It’s Sunday. It’s 7am. And we’ve got the definitive musical proof that Australian Premier Kevin Rudd is not US President Barack Obama. But first, the news.
2 Big Stories
Government to set up bank chains
Done well, this could be rather good news. A bit more competition in the banking sector could improve service, reduce costs and – by undermining some of the basis for massive bank profits – indirectly help deal with massive bonus payments:
Three new High Street banking chains are to be created by the government by 2015 as part of a major overhaul.
They will be set up by breaking up Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Northern Rock, the banks it partially or wholly controls after bail-outs…
The aim of the new banks is to increase competition and recoup taxpayers’ cash.
The government, which holds a 70% stake in RBS and a 43% stake in Lloyds after last October’s bailouts, hopes to announce the sell-off plans on Tuesday.
The new banks will be standard retail banks concentrating on deposits and mortgages.
They will be sold to new entrants to the banking market and not to existing financial institutions. [BBC]
Ministers face rebellion over drug tsar’s sacking
The Guardian reports:
The decision by the home secretary, Alan Johnson, to call on Professor David Nutt to resign as chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has thrown the future of the respected independent body into severe doubt. There were claims last night that many of those who sit on the 31-strong council – which advises ministers on what evidence there is of harm caused by drugs – may resign en masse, raising serious doubts about how ministers will justify policy decisions.
Several were this weekend seeking urgent reassurances from the government that it will not try to control their agenda and will allow them to speak out before they decide whether to quit. One is said to have already resigned…
Phil Willis, Liberal Democrat chairman of the science and technology select committee, said he was seeking clarification from the Home Office. “We are going back to what George Bush did when for eight years he put science back into the doldrums because his administration would not take advice except from trusted people,” Willis said. “Is that what we want in the UK?”
2 Must-Read Blog Posts
What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:
- The Guide for Canvassers – Lesson 3 – Dealing with Voters [now deleted]: from John Ault’s blog. Warning: reading this post will conjure up an image of John flying through the air at high speed
- Let’s make this the last Equal Pay Day…: Jane Watkins writes about Equal Pay Day
Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.
Sunday Bonus: Kevin Rudd is not Barack Obama
Enjoy this from the Australian political comedy show, The Chaser, complete with a special guest appearance for that favourite political standby, “working families”: