Thursday, 14 October 2010

News in briefs - 14 October 2010

Here is some of today's political news as it comes to me (i.e. not necessarily in strict chronological order of events). It is an experiment I am trying; and if it is successful I shall make it a regular feature, wearing my briefs specially for this purpose!

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has formally announced that 192 quangos are to be scrapped completely, and a further 481 are to be reformed in some way, a number of them by being merged with others, reducing their number by a further 61. The full list is here. The TUC's Brendan Barber has the cheek to suggest that this move reduces democratic accountability!

Just about everyone else apart from the Unions seems to be pleased with what has been announced today.

Responding to an amendment by Douglas Carswell MP, 37 Eurosceptic Conservative MPs voted for a cut in Britain's contribution to the EU, which wants more of our money (as is typical for a self-serving dictatorship). The amendment was defeated, unfortunately.

Labour MP Denis MacShane, a former Europe minister, is the latest parliamentarian to be reported to the police regarding his expenses claims, and has been suspended from the Labour Party. Perhaps he should now be called "Mac-Shame"! Tory Bill Wiggin is also in trouble over second homes allowance claims including council tax. Also, six former Labour MPs have not repaid alleged incorrect expenses payments.

Former Secretary to the Treasury David Laws has disclosed to a hearing about the forming of the coalition government that "Labour had not prepared properly" for the talks they had with the Liberal Democrats, and that Ed Balls has publicly admitted this.

Vince Cable admits that the £80 million loan to Sheffield Forgemasters was cancelled "on affordability grounds". It's hardly surprising news, of course, and as always we must remember why the country is unable to afford such things and who is actually to blame - yes, Labour!

Baroness Thatcher has the 'flu and will be unable to attend this evening's party at Number Ten to celebrate her 85th birthday; but has insisted that the evnt goes ahead without her. There will be a separate event later, again at Number Ten, after the Baroness has recovered from her illness.

David Cameron greets the "Governator" with the quip that big Arnie is going to help Cam to "terminate" Britain's debt.

Possibly more to follow during the evening...

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