6.45pm WATCH: Video of Alan Johnson calling Ed Miliband… Red!!
5pm Robin Simcox on CentreRight: "If you're a British soldier fighting against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, you can earn as little as £17,000 a year. If you train with the enemy and accuse the British state of torture without having to prove it, then you can become an overnight millionaire. This was precisely what happened last week when the government came to financial agreements with former detainees at Guantanamo Bay…"
1.45pm Alex Estorick on CentreRight proposes a "tax cap"; an idea whose time has come?
1.45pm Local government update: The LGA has just issued a press release which confirms that the LGA CEO will be taking a pay cut to under £100,000. A 66% cut must be about the largest so far in top public sector pay
Nick Seaton: Please support the Katharine Birbalsigh Defence Fund
Nice line from Nick Clegg: Labour are becoming "the conservatives of British politics", Nick Clegg said as he launched a staunch defence of the coalition's public spending cuts – Express
Non-EU skilled migrant cap to be set at 43,000 next year – BBC
"After weeks of behind-the-scenes tension between the Lib Dem-run Business Department and the Tory-run Home Office, the coalition is about to produce its compromise. The Home Secretary will, I understand, cap the number of skilled migrants at around 43,000 next year – that's just 13% lower than 2009's figure and the highest figure recommended by the independent migration advisory committee last week. Staff transferred by their companies to the UK from another country will be exempt from the cap if their salary is over £40,000." – Nick Robinson for the BBC
The Irish bailout
"George Osborne moved to reassure Tory Eurosceptics today by insisting that a planned £7bn loan to Ireland would be on a bilateral basis and would not set a precedent for British help to other troubled eurozone countries." – Guardian
"The Coalition may dress up its willingness to help bail out Ireland as an altruistic helping hand to “a friend in need”, but in reality it is an act of hard-boiled self-interest. We are Ireland’s biggest creditor, and our banks have more than £100 billion of loans outstanding to the Irish banking sector. If that sector were to fail, British banks would have to be recapitalised once again by the British taxpayer. Advancing a bilateral loan to the Irish government as well as participating in the broader IMF and EU rescue packages, costing a total of £7 billion, may have been an unpalatable decision to take, but it was probably an unavoidable one. The alternative was too grim to contemplate." – Telegraph leader
The Guardian's graphic for the bailout is a must-see >
Yesterday's ConservativeHome coverage:
Coalition in brief:
Ed Miliband looks to change Labour policies and democratic structures
"A comprehensive policy review will produce interim positions on issues including crime, education and health by next autumn. However, it will seek to leave Mr Miliband as much room for manoeuvre as possible, particularly on economic policy, until much nearer polling day in 2015. Labour’s party conference in Liverpool next year will also vote on proposals to revamp the party machine, drawn up by Peter Hain, chairman of the national policy forum. The plans will include possible changes to the relationship with the unions, although union leaders will be reassured by the appointment of Mr Hain, who is a strong supporter of maintaining a link with them." – Times (£)
New leader of Britain's biggest union promises that there is 'no such thing as an irresponsible strike' – Telegraph
George Galloway plots a return to politics… via Holyrood – Scotsman
Top mandarin gets £85,000 public sector job after retiring on similiar public sector pension – Times (£)
And finally… With the Tories back in power, maybe a Thatcher-themed nightclub was inevitable. Maybe. Just don't venture into the toilets…
The Guardian's Patrick Kingsley ventures into Maggie's, a new Margaret Thatcher-themed nightclub: "Located on the border between Tory Chelsea and blue-blooded Fulham, it's hard not to imagine Maggie's as some kind of political statement. After all, the first thing you see when you enter the club is a wall of photos featuring Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Hanging over the stairs is a picture of Thatcher flashing a two-fingered salute. And, as we now know all too well, toilet-goers are serenaded with the audiobook of Thatcher's diaries."
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