It’s official: Miliband is the most unpopular party leader ever…

Screen shot 2014-11-13 at 05.18.50“The poll showed his personal ratings have collapsed to the lowest level for anyone running to be prime minister for 40 years. Most worryingly for Labour, the poll also put the Tories three percentage points ahead – their biggest lead for four years. Labour was on just 29 per cent, the supposed ‘core vote’ secured by Gordon Brown in 2010.” – Daily Mail

…As he finds a new role model: Nietzsche. God is Dead! Ed is Dead!

Screen shot 2014-11-13 at 07.42.37“In a defiant message to critics within the party, who had hoped to replace him with the former home secretary Alan Johnson, the Labour leader will quote the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to insist that his opponents have strengthened his resolve. Miliband will say in a speech at London University: “There is a saying which goes: what does not kill you makes you stronger.” – The Guardian

> Today: What’s wrong with Hampstead? In defence of Miliband.

> Yesterday: George Grant on Comment: Britain’s poor can do without five more years of Labour’s benevolence

And Farage says: Yes, UKIP could go into coalition with Labour. (Or, as Cameron would put it: Vote Farage, Get Miliband.)

“Statesman: Would you go into coalition with Labour? NF: I’d do a deal with the Devil if he got me what I wanted. Statesman: If Miliband said to you, “Look, Nigel, can I have your eight to ten MPs in the coalition and we give you an in-out referendum?” would that be enough? NF: That would depend when the referendum was, and the terms. Statesman: But you’re not ruling it out. NF: Of course not.” – New Statesman

The NHS must save £10bn a year, says Hunt

Hunt Jeremy 15“If we are to be truly financially sustainable we need to rethink how we spend money in a much more fundamental way,” Mr Hunt will tell the King’s Fund think-tank in London. “More personalised, responsive and joined-up care becomes possible with shared electronic health records. Technology can also unlock personalised cures for illnesses…it is a revolution in prevention.” – The Times (£)

> ToryDiaryJeremy Hunt, quiet reformer

Treasury officials brief the Financial Times against Cameron’s planned tax cuts

“David Cameron’s promise of £7.2bn of tax cuts in the next parliament has raised serious concerns among Treasury officials, who fear they risk undermining fragile public finances and could be “a disaster”. His pledge at the Tory conference alarmed some officials, who say the Treasury is already relying on an increasingly narrow tax base to plug a deficit which has been rising over the past six months.” – Financial Times

Fallon slaps down Head of Navy over Scotland’s shipyards

FALLON Michael headshot“The Defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has moved to defuse a damaging row over thousands of Scottish defence jobs by contradicting the head of the Royal Navy, Sir George Zambellas. He told Defense News that he had not ruled out a partnership with the French and Italian navies on their new FREMM frigate…But an MoD spokeswoman said the ministry’s policy was fixed and had not changed. “As the Defence Secretary has made very clear, complex UK warships are only built in UK shipyards and we have no plans to change this,” she said.” – The Guardian

Hammond: the Government’s pledge to write 0.7% aid spending into law is “bizarre”

“He said: ‘It’s a bizarre idea. Somebody says “shall we have a law that says you’ve got to build a building?” Think about it – in the meantime we build a building. Someone comes along and says “now we’ve built it shall we pass the law which says we’ve got to do it”? We’ve done it. We’re doing it. You don’t need a law to say we’re doing it.’” – Daily Telegraph

  • John Baron says that it’s our duty to help Afghan interpreters – The Times (£)
  • Former Foreign Office Minister Lord Wallace: Britain has no Foreign Policy – Financial Times
  • Beat poverty. Get the brain of a billionaire – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

Wages grow for the first time in five years

MCVEY Esther Downing Street“New official statistics revealed average pay was up 1.3% between July and September excluding bonuses – outstripping the current 1.2% rate of inflation at long last. Manufacturing jobs saw the biggest wage hike, up 1.8%… Employment Minister Esther McVey told The Sun the economic stats represented “a turning point”. The former TV presenter-turned-Tory MP added: “We’ve all been through a lot of pain and now growth is finally filtering through to people’s pockets.” – The Sun (£)

  • 42,000 Romanians and Bulgarians get UK jobs – Daily Mail
  • Speedy visas for the rich to be expanded – Financial Times
  • Europe’s welcome ruling on migrants and benefits – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph
  • Labour MPs cheered jokes about lynching Esther McVey – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Employment up again – and wages rise faster than inflation

