Osborne pledges full employment

FULL employment‘George Osborne evoked the spirit of Sir Winston Churchill today as he said he would target “full employment” by the end of the decade. In a bid to provide a positive message to voters on jobs ahead of the election, the Chancellor said he would aim to have “more people working than any of the other countries in the G7 group”. He said that the commitment had been made for the first time by Sir Winston during the Second World War.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Osborne tops our Cabinet league table for the very first time


Trust in the police shaken by Plebgate

‘Public trust in the police has been severely shaken by recent corruption scandals, a major report warned yesterday. In a worrying assessment, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor said the public felt badly let down by the failure of officers to live up to expected standards of integrity. The Stephen Lawrence investigation, Hillsborough, Plebgate, revelations about undercover officers, the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 riots and other recent controversies have, he said, left the police damaged – despite ordinary bobbies being more honest than they were in the 1960s and 1970s.’ – Daily Mail

  • Too often they’re an over mighty law unto themselves – Daily Mail Leader
  • Police Federation’s secret contract for “guerrilla” PR campaign against ministers – Daily Mail
  • Pubs will open late for the World Cup – Daily Mail
  • 14,600 convicts with huge criminal records reoffended last year – The Sun (£)
  • Keep them in jail – The Sun Says (£)
  • Scotland’s single police force still ‘a work in progress’ – The Scotsman

Darling: Give the whole UK a referendum on currency union

pound-coin‘The English should have a vote on whether a separate Scotland could keep the pound, former Chancellor Alistair Darling has said. Mr Darling – who leads the pro-union Better Together campaign – suggested that residents in the rest of the United Kingdom could seal the fate of whether an independent Scotland is part of a currency union.’ – Daily Mail

  • No 10 disagree – FT


NAO estimates Royal Mail was undervalued by £1bn

‘The taxpayer has ended up more than £1 billion out of pocket in the privatisation of the Royal Mail after City investors ran rings around ministers who ended up significantly underpricing the state postal network’s stock market flotation. That is the verdict today of a damning National Audit Office inquiryinto the Royal Mail initial public offering last autumn which concludes that ministers should never again rely so heavily on their City advisers.’ – The Times (£)

Ganesh: The squeeze on Labour’s vote hasn’t started yet

LABOUR dead rose‘Mr Miliband’s problem is not that his vote is being squeezed. His problem is that the squeeze has not really begun yet. It is the final lap of a parliament, the nine months or so from party conference season to election day, that punishes the opposition, as voters turn their exacting gaze to the people aspiring to govern them. This scrutiny dulls the appeal of even the most dazzling opposition leaders: Tony Blair’s immense margin of victory in 1997 was only half as wide as the polls were suggesting a year earlier.’ – Janan Ganesh, FT

  • Miliband’s poll lead falls below 3 per cent – FT
  • Labour’s Deputy Chairman damns Ed with faint praise – Daily Mail
  • Voters think Cameron is posh…but don’t mind much – The Independent

‘Cinderella law’ could criminalise parents for ‘tough love’

‘The new offence would include doing anything that deliberately harms a child’s ‘physical intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development’. Parents found guilty could face up to ten years in prison, the maximum term in child neglect cases. Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘No-one is going to condone the extreme levels of abuse that some children suffer. But there is a real danger that this becomes a charter for every kid whining and complaining about a bit of tough love from their parents.’’ – Daily Mail

£46m cost of NHS non-jobs

NHS_Logo‘The NHS is spending £46million a year on non-jobs such as ‘play and communication workers’, ‘carbon managers’ and ‘car park environmental officers’, it has emerged. There are 1,229 staff in apparently unnecessary roles across the health service – on salaries as high as £90,000, an investigation has found. They include a part-time ‘arts in hospital co-ordinator’ at Dorset County hospitals on a £30,000 salary and a ‘green label development co-ordinator’ on £24,300 at Mid Cheshire NHS trust.’ – Daily Mail

  • An absurd waste – The Sun Says (£)
  • New chief predicts radical health service shake-up – FT
  • Hunt will cut hospital car park charges – The Sun (£)
  • Dedicated families who won the battle for a Duty of Candour – Daily Mail
  • Tens of thousands miss out on care cash – Daily Mail
  • Too many patients are readmitted soon after being discharged – The Times Leader (£)

>Yesterday: Andrew Haldenby on Comment: It’s time for radical reform of the health service

Lib Dem plan for EU radio and TV stations

‘The European Parliament has been accused of plotting a “propaganda campaign” after proposing to exploit television, radio and internet outlets to “project the EU and its values”. One proposal states that “setting up a worldwide European Radio Service could be very useful as a comprehensive tool for EU’s external action relations”. MEPs are set to vote on the report tomorrow. The plan has been overseen by Sir Graham Watson, a Liberal Democrat MEP.’ – The Times (£)

  • An exclusive look at the listings – The Times Leader (£)
  • Farage reiterates hope of winning Labour votes – The Times (£)
Democracy (Deep End)

Sir Tim Rice: Tories ‘don’t give a stuff about my generation

‘He is no longer a party member and admits that it is not just the Tories’ “insane” energy policy that has dampened his enthusiasm, nor their “mish mash” wavering on Europe – “It’s frustrating when we seem to be told what to do by people we haven’t elected in another country”, he says. Rice, 69, feels that the Tories just aren’t very interested in people his age. “I did say after Cameron came to power that I realised the Conservative Party now don’t give a stuff about my generation.’ – Daily Telegraph

James Wharton gives his formula for winning in the North

‘“There is nothing particular about people in the North that makes them more inclined to back Labour. You have to convince people you believe in something,” he says. Mr Wharton attributes his success locally to “being a proper Conservative”. Faith in others, trusting individuals to choose what is best for them, reducing the appetite of an overweening state, his prescriptions are traditional.’ – Daily Telegraph

Downing Street launches investigation into Muslim Brotherhood

‘David Cameron has ordered an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood to check whether it is planning attacks in the Middle East from Britain. Downing Street confirmed that the review will look at the ‘philosophy and activities’ of the organisation and whether official policy towards it should be hardened. It was reported last night that the probe will include assessments from MI6.’ – Daily Mail

The fruits of socialism: French Government resigns

Hollande Miliband‘France’s socialist prime minister resigned along with his entire government yesterday following a meltdown in local elections. Jean-Marc Ayrault admitted that a huge swing to the Right, including to the extremist National Front, was down to him and his Left-wing government. And last night socialist President Francois Hollande – whose rule has become synonymous with a 75 per cent top rate of income tax – admitted to mistakes and said his priority was now to cut taxes.’ – Daily Mail

News in brief

Best of the April Fool’s Day stories

  • The Queen will frack at Buckingham Palace – The Sun (£)
  • ‘Scot-free’ union flag accidentally revealed – Daily Mail
  • Salmond’s face to appear on new coins – Daily Telegraph
  • Chickens lay square eggs – ITV
  • Independent Scotland will drive on the right – The Guardian
  • Tutankhamun’s teddy bear discovered – Daily Express
  • Cameron plans working class ministry – The Sun (£)