Daily View 2×2: 10 September 2009

2 Big Stories

Tories announce curb in health spending increases

As The Telegraph reports,

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said that the Tories would cut the rate at which NHS spending was increasing.

The health service would have to “tighten its belt” and accept small increases in its budget, he added.

Afghanistan Rescue Mission Debated

Meanwhile, questions emerged overnight as to the British military intervention to rescue journalist Stephen Farrell:

Military officials tonight defended the decision to launch a dramatic raid to rescue a British journalist from the Taliban, in which his Afghan assistant and a soldier were killed, against angry criticism in Afghanistan that the operation had been ordered while talks for his release had already begun…

The raid has heightened an internal Nato debate on how to respond to the kidnapping of journalists working in dangerous areas, often against the advice of Afghan and alliance officials.

“This guy was told not to go in there. He was told by local officials,” said a western military source. “But being stupid should not give you a death sentence. How do you decide when not to go in? That’s the hard thing? When do you give a bad man with a gun the right to decide. You always go back and get someone.”

The source said if a raid had not been ordered, the military would have been criticised for “standing by and doing nothing”.

2 Must-read Posts

Charlotte Gore explains why she won’t be leaving the Liberal Democrats for the Libertarian party:

Over the last 100 years economic liberals have found homes in many different parties, but certainly in my lifetime the Liberal Democrats haven’t been an obvious place. This explains the slow death of classical liberalism in Britain and the horrific slide towards universal acceptance of collectivist, protectionist and statist ideas as ‘the centre ground’ when the reality is anything but.

Sara Bedford, meanwhile, offered thoughts on the Independent Safeguarding Authority (which will vet anyone who works with children and vulnerable people):

According to today’s Telegraph, the ISA will take into account ‘lifestyles, relationships and beliefs’ when assessing the backgrounds of more than 11million people, rather than JUST whether they have a criminal record (my emphasis). The Authority will be able to consider unproven allegations made in newspapers, Facebook pages and tip-offs from members of the public.

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