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31 Aug 2007 08:49:51

Friday 31st August 2007

6.30pm ToryDiary: Party's private Populus poll published

3.30pm Seats and Candidates: Another incumbent-favouring factor in MEP selection

2.30pm Seats and Candidates: Second coup against Gray cancelled?

ToryDiary: Saatchi applies for election advertising contract

Columnists: Theresa May MP says "bring it on" to an early election

Platform: Ben Rogers asks whether our Foreign Secretary is Miliband or Millipede for his weak response to developments in Burma

Nus_2 CF Diary: On the day that the NUS has forced HSBC to back down on overdraft fees, activist Sam Rozati makes the case that top-up fees have changed student politics sufficiently for it to be well worthwhile young Conservatives getting involved in.

Labour attack family policy

"Labour has warned that millions of childless and unmarried people would face higher taxes under a Tory government under plans floated by David Cameron. The Tory leader, who has promised to reward marriage through the tax system, pledged that "every pound" of new green taxes to combat climate change would be spent on cutting "family taxes"." - Independent

Latest poll

"David Cameron is facing a landslide defeat with Labour winning a majority of around 100 seats in the House of Commons if Gordon Brown calls a snap general election, according to a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph." - Telegraph

"The poll represents a heavy blow for Mr Cameron, whose aides believed that the “Brown bounce” would quickly subside to a much narrower gap between the parties. It underlines the downward trend in support for the Liberal Democrats and increases pressure on Sir Menzies Campbell before his party conference next month." - Times

See this chart and yesterday evening's ToryDiary for more.

David_miliband_2 Miliband not explicitly ruling out referendum

"The foreign secretary said the party had settled its position on the EU "many years ago". Pressed on the issue, he also failed to rule out a referendum on the EU treaty, but insisted that the scrutiny should be done by Parliament." - ePolitix

Immigration continued

"The Conservatives stepped up their attacks on immigration yesterday saying that strong controls were needed to improve cohesion in the community." - Times "The Conservatives ratcheted up the pressure in the immigration debate another notch last night with a stark warning that community cohesion is under threat." - Daily Mail

Core vote issues aren't aimed at Tory supporters

"In a week when Cameron has announced tough proposals on law and order, reiterated his support for a European referendum and talked about immigration, it might be easy to see all this as falling into the trap of talking to an audience of Tory supporters. This is to misread what he is doing." - Iain Dale in the Telegraph

Davies David Davies criticises Assembly stupidity

"A Welsh Conservative MP has accused the Assembly Government of wasting money by leasing a new office building instead of buying it outright. As part of its drive to spread its own employees across Wales, the Assembly Government has transferred hundreds of staff to a new building in Merthyr Tydfil." - Western Mail

Plaid and the Conservatives tripled what they spent in the last Assembly elections than in 2003's - BBC

An autumn election is Brown's less risky option

"The risk over the coming months is that tales of house repossessions, insolvencies, business failures and rising unemployment will increasingly fill the news and business pages. It would also take a serious optimist to claim that the situation in the two conflict zones where British troops are committed - Iraq and Afghanistan - will look better next spring. If Mr Brown has a clear head, he will see that failure to go to the country now might result in his not being able to call a poll before 2009, possibly even 2010." - Telegraph leader

Brendan Carlin gives an overview of the boundary changes, funding and selection of candidates that will determine how the election goes operationally - Telegraph

Sarkozy leading the way

Sarkozy

"It is the combination of a ceasefire, a peacekeeping force, economic reconstruction and the threat of sanctions that can bring a political solution to the region – and we will spare no efforts in making this happen." - Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy writing in the Times

"Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday announced the second phase of his economic reforms in a speech to the employers' confederation. The choice of audience reflected his determination to encourage enterprise by cutting red tape and reducing high social charges. It followed 13.6 billion euros of tax breaks adopted last month and is itself part of an almost continuous reform programme expected to run until next spring." - Telegraph leader

On falling divorce rates

"It is not naive to suppose that a growth in personal responsibility is the main factor keeping couples together. Divorce is still both a cause and a symptom of acute distress, and 125,030 children were involved in divorces last year. They need support, but so do parents still trying to make marriage work." - Times leader

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30 Aug 2007 09:05:29

Thursday 30th August 2007

Yougov_2 7pm ToryDiary: First poll results under the fightback due

6pm ToryDiary: 'Tory members are obsessed with Europe'? Actually, no.

3.45pm BritainAndAmerica: We might still have America as a colony if...

11.45am ToryDiary: Tory members are unpersuaded by arguments for green taxation

ToryDiary: David Cameron is indicating right but this is no lurch back to 2005

InpraiseofandrewlansleyColumnist Louise Bagshawe writes 'In praise of Andrew Lansley'

The poll of GPs is highlighted in The Daily Mail: "The survey of 301 GPs found that 48 per cent intended to vote for the Conservatives at the next General Election, up from 35 per cent in 2005.  Support for Labour has dropped from 31 to 23 per cent while the Liberal Democrats have seen their backing fall from 19 to 13 per cent."

