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28 Feb 2006 07:00:00

Tuesday 28th February 2006

4.45pm ToryDiary update: The long-term is in our blood - David Cameron

Robinson_nick4pm ToryDiary update: Not quite true, Mr Robinson

2.30pm update from BBCi: "Conservatives and Lib Dems in the House of Lords say they will continue to oppose identity card plans despite MPs rejecting their earlier objections."

BLOGS Tuesday_13

ToryDiary: Left and Right, plus a sample of your comments about the A list.

ConservativeDemocracy: The latest survey is now live.


Times: "In a move billed as his own “Clause Four” moment, Mr Cameron will put his eight core aims to a vote of all 253,000 party members to test their acceptance of his vision of the “Modern Compassionate Conservatives”. This may isolate the Right, but, like Mr Blair, he may find that what gives comfort to middle Britain will leave him with a body of internal critics dogging his every move."

Guardian: "Rightwing MPs, aware that Mr Cameron is likely to win the vote with a big majority, held fire. Conservative sources said last night that the document was more than a caving in to New Labour's agenda, saying that it emphasised the limits to state power and the importance of individual action and decision making. "The more we trust people, the stronger they and society become," the document argues."



David Willetts talks to The Independent: Mr Willetts reaffirmed that the Conservatives would be supporting today's legislation provided it still offered schools more freedoms to run their own affairs. "We want to make the Bill more consistent with the radicalism proposed by the Prime Minister when presenting the White Paper".

BBCi: "The bill would allow schools in England to seek trust status, enabling them to create partnerships with outside bodies such as universities or charities."


Conservatives: "Lowering the voting age would do nothing to address the underlying problems of political disillusionment, and would just lead to young people abstaining from an even earlier age."

Guardian leader: "It is just two years since the Electoral Commission carried out research that found 78% want the voting age to remain at 18 not lowered to 16, with 54% of the 15-19 age group themselves also opposed; that survey concluded that dropping the voting age to 16 would in fact lower, not boost, turnout because so few in the 16-18 category would actually go to the polls."

Sam Coates' British Voting Age and Chris Palmer's Political Crossroads both look at its proposals to reduce the age of suffrage. Tory Convert was at the Power Inquiry meeting.


Telegraph leader on Dominic de Villepin's (whose rival was profiled in ToryDiary yesterday) doctrine of "economic patriotism": "The prime minister is leading his country down a blind alley. At the European level, he and his imitators should be pursued by the commission. At home, it is Mr Sarkozy's job to prevent him from ever holding elected office."

Times leader: "French corporations are aggressive players in the game of European cross-border acquisitions, gaining control of such British household names as Allied Domecq. Yet when French companies are themselves the targets of foreign bidders, French politicians play dirty pool."


Harry's Place: Galloway is interviewed by an Algerian newspaper:

  • Mohammed cartoons - "MoToons" - "worse than the 11 September attacks in the US and the 7/7 incidents".
  • "Respect will become one of the strongest political parties in Britain."
  • "Enemies" said he was ignoring constituents in Big Brother, "praise be to God" that the money went to Palestine.


The Herald: Bill Walker has been narrowly elected as Deputy Chairman of Scottish Conservatives.

The Liberty Central website was launched yesterday: "a meeting place for projects, campaigns and individuals who believe that our essential liberties and freedoms are, today, under threat as never before."

Telegraph: Cameron criticised over nappies: "The Women's Environmental Network called on Mr Cameron to set an example by switching to reusable nappies. Elizabeth Hartigan, the network's spokesman, said that with three children Mr Cameron would get through 15,000 disposable nappies compared with 60 reusables."

Last week's "Spoiling the Party" article by Robin Harris in Prospect magazine is now online.

Anthony Wells looked at how much the Conservatives have been percieved to move to the centre. American conservatives have another reason to be against gay marriage.

The latest ConservativeHome Members' Panel survey is now live.  Please click here to answer...

  • the regular round of questions...
  • questions about foreign policy and...
  • to submit your perspective on how Conservatives should tackle Gordon Brown.

Have we missed any important stories?
Please use the 'Comments' to tell other visitors about interesting links...

27 Feb 2006 03:37:42

Monday 27th February 2006

11pm ToryDiary update: The new Conservative statement of beliefs...

The latest ConservativeHome Members' Panel survey is now live.  Please click here to answer...

