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Wednesday 1st February 2006

4pm update: The Globalisation Institute blog has an obituary for the late, great Sir John Cowperthwaite:

"Sir John Cowperthwaite was the main figure responsible for Hong Kong's economic transformation, lifting millions of people out of poverty. While scholars like Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek put an intellectual case for the free markets, it was Cowperthwaite who provided the textbook example showing laissez-faire policies leading to swift economic development. His practical example provided confidence to the Thatcher and Reagan governments, and was a key influence in China's post-Mao economic liberalisation."



Goodman_paul_8Paul Goodman MP writes a Platform piece on childcare:

"Our opponents propogate two myths about the Conservative Party and childcare...

  • The first is that we're authoritarians, who believe that all mothers should stay at home.
  • The second is that we're libertarians, who believe that childcare can simply be left to the market.

Obviously, these myths are mutually inconsistent.  They're also untrue..."


Chris Patten, FT: "So, the middle ground of politics is back in fashion in the UK. David Cameron, barely two months into the job of leading the opposition Conservative party, has begun with the help of close colleagues (who seem both normal and likeable) to haul it back from the fringe of politics where for too long it has been camped, bedraggled and forlorn." (A subscription is required to read the full article).


Matthew d'Ancona writes in The Daily Telegraph about the Tebbit-Cameron critique.  It's a grown-up article - paying tribute to Norman Tebbit's great service of the Conservative Party and offering a thoughtful critique of the former Tory Chairman's arguments:

"In his book Unfinished Business, Lord Tebbit refers to "the commonsense realistic approach which has become known as Thatcherism", which he regards as "an inherently practical and pragmatic doctrine in the mainstream of that very broad river of Conservative thinking".  Whatever their disagreements, this is patently a man with whom Mr Cameron can do business. For they are, in the end, cut from the same cloth: Tories of the deepest ambition who know that politics without power is just conversation."

Ashcroft_michael_7LORD ASHCROFT

The Times
reveals a new £1m gift to Britain's Tories and a £400,000 gift to Australia’s ruling centre-right political party.


The Spectator's Online Team say that Conservatives would find it easier to make arguments in favour of, for example, of lower tax if Britain had a decentralised system of mayors or other local leaders who can  tell unsure voters that “you know I’ll do what I say as Prime Minister because you’ve seen me do it as Mayor of…”


The Independent: "Tory MPs have demanded the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, step down following a furore over comments he made on the Soham murders.  Sir Ian said he could not understand why the killings of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells had been such a "big story". He has also been criticised for suggesting the media is racist when covering murders and for his handling of events surrounding the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian who was mistaken for a terrorist suspect.  Despite apologising for the Soham blunder, Tory backbenchers yesterday tabled a Commons motion calling for his resignation and accusing him of "belittling the appalling crimes committed at Soham"."


The Times: "Silvio Berlusconi is trying to woo Catholic voters in the run-up to April’s general elections by restricting imports of a controversial abortion pill.  The move, designed to establish his Government’s pro-life credentials, makes abortion an election issue in Italy for the first time in 25 years."


The Express (right) uses the sad death of Corporal Gordon Pritchard to attack what is being achieved in Iraq.  The Sun takes a very different stance:

"These are difficult and dangerous times.  The western way of life is threatened by the greatest challenge of the age.  There are many more tests to come.  Here The Sun pays tribute to all 100 brave Services personnel who have lost their lives in Iraq.  The families of every one of them can feel proud of the part their loved ones played in a vital chapter in world history."

The Sun also calls for action on Iran:

"Useless Europe has finally asked the UN to denounce Iran. It is too late.  While the EU wasted three crucial years, Tehran’s malevolent mullahs have taken irreversible strides towards building a nuclear bomb.  It blatantly exports global terror and threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.  Asking the UN Security Council to step in is pointless. China and Russia will block it.  The only option for the West, short of war, is to support the Iranian people who loathe their extremist leaders."

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