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July 2006 newslinks

31 Jul 2006 01:48:52

Monday 31st July 2006

10pm update: David Gold selected for Eltham

12.45pm ToryDiary update: Immigration is endangering Britain's quality of life, warns Julian Brazier

Howard_john_3 TOP HEADLINE: "John Howard has written to his parliamentary colleagues declaring he wants to stay on as Prime Minister and Liberal leader and fight the next election campaign." - The Australian

BLOGS

ToryDiary:

On the day that CCHQ despatches the second set of letters advising candidates if they are on the 'Priority list top-up' ConservativeHome publishes a short history of the A-list.

Boles_1TORY LONDON MAYORALTY PRIMARY

LondonMayor blog: Nick Boles to submit application for London Mayoralty process

The Times' Tim Hames is unimpressed with the Tory decision to choose a Mayoral candidate 21 months before polling day:

"Unless some even slightly well-known contender can be cajoled into standing in the next 100 hours, then the Conservative Party will be inviting seven million citizens to plump between two Kensington and Chelsea councillors of whom the overwhelming majority have never heard. It will be a minor miracle if 70,000 people can be bothered to make the effort — a turnout of 1 per cent of voters. This is not a platform on which to build for ultimate victory... If the process were put back by 12 months there would be more chance of heavyweights coming forward."

BLAIR TO MURDOCH EXECUTIVES

"The era of tribal political leadership is over in Britain with "rampant cross-dressing" on policy set to become a permanent feature of modern politics, Tony Blair told News Corp executives in conclave in the Californian resort of Pebble Beach yesterday." - The Guardian

Tony Blair "will use his visit to California to promote Britain as a world leader in stem-cell research. He will promote a joint Anglo-California biotech conference later this year. He will also claim that Britain has "turned the corner" in tackling attacks by animal rights extremists on medical research companies.' - Telegraph

"The prime minister has spent the last two days in San Francisco talking to political and business leaders about similar themes, and on Monday flies to Los Angeles where he will host a climate change summit.  As part of the summit, Blair will meet California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to discuss progress being made on carbon emissions." - ePolitix.com

And quote of the day goes to Bruce Anderson in The Independent:

"It is hard not to admire the coolness with which our Prime Minister conveys his contempt for the Labour Party. At least half his cabinet is desperately unhappy, as is a majority of his MPs. Yet Mr Blair's message is unchanged: that the only mistake which the Israelis have made is not to kill enough Hizbollah quickly enough. Having given Mr Bush his backing Mr Blair flies on to receive Mr Murdoch's blessing. It is impossible to withhold one's admiration..."

Liberaldemocrats_2THE LIBDEMS HAVE CONTRADICTORY POLICIES ON MOST THINGS...

"The former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has denied reports that he hopes to challenge his successor for his old job.  His statement followed claims that he was meeting key advisers to discuss a possible leadership bid and coincides with his return to frontline politics." reports The Guardian but The Independent has a different take: "Charles Kennedy has declined to rule out a return as Liberal Democrat leader, despite dismissing speculation surrounding "a plot" against his successor."

>>> ToryDiary: Cleggie's coming

DOHA FREE TRADE ROUND

"A failure of Doha would strengthen those who want to turn their backs on globalisation and retreat into protectionism. It would undermine the WTO system, which has brought stability and predictability to the global economy. It would make it much harder to anchor China, India and other growing economies into an open, fair and multilateral trade system. What is at stake if we fail greatly outweighs the relatively small gaps that divide us.  We must avoid burning our bridges. We should try to find a way back to the table. None of us will get all we desire and, indeed, Europe has already dropped many of its aspirations for the round. But the costs of no agreement are far greater than the inconveniences of a less than perfect one." - Peter Mandelson in the FT

LABOUR RAID NATIONAL LOTTERY

"Labour has plundered £3billion of National Lottery cash to bail out ailing public services, according to the Tories.  Almost a third of money meant for good causes is now used to maintain schools and hospitals, claims Conservative research." - The Sun

West_wingAND FINALLY...

The West Wing ended on More4 on Friday.  For those of us who loved the series it was a "suitably inspiring, and characteristically sentimental, end."  That's Janet Daley's verdict anyway in her Telegraph column.  Read the rest of her excellent review here.

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30 Jul 2006 08:38:42

Sunday 30th July 2006

11.30pm ToryDiary update: The Federation of Conservative Students 

BLOGS

Clegg_nick_3 ToryDiary: Watch out Ming. Watch out Dave. Cleggie is coming and Which cartoon characters would vote Tory?

LondonMayor: Meyer? Stevens? Ferrari? 