  • the regular round of questions...
  • questions about foreign policy and...
  • to submit your perspective on how Conservatives should tackle Gordon Brown.

2.45pm ToryDiary update: The Power Report


ToryDiary: Nicolas Sarkozy  - the right-wing sun of French politics, and a sample of your comments on Grammar Schools

GoldList: Danny Kruger


BBCi: "The inquiry's Power to the People report calls for a shift in control from ministers to parliament, and from central to local government. State funding of political parties and a voting age of 16 are also suggested."

Gordon Brown writes for The Guardian: "Founding our constitution onBrown liberty within the law means restricting patronage wherever it is, in any way, arbitrary - at all times building trust by making it clear that government is not the master but truly at the service of British people."

Guardian: "Gordon Brown today signals his support for lowering the age of voting to 16 as part of a radical programme to counter widespread alienation from modern politics."

Power website: "After eighteen months of investigation, the final report of Power is a devastating critique of the state of formal democracy in Britain."

Download report

Rachel Sylvester in The Telegraph: "Among the general population, 62 per cent have, in the past 12 months, donated money to a political or campaigning organisation, 42 per cent have signed a petition and 13 per cent have contacted a politician in an attempt to change a law. British people spend nearly £25 billion a year on ethical goods, and political bloggers are popping up all over the web."


Telegraph: "Mr Osborne will commit the Conservatives to policies that support working mothers both by widening the range of child care choices on offer and combating traditional views of a mother's role."Osborne_2

Times:"the Conservatives will fire the opening shots of a long campaign to capture women’s votes by signalling their support for greater childcare choices for working mothers. George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, will visit a day nursery in London before delivering a speech on childcare."

BBCi: The Women and Work Commission has concluded that Britain has "the worst gender pay gap in the EU".


Scotsman: "Radical libertarian ideas - including legalising drug-taking - should be at the heart of policies aimed at reviving the Tories' electoral fortunes in Scotland, according to a new book endorsed by Annabel Goldie, the party's leader."


Guardian: "Something important will happen in Paris tomorrow. Led by France, up to 10 countries will agree to impose a tax on air travel, with the money used to increase spending on overseas aid."

United 4 Belarus: "The Liberal Democrat Youth and Students (LDYS), the organization representing young Liberal Democrats, launched its national campaign to raise the profile of the last dictatorship in Europe."

BBCi: Harriet Harman, Elections Minister, will announce a crackdown on postal vote fraud.

The Guardian reports on how likely it is that a Mormon could become US President. A recent ToryDiary post looked at Mitt Romney's chances.

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26 Feb 2006 08:50:43

Sunday 26th February 2006

2.55pm ToryDiary update: Editor's review of the week


ToryDiary: Brown's popularity advantage underlines Tory challenge

New blog - James Hewitt's Liberal Conservatism


Sunday Telegraph: "During his time off, Right-wingers have stepped up warnings that Mr Cameron must not ditch any more Thatcherite policies in his drive to occupy the political centre ground.  The Sunday Telegraph also understands that there is growing discontent in senior Tory ranks about Mr Cameron's dependence on a small coterie of close advisers - the so-called "Notting Hill Set"."

Fraser Nelson examines the battle between the Tories' Notting Hill set and the Primrose Hill group around Labour's David Miliband (The Business).


Scotland on Sunday: "Prince Charles was last night warned he was in danger of being duped into supporting one of David Cameron's flagship projects above a rival scheme championed by Gordon Brown, amid the escalating feud over royal "interference" in politics.  The simmering tensions between the Labour leadership and Prince Charles threatened to explode into another key area of government policy, after it was confirmed that his charity was helping the Tories launch their plan to help school-leavers become involved in volunteer work."


The Sunday Telegraph asks Howard Shore, the entrepreneurial investment banker, why he is backing David Cameron:

"It was astonishing reading about the number of people in NHS hospitals who contract disease within the hospital; it is one of the highest in the Western world. With all the money that the Government has poured into it, it is just astonishing... David [Cameron] has very good ideas about how to improve the performance of the police force, to make the people who perform well go up the ladder more quickly and get paid well, as you would in the private sector."

