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Friday 30th December 2005

Biggestinfluence_2Lunchtime update on ToryDiary:

WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON DAVID CAMERON?

BLOGS

ToryDiary: David Cameron faces friendly fire from The Sun and Spectator

BOB GELDOF AND TORY DEVELOPMENT POLICY

Platform blog: Biodun on Making Bad Governance History

Critical letters in The Guardian.  The best of which was written by Sandra Eckersley from Australia: "I hope the Tories have sensibly agreed not to schedule any meetings with their new policy adviser on Mondays."

GREEN CAMERON

The Independent reports that David Cameron will deliver a speech to the Soil Association: "The Tories have tradiitonally backed the free market and big business, but Mr Cameron will embrace measures championed by Zac Goldsmith, his adviser on green issues, to support small organic farmers, encourage supermarkets to offer more home-grown organic produce and avoid high mileage in transporting food to the shops."

Times: "David Cameron is so determined to prove his green credentials that he has commissioned an eco-architect to make over his new house, complete with wind turbine on the roof.  The Conservatives’ new leader hopes that the fee of more than £10,000 for Alex Michaelis to provide green heating, lighting, insulation and fuel systems will be recouped on lower bills."

OTHER CONSERVATIVE NEWS & COMMENTARY

FT: "The Conservatives stepped up their policymaking drive yesterday with a "wide-ranging" examination of immigration strategy that could abandon an election pledge to introduce quotas for asylum seekers.  Francis Maude, Tory party chairman and one of several modernisers appointed to high-profile roles in David Cameron's shadow cabinet, appeared to acknowledge that a heavy focus on immigration issues had backfired for the party at the general election. He told the BBC's World at One that it was important to show that the Tories did not have an "antagonism" towards immigration and that the Conservatives were "decent people"."

MichaelbrownarticleMichael Brown presents an upbeat review of the Tory year in The Independent:

"If anyone had predicted, a year ago, that the Tories would end 2005 ahead in the polls, thanks to a 39-year-old leader with fewer than five years' parliamentary experience under his belt, the men in white coats would have been summoned.  The Tories' prospects have been so transformed that Labour's third decisive victory on 5 May has become but a distant memory. It is hard to recall the dire straits in which the Tories began the year..."

Times: "The Conservative Party chairman refused yesterday to criticise the payment of £1 million bonuses to City bankers in remarks calculated to soften suggestions that his was now the party of wealth redistribution... Mr Maude, interviewed on BBC radio, said that while it was not for the Tories to say how much people should be paid, it was for them to say that there should be no discrimination against people on grounds of gender or race."

ThisIsNorthScotland.co.uk: "The Conservatives have claimed they are leading the way in Scottish local by-elections, with the highest votes total of any party in the past two-and-a-half years."

TonyblairsebcoeLORD SIR SEB

The Sun: "Congratulations, Seb Coe. Never was an honour more deserved.  The athletics hero receives a knighthood for being the driving force and mastermind behind bringing the 2012 Olympics to London.  It was Seb who led from the front, providing inspiration and unquenchable optimism that what seemed impossible could be won.  We won’t know whether to call Seb a Lord or Sir from now on.  But no medal is big enough to mark what he has achieved for his country."

CHARLES KENNEDY'S FUTURE

1387The Independent:  "Charles Kennedy has been dealt a fresh blow to his authority as Liberal Democrat leader by his party's 12 MEPs, who angrily protested at his failure to consult them over the party's proposals for radical reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).  In a letter to the Liberal Democrat leader which was leaked to The Independent, Chris Davies [pictured], leader of the Liberal Democrat group in the European Parliament, threatens publicly to disown the document, which is due to be published in a fortnight by the party's environment and rural affairs spokesman, Norman Baker."

Charles Kennedy stressed inequality in his New Year message of yesterday: "The statistics are chilling. In 21st-century Britain, a baby born in Westminster will live, on average, eight years longer than a child born in the Canning Town area of London. While Department of Health figures show infant mortality is twice as high for children of parents in manual work as those in managerial and professional jobs." (extract from The Independent)

IF YOU EVER DOUBTED THAT GREEN CAMPAIGNS HURT YOUR WEALTH...

BBCi: "A computer error has left about 10,000 UK supporters of Greenpeace out of pocket by hundreds of pounds.  Some members who make regular direct debit donations, ranging typically from £2 to £10 a month, have been charged a hundred times their usual amount."

A MUST-READ ARTICLE

"Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam - Muslims and non-Muslims must unite to defeat the Wahhabi ideology" says Abdurrahman Wahid in the Wall Street Journal:

"The most effective way to overcome Islamist extremism is to explain what Islam truly is to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Without that explanation, people will tend to accept the unrefuted extremist view--further radicalizing Muslims, and turning the rest of the world against Islam itself.  Accomplishing this task will be neither quick nor easy. In recent decades, Wahhabi/Salafi ideology has made substantial inroads throughout the Muslim world. Islamic fundamentalism has become a well-financed, multifaceted global movement that operates like a juggernaut in much of the developing world, and even among immigrant Muslim communities in the West. To neutralize the virulent ideology that underlies fundamentalist terrorism and threatens the very foundations of modern civilization, we must identify its advocates, understand their goals and strategies, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and effectively counter their every move. What we are talking about is nothing less than a global struggle for the soul of Islam."

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