MICHAEL PORTILLO ON THE A-LIST

Michael Portillo pens a tribute to the A-list in The Sunday Times this morning and to the Tory Chairman: "The greatest moderniser in the party — as it were, more papist than the Pope — is not Cameron but Francis Maude, his lugubrious party chairman. He is a reforming zealot disguised as Eeyore."

The News of the World has this on Portillo: "Former Cabinet minister Michael Portillo romped with an east European beauty in his House of Commons office during a three-year affair.  The married Tory demanded Hungarian Beata Lehotkova join him for trysts at Westminster during her lunch breaks."

Davesdolls_2 The Sunday Times Magazine has a cover feature on the 'women who are making the Conservatives electable again'.  Lesley White: "David Cameron is all about caring and sharing. And his new Tory women are hopelessly devoted to his cause."

JOHN PRESCOTT

"John Prescott faces fresh controversy after it became clear that his former mistress has been given a new job outside Government at taxpayers' expense - to keep her out of his way.  Tracey Temple, who lost her job as the Deputy Prime Minister's diary secretary after details of their two-year affair were revealed in April, is now secretary to the personnel chief at Westminster University in London." - Mail on Sunday

THE POPULARITY OF GRAMMARS

"The number of children attending grammar schools has increased by nearly 27,000 since Labour came to power, new figures show.  The rise is equivalent to opening 30 new secondaries and has been recorded despite the ban on creating new selective schools.  It shows parents' enduring faith in the 11-plus as a means of ensuring bright children are stretched in a state school system that even Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, suggested last week struggles to cater for very able pupils." - Sunday Telegraph

Dancona_matthew_3 THE WAR ON TERROR

"Thank heavens, some will say, that Bush and Blair will soon be gone. They will indeed. Be in no doubt, however: the Islamists are not going anywhere, whoever occupies the White House or Number 10. Last week, Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, declared that "the war with Israel does not depend on ceasefire… it is a jihad… all the world is a battlefield open in front of us. We will attack everywhere." More than anything that the President and Prime Minister said on Friday or the UN agrees this week, that should be a text for our times." - Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph

"Tony Blair was facing a full-scale cabinet rebellion last night over the Middle East crisis after his former Foreign Secretary warned that Israel's actions risked destabilising all of Lebanon." - Observer

Scott_john_msp TORY MSP ATTACKS TRANSPORATION OF 'BUNKER BUSTER' BOMBS THROUGH SCOTLAND

John Scott issued this statement earlier today:

“Of course no one would deny Israel the right to self defence and to defend its boundaries, but it must do so in a proportionate way, which is not the case at the moment. Today’s death toll of civilians is completely unacceptable, perhaps with ‘bunker buster’ bombs having been used against them. That is why I am calling for this air traffic to be diverted away from Prestwick Airport in the future... I am also concerned that other political commentators are drawing the world’s attention to the fact that Prestwick Airport may now be a legitimate target for those wishing to attack Israel’s supply lines. That is why I am calling for all future American ordinance-carrying aircraft in this conflict to be diverted away from Prestwick Airport in the heart of my constituency.”

TWO CONVICTED RAPISTS ARE ON THE RUN FROM WELSH PRISON

"Police are using dogs and a helicopter in the continued hunt for two convicted rapists who have gone on the run from an open prison in south Wales... Local Conservative MP David Davies called for the prison governor and the government to apologise over the policy of putting sex offenders in the jail." - BBC

CHAMPAGNE SOCIALIST

The Mail on Sunday has pictures of Alan Milburn sharing four bottles of champagne on the House of Commons terrace.

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29 Jul 2006 08:05:16

Saturday 29th July 2006

BLOGS

HAVE YOU VOTED YET IN CONSERVATIVEHOME'S JULY SURVEY OF TORY OPINION?

ToryDiary: 100 policy ideas for the Conservative Party 

Donal Blaney on YourPlatform: Staff is policy

LondonMayor: Anti-Tories' website aims to subvert mayoral primary

DAVID CAMERON'S SUMMER MESSAGE TO BRITAIN

Mrinteresting_1 "David Cameron has shrugged off a poll suggesting his popularity among voters is cooling as he claimed that he had made politics 'interesting again'.  He said the Tories had a 'clear political direction' under his leadership and people were beginning to 'see the contours of the next Conservative government'." - Daily Mail

SIMON HEFFER'S SUMMER MESSAGE TO DAVID CAMERON

"Gosh, what a surprise it is that our YouGov opinion poll should suggest that the honeymoon is over for Dave... How can the public - especially those millions who used to vote Tory, but no longer feel the urge to do so - have formed such a poor view of the future saviour of our nation?  Why haven't they been won over by his sincerity, his convictions, his utter honesty and decency? Why aren't they charmed by his principled refusal to engage in media-grabbing stunts? Why can't they see the appeal of his sensible, consistent and well-thought-out policies?" - Telegraph