Campbell_ming_2_1MING GETS MEAN

Observer: "Hostilities erupted last night between the main rivals for the Liberal Democrat leadership - 48 hours before voting was due to close on the party's choice of a successor for Charles Kennedy.  In a departure from the restrained tone that has marked the six-week battle for the support of 73,000 grassroots party members, the early front-runner - foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell - used a prerecorded interview for GMTV's Sunday programme to question rival candidate Chris Huhne's decision to drop early plans to back him and stand instead."


Sunday Times: "The culture secretary Tessa Jowell has become embroiled in the scandal surrounding her husband after it emerged that she had allowed their house to be used in a financial deal.  An investigation by The Sunday Times has established that Jowell signed a mortgage document that enabled her husband to bring an alleged bribe of £350,000 into Britain."


Writing in The Observer the Prime Minister insists he is protecting Britain's civil liberties.


The Business: "The difference between the British and Irish economies is now startling: this year the OECD forecasts that Britain’s public sector will grow to 45.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), against 35.2% of GDP in Ireland. Ireland’s flagship policy has been to slash its corporate tax to just 12.5%, which has attracted copious amounts of foreign investment; Mr Brown’s claim to fame (or infamy) is to have been the Chancellor who took Britain’s overall tax burden above Germany’s for the first time in living memory."

Bb_mountain'PINK NEWS'

Andrew Sullivan in The Sunday Times examines the cultural impact of Brokeback Mountain.

Sunday Times: "Gay clubs will risk prosecution if they deny entry to heterosexual customers under new laws intended to protect homosexuals from discrimination.  Under regulations to be published next month it will be illegal for a gay bar or nightclub to exclude anyone on the grounds of sexual orientation.  The full implications of the new law have caused alarm among gay rights activists, who are surprised at the perverse effects of a measure they believed would advance their civil rights."

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25 Feb 2006 07:12:33

Saturday 25th February 2006


Lawsofthepoliticalprocess_1Beginning today is a new weekly series on Morton Blackwell's Laws of the Political Process.

The series is authored by Donal Blaney of the Young Britons' Foundation.  Donal introduces the series today as well as unpacking the first law - Political technology determines political success.


ToryDiary: Labour's record on social exclusion and Chris Huhne's reverence for the UN.

Events: Several more events featured


FT: "David Cameron's political honeymoon as Tory leader has generated a "wall of money" for the party - so much so that Conservative fundraisers are no longer seeking individual donations of more than £50,000. Jonathan Marland, Tory treasurer, said the party's books for 2005 would balance for the second year running and the party felt able to move towards its aim of not being reliant on a handful of wealthy individuals for the bulk of its fundraising."


Guardian leader: "For the moment, the Thatcherite grumbling - most recently in this newspaper by Stanley Kalms and in the columns of Prospect magazine by Robin Harris - signifies nothing more than proof that David Cameron is moving in a more electable direction. He is doing much better than any of his recent predecessors; but is not yet doing terribly well."

TOP "E-TORY" TALKS TO SILICON interviews Grant Shapps MP on his online campaigning techniques: "In recent months the Conservatives have increasingly recognised technology is a key battlefield in modern politics and they have also been using it as a stick with which to beat the Labour government."

KEN'S SUSPENSIONKen_livingstone

Times leader: "The notion of Ken Livingstone being placed under house arrest for a month in his home in Cricklewood, left in the company of his pet newts and adoring letters from RMT members, might, in ordinary circumstances, be attractive."


Letter to the Guardian: "David Cameron, it seems to me, is doing for British politics what Hugh Grant, in Four Weddings and a Funeral, did for the British cinema. They have created, in their different fields, a new style of classy classlessness; they have reinvented an English gentleman who has a manner and voice that does not frighten the egalitarian horses."


BBCi: Simon Hughes doesn't think he will scare off former Conservative voters. The LibDem voting deadline is March 1st.

Guardian: Hague to visit EPP leaders.

Civitas blog: Should we have faith in faith schools?

The Independent looks at over-charged council tax: "Increasing numbers of taxpayers are challenging the banding of their properties, which determines the size of your bill."

BBCi: Stirling Conservatives blocking council tax rise.

Mike Smithson notes the disparity between Guardian and Independent straw polls of Thursday's LIbDem hustings.

A Tory Councillor quits in Halifax and a LibDem Councillor defects to us in Cambridgeshire.

BBCi: Stephen Byers to urge modernisation of Labour's relationship with the unions.

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