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30 Apr 2006 09:19:49

Sunday 30th April 2006

8pm ToryDiary update: William Norton's DVD Reviews (and in the Comments section Daniel Vince-Archer's movies review).

3pm ToryDiary update: Likeable Cameron Versus Competent Brown?

Iain Dale: The top 50 (or so) Labour scandals


ToryDiary update: David Cameron on WHY CLARKE MUST GO

CNN: "The Sudanese government has accepted the African Union's proposal for peace in Darfur, a government statement said."  We shall see...

Bushestwo CNN: Bush pokes fun at himself at the White House Correspondents' dinner.

"Renowned economist and liberal thinker John Kenneth Galbraith has died in the US at the age of 97." - BBCi

For those missing the great Mark Steyn from The Telegraph and Spectator please click here.


Mailonsundaytemple ToryDiary:


Howardmichael_2"Charles Clarke was personally culpable for the failure to consider the deportation of those dangerous criminals whom he set free. That is why he should resign. But his failure is not a one-off. It is symptomatic of a systemic failure that runs through this government like a fault-line." - MICHAEL HOWARD IN THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

News_of_the_world"Prime Minister Tony Blair has refused to rule out sacking his embattled Home Secretary Charles Clarke.  In an exclusive News of the World interview he admitted there were "no excuses" for the catalogue of errors that allowed 1,023 foreign prisoners to be freed without deportation." - News of the World

"A woman who was dragged from the street and raped at knifepoint by a foreign criminal freed from jail has called on Charles Clarke, the home secretary, to resign.  Her attacker was allowed to go free by immigration officials who could have deported him after he finished serving a three-year jail term for robbery." - Sunday Times 

Ios_4"The pressure on Charles Clarke to resign intensified last night following allegations that he tried to cover up the true scale of the threat posed by foreign prisoners wrongly released on to Britain's streets." - Independent on Sunday


"Opinions differ wildly on exactly when Mr Blair will go: but the assumption among Labour backbenchers that a change of leadership would sort things out is no longer as solid as it was. As one close to Mr Brown put it: "If the train is completely out of control, it doesn't matter who's driving it." Everyone in Number 10 expects a reshuffle next weekend. Nobody I have spoken to seriously expects the reshuffle to halt the viral spread of error and embarrassment." - Matthew d'Ancona, Sunday Telegraph

"When the Tories were on their knees in the mid-1990s, Labour’s opinion poll lead was typically 30 points or more. Today the Conservatives under David Cameron are just three points ahead, with a poll rating that has slipped since the start of the year. Crucially, despite all its problems, Labour still has a lead on economic competence, which will be Mr Brown’s strongest card if and when he succeeds the prime minister." - Sunday Times leader

"Labour is now sleazier and more incompetent than the Major government was, but it makes a big difference that back then the Tory government’s poll rating was half that of Labour’s, while today the parties are level pegging. Even this latest scandal may not shift the polls, because while the release of rapists and murderers is bad, most people do not believe that they will be murdered or raped." - Michael Portillo, Sunday Times.


The Observer: "He's worth millions. And we're all paying for his London home."


"I spent Monday lunch with Iain Duncan Smith and his fact-finding social justice team in a church hall in south London, and as the press fell silently on the sandwiches, they filled us in on the awful truth of British family breakdown, and their proposed solution - marriage.  Perhaps it was the free food but as I listened, I was filled, unexpectedly, with hope. Here were Tories with old-school conservative values - more weddings, less co-habitation - but without the suggestion that the poor bring their hardship on themselves." - Mary Wakefield in The Sunday Telegraph


"Margaret Thatcher offered a compromise deal that would have ended the 1981 hunger strike early and saved six of the remaining prisoners who went on to die, according to the man who maintained a secret link between successive British governments and the Provisionals." - Observer


"The Conservative Party chairman is urging the nation to pee on its compost heaps to help the environment.  Francis Maude, who admitted he and his family were slightly 'psycho' about recycling, delivered the unorthodox gardening advice after being asked what his personal contribution was to the green cause on Radio 4's Any Questions?" - Observer


Iraninthebusiness"It is all but inevitable that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons, that no one dare invade and that the only tool the West will have to deter their use is the credible threat of counter-attack. We are not heading for another Iraq, but towards a new Cold War." - Fraser Nelson, The Business

"Much of the U.S. government no longer believes in, and is no longer acting to enforce, the Bush Doctrine. "The United States of America understands and believes that Iran is not Iraq." That's a diplomatic way of saying that the United States of America is in retreat." - William Kristol, The Weekly Standard

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29 Apr 2006 04:43:37

Saturday 29th April 2006

8.45pm ToryDiary update: The public interest in private vices


Heart_1YourPlatform: People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care