Spelmanonpoliticsshow_2 CAROLINE SPELMAN ACCUSES RUTH KELLY OF BLACKMAILING COUNCILS

"Ruth Kelly has been accused of blackmail over plans to push up council tax for town halls that refuse to build thousands of homes.  The Communities Secretary wants to hit councils and their voters in the pocket if they fail to obey instructions from Whitehall to speed up their rate of housebuilding... Tory local government spokesman Caroline Spelman said: 'This is all about Labour getting its way on planning decisions by blackmailing councils.'" - Daily Mail

DUNCAN SMITHS OPEN NEW VILLAGE PUB

"When the family estate of Iain Duncan Smith's wife set about building a pub in its village, it's unlikely the former Tory leader would have suggested calling it The Quiet Man.  However, he was happy to endorse The Betsey Wynne, named after his wife's colourful ancestor and founder of the Fremantle Estate at Swanbourne, Bucks, which tonight opens its doors for the first time." - Telegraph

TRAVELLING BLAIR

Tony Blair to address 500 of Rupert Murdoch's News International executives - Guardian

"Tony Blair is spending the weekend in California talking to business, media and political leaders.  The prime minister will spend two days attempting boost UK trade and business links with the seventh largest economy in the world." - ePolitix.com

OTHER NEWSLINKS

"Sources in the Conservative Party who did not wish to be named have claimed to PinkNews.co.uk that lesbian businesswoman Margot James struggled to be selected for a parliamentary seat because of her sexuality."

"Sir Menzies Campbell has made little impact with the public and must "shape up", a Liberal Democrat Welsh Assembly member has said in a scathing attack." - BBC

Sarah Sands and Andrew Neil trade words over Sunday Telegraph relaunch - Independent

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28 Jul 2006 08:19:44

Friday 28th July 2006

2.45pm ToryDiary update: Cameron is a confident Commons performer, accomplished interviewee and disciplined strategist, says The Economist

1.30pm LondonMayor update: Roger Evans AM complains to ASA about Livingstone's ad campaign

11.15am ToryDiary update: David Cameron's summer message 

BLOGS

Duncan_smith_2_5 Iain Duncan Smith on YourPlatform: Israel is one of the most vulnerable nations on the planet

ToryDiary:

Seats and Candidates:

THE LIBDEMS' DONOR PROBLEM

Times leader:

"Liberal Democrats will curse the day they ever heard the name Michael Brown. The party’s rank and file should certainly be cursing the day their senior party officials accepted £2.4 million from Mr Brown without checking sufficiently who he was, where his money came from and why he was giving such a large proportion of it away. Mr Brown’s pleas of guilty at Southwark Crown Court to charges of perjury and passport fraud makes a party that enjoys lecturing others look at best woefully incompetent and at worst downright sleazy... Mr Brown’s money began arriving into party coffers from a Swiss bank account, via a company that did not have an office in the UK, and when Mr Brown was not registered to vote in this country. Some of those responsible for this highly irregular, not to say legally dubious, arrangement remain in Lib Dem HQ. They should be moved on."

LABOUR'S INFLATION FAILURE

"Of all the lies New Labour has told, the one for which it will pay the highest price is its claim that it has buried inflation... Hardly a day goes by without some price rise or other. Take this week. By this morning we have had passports up by 29 per cent; British Gas raising the price of gas (12 per cent) and electricity (nine per cent); and even a warning of a surge in the cost of orange juice. The new-fangled Consumer Price Index (CPI), a dubious official measure of inflation introduced in 2003, has finally noticed and last month came in at 2.5 per cent, its highest since 1997." - George Trefgarne in The Telegraph

OTHER NEWSLINKS

"Peers have put themselves at odds with some of Britain's most experienced military officers by calling for parliament to have the final say on any decision to send UK forces to war.  The Lords constitution committee said there should be new restrictions on the power of the government to take part in military action." - ePolitix.com

"Sometimes an apology can be quite revealing. Consider the one recently issued by Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah. He apologized to the families of two Israeli children who were killed by a Hizbullah rocket that hit the Christian holy city of Nazareth. He called them shahids, martyrs, even though they did not choose to die at the hands of Hizbullah terrorists.  The apology was issued not because they were children or innocent bystanders, but because they were Israeli Arabs and not Jews. Hizbullah's rockets are aimed at Jews, and earn cheers whenever they kill a Jewish baby or grandmother. No apologies there." - Alan M. Dershowitz in the Christian Science Monitor

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