Wednesday, 13 March 2013

MARCH 2013
David Cameron
This Government's driving mission is to help Britain succeed in the tough global race we're in. That means reversing years of decline under Labour. Building a buoyant economy that invents, makes and sells things again. Creating the good, decent jobs that young people need.
That's why I gave a speech yesterday making clear that there can be no turning back from the course we are on.
Yes, times are tough, and yes, there are calls for us to turn back, give up, give in. But as Conservatives know, nothing worthwhile is easily won. We need to hold our nerve and stick to our economic plan:
bullet Showing the world that Britain is open for business. Corporation tax cut, red tape stripped back, new tax breaks for start ups.
bullet Dealing with the deficit. Getting a grip on our deficit and keeping interest rates low - to make life easier for homeowners and businesses across the country.
bullet Sorting our banks out. Taking tough action to make sure our banks are lending to small businesses - and making sure they can't collapse in the way they did before.
This is our plan - and we're making progress. Over a million private sector jobs have been created since the election. The deficit is down by a quarter. Exports to Brazil up by half; to India more than half; to China almost doubled.
And that's why more than ever we've got to reject Labour's calls for quick fixes. They say we should borrow more. But do you know how much? £200 billion more borrowing - £3,200 more debt for every person.
So we are rejecting the easy ways out. We are sticking to the course. We are going to finish the job we started to get our economy - and our country - fighting fit and standing tall.
David Cameron signature
David Cameron

Suspense mounts after three failed votes for pope 
Suspense mounts after three failed votes for pope

A new plume of black smoke over the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday indicated that Catholic cardinals had failed, after three rounds of voting, to elect a new leader for their 1.2 billion-strong Church.
The 115 cardinals had gone into seclusion on Tuesday to find a successor to Benedict XVI, who brought a troubled eight-year papacy to an abrupt end by resigning last month aged 85.

The black smoke -- a signal given not after each failed vote but after every two such rounds -- indicated that no one had gained the two-thirds majority needed to become the 266th pope.
A successful result would be signalled immediately by white smoke and followed soon afterward with the famous announcement in Latin, "Habemus Papam" (We Have a Pope).
The failed balloting deepened the suspense as no clear frontrunner has emerged, although conjecture has coalesced around three favourites: Italy's Angelo Scola, Brazil's Odilo Scherer and Canada's Marc Ouellet, all conservatives like Benedict.
"So far there is no majority, but some candidates with little support will fall by the wayside soon," an anonymous cardinal who is too old to vote in this conclave but took part in preliminary meetings told the Italian daily La Stampa.
Some analysts suggest that Benedict's dramatic act -- the first papal resignation in over 700 years -- could push the cardinals to take an equally unusual decision and that an outsider could emerge as a compromise candidate.
Hopes are high in the Philippines for the popular archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Tagle, and on the African continent for South Africa's Wilfrid Napier, the archbishop of Durban, but in practice their chances are slim.
Two-thirds of the cardinals are from Europe and North America, and the view among many experts is that only someone with experience of its inner workings can reform the scandal-tainted Vatican bureaucracy, the Roman Curia.
All the "Princes of the Church" were appointed by Benedict or his predecessor and ideological soulmate John Paul II.
Inevitably, comparisons have been made with the conclave that produced Benedict XVI in 2005.
"We went into the Sistine Chapel better prepared" after John Paul II's death following his protracted decline with Parkinson's disease, noted retired cardinal Paul Poupard.
This time, "the cardinals have had to deal with the shock" of Benedict's abrupt abdication, the French prelate told the Italian daily La Repubblica.
In St Peter's Square on Wednesday, pilgrims and the curious huddled under umbrellas to gaze up at the humble chimney pipe that disgorges the smoke signals -- but no one can predict how long the cardinals will take.
Some knelt to pray, others sat on camping chairs and read passages from the Bible out loud.
"It's the first time I've travelled to the Vatican to see a conclave, but I really felt this time more than any other the world needs the hope a good pope would bring us," said 71-year-old Brazilian priest Giuseppe Almaida.
In interviews given before the conclave, voting cardinals pointed to new job requirements arising from the problems facing a Church that is struggling in many parts of the world with scandals, indifference and conflict.
"Managerial skills will surely be useful," Vienna Archbishop Christoph Schoenborn told La Stampa.
And in an indication of a faultline between Vatican insiders and those running far-flung dioceses, Nigeria's John Onaiyekan spoke of "new and innovative methods to boost collegiality".
"In this regard there is a lot of room for development," said Onaiyekan, the archbishop of the Nigerian capital Abuja. AFP