‘MPs believe that killers and sex fiends should get the vote’

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 08.29.57“A Parliamentary committee has called on the Government to allow ALL prisoners to take part in elections in the final six months of their sentences. They say lags serving 12 months or less should also get the vote, to comply with a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. But the Commons voted in 2011 to keep the blanket ban. And just days ago PM David Cameron reiterated his opposition to a move. He said: “If Parliament decides prisoners shouldn’t get the vote, they damn well shouldn’t.” The special joint Lords and Commons committee was split 7-3.” – The Sun

> Today: Nick Gibb MP on Comment – With respect, I disagree with my committee. Prisoners should not have the vote.

Romanians and Bulgarians: Cameron to rush out-of-work benefits restrictions through Parliament for January 1

“Regulations being tabled in Parliament today will mean that from January 1 all EU immigrants will have to wait three months before being able to apply for jobseeker’s allowance. The move was one of a number of proposals announced by the Prime Minister last month amid concern about a potential surge from Romania and Bulgaria coming to Britain. Mr Cameron said: “Accelerating the start of these new restrictions will make the UK a less attractive place for EU migrants who want to come here and try to live off the State.” – The Times (£)

  • Migrant boom fuelled by Poles has contributed to almost half of the UK’s population growth – Daily Express
  • Scottish independence: migrants’ families welcomed – Scotsman
  • Government rejects EU food bank funding – The Guardian
  • Almost half of voters see immigration control as a renegotiation “red line” – The Sun
  • Draw a red line on immigration or else – Sun Editorial

The Government should stop “pussyfooting and fannying around” over airport expansion, Boris tells the lobby

BORIS at rally“The Mayor of London attacked the Coalition over its failure to take a decision on aviation capacity after the Government’s Airports Commission short-listed Gatwick and Heathrow airports for expansion…“It is pretty obvious to me what is going on,” Mr Johnson told the Parliamentary Press Gallery. “I think the reality is that Sir Howard started with a short list that did not include much except Heathrow and I think he has been told to have another think.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Mayor: Clegg is ‘lapdog of David Cameron’, a ‘yellow albatross” who should be skinned and hung on the wall, a ‘disc jockey’ and little more than a ‘very, very decorative part of the constitution’ – Daily Mail
  • Lib Dems shift hostility on airport expansion – Financial Times
  • ‘I conquered French peak on a Boris bike,’ says Tour de France adventurer – Daily Express
  • Yes to Boris Island – The Times (£)
  • Let the market decide where to build new runways – Michael O’Leary, Daily Telegraph
  • Bold thinking is needed over airport expansion – Daily Telegraph Editorial

> Yesterday:

‘Half of Britain to be offered for shale gas drilling’

“Ministers said they would offer energy companies the chance for rights to drill across more than 37,000 square miles, stretching from central Scotland to the south coast. Every county in England except Cornwall could have shale gas exploration, according to a map showing areas the Government plans to offer to energy companies. A Government-commissioned report released on Tuesday said as many as 2,880 wells could be drilled, generating up to a fifth of the country’s annual gas demand at peak and creating as many as 32,000 jobs.” – Daily Telegraph

  • ‘No quick buck’ to be made from fracking, energy minister tells Welsh MPs – Wales Online

Javid concedes that the taxpayer is still exposed to ‘too big to fail’ banks risk

JAVID Sajid BBC“Mr Javid said on Tuesday that the new banking reform bill, which receives Royal Assent on Wednesday, would “dramatically reduce the risk of what we call the ‘too big to fail’ risk” which forced the taxpayer to bail out Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group in 2008-9. But he admitted that the legislation – with its new regulators, powers, financial sanctions and a “ringfence” keeping investment banking separate from retail lending – could not completely insulate the state from a future banking crash.” – Financial Times

  • Carney warns of ‘great risk’ to unwinding of crisis measures – Financial Times (£)
  • Taxpayers lost out in first sale of Lloyds shares – The Guardian
  • Rising house prices hit a new record all over Britain – Daily Express

> Today: Peter Franklin’s Deep End – Never mind the excuses: Here’s the real reason why wages are falling

The Syrian Government has murdered a British national, says Hugh Robertson

News of his death was announced by his brother, Afroze Khan. In a starkly worded response, Robertson told the BBC: “There is no excuse whatsoever for the treatment that he has suffered by the Syrian authorities who have in effect murdered a British national who was in their country to help people injured during their civil war…In November Robertson made clear the British government’s concerns about Khan’s welfare and treatment but the efforts were ignored, the FCO said.” – The Guardian

