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Thursday 2nd February 2006

6pm update: BNP 'not guilty' of race hate (BBCi)


ToryDiary: 'Will the Tories support Blair on nuclear power?' and David Willetts argues that modernisation is a Tory tradition.


Telegraph leader: "On Tuesday, Mr Bush announced a 22 per cent increase in spending at the Department of Energy on research into two areas.  The first aims to boost the contribution of zero-emission coal-fired plants, solar and wind technology and nuclear energy in powering homes and offices. The second will investigate alternative sources of fuel for cars - lithium batteries, hydrogen and ethanol produced not just from maize, but also wood chips and stalks, and switch grass."

Times leader: "Mr Bush is right that the solution will require advances on all fronts, from safe nuclear energy to zero-emission coal-fired plants, wind and solar technologies and cleaner, more efficient ethanol. On Tuesday night he talked only of carrots. The lessons of California’s environmental advances, though, are that fiscal sticks need to be deployed. Unless we are all encouraged to reduce fossil fuel use, there will be only a limited market for new fuels. Mr Bush has taken the first important step of admitting the problem. But as any addict will attest, there is no gain without pain."

Competitive Enterprise Institute: "In his State of the Union address last night, President Bush took a big step toward returning the United States to the disastrous energy policies of the Nixon and Carter years, warns the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  “The president's dangerous rhetoric that we are addicted to oil is an indication that the administration is addicted to confused thinking about energy policies,” says Myron Ebell, CEI’s director of energy policy. “As bad as the policies proposed by President Bush are, the addiction rhetoric is much worse. President Bush might as well have said, ‘we're addicted to prosperity, comfort, and mobility, and I've got the policies to do something about it.’"


FT: "Lord Ashcroft, Conservative party deputy chairman and prominent businessman, has sparked a political furore in Australia after it emerged he had donated A$1m (£425,000) to the country’s ruling centre-right Liberal party.  News of the amount – believed to be the largest individual donation in Australian political history – helped to fuel an angry war of words between the government and opposition.  Alan Griffin, Labor spokesman on party funding, told the Financial Times: “This interference in Australian politics should be denounced by the Liberals.” Unlike the UK, Australia has no restrictions on donations from overseas nationals."


The Sun: "The parents of Tory leader David Cameron have flogged a pair of paintings for £1MILLION.  Ian, 73, and Mary, 70, were stunned when the pictures sold for a seven—figure sum at auction.  The paintings, by 18th century French Old Master Jean Baptiste Greuze, had been hanging in the family home for years. "


Independent: "Tony Blair has been embarrassed by a letter from one of his junior environment ministers saying the closure of four eco laboratories involved in climate change research did "not make sense"."


Times: "CHRIS HUHNE, the dark horse for the Liberal Democrat leadership, faces accusations of betraying his collegues by reneging on a deal not to run in the contest.  The Times has learnt that Mr Huhne, who entered Parliament at the last election, promised in a private meeting with Sir Menzies Campbell that he would not enter the race.  Mr Huhne, a former MEP who is barely known outside Westminster, promised to support Sir Menzies and sealed the deal with a handshake after a 50-minute meeting shortly after the resignation of Charles Kennedy. But barely one hour later Mr Huhne, a Treasury spokesman, returned to Sir Menzies’s office in the Commons to declare that he had changed his mind."

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