Grassroots vision for conservatism in the ConservativeHome manifesto

Times front page“Britain must reclaim control over its borders from Europe and introduce tough immigration controls, a leading Conservative grassroots organisation is demanding. The plan, outlined in ConservativeHome’s pre-election manifesto, is supported by YouGov polling, which indicates that seven out of ten voters want free movement within the EU scrapped, rising to nine out of ten among Tory voters.” – The Times (£)

“An accurate expression of Tory grassroots opinion”

“ConservativeHome is an accurate expression of Tory grassroots opinion. Its manifesto is likely to win headlines for its views on Europe and for recommending that Mr Cameron abandon two of his flagship policies (HS2 and Help to Buy). It also urges the Conservative party to restore a one- nation breadth to its mission. When there is money to spare, the “Homes, Jobs, Savings” manifesto recommends that tax cuts be focused on young workers and the low-paid.” The Times editorial (£)


>Yesterday: Manifesto: Homes. Jobs. Savings. Plus Money and Power. Ten policies to make a difference.

Europe 1) Up to 100 Eurosceptic MPs set to defy Cameron and promise to vote ‘Out’

“Up to 100 Tory MPs are set to defy David Cameron by pledging to vote to leave the EU no matter how much power he manages to claw back from Brussels. Conservative Eurosceptics are planning to promise in their personal manifestos for next May’s General Election that they will vote for Britain to quit the EU in 2017’s in/out referendum. Such a move would be widely seen as a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister’s ability to win a good deal for Britain.” – Daily Mail

  • Evans urges Tories to throw by-election in ‘non-aggression pact’ – The Sun (£)
  • A worrying wake-up call – Daily Mail editorial
  • A perfect storm that could sink the Prime Minister – Peter McKay, Daily Mail

Europe 2) Osborne’s stance on EU has ‘hardened’, claims biographer

OSBORNE SWORD“George Osborne’s attitude to the European Union has gone through an “unmistakable hardening”, leading him to wonder if Britain would be better off leaving, according to his biographer. The chancellor now also acknowledges that wanting to leave the EU has become a mainstream ambition, rather than something which obsesses a few on the fringe of his party, according to a new edition of George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor, by Janan Ganesh.” – The Times (£)

  • Britain could flourish outside the EU, according to business leaders – Daily Express

Europe 3) But Tusk gives fresh life to hopes for renegotiation

“David Cameron’s hopes of reforming Britain’s relationship with Brussels received a boost as the new president of the European Council came out in support of a clampdown on benefit tourism. Donald Tusk said he ‘could not imagine’ the EU without Britain – and it would be a ‘dark scenario’ if we left. He described the EU’s free movement of labour rules as a ‘barrier’ to continued UK membership, insisting it would be possible to ‘reach an agreement’ on change.” – Daily Mail

Matthew Goodwin: Despite Clacton, Labour cannot be complacent about UKIP

UKIP glass“The events in Clacton will be seen by many as validating one of the oldest myths about Ukip; that it is nothing more than a second home for disgruntled Conservatives. Mr Carswell’s defection will be especially welcomed on the left, where many argue Ukip is dividing the right and clearing the path for Labour’s return to power in 2015. This is dangerously misguided.” – Financial Times

>Today: MPs Etc.: A view from the ’22 on Clacton. Don’t fight dirty. Stop ordering in MPs.


Children face tough new curriculum as fresh Gove reforms kick in…

“But when term resumes this week, it may be even tougher than usual. For the country is about to undergo the biggest education shake-up in a decade with a new, tougher national curriculum. And further changes are planned, with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan saying the Conservatives will pledge at the next election to make every pupil study five core academic subjects until they are 16.” – Daily Mail

>Today: John Bald in Local Government: August was a good month for education reform

…whilst Tories mull state boarding schools to help poorest children

BARRIE CHARACTER EDUCATION“The think tank, set up by ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, is proposing that deprived kids be packed off from their tough environment to boarding schools as the only way to give them security and peace to study. There are currently just 36 boarding schools run by the state, which teach 5,000 pupils. But deprived pupils’ standards shoot up at them, analysis has shown.” – The Sun (£)

Dominic Cummings: Don’t let the schools revolution go unfinished

“Our team broke up with the project half done. Schools are still rationed by house price and are at the mercy of a dysfunctional Ofsted. Although we tried to replace GCSEs with exams that would enable a genuinely scientific approach to learning, Nick Clegg and David Cameron stopped us, supported by almost everyone powerful in the system.” – The Times (£)

