Saturday News Review

Need an internship? Move next door to Dave

David Cameron backs right of middle-class families to give children a ‘leg-up’ by exploiting their contacts — despite the practice being condemned by Nick Clegg […]His decision to disagree publicly with one of Mr Clegg’s most high-profile policy interventions is likely to anger Liberal Democrats, who already resented Mr Cameron’s recent attacks in the debate on the Alternative Vote. In the interview, Mr Cameron said it was “fine” to help people you knew. “I’ve got my neighbour coming in for an internship,” he said. “In the modern world, of course you’re always going to have internships and interns – people who come and help in your office who come through all sorts of contacts, friendly, political, whatever. “I do that and I’ll go on doing that. I feel very relaxed about it.” Earlier this month, Mr Clegg attacked the system that Mr Cameron has now endorsed, describing it as one of the barriers to poor Britons rising up the social hierarchy. – the Telegraph

Tory members sick of Clegg concessions

David Cameron has been given a stark warning by Conservative Party activists not to offer any new policy concessions to Nick Clegg if the Liberal Democrats suffer big losses at the local elections next month. A survey of 1,115 Tory members for The Independent found that an overwhelming 92 per cent want the Prime Minister to refuse to bolster Mr Clegg’s position, because the Tories have already made enough concessions on issues such as Europe, defence, crime and the family. Only 8 per cent want Mr Cameron to find new ways to keep Mr Clegg happy, such as speeding up reform of the House of Lords and slowing down the Government’s controversial shake-up of the NHS. The poll, conducted by the ConservativeHome website, found that only 19 per cent of Tory members believe that their party secured the best deal from the Coalition Agreement. A majority (52 per cent) believe that the Liberal Democrats got the best deal, while 29 per cent regard the agreement as equally good for both parties. – the Independent

Cable continues to throw rocks

Earlier this week Matthew Barrett compiled a list of Vince Cable’s long list of attempts to undermine the Coalition. They are now arriving every 72 hours. No senior Tory has attacked Mr Cable for his acts of disloyalty but the tantrums continue. When he fails to get a response this small man escalates his rhetoric, constantly daring Cameron to act against him. The Business Secretary ups the rhetoric again tomorrow – shooting at Cameron on two fronts: He calls for Labour, Greens and Liberal Democrats to come together to win the AV referendum so that they can then come together and exclude the Conservatives from power […] He then calls for Mr Cameron to disown the “no” campaign for its “brutal personal attack on Clegg”. It is one thing to have a coalition of two parties where each party wants to advance its own interests. It is an entirely different thing to see a senior member of one those parties plotting to build a coalition that excludes the other. – Conservative Home

Gordon Brown to take post at World Economic Forum

Gordon Brown may have been black-balled for the top job at the International Monetary Fund by the prime minister, but he has won a modest consolation prize in the form of a new post at the World Economic Forum. The Geneva-based thinktank, which runs the annual Davos summit, said the former prime minister had agreed to chair a new “policy and initiatives co-ordination board”, which will oversee talks about the future of the global economic system. “With the challenges the world faces, it is vital that all stakeholders are engaged in solving them. The World Economic Forum is uniquely placed to bring those stakeholders together and support the global agenda,” Brown said. Brown’s committee will bring together policymakers and heads of international organisations, such as the IMF, to discuss how to prevent financial crises such as the one that rocked the world in 2008. Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the WEF, said: “Gordon Brown will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the World Economic Forum … His counsel will help ensure the Forum remains rigorous and focused — true to its commitment to improve the state of the world.” – the Guardian

Independent poll gives ‘Yes’ camp hope

The battle between the Yes and No camps before next month’s referendum on the voting system is still wide open, according to a poll for The Independent. The findings will come as a relief to supporters of a switch to the alternative vote (AV) after recent surveys gave the No camp a lead of more than 10 points. The poll, by research agency TNS, found that 34 per cent of people oppose AV and 32 per cent support it, with 21 per cent replying “don’t know” and 13 per cent saying they would probably not vote in the 5 May referendum. According to TNS, one in four people who voted Liberal Democrat at last year’s general election oppose AV (26 per cent), while 74 per cent support it. In a mirror image, one in four people who backed the Conservatives last year favour AV (23 per cent), with 77 per cent opposing it. Labour voters are against a switch to AV by a margin of 53 to 47 per cent. The rival camps believe that this group could hold the key to the result. The pro-AV organisation will mount a major push to win over Labour supporters. – the Independent

One Response to “Saturday News Review”

  1. Richard says:

    Cameron says he’s got his neighbour coming in for an internship. At long last, he’s admitted Osborne is a mere novice.

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