Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Web Links..

David Cameron knows he's on course to lose the next election; Rupert Murdoch wants Boris to lead the Conservative Party, says the Telegraph's Benedict Brogan

"David Cameron is on course to lose the next election, and his leadership, and he knows it. He has admitted as much to friends, who are even now using the summer weeks to debate what might be done to get the Prime Minister out of his difficulties. ... significantly, I hear, Boris met Rupert Murdoch recently to discuss how his candidacy might be promoted, and has invited the media tycoon to join him at the Olympics. It is said that Mr Murdoch wants to get rid of Mr Cameron. Westminster has noted the Sun’s growing enthusiasm for Boris, and how it contrasts with the vitriol the newspaper now reserves for Messrs Cameron and Osborne."" - Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph
  • Boris accused of 'appalling judgment' by City Hall opponents - Daily Mail

And, sure enough, The Sun attacks George Osborne as the "master of the U-turn"
"The master of the U-turn was at it again, abandoning his National Loan Guarantee Scheme to boost cheap loans to small businesses — the very project that was one of his Big Ideas at the last Tory Conference. ... A replacement project under a new name will be unveiled today. ... George, it is what your schemes achieve that matters, not what fancy names they are called. ... While you tinker, businesses are dying." - Sun editorial
  • George Osborne's National Loan Guarantee Scheme may never meet its £20 billion target now - The Times
  • One-in-five Conservative supporters would prefer Vince Cable as Chancellor, suggests ComRes poll - Independent
David Cameron's Olympic wrestling match with François Hollande

"Mr Cameron was asked about President Hollande's remarks during a visit to Glasgow to promote 'the Games legacy' and to back the city's bid for the 2018 Youth Olympics. ... He said: 'There are French medals and there are some British medals too ... I think there has been a bit of a misunderstanding about the empty seats. ... we are doing everything we can to make sure that unused seats are made available to volunteers, members of the armed services personnel, and we are also putting more of these seats on sale.'" - Daily Telegraph
  • David Cameron is to announce the setting-up of a £10m science research centre on the site of the Olympic drug-testing laboratories - BBC
Olympics comment:
  • London is suffering as Olympic boost outweighed by losses - Allister Heath,City AM
  • The economic cost of London 2012 has been high - Alex Brummer, Daily Mail
  • The Olympics let us wave the flag for Britain - Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
And the Prime Minister also applies pressure to Alex Salmond
"David Cameron attempted yesterday to force the pace on the terms of the Scottish independence referendum by offering Alex Salmond a meeting at the end of September to finalise the details of the vote. ... In what was a clear attempt to put pressure on the First Minister to accept a one-question yes-no referendum, Mr Cameron, speaking during a visit to Glasgow, appealed to Mr Salmond to recognise that the Scots deserved to have the terms in place 'quickly'." - The Times
  • YouGov poll suggests that Alex Salmond isn't yet making gains - Scotsman
Francis Maude looks to make progress on civil service reform

"Francis Maude, the cabinet office minister, on Wednesday asked think-tanks and academics to look at alternative ways of structuring Whitehall. He asked them specifically to look at the New Zealand model, whereby top mandarins are reappointed each time a government changes, allowing ministers to choose their own departmental heads. ... The consultation is the first example of the UK government outsourcing policy development, something Mr Maude promised he would do when setting out his vision for a slimmer civil service in June." - Financial Times (£)
  • Government plan puts Civil Service impartiality at risk - Oliver Wright,Independent
Dominic Grieve holds back the release of Iraq War papers — perhaps for another three decades
"Mr Grieve said holding back the papers were necessary to protect the privacy of Cabinet discussions. ... ‘Serious and controversial decisions must be taken with free, frank – even blunt – deliberation between colleagues,’ he said. ... ‘If there cannot be frank discussion of the most important matters of Government policy at Cabinet, it may not occur at all.’" - Daily Mail

Chris Grayling accused of "trying to censor" a video designed to help people appeal against decisions to remove their disability and sickness benefits -Guardian

The Daily Mail says that IDS should stay put (rather than replacing Ken Clarke at Justice)

"Leave aside that IDS is no lawyer, which need not necessarily disqualify him from handling legal matters in the Cabinet. ... his Welfare Reform Act makes a start towards realising his vision that benefits should never be more attractive than a fulfilling life of work. But it’s known that the Treasury is worried about the costs – and it will take a strong man like IDS to keep the reforms on course. ... among the greatest weaknesses in our system are revolving-door ministers and the lack of long-term planning. Those who are doing valuable work, as are Michael Gove at Education and IDS at Work and Pensions, should stay put." - Daily Mail editorial

Yesterday's ToryDiary: Will welfare be one of the Conservative talking points ahead of 2015?

Andrew Lansley repels calls for an investigation into why some hospital trusts are using nurses as cleaners - Guardian

Public Accounts Committee: government data "must be easier" - Daily Telegraph
  • Superfast broadband will be available in 90% of UK by 2015, says Ed Vaizey - Guardian
The Free Enterprise Group of Conservative MPs encourages BAA to introduce a compensation scheme if it expands Heathrow

"MPs in the Tory 'free enterprise group' believe that BAA should follow the French example of speeding up big infrastructure projects by providing ample compensation for local residents affected by noise and other pollution. ... Kwasi Kwarteng, Tory MP for Spelthorne, in January flagged up the idea of BAA sharing its financial gain from expanding Heathrow with local residents in a free enterprise group pamphlet. ... 'I’ve mentioned it to BAA and I think it’s something they would be open to,' he said. However, he envisaged a limited compensation scheme applicable to fewer than 5,000 people, some of whose homes would have to be demolished to make way for a third runway." - Financial Times

Chairman of the National Conservative Convention warns on gay marriage
"[Emma] Pidding today told BBC Radio 4's World At One: 'My concern is that we are potentially upsetting our members and activists when I have one goal, and that is to obtain a Conservative majority government in 2015. ... Ms Pidding said the issue of gay marriage was of passionate interest to 'a few individuals' on either side of the argument but was not a priority for most Tories." - Daily Telegraph

Eric Joyce MP has been fined £600 for cutting off his electronic tag to compete in a Parliamentary boat race -  Daily Telegraph

"Labour doesn't get it: the NHS needs new ideas to survive" - Nick Seddon,The Times