Alister Cooling was recently on Castaway alongside Clare Hilley. On CF Diary he gives a very personal account of his political journey from a Labour-voting family in Leeds to an active member of Croydon CF.

Notsurewhattodo_2Click here to view the ConservativeHome listings guide and to contact Samuel Coates to advertise your own events.

Newspapers focus on David Cameron's immigration remarks during Newsnight interview

Mailheadline "David Cameron stepped up his political fightback last night by claiming excessive immigration had been a burden on public services.  He said schools and hospitals were struggling to cope with arrivals from the European Union and beyond.  The Tory leader also accused Government ministers of relying on inflammatory language to cover up their failure to curb the flow of migrants." - Daily Mail

"The Tory leader risked fresh criticism that he is "lurching to the right" to bolster his own position by saying that immigrants are putting "huge pressure" on public services." - Independent

Ben Brogan was surprised and impressed with David Cameron's Newsnight performance: " I went away a few weeks ago half expecting to find meltdown on my return, but tonight's calm, low-key, confident performance will make reassuring viewing for any Conservatives still suffering from summertime blues."

Seumas Milne in The Guardian believes that "the real Conservative Party is reasserting itself".

Click here to watch David Cameron on Newsnight and here for yesterday's ToryDiary thread on the interview.

Memberspanel Tory members most favour a cut in inheritance tax

"The [ConservativeHome.com] survey shows strong support for a Tory pledge to abolish inheritance tax first mooted last month by John Redwood. The tax is currently paid by just 6 per cent of voters but topped a list of levies that Tories would like to see cut. The poll suggested that 27 per cent wanted it reduced, significantly ahead of those who wanted a reduction in income tax (20 per cent) or council tax (18 per cent). By contrast just 16 per cent agreed that green taxes were vital to tackle climate change." - The Times

LATER TODAY - ON TORYDIARY - WE'LL BE UNPACKING THE RESULTS OF THIS MONTH'S CONSERVATIVEHOME SURVEY.

Lait_lacqui The Mail highlights Labour threats to the greenbelt

Conservative planning spokesman Jacqui Lait comments: "Government inspectors are planning to let rip with the concrete mixer and add to unsustainable urban sprawl by bulldozing the Green Belt. This is the green light to Green Belt destruction.  Labour's policies are only going to deliver sprawling housing estates without proper infrastructure, much of it on flood plains.  Local residents will be powerless to stop unelected bureaucrats building the sink estates of the 21st century."

Business cannot be expected to heal Britain's broken society

Fraser Nelson, reflecting on David Cameron's call for better self-regulation in the music industry, writes for The Business: "America, home of gangsta rap music, is this year celebrating its lowest violent crime rates for decades. When Rudy Giuliani was elected mayor, he did not lecture New Yorkers about the need to change their culture. He just changed the rules of policing, and violent crime plunged 70%, showing the rest of the world – and hopefully, David Cameron’s Conservatives – what it really takes to heal a broken society."

Bp_logo800Today is the final day you can apply to Party Conference without incurring a late fee.

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29 Aug 2007 08:48:09

Wednesday 29th August 2007

6.45pm ToryDiary: 'Meet the shadow minister for militant Islam' (Paul Goodman)

Camerononnewsnight_2 5.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron on Newsnight touches on immigration, green taxation and the outside interests of the frontbench

12.45pm ToryDiary: Cameron should listen to Giuliani about defence expenditure (as well as zero tolerance policing)

Noon CF Diary: Campaign for a less south-centric exec is launched and August bulletin

11.15am BritainAndAmerica: Bush-hatred sinks to new low

ToryDiary: David Cameron enjoys his best ever headlines this morning but he must ensure the looming announcements on green taxation do not rock the party back again

Is our society really broken?  Columnist Peter Franklin says that the dependency of many millions points to fundamental weaknesses within our nation.

Interviews: Any questions for Andrew Boff?

CameronitstimetofightDavid Cameron writes for the Daily Mail about his crime 'fight back'

"Today, I am calling on the country to say enough is enough.  We must fight back against the gangs and guns. We must fight back against danger and disorder.  In the 1970s, people thought Britain was facing permanent economic decline, but strong leadership and a coherent approach thankfully reversed our fortunes.  Today, we face the challenge of social decline, of which crime is just one part. We can, and we must, fight back." - Daily Mail

PRISON WARDENS CALL IMMEDIATE AND ILLEGAL STRIKE - Breaking news in The Telegraph

Gummerjohn Gummer-Goldsmith plans to restrict and tax air travel

"Plans that would curb drastically the number of flights taken by British travellers are being considered by the Conservatives with new taxes on air travel and a halt to airport expansion" - Times

There are negative reactions on the blogosphere from Roger Helmer MEP, Iain Murray and Iain Dale.

A leader in The Independent welcomes the proposals but thinks that the LibDems' ideas are better.

