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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cameron Promises ‘Bold Action’ In Conference Speech

British Prime Minister David Cameron said in his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Wednesday that his government had “one mission in mind: to make this country, at long last and for the first time ever, a land of opportunity for all”. Insisting that the plan to make jobseekers work for their financial support was right, Cameron said that it was “time for bold action”. “We should ask, as we write our next manifesto, if that option should really exist at all. Instead we should give young people a clear, positive choice”, said the Tory leader. He also criticised Labour’s plans to freeze energy prices if it came to power. “An energy promise they admitted 24 hours later they might not be able to keep. It’s all sticking plasters and quick fixes cobbled together for the TV cameras. Red Ed and his Blue Peter economy”, he concluded.

Italian Government Wins Essential Confidence Vote

Centrist Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote after former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi decided to back his government days after asking all ministers from his Forza Italia party to quit the cabinet. “This government has worked well, all ministers were loyal. We have a nightmare at our backs, but we can still make it”, said Letta while addressing the Senate chamber before the vote, which he won by 235 votes in favour and 70 against. Berlusconi appeared to change his mind about voting against Letta when a group of his party members appeared to be close to revolt and even open to the idea of forming a new party. “My decision was made to considerable strife”, said the former premier, signalling that the rebels that forced his hand might also have marked the beginning of the end of his political career.

Lord Heseltine Says Daily Mail Has ‘Demeaned Political Process’

Lord Heseltine, deputy prime minister under John Major and current peer in the House of Lords, has attacked the Daily Mail for demeaning the political process, saying it had no justification to print an article saying that Labour leader Ed Miliband’s father had “hated Britain”. “This is carrying politics to an extent that is just demeaning, frankly. The headline isn’t justified. It is completely out of context. As everybody knows the guy fought for this country and we now live in a totally different world to the clash between communism and fascism”, said Lord Heseltine during an appearance on BBC 2′s Question Time. Meanwhile, Education Secretary Michael Gove, whose wife is a columnist for the newspaper, said that politicians should not “tell editors how to do their job” and that “we need a free press that is robust, raucous and, by definition, will sometimes offend”.

Scotland Plans Norwegian-Style Oil Fund After Independence

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, John Swinney, has said the Scottish government would establish two oil funds after independence to save receipts from North Sea oil, an idea borrowed from Norway’s sovereign wealth fund established on its oil resources. “We are committing ourselves to setting up a stabilisation fund and a long-term savings fund”, he said. The move was greeted with enthusiasm by the head of the pro-independence campaign, Blair Jenkins. “A policy of exploiting reserves, but blowing revenues without saving a penny for a rainy day has sold Scotland short. This is a one-off chance for present and future generations. A ‘yes’ vote means no more regrets about wasted opportunities”, said Jenkins. Alistair Darling, who fronts the Better Together campaign for the maintenance of the UK, said that tax revenues from oil would be unpredictable and could place an independent Scotland’s finances in peril. “In the absence of that oil-generated surplus, to establish a stabilisation fund we would need to cut existing expenditure or raise taxes. That is the price of exposing ourselves to this risk if we vote to leave the UK next year”, said Darling.

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