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Friday 18th November 2005

Friday_87pm leadership blog updates:

Police officer shot dead in Bradford - BBCi and Dan Paterson's blog


Leadership blog:


The Scotsman: "David Cameron last night found the question of drugs coming back to haunt him as he appeared to confess to the BBC that he had used them before being elected.  In his long-awaited confrontation with Jeremy Paxman, the anchorman of BBC Newsnight, Mr Cameron again tripped up over his self-imposed rule of not saying anything which would confirm or deny allegations that he had used cocaine while a student."

BBCi: "David Davis says previous Conservative policies have been too "timid" with too little time given to making them clear.  The Tory leadership contender pledged if he won the contest he would explain and announce policies straight away.  "I'm not willing to spend three years in a policy vacuum," he said, speaking at the Centre for Social Justice."

The Economist: "Despite eight and a half years in power, the prime minister is still a realist. If he has to choose between some Götterdämmerung in which he stages one last battle with his party and preserving New Labour for his successor, there's no serious doubt about which it will be. Mr Blair may have said last week that sometimes it is better to lose and be right, but that's far removed from his normal approach to politics.  Mr Blair cares about his legacy. However, the bit he cares about most is Labour's ability to keep on winning elections. Labour could still self-destruct, but if Mr Cameron is wise he will prepare himself and his party for the long haul."


The Spectator: "In a month’s time members of the World Trade Organisation will gather in Hong Kong to continue the so-called ‘Doha round’ of negotiations over the liberalisation of world trade. The leaders of developed nations have a choice: either they elect to dismantle the system of agricultural subsidies and food import tariffs which have supported their farmers since 1945, thereby allowing developing nations to compete on equal terms in our food markets. Or Western leaders concoct some kind of sickly fudge, which allows them all to enjoy a good lunch, beam at the cameras, then go home and reassure their farming lobbies that nothing will really change."

Wsj_1Wall Street Journal: "It's been a bad week for the American war effort, not in Iraq or anywhere else in the field but in Washington, D.C. The American Congress is sending increasingly loud signals of irresolution in Iraq, including panicky calls for withdrawal."


Conrad Black faces eight counts of fraud - Telegraph

BBCi: "The UK benefits system is open to fraud and overly complex, says the government's spending watchdog.  Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office (NAO), said years of legislation change had left the benefits system overly complex."

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