Cameron Speech: the Meat

“The next Conservative Manifesto in 2015 will ask for a mandate from the British people for a Conservative Government to negotiate a new settlement with our European partners in the next Parliament. And when we have negotiated that new settlement, we will give the British people a referendum with a very simple in or out choice to stay in the EU on these new terms; or come out altogether. It will be an in-out referendum.

Legislation will be drafted before the next election. And if a Conservative Government is elected we will introduce the enabling legislation immediately and pass it by the end of that year. And we will complete this negotiation and hold this referendum within the first half of the next parliament.

It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.

With courage and conviction I believe we can deliver a more flexible, adaptable and open European Union in which the interests and ambitions of all its members can be met. With courage and conviction I believe we can achieve a new settlement in which Britain can be comfortable and all our countries can thrive.

I believe something very deeply. That Britain’s national interest is best served in a flexible, adaptable and open European Union. And that such a European Union is best with Britain in it.

Over the coming weeks, months and years, I will not rest until this debate is won. For the future of my country. For the success of the European Union. And for the prosperity of our peoples for generations to come.”

The time has come, in five years time.

Huhne Update: Hearing Resumes Tomorrow 10:30

The Crown Court at Southwark
Daily List for Wednesday 23 January 2013
Court 3 – sitting at 10:30 AM

BEFORE THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE SWEENEY (2)
For Mention
T20127076
HUHNE Christopher
PRYCE Vasiliki

Order made under Contempt of Court Act 1981

██████████████████████████████!

Kev and Denis: Better Off Out

Poor old Kevin Maguire. You know how it is; put a good word in for a disgraced mate, after all, what harm could come from bigging them up despite the fact they were forced out of Parliament for their thieving ways? Bit too risky for the Mirror so pop a kind word in the Staggers, hardly anyone will see it there anyway. Poor old Denis, he deserves a pat on the back. Et cetera:

“Britain’s nascent Eurofan fightback against the Europhobes is tussling with how to utilise Denis MacShane, a former MP who many on both sides of the Commons feel was treated roughly when forced to quit Rotherham. It was MacEurope, a walking encyclopaedia on all things EU, who spotted instantly that Cameron’s double-Dutch big speech on 22 January would upset Monsieur Hollande and Frau Merkel by clashing with the 50th-anniversary celebrations in Berlin of a Franco- German Élysée treaty. Denis the Menace has baggage but few will be as combative or as skilled in the trench warfare ahead.”

Presumably Kevin filed this before the police relaunched their fraud investigation into MacShane yesterday.

“Baggage” is one way of describing it.

He will be super-useful coordinating the great EU-fight back from a cell.

The Bloomberg Speech: Dave EU Speech Tomorrow 8am

Guido was at lunch when the news emerged that Dave is heading to Bloomberg tomorrow morning at 8am for that speech.

It’s where Nick Clegg launched his 2010 manifesto and Ed Balls conceded defeat in the Labour leadership race and set out his unsuccessful job application to be a Miliband’s first choice Shadow Chancellor.

More glamorous than Brugge…

EU Wants to ‘Remove’ Journalists
European Commission Weighs into Leveson Debate

What a surprise that the EU has intervened  into the Leveson debate and wants to implement draconian press controls across the great project. New potential European Commission recommendations will apparently offer “respect, protection, support and promotion of media freedom and pluralism in Europe”, yet it doesn’t take very long before things get rather sinister:

“All EU countries should have independent media councils… Media councils should have real enforcement powers, such as the imposition of fines, orders for printed or broadcast apologies, or removal of journalistic status.”

First they came for the journalists…

UPDATE: Toby Young has found an even worse line:

“The national media councils should follow a set of European-wide standards and be monitored by the Commission to ensure that they comply with European values.”

 

Paul Kirby’s Permanent Secretary Promotion Tantrum

Ben Brogan, who has an excellent civil service source, broke the news this morning that Paul Kirby, the apparently “respected” civil servant head of the No.10 policy unit, was leaving his post. Downing Street has now confirmed it: “The Prime minister thinks Paul did an excellent job recruiting and leading an excellent team.” Interestingly, Kirby won’t be replaced by another Civil Servant, instead this crucial role will revert back to a political appointment. As Guido recommended months ago (See: Downing Street Needs Ideological Wonks)

Paul Waugh has some more detail: “I am told it was Kirby’s decision to leave as he felt his main work had been done and the mid-term review was a natural point to leave.” That’s not what Guido is hearing though. 

A government source whispers that there was actually multiple reasons for the departure. Including that he was “completely useless”  had “no political nous” and a “totally bureaucratic mindset.” More embarrassingly, details are emerging of a tantrum resulting in Kirby returning to KPMG:

“He completely humiliated himself by demanding a promotion to permanent secretary. When he was told he had no chance, he opted to flounce out of government altogether rather than take a job in another department.”

“A natural time to leave”, indeed.

No Prospects: Lefty Mag’s Three-Year Plan Blows £500,000

Back in 2009 the publisher of lefty snooze-fest vanity project Prospect had high hopes for his monthly magazine. David Hanger boasted of a new £500,000 investment from venture capitalists and hedge fund managers that he pledged would double Prospect’s circulation, saying he “hoped that by the end of the three years, the magazine’s circulation would almost double from its current total of about 27,000 to more than 50,000”. Now those three years are well and truly up, Guido has decided to see if the investment came good.

Prospect’s ABC figures for March 2009 put their net total circulation at 27,623. The magazine’s all-important goal of 50,000 has turned out to be a distant pipe dream. The latest available figures put its circulation at just 32,115 three years on, a rise of just 16%. The real cause for concern is the the UK paid-for number. In 2009 they sold 18,122 copies every six months, but last year that number fell to just 16,555. Not even the box office hire James Macintyre could turn things around as their Political Editor. And as for David Hanger? He has seemingly been demoted from publisher to “publishing consultant”. Half-a-million pounds down the drain and nothing to show for it. Those venture capitalists and hedge fund managers really should have known better…

Quote of the Day

Mr Jay praises the British press:

“My impression is that the press in the UK could well qualify as the most unruly and irreverent in the world, and I have travelled widely; it is fearless, and it speaks its mind. To be described as ‘unruly and irreverent’ would be regarded by most editors and journalists as a badge of honour, not of aspersion. Many would argue that these qualities make the press in the UK the best in the world…”

Order of the OTT: Abrahams Accuses Cameron of “Genocide”

Debbie Abrahams almost has Guido feeling sorry for Andy Burnham. The Shadow Health Secretary’s PPS still hasn’t apologised to the House for stupidly repeating “Dr” Eoin Clarke’s lies in PMQs, and now her incompetence has gone a step further. Last […]

+ READ MORE +

Sadiq Khan’s Missing £3,000 Donation Declaration

As Guido reported in Sunday’s column, Labour backs have been put up by the promotion of Sadiq Khan to Shadow London Minister. The “No He Khant” slogan for Khan’s anticipated 2016 London Mayoral campaign is catching on. Meanwhile Guido […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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