"Lib Dems would set up a "leapfrog" fund to support clean energy projects in developing countries, boost flood defences at home, and invest in better-insulated homes, with "green mortgages" which would allow people to divert money saved on heating bills to pay for improving domestic insulation." - Guardian

Peter Riddell: Cameron and Co may still have a few reasons to be cheerful

The Times' Peter Riddell begins his analysis of Conservative fortunes with yesterday's ToryDiary on why the worst may be over for David Cameron.

Boris Johnson wins 70% of vote in ConservativeHome survey

The Sun is one of today's newspapers to report ConservativeHome's poll of London Tories.  There were also very brief reports in yesterday's Evening Standard, London Lite and The London Paper.

Widdecombe Ann Widdecombe under fire for her portrayal of 'disadvantaged' urban estate - Guardian

The Mirror's Kevin Maguire focuses on the power of Michael Ashcroft

Gordon Brown salutes Mandela ahead of today's unveiling of statue - BBC

- YouTube video where Gordon Brown pays tribute to "most inspiring" leader of our generation.

Campbell's Diaries is book most likely to be left in hotel rooms - Independent

Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary...

28 Aug 2007 08:55:21

Tuesday 28th August 2007

3.30pm ToryDiary: Fighting back Tories announce multi-dimensional programme to tackle crime

11.45am ToryDiary: Gummer-Goldsmith to recommend freeze on airport expansion

70pcforboris10am LondonMayor: Boris Johnson set to win Tory nomination by landslide

ToryDiary: Is the worst over for Cameron?

Columnist Andrew Lilico: The Power of the Right in the Policy-Formulation Debate

Cameron_with_union_flag Cameron encourages Sun readers to join Tory referendum campaign

"I've got a couple of simple questions for Gordon Brown.  What makes you think you can break your promises to the British people?  And what makes you think you can change the way our country is governed without asking the British people first?  There’s a simple answer to both questions: Arrogance.  And when it comes to Europe, arrogance is what we’ve seen from Labour time and time again.  It’s the arrogance that says: “We, the powerful elites, know best.”" - The Sun

Visit conservatives.com for more.

120 Labour MPs want a referendum - Telegraph

Grayling_serious Chris Grayling accuses Labour of caving in to unions over public sector pay discipline - FT | Telegraph

"NHS workers, local government staff and 100,000 civil servants working in job centres have been offered more money in recent days in an attempt to stave off threatened strikes.  The biggest change is the offer made to council staff. It breaks the Government's target of two per cent rises this year, designed to curb public spending.  Now 2.48 per cent will be added to their pay packets. The lowest paid will receive 3.4 per cent, taking them to at least £6 an hour." - Daily Mail

Redwood_john_blog John Redwood makes the case for tax cuts

"The best way to pay for the tax cuts is from the proceeds of growth. This is not magic money, nor some politician's sleight of hand because he wishes to avoid Labour's so-called "hard choices". Every time the economy grows by 1 per cent the Treasury gets £5 billion a year extra revenue from the additional business, transactions and jobs. The economy, on average, grows at 2.5 per cent a year.  So, after three years of this, the Treasury has a mind- boggling £40 billion extra each year. There is no need for the Government to spend all of this on public services. Some can be given back to the taxpayers - it will help generate more revenue as the effects of lower taxes work through." - Writing in The Telegraph

Brown_gordon_head_tilted Gordon Brown rejects timetable for withdrawal from Iraq

"Gordon Brown last night blasted critics of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — and made it clear there will be no early troop withdrawal.  In a clear message to Labour left-wingers and the Lib Dems, he said people were wrong to say Brits fighting in Iraq were achieving nothing." - The Sun

Fighting crime and social breakdown

"Only 42% of all voters, and 39% of women, think prisons are an effective punishment, against 49%, and 52% of women, who say they fail to work. Conservative voters are most likely to back prisons, Liberal Democrats most likely to oppose them. Among Labour voters, 52% do not want to see more prisons built and 46% do." - Guardian

Dominic Lawson, writing in The Independent, urges Gordon Brown to adopt Bill Clinton's approach to welfare reform

John Prescott to leave Commons at next election - Guardian

Brown accused of trying to stifle debate at Labour conference - Independent

£3bn pre-school learning initiative has no effect - Times

Carbon offsetting under the microscope

"To cancel out the CO2 of a return flight to India, it will take one poor villager three years of pumping water by foot. So is carbon offsetting the best way to ease your conscience?" - The Times examines the difficulties of carbon offsetting

Times leader: "It may make more sense for those who would like to offset part of their carbon emissions to look elsewhere. They might invest in particular projects in which, through their own research, they have confidence; or they might conclude that an old-fashioned donation to an established Third World charity was a better bet, even if the environmental benefits were not related directly to offsetting the carbon emissions."

Howard_john Is Australia's John Howard politically exhausted?

As the spectre of a possible election defeat looms, John Howard's strategy of big-spending conservatism, so successful for so long, seems to be approaching the point of political and economic exhaustion - Paul Kelly in The Australian

SOME KEY CONSERVATIVEHOME ARTICLES FROM THE BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND

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