Moore_3"The scandal of the foreign prisoners is a natural result of a very big policy, one which has been developed, rather quietly, only after the Labour election victory of 1997 was in the bag - a commitment to truly enormous levels of immigration." - Charles Moore in The Telegraph

"There is no doubt that the Prime Minister is desperate for Mr Clarke to survive this scandal. If Tony Blair were obliged to choose between losing one or other of the Home Secretary and the Deputy Prime Minister, he would, reluctantly, bid John Prescott farewell. It remains to be seen what will be revealed about either man over the weekend." - Times leader

Five serious reconvictions so far - ToryDiary


"Unhappily for Labour, a number of us will be voting on Thursday. So will we use our ballots to punish this tired, smug regime? Up to a point. It is true that Labour is falling in the opinion polls; but the party is, to some extent, dragging the entire political class with it." - Telegraph leader

"I do not believe that Tony Blair’s administration will recover from this. Maybe I am overreacting, maybe something like business as usual really will be resumed, and maybe the beast will graze wretchedly on for a couple of summers more, but he’d be lucky. It is equally possible we shall look back on this, the last weekend of April 2006, and murmur wisely that the ice field was shortly to crack." - Matthew Parris in The Times


"The arrival of David Cameron at the helm of the Tory party has precipitated a shift in the direction and political atmosphere within the party. Politics is suddenly dynamic and interesting again." - Independent

LibDem candidate Adrian Graves defected in January whilst Labour's Rehman Chishti did defect in March.


"Laying himself bare to the men’s magazine GQ, David Cameron painted himself yesterday as an achingly trendy nappy-changing metrosexual who wins prizes for his vegetables and shares a hairdresser with Robbie Williams." - Times


"It was revealed last night that, as Mr Cameron champions the need for better parks, more recycling and heading to the Arctic to examine climate change, his briefcase and other personal effects have their own personal courier." - Guardian

"David Cameron's campaign for the green vote suffered a setback when it emerged that he is followed by his official car when he cycles to work.  Mr Cameron has been regularly photographed cycling the five miles from his west London home to Westminster. In fact, he is often followed by his Lexus car, whose driver picks up shoes, clothes and documents the Tory leader cannot carry on his bike." - Independent


"Why does Patricia Hewitt attract such outrage? Other ministers get desultory receptions, some are heckled, and Tony Blair was slow-handclapped at the WI. But the health secretary seems to arouse a level of hatred that would make the average football hooligan resemble a Buddhist monk. My guess is that it's her voice. Raised in Australia, like many people we used to call colonials, she has a manner of speaking that disappeared in this country 40 or 50 years ago.  It's Joyce Grenfell saying "George, don't do that" - though even she used the voice as a joke; it's one of the first Blue Peter presenters, before they went all breathy and keen like dogs about to go on a walk, telling working-class children they could have fun even with the rubbish they might find lying around their humble homes. Her smile - and she uses it on everyone, including parliamentary colleagues - is of a kindly disposed grande dame to a deserving child: Lady Bountiful meets Oliver Twist." - Simon Hoggart, Guardian

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28 Apr 2006 00:41:48

Friday 28th April 2006

6pm ToryDiary update: Five serious reconvictions so far.

Haveyoursay_22pm ToryDiary update:

Conservatives back Friends of the Earth's small shops campaign -

Noon ToryDiary update:
BBC and Prescott struck by Pollard's double whammy 


Frum_david_1Interview blog: David Frum answers your questions



SNP - Richard Lochhead 12,653
Tory - Mary Scanlon 6,268
Lib Dems - Linda Gorn 5,310
Labour - Sandy Keith 2,696
NHSFirst - Melville Brown 493

More on BBCi.


"Tory backbenchers and the Liberal Democrats yesterday claimed that the deputy prime minister, John Prescott, may have broken the ministerial code of conduct by allowing his civil servant diary secretary to become involved in the Labour election campaign." - Guardian

"The future of John Prescott as Deputy Prime Minister was called into doubt by Labour MPs last night amid fears that his affair with a junior civil servant has made his party a laughing stock as it campaigns for next week’s local elections." - Times


"As police and probation officers worked into the night trying to locate the "missing" offenders, Home Office officials conceded that Mr Clarke could be forced to quit if foreign criminals who should have been deported reoffended after release." - Independent

"The sight of politicians desperate to cling on to office not so they can serve the nation, but for their own sake, is now as common as it is contemptible. We repeat: Mr Clarke must go for his shocking failure to uphold the rule of law and protect the public against dangerous criminals." - Telegraph leader

Guido: The search for Clarke's Willie Horton

Peter Riddell pays tribute to Tory MP Richard Bacon for his role in exposing Charles Clarke's manifest failures - Times


"The "poll of polls" for The Independent puts Labour and the Tories on 33 per cent wth the Liberal Democrats on 22 per cent, their highest rating since last summer. Labour is down four points since last month and the Tories down two, while the Liberal Democrats are up three points.  John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who compiled the weighted average of this month's polls by ICM, MORI, Populus and YouGov, said: "Labour is apparently at its lowest ebb in this parliament, while at the same time the Tories are more or less back to where they were before David Cameron became leader." - Independent

"Can Cameron's Tories turn back the tide that swept them away in Britain's cities?" asks Philip Johnston in The Telegraph.