Reckless’s wedding guests divided as Rochester waits for polling day

“The govenment whip Therese Coffey and the historian backbencher Kwasi Kwarteng were both guests at Reckless’s wedding to Catriona Brown at Westminster Cathedral in 2011. Dan Hannan, the Tory MEP for the south east of England who agrees with Ukip that Britain should leave the EU, was his best man. Douglas Carswell, whose defection to Ukip at the end of August prompted Reckless to abandon ship, was an usher.” – The Guardian

> Today: Interview by Andrew Gimson: McLoughlin – “If it wasn’t for the Conservative Party, nobody would know who Carswell and Reckless were”

> Yesterday: UKIPWATCH – Reckless disagrees with UKIP policy on a Sovereign Wealth Fund  and Exploring a defector’s dilemmas

Peter Kellner: Is Boris unstoppable?

Boris Hurdles“The good news for Boris does not stop there. Londoners rate him far more highly than Cameron or Miliband as someone who understands commuters and middle-class voters. He also appeals across the generations, emerging ahead of the two national party leaders in understanding both older Londoners and Londoners in their twenties. As for his record in office, Londoners give him high marks for handling London’s bus and tube services. Their verdict on the way he has tackled crime in London is more mixed but still, on balance, positive.” – Prospect

Fraser Nelson: Marriage is a matter of social justice

“This inequality of marriage ought to concern the left. There has been far more family breakdown over the last four decades, but it’s the poorest who are being most affected. There are no absolutes in this argument — successful families do come in all shapes and sizes — but figures do show a broad trend. Fewer than one in ten married parents have split by the time a child is five, but a third of unmarried parents do so. As Tony Blair said, ‘A strong society cannot be morally neutral about the family.’” – Spectator

Lord Deben, a.k.a John Gummer: Thatcher was right to warn us about climate change

Screen shot 2014-11-13 at 08.11.48“I suspect that Mrs Thatcher would have approved of the Climate Change Act. If there were one principle that she stood for, it was taking responsibility. I suspect she would have enjoyed seeing other nations following her lead. I suspect also that she would have given short shrift to the dismal merchants of negativity, who argue of the move to lower carbon emissions: “We can’t do it”, “It’s too difficult”, “We can’t afford it”. People said the same about retaking the Falkland Islands.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Why aren’t crooked bankers in prison? – Daily Mail
  • Grayling makes pledge over probation conflict of interest fears – The Guardian
  • Welsh pupils are not up to scratch in maths – Wales Online
  • More time to quiz seven terror suspects – Belfast Telegraph
  • ‘I’ve been punched, threatened and pelted with eggs but I won’t let anti-Semitic thugs win’, says Salford rabbi – Manchester Evening News
  • 260,000 people sign petition to put Greens in debates – The Independent
  • Top executives call for airports decision – Financial Times
  • George W.Bush: Jeb should run for the White House – Daily Telegraph
  • 2014 set to be Scotland’s hottest year on record – Scotsman
  • Joy as Philae probe successfully touches down on comet – Daily Express
  • “The Speaker’s hospitality is being offered as part of a prize for the ultimate British holiday experience, which will also include the prospect of shovelling dung at London Zoo and a tour of Wimbledon by a symbol of British sporting disappointment.” – The Times (£)
  • A lot of fuss about photos of a woman’s bottom – The Sun (£)

And finally: Jesse Norman abstains over Syria. He’s fired. Peter Lilley votes against the Government on the EAW. He stays. Double standards for Policy Board members?

NORMAN Jesse preferred headshot“Now, you can make a case that Lilley should be treated differently from the rest of the Policy Board. The rest of the Board is made up of new MPs, Lilley—by contrast—is a distinguished former Cabinet Minister. One can argue that on this basis, he should be cut a bit more slack. But Jesse Norman, who was sacked from the Board for merely abstaining on the Syria vote in 2013, is entitled to feel rather raw today.” – James Forsyth, Spectator

> Yesterday: UKIPWATCH – ConHome first broached the idea of a Sovereign Wealth Fund.  Sorry, Jesse Norman first broached the idea of a Sovereign Wealth Fund.  Sorry, Mark Fox first broached…