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Thursday 27th October 2005

4pm update on the Leadership blog: David Cameron's economic priorities

2.45pm update: BUSH'S SUPREME COURT NOMINEE WITHDRAWS
National Review Online | New York Times | CNN | Fox News | BBCi
For background see conservativehome.com's The Fall of George W Bush briefing

BLOGS

Gay_marriage_On the Commentators blog we examine Dale Carpenter's ten principles to guide conservative discussion on (gay) marriage.

Leadership blog: Win a conservativehome.com mug by accurately predicting the result of the Cameron Vs Davis run-off.

EUROPE

ePolitix.com: "Tony Blair has set out a six-point reform plan aimed at reconnecting the EU with its citizens and enabling Europe to compete in the global economy."

The Telegraph: "Tony Blair yesterday invited the European Union to extend its reach into a sweeping range of new - and sensitive - policy areas, from company taxation to university reforms, a "common energy policy" for Europe and the management of immigration... But Conservatives accused Mr Blair of backing away from the bold calls he made over the summer for major reforms of the EU after the rejection of the draft EU constitution by Dutch and French voters."

Also in The Telegraph Daniel Hannan MEP looks to Norway as a model for how Britain should restructure its relationship with the EU.

CONSERVATIVE NEWS & COMMENTARY

The Telegraph: "David Davis will unveil plans tomorrow for far-reaching tax cuts that are designed to open up "clear blue water" between him and David Cameron, his Conservative leadership rival... Mr Davis, the shadow home secretary, has already hinted that a lack of policy commitments will be Mr Cameron's Achilles heel in the leadership contest."

The Telegraph: "The Tory leadership favourite, David Cameron, was accused yesterday of offering Muslim voters no more than Tony Blair after he defended the invasion of Iraq."

The Guardian: "David Blunkett, the work and pensions secretary, yesterday faced renewed Conservative calls for an inquiry into his relationship with a DNA testing company after he admitted buying shares in it shortly before the general election."

THE END OF BLAIR

The Independent: "The dispute over smoking shows the Prime Minister's command over his Cabinet may be slipping.  Senior figures in the Government professed themselves mystified that the row had not been settled by a telephone call from Downing Street before it was allowed to develop into a public embarrassment. "This would have been out of the question a year ago," one said.  Frank Dobson, the former health secretary, has described it as "one of the growing products of the fact the Prime Minister is going, and his authority isn't as strong as it used to be"."

Neal Lawson, in The Guardian, wonders when Brown might move against Blair: "So what does Gordon do? He has to differentiate himself tactically and strategically both from a tired looking New Labour and a fresh-faced Cameron. He has to find his version of the poll tax to signal a break with New Labour, just as Major did with Thatcher. Halting the commercialisation agenda is a key place to start but so are identity cards, Iraq and reform of the Lords."

THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS' FUNNY MONEY

The Times: "The businessman who bankrolled the Liberal Democrats’ election campaign is wanted in the United States where he could face up to five years in jail for fraud."  A leader in the same newspaper criticises the Electoral Commission and the LibDems for failing to appreciate the seriousness of the relationship that Charles Kennedy's party had with Michael Brown.

OTHER COMMENTARY

Anne Morse on National Review Online: "Journalist Annie Jacobsen gained a certain degree of fame last year as the woman who wrote about the strange and frightening behavior of a group of Syrian “musicians” aboard a Northwest Airlines flight. She has now written a riveting book, Terror in the Skies: Why 9-11 Could Happen Again about what happened that day and in the months that followed. Jacobsen put her investigative skills to work, and discovered that the harrowing events that took place on her flight were far from an isolated occurrence. She ends her book with a warning: If our security system does not improve, another 9/11 is almost inevitable."

"It is the lack of idealism and complacency of the west that is viewed with repugnance," says Dylan Evans in The Guardian: "When George Bush speaks of exporting democracy to the Middle East, he should realise that liberal democracy on its own is a limp, anaemic idea. If the west is to provide a more inspiring ideal, then it is time we devoted more thought to the questions that Plato, More and Marx placed at the heart their utopias; the question of how to make work more rewarding, leisure more abundant, and communities more friendly."

OTHER NEWS

CharlesBBCi: "Prince Charles says climate change should be seen as the "greatest challenge to face man" and treated as a much bigger priority in the UK."

BBCi: "Hardline Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map".  The Foreign Office will call in Iran's London chargé d'affaires on Thursday. It said the comments were "deeply disturbing and sickening"."

AND FINALLY...

The Guardian's Backbencher column: "Those who complain that DD is living in the past will find plenty of evidence on ModernConservatives.com, where he lists 63 MPs "who have made public" their support for him. Given that he only scraped 57 votes in the second round last week, the Backbencher can only conclude that some of the recruits ought to be scratched - possibly with a dagger through their photos. But which ones? The Backbencher considered ringing Derek Conway to ask, but thought better of it. No doubt the BBC is really to blame."

A cartoon presents a liberal Democrat's guide to becoming an American Republican.

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