Saturday, 22 June 2013

Today's ConservativeHome Newslinks

TimesspeedMcLoughlin abandons plans for 80 mph speed limit
"Ministers have abandoned plans to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph because of fears that the change would alienate women voters. The decision will anger many drivers, most of whom want higher speeds, but will be welcomed by road safety campaigners and environmentalists." - The Times (£)
Despite Swiss windfall Osborne's borrowing still too high
"Chancellor George Osborne faced more questions over the nation’s public finances today despite a £3.2 billion Swiss tax windfall. Net borrowing fell sharply to £8.8 billion in May from £15.6 billion a
year earlier thanks to the payout, as well as the £3.9 billion transfer back to Treasury coffers of interest on the Bank of England’s bond holdings...But stripping out the flattering effects of both factors, the nation’s underlying deficit is marginally higher than last year." - The Independent
>Yesterday: WATCH: George Osborne gives a beginners' guide to the spending round
TelegraphbuildAllow building on "uninteresting fields" says Boles
"Developers should be allowed to build on fields if they are boring, the planning minister has said, after a fellow Tory minister accused him and David Cameron failing to protect the countryside. In controversial comments, Nick Boles said people must be "realistic" about the need for more housing, which will mean building on "environmentally uninteresting" green spaces. He made the remarks in a letter to Anna Soubry..." -Daily Telegraph
The Guardian says Gove is to drop Churchill from history curriculum
"Michael Gove is poised to backtrack on major aspects of his controversial new history curriculum for schools in England after sustained opposition from teachers and prominent academics, the Guardian has learned... Winston Churchill is no longer named in the new draft." - The Guardian
JeremyhuntJeremy Hunt spends Thursday in hospitals on work experience
"I don’t want to scare you but, if you go to hospital or the doctor, especially on a Thursday, there is a chance you will meet “Jeremy”. That is the Health Secretary’s day for doing NHS work experience. He’s made beds, answered phones, observed operating theatres (no jokes about “cuts”, please) and even, apparently, visited mortuaries. On this particular day, he’s manning the front desk at A&E." - The Times (£)
Cameron to say GM food is safe for his children
"Downing Street said yesterday that the Prime Minister had no intention of answering direct questions about what he fed his children. However, 24 hours after Mr Cameron’s spokesman refused to be drawn on the issue, those around the Prime Minister conceded that he would have to relent if he wanted to persuade sceptics of the merits of GM crops." - The Times (£)
>Yesterday "My view [on the EU] is very clear. I'd like to make laws in our own Parliament." - Andrew Gimson interviews Owen Paterson
HammondHammond furious at health and safety laws being applied to the battlefield
"British troops could be prevented from carrying out vital missions after an explosive human rights ruling, the Defence Secretary has warned. Philip Hammond said the judgment means military chiefs will be ‘living in fear’ of being sued. He fears our forces risk being reduced to Continental-style
peacekeeping roles – which see some countries refuse to let their personnel go out after dark – after judges decreed that the European Convention on Human Rights applies on the battlefield." - Daily Mail
  • "It’s impossible not to be alarmed by this week’s Supreme Court ruling that soldiers in warzones should, for the first time, be given protection under Labour’s Human Rights Act...military commanders are regularly tasked with making instant life-or-death decisions. If the fear of future litigation causes them to hesitate for even a moment, the consequences could be disastrous." Leader Daily Mail
MercerMercer wants Tory whip back
"MP Patrick Mercer says he hopes to be readmitted to the Conservative Party in the Commons after he has cleared his name of lobbying allegations. The BBC's Panorama alleged he had accepted £4,000 to lobby for business interests in Fiji. Speaking during a visit in his constituency, the Newark MP said it was "very painful" to think that he might have infringed people's trust." - BBC
Clegg would demand PR in 2015 negotiations for new coalition
"Nick Clegg will make electoral reform the price of going into coalition with David Cameron or Ed Miliband after the next election. A mansion tax, income tax cuts for millions and new green targets are likely to form other “red lines” for the Lib Dems in any negotiations in May 2015... After voters overwhelmingly rejected the alternative vote in the 2011 referendum, Mr Clegg will lower his sights and call for a proportional system of voting in council elections... Lib Dems believe that this would not require a referendum." - The Times (£)
 Clegg and Miliband both to warn austerity must continue...
