Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Web links..

"Downing St published a photograph of the Prime Minister chatting to fellow travellers on the Underground as he travelled to east London yesterday afternoon. ... Mr Cameron has been keen to stress how he wanted to use public transport during the Games rather than the special 'Zil lanes' reserved for VIPs travelling to venues by car." - Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron has "probably had a peek" at the beach volleyball - Daily Telegraph
  • Spectators are flocking to the Olympic's free sporting events - Daily Telegraph
  • Graeme Archer: The Games are teaching us who we are — and to be proud of it - Graeme Archer, Daily Telegraph
  • The Games have put London on the road to transport reform - Christian Wolmar, The Times (£)
> Yesterday's video: Cameron: "I've just come on the tube myself..."

...but attracts backbench ire for criticising Aidan Burley

"Mr Cameron’s intervention drew criticism from other Tory backbenchers. ... Nadine Dorries tweeted: ‘If DC can keep quiet when his public school pals have expenses spotlight shone on them, should do the same when new backbencher messes up.’ ... Stewart Jackson said: ‘Surely PM should have risen above criticising his own MP re: Olympics opening ceremony? He may disagree with Aidan Burley MP but why say so?’" - Daily Mail
  • Did Tom Daley fall victim to the 'curse of Cameron?' - Daily Telegraph
  • Soldier demands to see Cameron's papers - The Sun
  • Olympic tickets to go back on sale to avoid the embarrassment of empty seats - Daily Telegraph
  • Four members of the IOC have failed to turn up for the Olympics - The Times (£)
  • Surrey Police are on the hint for cyclist Lizzie Armitstead's lucky glasses -Daily Telegraph
Economists fear an Olympics slump
"UK Trade and Investment has predicted a potential £13bn fillip to the economy over four years. But senior ministers have played down the short-term tourism boost and instead emphasised – in the words last week of Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister – the UK’s 'growth potential'. ... To many Londoners, however, the city is looking and feeling emptier than usual. Tony Travers, a London expert at the London School of Economics, said: 'If it turns out to be the case there is a big drop-off in business because of exaggerated claims on transport, then that would be unfortunate to say the least.'" - Financial Times (£)

Boris calls for more British medals success
"Mr Johnson voiced his fears about Britain's medals as he tried to play down a row over thousands of empty seats during the first few days of the games. ... He promised that empty areas reserved for Olympic 'bureaucrats' who failed to turn up would be re-allocated to the public. ... The thing is going to be to reduce this space,' he said. 'There will be more tickets available.' ... 'The only thing I'm worried about is we need to step up the medal count a bit.'" - Daily Telegraph
Steve Richards: Here's why Boris won't lead the Conservatives
"The return is the problem, the obstacle that is much harder to overcome than it seems. The sole reason Boris will never be leader of his party is that he is not in the House of Commons now and if he were to serve a full term as full-time Mayor, would not be an MP after the next election." - Steve Richards, Independent

A headache for Theresa May? Abu Qatada tries to end his detention while awaiting deportation
" Lawyers for the firebrand will attempt to use the ancient legal procedure of habeas corpus at the High Court to argue that his detention while awaiting deportation is unlawful. ... If they succeed it could mean senior judges ordering the release of the man once dubbed Osama bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe within days." -Daily Telegraph

The Treasury moves on offshore tax avoidance - Financial Times (£)

Tory donors' firm had stake in work programme contractor - Daily Telegraph
  • "Nonsense" welfare payments can't be cut too far or fast - Daily Mail editorial
The NHS regulator proposes relaxing its restrictions on private companies -Guardian

Peers suggest switching all TV to the Internet - Guardian

Lib Dems are warning Nick Clegg to avoid agreeing on new spending cuts
"Nick Clegg is being threatened with a revolt by the grassroots of his party if he shows any sign of agreeing more spending cuts with David Cameron. ... In a move that risks scuppering the next public spending review, which is expected in 2014, influential Liberal Democrats have made clear that their party must decide its own spending plans. The Conservatives are hoping to cut welfare spending but pressure is growing on Mr Clegg to opt for new taxes on the rich." - The Times (£)
  • Lib Dems plot revolt over Tory plans for more welfare cuts - Independent
Yesterday's ToryDiary: When should the Coalition end?

Alistair Darling attacks Alex Salmond — and calls for compromise too

"Alex Salmond 'does not speak for Scotland' when it comes to dictating terms for his independence referendum, according to Alistair Darling. In an interview with The Times, the former Chancellor accused Mr Salmond of 'playing fast and loose' with the Scottish people by delaying the date of a referendum and by appearing to favour having a second question rather than just a straight 'yes or no' on independence. ... Mr Darling also warned David Cameron not to intervene by bringing forward his own referendum. 'I think it would be much better to have a constructive discussion and negotiation and let’s get the matter concluded,' Mr Darling said." -The Times (£)
  • Alex Salmond is spending £25,000 of taxpayers’ money a day to hire out a London club for the duration of the Olympic Games - Daily Telegraph
Richard Littlejohn: Harriet Harman's Equality Act was a bridge too far - Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail

HMRC has paid out over £1million, over the past four years, in rewards for "tax snitches" - The Sun

Bankers could face jail over rate rigging - Daily Telegraph

Over 150 libraries have been closed or put into the hands of volunteers in the past year - Independent

Poll finds that a most Germans want to return to the Deutschmark - Daily Mail
  • Dissent grows among the voters of Europe - Daily Telegraph editorial
Republicans defend Mitt Romney's visit to Israel - Daily Mail
  • Mr Romney, speaking via Craig Brown, answers all your holiday problems... -Daily Mail
  • Is Romney a hawk, or just a tactless weirdo? - Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£)