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Sunday 16th October 2005

Sunday_6Today we launch conservativehome's dictionary blog.  It's the latest stage of a development process that aims to produce the UK's best web-based resource and discussion forum for UK conservatives in addition to introducing young people and students to conservative ideas and thinking.  If you enjoy conservativehome and are able to make a donation please click here.

On the Leadership blog:


This morning's Sunday newspapers have not produced any scandal that stands any chance of derailing David Cameron's leadership bid.  The best they can do are contested allegations against George Osborne from when he was 22 (News of the World).  That doesn't mean that The Mail hasn't tried to suggest the allegations are serious: "The drugs storm engulfing the Tory party intensified last night following the publication of a photograph showing Shadow Chancellor George Osborne posing with a self-confessed prostitute and cocaine user.  Last night the 34-year-old MP, who is leadership hopeful David Cameron's campaign manager, admitted knowing the vice girl but flatly denied that a white powder visible in front of them was cocaine. Mr Osborne insisted he was the victim of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting Mr Cameron's leadership bid."

SoamesNicholas Soames MP is on record in the Independent on Sunday for blaming the Davis campaign for encouraging the drugs row: "Davis has got plenty of form for this sort of thing. When he said people should 'speak no ill of a fellow Conservative' you could hear the sound of people throwing up into buckets at the sheer hypocrisy of the man."

A poll for BPIX (noted on UK Polling Report) suggests that 61% of Tory voters do not believe that David Cameron should abandon his leadership bid if he used cocaine in the past.  PA notes that Gordon Brown enjoys clear opinion poll leads over all of the Tory leadership candidates.

Michael Portillo supports David Cameron's refusal to confirm whether or not he used drugs in the past.  Mr Portillo, in The Observer, notes his own experience of trial by tabloid after he admitted to 'homosexual experiences' in his youth.

Andrew Rawnsley (The Observer) says that the drugs issue is testing David Cameron in essential ways: "The drugs bust-up is the first time that he has ever been tested in the sort of firestorm that politicians of the front rank must be capable of dealing with. One of the many great unknowns about him is whether he has the character, the grit and the deftness to cope with pressure at this level. If he cannot deal with this successfully, then he is unlikely to be much use to his party as a leader, nor much of an offer to the voters as a candidate for Prime Minister."

William Hague (BBCi) encourages the media to move off drugs and on to other issues.


Cameron_colourThe Sunday Telegraph publishes a positive profile of David Cameron: "On the wall are family snaps: Samatha Cameron incandescent with happiness on her wedding day, their dark-eyed son, Ivan, looking beseechingly at his baby sister, Nancy, asleep beside him.  This picture is particularly poignant because Ivan was born three years ago with cerebral palsy and suffers severe fits. His parents and a carer take it in turns to be beside him through the night. Cameron has spent many small hours lying next to Ivan's bed on the floor of a London hospital before getting up and going into work. When people say he lacks experience they mean he has not spent enough time in great departments of state. Life itself has other lessons to teach us."

Fraser Nelson in The Business: "[David Cameron] faced the 1992 Committee in a hustings in the Commons: by rights, they should have torn this Blair-wannabe limb from limb and worked out exactly what he means by “change”. Yet he emerged unscathed. Then on Thursday, he charmed a gathering of MPs’ wives (including one husband) with a concise speech and brief answers. They saw charm without sleaze, compassion without schmaltz. They liked what they heard and saw."

"David Davis attempted last night to shore up his vote in the Conservative leadership contest by promising tax cuts for married couples with children." - Sunday Telegraph.  The same article notes that "Gerald Howarth, MP for Aldershot and the chairman of the influential "92" group of Right-wing MPs, said he was backing Dr Fox, who had "most directly addressed the policy issues of concern to me, particularly the broken society"."

Sunday Times: "Baroness Thatcher could become the first former prime minister since Sir Winston Churchill to receive a major public funeral in central London."


Domestic, not international, factors are to blame for Britain's slowing economy - The Business

Tony Blair warns the Labour Party against moving leftwards in order to reverse falling membership numbers -

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