How the Training Tendency in Cabinet is delaying McLoughlin’s Curfew Crew

McLOUGHLIN Patrick mouth“Transport ministers had wanted to impose night time curfews and other restrictions on ‘novice’ drivers in a bid to cut the death toll among inexperienced motorists. But the Mail can reveal that Cabinet ministers in other departments feared the effect it could have on youth employment by preventing young shift-workers doing unsocial hours getting to work by car.” – Daily Mail

Lord Hanningfield explains that he has to live

“He said much of the money went on “entertaining, meeting people, employing people”. And he claimed he would end up with only £12,000 a year for himself out of £30,000 claimed. Stressing that he had no other job, he pleaded: “I have to live, don’t I?” There is no suggestion Lord Hanningfield, 73, who lost the Conservative party whip over his expenses offence, has broken any rules. Parliamentary regulations do not specify a minimum attendance time to qualify for the allowance.” – Daily Express

Welsh Conservatives set out united front on Silk ahead of income tax referendum powers coming to Wales

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 08.37.57“Secretary of State for Wales David Jones and Welsh Conservative Assembly leader Andrew RT Davies have united to make a joint call for a referendum on income tax powers for Wales. The duo released a joint statement in support of a referendum “as soon as reasonably possible” and pledged to argue for low taxes. However, both figures have previously called for different types of income tax-varying powers in Wales, with Mr Davies calling for the ability to vary the three income tax bands independently of one another so the Welsh Tories could reduce the tax burden on the higher rate (40%) tax rate.” – Wales Online

The Sun claims that Miliband has given Balls nine months to save his job

“Senior Labour sources say party boss Ed Miliband is ready to axe his right-hand man next autumn unless he starts winning the economic argument with George Osborne. Relations between the two men have grown steadily worse in recent months as the recovery has gathered pace. Mr Balls also came under fire for his disastrous response to the Chancellor’s mini-Budget earlier this month. A senior Labour insider told The Sun that Mr Miliband is “ruthless” enough to get rid of Mr Balls if it gives him the best chance of winning in 2015.” – The Sun

  • Poll suggests Conservatives have won the argument over the economy – The Independent
  • Straw and MI6 face new questions over rendition – The Times (£)
  • Hodge’s fortune hammered as vulture funds swoop on father’s Stemcor steel empire – The Independent

Peter Kellner: Labour is from Venus, the Conservatives are from Mars

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 08.40.46“What is happening? Two things stand out from our data. The move to Labour has been especially marked among women under 30 and also among public sector workers. (Public sector workers have turned against the government regardless of gender, but women outnumber men in the public sector, while men form a majority of private-sector employees.) It looks, then, as if the Conservatives, in particular, are paying a price among women just now for holding down public sector pay and for acquiring the reputation of being dominated by older, better-off men.” – The Guardian

Daniel Finkelstein: British politics is in danger of being nationalised

“What is happening is what always happens with excessive regulation. We enfeeble the institutions that we are regulating and they become more reliant on the State, we reduce freedom, we promote an illusion that we can achieve fairness and that illusion always disappoints. And all for what?…Within the next few years, we could live in a country with state-financed political parties, state-regulated lobbyists and state-regulated pressure groups, a dominant state-owned broadcaster and a state-regulated press. I don’t want to get things out of proportion, but how comfortable are you with this? I know I am not.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Christianity beginning ‘to disappear’ in its birthplace, warns Prince of Wales – Daily Telegraph
  • Patten blocks release of report about BBC’s £100m IT disaster – Daily Mail
  • RAF launches drones charm offensive – The Independent
  • Putin sweetens the pot for Ukraine – The Guardian

Sex News in Brief

  • Justice Minister David Ford says little evidence of crime gangs in Ulster sex trade – Newsletter
  • One in every 200 young American women says she became pregnant while still a virgin – The Times (£)
  • Teacher quits job to open bondage shop – The Sun…

…And finally…The swingers’ parties at Bridgend Conservative Club.

“After the meetings, swingers took to a sex website to boast that they had ‘played in view of everyone’, while organisers warned them to be more subtle about their activities. Members of Fab Swingers, a website with the motto ‘by swingers, for swinging, for free’, claim they held events at the club in South Wales in October and again last Saturday. Another user suggested a string of sex-themed games with explicit names such as ‘Give us a boob’.” – Daily Mail

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