Coalition row over Cameron’s ‘knee-jerk’ response to ISIS

“Paddy Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, has criticised Conservative ministers’ plans to counter terrorism as a “kneejerk” reaction. Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon wrote in The Observer that David Cameron could alienate ordinary Muslims with his “rhetoric”. – The Times (£)

  • PM unveils draconian plan to confiscate Jihadi passports – Daily Mail
  • UK weighs ban on return for home-grown jihadis – Financial Times
  • Cameron and Clegg clash on anti-terror law – The Sun (£)
  • Intelligence agencies get power to vet airline lists – The Guardian
  • New anti-jihadi measures could breach their human rights, claims Campbell – The Times (£)
  • Leading British Muslims issue fatwa condemning terror group – The Independent

Obama and Cameron urge NATO allies to increase spending

NATO“Barack Obama and David Cameron will tell their Nato allies to increase defence spending in a showdown at this week’s summit in Wales. They are backed by British military chiefs who accused underspending members of freeloading. The US president and the Prime Minister will call on European leaders to do more to defend the continent from its growing threats by meeting commitments to spend at least two per cent of GDP on defence.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Three critical tests for NATO leaders – Nicholas Burns, Financial Times

The Olympian who is challenging Boris for Uxbridge

“Boris Johnson’s hopes of a smooth path back to becoming an MP have suffered a jolt. For he faces a heavyweight challenge in the fight to be selected as the Tories’ parliamentary candidate for the safe west London seat of Uxbridge. Opposing Boris is James Cracknell, the 6ft 4in, 15st, double Olympic rowing gold medallist.” – Daily Mail

MPs demand secret ballot on ‘lame duck’ speaker

“John Bercow, the Speaker, faces a vote of confidence in the Commons as MPs say he has “permanently damaged” his reputation in a bruising row over his appointment of a new Clerk. The Speaker risks becoming a “lame duck” who will be openly defied by MPs, one backbencher has said, following claims he attempted to “rig” the selection of Carol Mills, an official at the Australian senate, for the 640-year-old Commons post.” – Daily Telegraph

Three senior Labour figures accuse Blair government of overlooking child abuse

LABOUR dead rose“Three Labour figures have accused Tony Blair’s government of turning a blind eye to child abuse and terrorism in the Muslim community – for fear of inflaming community tensions. Former MP Ann Cryer said the ‘politically correct brigade’ predominant on the left dismissed her warnings after she exposed a sex-abuse scandal involving Asian men in her constituency. Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said far too many on the left had been guilty of ‘obsessing about multiculturalism’ rather than more important issues such as child rape.” – Daily Mail

Umunna argues that the party needs more energy to secure Miliband victory…

“Labour needs to show more energy in setting out its vision for government if Ed Miliband is to become the next prime minister, one of the party’s rising stars has said. Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, insisted that the party could win a majority “if we make the right calls” and if it had a “hopeful, optimistic, aspirational story”.” – The Times (£)

…whilst blaming Brown for Labour’s loss of economic credibility

BROWN Scotland“In remarks that highlight an intense debate at the highest levels of the Labour party, Umunna indicated that the party is struggling to make a breakthrough on the economy to this day after “the seeds were sown” under the last government. The shadow business secretary, who was speaking after an opinion poll showed that Ed Miliband has a net approval rating of minus 46 points, was less than effusive about whether Labour could win the election.” – The Guardian

Lib Dems promise lower council tax bills for greener homes

“Homeowners could get £100 off their council tax bill if they make their property more energy efficient, under plans from the Liberal Democrats. People will be rewarded for home improvements such as insulating their loft or installing double-glazing or a more efficient boiler. The commitment is set to be in the party’s manifesto for next year’s election and will be announced this week by Energy Secretary Ed Davey.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Executive set to be first female BBC Chairman faces questions over HSBC role – Daily Mail
  • Paul McCartney abused after urging Scotland to vote No – The Times (£)
  • SNP start planning for a No vote – Daily Telegraph
  • Putin warns of a winter catastrophe in Ukraine – The Sun (£)
  • Kate Bush breaks chart record in wake of concerts – The Independent
  • Hundreds rally against anti-Semitic attacks – Daily Express
  • Magnificent fleet of historical vessels at the Tall Ships regatta – Daily Mail
  • Scottish universities fear brain drain – The Guardian
  • Sir David Mitchell, the ‘tonic to Thatcher’s gin’ – Obituary, The Times (£)