ culture in NHS hospitals that discouraged potential whistleblowers from breaking ranks.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Study attacks benefits cap – BBC News
  • Miliband plans a war with Fleet Street – FT
  • Parents in denial about their obese kids – Daily Mail
  • Spend, spend, spend, urges Danny Alexander – The Sun (£)
  • Hedge fund owns 5 per cent of Royal Mail – FT
  • Sally Bercow pays £15,000 damages – The Sun (£)
  • MP helps save women as she floats down the Thames past Parliament – Daily Mail

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