Conservative Home

« Saturday 13th May 2006 | Main | Monday 15th May 2006 »

Sunday 14th May 2006


ToryDiary: All MEPs can compete with the A-listers

Two A-listers

Bagshawe_louiseTwo A-listers are profiled in the Sunday newspapers:

  • In The Sunday Times we don't just read about Louise Bagshawe's reawakened Conservatism but also her reawakened Catholicism and the way she "came to accept Catholic teaching, including on sexuality and marriage".  Louise Bagshawe has left a comment below indicating that the unedited version of her Sunday Times article can be read in the Diary section of her personal website.
  • A very different profile - of 'true blue hunk' Adam Rickitt - appears in the Independent on Sunday: "He has always been unashamedly metrosexual and seems to enjoy being a gay icon.  "I'm straight and very comfortable with that," he told one reporter. The tabloids claim his bed-hopping past gave Tory party chiefs some concern. Rickitt admits he dated so many female fans he lost count. Corrie babe Samia Smith is reported to have shared his bed as has his former Rent co-star Jane Doyle. Rickitt himself insists he is a true romantic.  "I think when you're born, your soul is split into two and given to your perfect partner. When you see each other you'll be with each other for ever.""   

Dale_iain_2"It’s not just about women: we need an A-list of northern candidates, of Scottish and Welsh candidates, who can help to rejuvenate the party in our cities. We want to see more people with public service and public sector backgrounds making it. Any party that is seeking to renew itself needs fresh talent.  My only worry is whether the “newbies” are totally aware of what they are letting themselves in for. It takes a huge commitment in time and money to be a candidate three years away from an election. It’s a very hard slog, totally without glamour, albeit with a huge reward for success." - Iain Dale in The Sunday Times (discussed on his blog)


"Labour could be heading for a wipe-out by David Cameron's Tories at the next general election, says the first detailed study of the local election results and their possible impact.  The analysis, compiled by the Electoral Reform Society and released to The Observer yesterday, predicts that Labour stands to lose 149 of its present 355 MPs, bringing its Commons strength down to 206 - 'even worse than in 1983'.  The Tories could add between 100 and 120 MPs to their current 198. This would probably give them more than 300 MPs, comfortably the largest party and 'with new seats created in boundary changes, on the verge of an overall majority'." - The Observer


"Tony Blair thought he had devised a cunning plan to avoid being torn out of Number 10 like Margaret Thatcher. By announcing in advance that he would not fight a fourth election, he reckoned that he'd snuff out any plots to remove him, because it wouldn't appear to be worth the trouble... As the Prime Minister must ruefully admit today, his cunning plan has failed.  You can measure his current vulnerability by his enforced retreat from his previous insistence that he would serve a 'full term' to the promise that he will give a successor 'ample time' to establish himself as Prime Minister. You could hear it in the deadly silence of Labour MPs during Prime Minister's Questions as the Tories jeered him. You could see it in the graveyard faces of the Number 10 officials watching from their box in the chamber." - The Observer


Alan Duncan, interviewed in the IoS, "struggles to give specifics on how his party's approach to business would be different from Labour's (an area under consideration by one of Cameron's many review teams), but says the Tories want to make it easier to set up businesses and to employ people. They would also consider cutting business rates."


"Two statements last week by Cameron show the broadening of his political appeal. One was his declaration that he will tear up the Human Rights Act if it cannot be reformed, repeating one of Michael Howard’s more controversial election policies... Next was his speech denouncing the sexualisation of children by the fashion industry: a theme which has huge resonance with Middle Britain parents repelled by seeing FCUK on clothing in the high street.  It was a brilliant topic that illustrated Cameron’s ability to empathise." - Fraser Nelson in The Business

Related story: "For all the anguished headlines about lost childhood, today's parents have better relationships with their offspring than ever. It's just that the rules have changed." - Mary Riddell in The Observer


"'There's been much more debate about the political strategy behind his visit to Norway than about policy,' he says. 'My attitude to the environment is the same as my attitude to the rest of government: if you are good and you deliver and have bold programmes, ideas for a fourth term, then you have every chance of winning. What's really striking is how few ideas there are from the right of politics today.'  In fact, he suggests, the right is in intellectual crisis: 'The two traditions of Conservative politics that have co-existed for the last 100 years - the commitment to open markets and a commitment to stability and order, what we used to call Victorian values - are dramatically at odds.'" - The Observer


Ken Livingstone's £648m scheme to build a tramline through west London is in severe danger after elections in the capital hardened opposition to the project... However, all of the three councils along the tram route - Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing and Hillingdon - turned Conservative in the elections at the beginning of this month... In each borough the Tories campaigned on an anti-tram platform.  In Ealing, Labour had strongly supported the project. But last week the new Tory leader of the council, Jason Stacey, voiced his party's opposition to the West London Tram, saying... "Transport for London needs our co-operation, but we are going to become aggressive opposers to the scheme."" - IoS


"It is simply wrong for those rich enough to afford the expensive prices of small, independent stores and boutiques to seek to impose their lifestyle and spending choices on those who cannot afford them. Supermarkets have been one of the great forces for poverty reduction in modern times: they have done more to help struggling students and poor immigrant workers than any of Chancellor Gordon Brown’s incomprehensible tax credits or patronising handouts. The poor can now clothe and feed themselves for a few pounds in Tesco and Wal-Mart. Yet those who shout most about helping the poor are also loudest in attacking the supermarkets." - The Business


"This week one of the most hotly awaited dramas hits our TV screens - The Line of Beauty, a story of passion and high politics set in the Thatcherite 80s. But how realistic is it? Jonathan Aitken a Tory high-flier from the era, gives his verdict." - The Observer


Hughes_simon_2_2 "The Lib Dems should not be too quick to judge new leader Sir Menzies Campbell, a former leadership contender has said.  The time to assess his performance was after six months - not "a few weeks", Simon Hughes told GMTV's Sunday Programme." - BBCi

"Tony Blair today accuses anti-vivisection extremists of "stooping to appalling depths" as he launches an impassioned defence of animal testing.  Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the Prime Minister leads opposition to the increasingly violent tactics of animal rights campaigners." - The Sunday Telegraph

Peter Preston, in The Observer, notes how David Cameron is concerned how the BBC crowds out small rivals.

"Hillary, moreover, may be one nepotistic step too far. Americans are sick of dynasties and to have potentially 28 continuous years of presidents from two single families begins to make the United States look like a banana republic or a Tudor and Stuart pas de deux. I’m not just thinking of the terrible task that future students are going to have, trying to remember which Bush and which Clinton came when and did what; I mean simply that in a country of 300m, we really should be able to look beyond two families for leadership talent." - Andrew Sullivan in The Sunday Times

"Truce Is Talk, Agony Is Real in Darfur: Although a cease-fire has gone into effect in Darfur, brutal assaults by militiamen continue in the lawless region." - New York Times

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


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.