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Monday 10th October 2005

5.30pm update on the Leadership blogDavid Davis versus the press.

Chancellor_merkel_1Chancellor Angela Merkel

1pm update from Der Spiegel Online: "The way has been cleared for Angela Merkel of the conservative Christian Democrats to become Germany's next chancellor. But the Social Democrats are also expected to come out of talks strong - garnering as many as eight key ministerial posts, including the foreign ministry."

Also see BBCi, Guardian, USA Today and CNN.


Leadership blog: Davis campaign reportedly relieved at firmness of parliamentary support.

Your Platform: Adrian Owens argues that it is time for bold policies to help 'hard-working families'.  Childcare is a subject discussed by Adrian's Platform piece.  Those interested in this subject might take a look at last Wednesday's op-ed by Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian.  Within that article Ms Albrechtsen writes: "Anne Manne's book Motherhood: How Should We Care for Our Children? is so groundbreaking. Manne provides a voice - a reasoned, passionate yet courteous voice - for the ordinary experiences of most women in Australia. Women who are not convinced by the orthodox mantra that it is better for women to return to work and for young children to go to child care. Motherhood talks of a new feminism that includes what children want and need. A feminist with a strong streak of classical liberalism, Manne nonetheless talks about the moral limits of choice. She stakes out the difference between love and care. Speaking unashamedly about mother love, she describes it as "passionate, implacable, intense, unreasoned ... a tepid, tameable thing it is not".


Punch_and_judyDavid Cameron uses an article in The Daily Telegraph to argue against 'Punch and Judy' style politics.  The same newspaper confirms's own analysis by putting David Cameron in a clear second place amongst MPs.

Yesterday Mr Cameron dismissed the idea that he is 'Tory Blair'.  His remarks coincided with David Davis making an attack on the Prime Minister's style of politics (see The Times): “I think if another politician comes along and tries to do a me too on Blair — I’m a nice guy, I’m the straight kind of guy you elected . . . that’s wearing out and I think if people try to replicate that then people will just say — there’s another cynical politician.”  Mr Cameron (quoted in The Independent) said: "I think there are two sorts of politicians in this world, there are those who come into politics to tell people what to do, that's Tony Blair. And there are those who come into politics to set people free. That is David Cameron and the Conservative Party."

Today's Mirror briefly profiles David Cameron and his wife, Samantha: "Cameron is keen to show off his "hipness", boasting that he voted for Will Young in Pop Idol.  His attractive, lively wife, Samantha, who he married in 1996 is a great asset.  The couple met when she came to stay with the Cameron family in their Italian villa as the guest of David's sister Clare.  Although also from a privileged family, Sam got in with a trendy crowd at Bristol University. She was taught to play pool by hip-hop star Tricky and her friends helped teach the couple about normal life.  He is proud of her common touch, saying: "Sam has a dolphin [tattoo] on her ankle. I haven't got one, I wouldn't like the pain."  But if their early life was easy, the birth of their first child gave the bright couple a real taste of hardship.  Ivan, now three, was born with a rare condition which means he suffers frequent and severe epileptic fits.  One parent has to sleep in the room with him at night in case he has a convulsion.  The Camerons rose to the test, the love and care they give the young boy earning them praise and respect.  They have a daughter, Nancy, one, and a third child is due in February.  At the end of his speech last week, David audaciously called Sam to the stage and lovingly patted her bump. A thousand Tory hearts melted."

The FT notes that David Cameron has won the support of Michael Spencer, CEO of ICAP, and "one of the richest men in the City of London".

The Sun covers the idea that three (not just two) leadership candidates could be put before the Tory grassroots in the final stage of this extended election process (an idea discussed on the Leadership blog last Wednesday).

Only David Davis and Liam Fox are invited to Margaret Thatcher's 80th birthday party - Times.

Five months after he attacked Michael Howard's "repellent" immigration policy John Bercow MP has written a paper for the Social Market Foundation which calls for the party to abandon its "hardline" policy on immigration.   Writing for The Independent, Mr Bercow says: "The call for an annual limit on immigration was a mistake. Given that we have furiously denounced targets, quotas and limits imposed by New Labour in so many other areas, it was bizarre to demand a fixed limit to immigration. Most immigrants come to the UK to work. Labour market flexibility is vital to a successful economy. Demand and supply can fluctuate, often sharply and suddenly. Any government limit would be mere arbitrary guesswork.  Aside from the cultural benefits of a multiracial society, there is a powerful economic case. Immigrants are incoming assets for at least three reasons..."

The Guardian identifies eight of the 2005 intake of new MPs 'to watch'.  The three Tories highlighted by reporter Andy Beckett are Nick Herbert, Ed Vaizey (a Guardian writer) and Shailesh Vara.

Lord Saatchi - absent from this year's Tory conference - has lost his company's contract with British Airways (ending a 23 year relationship) - Telegraph.

Goldsmith_zacZac Goldsmith - a new member of the Conservative Party - answers Independent readers' questions.


A Guardian leader argues in favour of the Assisted Dying Bill - rejected by Rowan Williams yesterday.


"New fathers are to be handed a legal right to six months' paternity leave in Labour's latest round of radical childcare reforms. But the plans have angered business groups who warned that the new rights would be disruptive, particularly for small firms, and expensive to organise." - Daily Mail

Government ready to issue total ban on smoking in pubs - Telegraph

"The [John] Howard Government will have extraordinary powers to ban strike action as part of a concerted assault on union power to be introduced under a new wave of industrial reforms.  Employers will also find it much easier to take damages action against militant unions in court, and the Government will severely limit the right of all unions to enter worksites." - The Australian

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