Iain Duncan Smith and Christian socialist Bob Holman write a joint letter to The Guardian upholding the work of faith-based and non-faith-based grassroots poverty-fighters.


Bill Bragg thinks Labour is partly to blame for rise of BNP -

"Independent MP and AM Peter Law was offered a peerage not to stand against Labour in Blaenau Gwent at the last general election, his widow alleges." - BBCi

Green_welliesCan the green wellies be saved?  "A consortium of investors led by Jonathan Marland, the Conservative Party treasurer, is leading the field of bidders for the Hunter Rubber Company, the wellington boot-maker that collapsed this month.  KPMG, the administrator handling the sale, set a deadline of noon Thursday for final offers for the company, which makes the green wellies worn by the Queen and Madonna." - FT reviews the 9/11 movie 'United 93'.

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27 Apr 2006 06:16:00

Thursday 27th April 2006

5.45pm updates:

Late morning updates on ToryDiary: A bad day at the Office and Triple whammy Wednesday


ToryDiary: London Mayoral candidate faces big decision on congestion charge and Nominations for Local Hero

Platform: Martin Curtis writes about Key Stage testing in schools

Charles_clarkeBLACK WEDNESDAY (Mk II)

"There comes a time in the life of most governments when one event can transform public indifference to, or even mild disdain for, its perceived failures into incandescent fury."
- Philip Johnston in The Telegraph

"Mr Blair has sown a wind of prejudice, misgovernment and wanton stupidity in the past nine years, and now he reaps the whirlwind. He might not see the moral and political failure contingent on not sacking Mr Clarke, but the public, in its anger, does." - Telegraph Leader

"It is possible that Tony Blair has had worse days as Prime Minister. It is not immediately evident when they might have been. It has left the collective impression of a government that is out of touch in the first case, astonishingly incompetent in the second and morally unhinged in the third." - Times Leader

"For all ministers, not just Mr Clarke, this episode should be taken as a painful lesson in the difficult and ineffectual nature of much government activity. Since 1997 Labour's language has often cantered well ahead of what is actually being done." - Guardian Leader 

Blair_1 "How can such unbelievable lassitude afflict a government that is supposed to be tough on crime? The answer, of course, is that the Government is not so much interested in being tough on crime, as in being seen to be tough." Boris Johnson in The Telegraph

"Hardly anybody seems to view this as a challenge that ministers can constructively respond to, except with grovelling self-abasement that has absolutely no policy content" - Anatole Kaletsky in The Times

"Once the present mess is under better control, the department's functions should be separated into a ministry of justice and a ministry of the interior. The Home Office is a Whitehall conglomerate that would do better broken up." - FT Editorial

"One minister said there was now a feeling of desperation within the government. "There's just a really miserable atmosphere at the moment - people are walking around with these grim, grim faces," he said. "No-one believes the polls - we feel like we're miles behind and nothing goes right. This must be how the Tories felt towards the end." - Scotsman

"Tony Blair will try to move on from one of his toughest days as prime minister when he meets Cabinet colleagues later." - BBCi


"Having fought two elections opposing the congestion charge, David Cameron's new all-green Tories revealed yesterday morning that they would change tack and support the scheme." - Guardian Diary


"President Bush today named conservative commentator Tony Snow as White House press secretary, putting a new face on a troubled administration. Mr. Snow, a Fox news pundit and former speechwriter in the White House under Mr. Bush's father, replaced Scott McClellan who resigned in a personnel shuffle intended to re-energize the White House and lift the president's record-low approval ratings." - Washington Times


"I welcome the conversion of David Cameron to the cause of environmentalism. But he will have to forgive a little cynicism on the part of those, such as the Liberal Democrats, who discovered green values and worked out ecological policies when his nanny was still tying his shoelaces." - Independent


"Welsh Tories last night claimed Peter Hain's bid to stop candidates standing in both sections of the ballot in National Assembly elections had been exposed as a sham. They made the claim after the Assembly Government confirmed it held no evidence that regional list AMs were abusing their positions." - icWales

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