The five things you need to know on Monday 14 July 2014...
** GERMANY ARE THE WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS! **
1) IT'S RESHUFFLE MONDAY
Dave is getting ready to reshuffle his cabinet - for the first time since 2012. And it's going to be a good day for the double X-chromosomed members of his parliamentary party - if, that is, the Number 10 spin is to be believed. From the Guardian:
"Cameron, who hosted allies at a summer barbecue at Chequers on Sunday, will embark on the first stages of his reshuffle Monday evening when, in the Commons, he meets ministers who face the sack... The prime minister is planning to say goodbye to old hands such as the former chancellor Kenneth Clarke, chief whip Sir George Young, and Commons leader, Andrew Lansley. Cameron is expected to start the second phase of his reshuffle on Tuesday when new arrivals and promoted ministers walk along Downing Street in the full glare of the cameras to meet him. The usual Tuesday morning meeting of the cabinet has been cancelled to allow for the reshuffle. Esther McVey, the employment minister, Nicky Morgan, the women's minister, and Liz Truss, the childcare minister, are all expected to be given promotion.
The Independent's Matthew Norman jokes:
"The PM is so desperate to counter the Tory gender problem by advancing photogenic women that Cameron Diaz and Shakira may well have been sounded out for portfolios, though the more-reliable gossip contends that Esther McVey, Liz Truss and Nicky Morgan are due to join the Cabinet. Also expected to be promoted are a host of other women and members from ethnic minority backgrounds."
The Sun, under the headline 'Old Pals Axe', says Dave "will tonight swing the axe on up to TWENTY ministers in a radical pre-election shake-up of his front bench team... Among those facing the axe are Welsh Secretary David Jones, Commons leader Andrew Lansley and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson."
Will some of the current crop of ministers jump before they're pushed? The Times reports:
"David Cameron was hoping last night that Ken Clarke, the Tory veteran, would spare him the ordeal of having to sack him by tendering his resignation before a reshuffle tomorrow. An old guard of 'pale, male and stale' ministers will be braced for a summons to the prime minister's office in the House of Commons today where they will be informed that they are being axed to make way for fresher faces. Among those expected to go are Mr Clarke, who has served in the cabinets of three prime ministers, along with the chief whip Sir George Young and Andrew Lansley, leader of the house."
The paper also suggests Liam Fox and Mark Harper - both of whom quit the government in disgrace - are being "seriously considered for a return to government" as part of a "redemption theme". Hmm. Last time Dave decided to make a big deal out of giving people 'second chances' he hired Andy Coulson. Also, doesn't the quick return of disgraced ministers to government - think David Laws - make a mockery of both ministerial responsibility and ministerial resignations?
2) DAVE VS THE 'CYBER TERRORISTS'
From the Telegraph's splash:
"The Armed Forces must adapt to deal with 'unseen enemies', David Cameron says today as he announces a Â£1.1billion investment in the military to tackle new threats to national security. The Prime Minister will say that spending on "intelligence and surveillance" equipment, such as drones, is a 'national necessity'. Mr Cameron, writing in The Daily Telegraph, warns that Britain faces changing threats in the form of global terrorism and unseen cyber criminals who can target the country from abroad. We 'cannot defend the realm from the white cliffs of Dover', he writes."
3) FTSE FAT CATS
We're all in this together, remember? From the Independent:
"Executive pay has reached 162 times the wage of the average worker, following a 15 per cent pay rise for the top 100 bosses in the UK. A new report, issued by think tank the High Pay Centre, called on the Government to take 'radical action' to close the gap by requiring firms to cap executive pay at a set multiple of the money earned by their lowest-paid employees... The powers, granted by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, in October last year, mean a firm's renumeration to executives requires support from 50 per cent of shareholders to pass. But the changes did not stop the pay of the average FTSE 100 chief executive increasing from Â£4.1m in 2012 to Â£4.7m last year, the report said."
Lucky the coalition cut the top rate of tax on high earners, eh?
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...
Watch this Vine of the World Cup-winning goal from last night. Genius from Germany's Mario Goetze!
4) 'THOU SHALT NOT LIE'
That's the headline on the front of the Telegraph, which explains:
"Newly elected MPs should be put on an induction course to learn 'the seven commandments' of standards in public life, a parliamentary committee has said. Before entering the House of Commons, MPs should be taught about the need to be honest and have integrity when serving the public, the Committee on Standards in Public Life has said in a report. The report calls for all people elected to office, including civil servants, the police and local government officials, to adhere to the 'seven principles of public life'. The seven principles are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership."
The Guardian also reports on the story:
"The committee on standards in public life, chaired by the Belfast historian Lord Bew, says many MPs appear to show little interest in understanding the principles drawn up in 1995 after sleaze scandals during John Major's premiership. In a letter to the prime minister presenting the independent advisory body's latest report, Bew writes that the committee identified areas where improvements could be made and the profile of ethical standards raised."
Will this new approach stop the next expenses scandal? Hmm...
5) MERKEL MANIA
How will Germany's stunning World Cup campaign affect Frau Merkel's standing in the domestic political scene?
The BBC's Stephen Evans in Berlin writes:
"She's been accused of shamelessly attaching herself to the footballers and their success, and the polls have shown upward blips of support for her as the team has progressed. But will it last? There's no doubt the World Cup has played well for her. Within an hour of the final whistle, there seemed to be a million tweets of her pictured in the middle of the sweaty, victorious team holding the trophy, the president of Germany beside her."
He concludes, however: "Angela Merkel is unlikely to get a great political benefit from the victory of Germany on the field.She is already widely approved of in the polls and a picture of her with other successful people may just reinforce that image. Think of how an unpopular politician would be greeted if he or she attempted to piggyback on the success of a team."
Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that the German chancellor has no plans to "complete a full term" and wants to quit ahead of the 2017 elections and perhaps even become the next UN secretary-general.
PUBLIC OPINION WATCH
From yesterday's Sunday Times/YouGov poll:
Lib Dems 9
That would give Labour a majority of 58.
900 WORDS OR MORE
Christina Patterson, writing in the Guardian, says: "Barack Obama can't save Ed Miliband."
Tim Montgomerie, writing in the Times, says: "Get these A-list Tory women on the front bench now."
Matthew Norman, writing in the Independent, says: "Cameron is under pressure to misrepresent the Tory party as a reflection of the electorate."
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