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Wednesday 16th November 2005

May_44pm update: Theresa May warns: "Every Member of Parliament that voted for the new drinking hours did so knowing that they will now be held accountable by their constituents for these reckless changes, which will fuel even more violence and anti-social behaviour in the streets of Britain." (BBCi)

4pm update: "Ex-Tory leader William Hague has earned at least £685,000 on top of his MP's salary during the last year, the register of members' interests shows." (BBCi)

David Davis insists that he is strong enough to withstand Labour's attacks (see the updated Leadership blog).


Maude_francis_at_lecturn_1Platform blog: Francis Maude MP offers 'Further thoughts on a more open party'.

Leadership blog: Lord Tebbit takes on Radio 4's Today programme... and loses.

Commentators blog: Melanie Phillips on Christopher Meyer and The Whitehall Free-For-All

UK Polling Report: How not to analyse an opinion poll (from Monday).

Visit the new events site - latest entries include invitations to a Demos launch on 'Fair Conservatism' and to the TRG's Christmas Party.


Howard_michael_4Michael Howard writes that Tony Blair's "pre-announced retirement is alien to the spirit of our constitution": "Most Labour members of parliament will be accountable to the people at the next general election. They will have to justify to their electors the performance of the government that they supported and the policies that they voted for. And it is increasingly beginning to dawn on them that there are considerable advantages in being led by someone who will share that duty of accountability with them." (The Guardian).

Matthew d'Ancona in The Daily Telegraph: "The future belongs to the leader who learns the lessons of the Blair era, acknowledges its successes and failures, and promises to deliver where he did not. It belongs, in other words, not to Blair, or to Anti-Blair, but to Blair-Plus."


Labour receives nearly four times as much in donations as Tories (Guardian).

Labour MPs foil Tory bid to halt 24-hour drinking (Guardian).

The Guardian on the Doreen Davis interview: "The patently lovely, mumsy (and redheaded) Mrs Davis talks about how they lead essentially separate lives - he in the political thick of it in London, she, on her own, rattling around a remote farmhouse in rural Yorkshire. He will go for days without calling her, and when he is at home, at weekends, he spends all his time at one end of the house either on the phone or watching "a film with a lot of shooting in it", while she gets on with the ironing at the other end."

"Peter Oborne, the magazine’s Cambridge-educated political editor; Matthew d’Ancona, 37, the deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford; and Quentin Letts, 42, the parliamentary sketchwriter for the Daily Mail." are mentioned by The Times as possible successors to Boris Johnson at The Spectator.

Daniel Hannan MEP, The Telegraph: "It doesn't even make the newspapers any more: that's the shocking thing. We are so blasé about Brussels fraud that we no longer notice it. Yesterday, for the eleventh year in a row, the European Court of Auditors refused to approve the EU's accounts..."


The Telegraph quotes Her Majesty as saying: "When so much is in flux, when limitless amounts of information, much of it ephemeral, are instantly accessible on demand, there is a renewed hunger for that which endures and gives meaning... The Christian Church can speak uniquely to that need, for at the heart of our faith stands the conviction that all people, irrespective of race, background or circumstances, can find lasting significance and purpose in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

The Telegraph has written a leader on the subject and on the Church's "worthy Supreme Governor".


A spoof BBC news report
: "'We cannot risk changing course now', Tony Blair said today, as the government published proposals to cancel parliamentary elections.  Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said that "even the chance of a change of government would be a victory for the terrorists..."

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