"The economy is going to make life very tough for whoever wins the next election, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg are to warn their respective parties. Mr Miliband will say Labour must face up to the "hard reality" that it will not be able to reverse spending cuts scheduled by the coalition for 2015-16. Mr Clegg will warn Liberal Democrats against going into the next election with a "flight-of-fancy" manifesto." - BBC
  • "Is it a miracle? Has Ed Miliband finally woken up to the parlous state in which Labour left Britain? After three years of opposing every Coalition cut, he now backs the lot. Even the ones George Osborne is announcing next week." - The Sun Says the real spending cuts will come after 2015...
"Department finance directors across Whitehall are understood to be compiling spreadsheets predicting the level of cuts until well after the 2015 poll, in light of the chancellor's announcement that he will not meet his debt target until 2017-18. One Whitehall source said: "Finance directors... can see the decline in spending and will be looking all the way to 2017-18. That is the real challenge. That is where they need to look and think of how they will deal with that." - The Guardian
Attlee...while Miliband says Attlee offers austerity model
"Ed Miliband has urged his party to remember that the post-war Labour government achieved radical social change while also managing to run budget surpluses in a time of austerity. The Labour leader urged party members concerned about his decision to accept coalition spending plans for 2015-16 to recognise that high day-to-day spending is not the only route to social justice and that Clement Attlee created the welfare state and NHS while also balancing the budget." - The Guardian 
FarageFarage faces revolt on local pacts with Tory candidates
"The Ukip leader has raised the prospect of its candidates running on a joint ticket with like-minded Conservatives at the next general election....But Mr Farage is facing strong resistance from senior party figures who warn the move would alienate disillusioned former Labour voters contemplating switching allegiance to Ukip. And they predict any attempt by Mr Farage to support local deals between Ukip and the Conservatives would run into strong opposition in the party's ruling national executive." - The Independent
Matthew Parris says "we" are not the west and should not intervene in Syria
"It’s the commonest of observations that, on retirement, men and women who have been playing an active role in public affairs find it difficult at first to listen to news bulletins with the mellow understanding that they don’t have to have an opinion any more. As common is the report that after the amputation of a leg, at first you think you can still feel it there. The gently declining empire into which I was born is in the same condition." - The Times (£)
MooreCharles Moore says David Cameron was wrong to endorse the NHS
"In his first party conference speech as leader, in 2006, he said: “Tony Blair once explained his priority in three words: education, education, education. I can do it in three letters: NHS.” Instead of endorsing what mattered – health care for all – Mr Cameron endorsed our particular system delivering it. It is the worst in the Western world." -Daily Telegraph
Cameron must not follow Blair warns Patrick O'Flynn
"The elixir of the grateful crowds of the liberated must have tasted as good to Cameron when he visited Benghazi as it did for Blair on a post-conflict trip to Pristina where every second little boy seemed to have been named in his honour. Then there is the looming on the horizon of much more intractable conflicts - Afghanistan and then Iraq for Blair, Syria for Cameron. This week the spirit of Blair was urging him on." - Patrick O'Flynn Daily Express
Gagging clauses waste money and cost lives says Steve Barclay MP
"The Secretary of State for Health has taken swift action to stamp out gagging clauses in the NHS, but the NAO report’s findings that these compromise agreements are widespread throughout the public sector demands cross-departmental agreement and a concerted effort from civil service leaders to ensure full transparency when it comes to payments. As we have seen, there is simply no place anywhere in the system for clauses which leave an individual feeling they have been gagged, especially when the money involved come from the public purse." - Steve Barclay Daily Telegraph
News in brief
  • Hunt may claw back pensions of NHS bosses involved in cover up -Daily Telegraph
  • Is the taxpayer funding Hacked Off director's salary? - Daily Mail
  • Fresh GCHQ snooping row - The Independent
  • Farage apologises for offshore mistake - BBC
Yesterday on ConservativeHome
  "In too many corners of our NHS, we have become so numbed to the inevitability of patient harm that we accept the unacceptable. Only by ensuring that every person is treated as though they were our own family member will be realise the ambition of zero harm." - Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, on Comment: Addressing the silent scandal of our NHS