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Tuesday 23rd May 2006

5pm update in ToryDiary: Drug shooting galleries "not ruled out"

BLOGS

Dictionary: Iron triangle of political success

Platform: Mischa Balen - It's the North, stupid

ToryDiary: It's crime, stupid

Iain Dale: Cherie & the Hutton Report - It's Up to the Blogs to Make it Hit the Fan

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MORE HAPPINESS

"It is a pity that David Cameron could not find time for a trip to Bhutan to launch his new initiative to promote happiness. The Tory party leader's commitment to "general well-being" (GWB) instantly brings to mind the Himalayan kingdom's measure of "gross national happiness"." - Financial Times

"He is right to state that much of modern consumer culture ultimately seems unsatisfactory. The Conservative Party must become comfortable on that ground, without sinking into the softer terrain of mawkishness. Mr Cameron is using “GWB” as a loose philosophical concept to make a point. For hard-working families, however, he is in danger of sounding like the GWB — the Great Waffler of the Bourgeoisie." - The Times leader

"The Tories see [yesterday's speech on wellbeing] as step two in the effort to persuade the persuadable that Cameron's party has broken with the past and is living in the present. Step one was the environmental campaign that helped push the Tories to a strong showing in this month's local elections. Now the eco-friendly Cameron has been joined by the family-friendly Cameron. In each case, the policy prescriptions are still thin. At this stage, though, they are not the point. The aim is simply to get the public to notice that something is changing - which it clearly is." - Martin Kettle in The Guardian

HUMAN RIGHTS LAW

"There are serious issues raised by human rights law. In particular whether the European Court of Human Rights was correct in 1996 to rule that a state may not deport a person to face torture or ill-treatment abroad even if that person is a danger to the security of the deporting country. But informed analysis of such issues is not advanced by ministerial attempts to blame courts for government incompetence, or by general ignorance of the principles of human rights law, or by abuse of judges." - David Pannick QC in The Times

DEAR JOHN...

"Your introduction to the Home Office has not been a happy one. At times you must have been wondering where the next devastating revelation would come from. If it's any consolation, you are not the first home secretary to experience this - I know what it feels like. When the going got rough, I used to comfort myself by reading the passage of Willie Whitelaw's memoirs where he recounted the time he had to make emergency statements to the House of Commons on three successive days." - Michael Howard in The Telegraph

THE NEW DIVIDE: PROGRESSIVES AND REACTIONARIES?

"Oh, for clearer times when men were men and Tories were vermin. Each child born alive was either a little Red or a little Blue, with a few Cornish vacillators wearing the awkward yellow favours of the in-betweenies. Oceans of blood separated us. The Blues loved the Americans, we Reds (sotto voce) thought that the Russians got a bad press. They were for no taxes and lots of poverty, we were for massive taxes and no wealth." - David Aaronovitch in The Times

FAITHFUL CITIES REPORT

Rowan_williams

"It is proper that the Church engages in public debate on social policy. What is depressing is the resort to ideas long exploded by theory and experience, and the inexplicable blindness to policies that would give voluntary organisations, including churches, a central place in the delivery of welfare services. For it is not the state's but our own responsibility to care for our neighbour. "Market-driven capitalism" is not just the way to make the money that the good Samaritan spent on the stricken traveller. With its emphasis on freedom, diversity and responsiveness to users, capitalism is the model that should also characterise the welfare system. If it abandoned its socialism, the Church of England would do God's work much better." - Telegraph leader

"Religious faith is one of the richest and most enduring sources of dynamism and hope for the cities, the report noted, providing participation in civic life and social networks which could be dubbed "faithful capital". The report also acknowledged that factors beyond material wealth are essential for human happiness and questions why young people in Britain, the fourth largest economy in world, are among the most depressed in Europe." - Daily Mail

TWO-PARTY POLITICS

"And so finally Labour seems to wake from its complacent slumber, with newly appointed party chair Hazel Blears declaring the return of two-party politics and a resurgent Conservative Party. The return of this old but familiar battleground of ideas and ideologies leaves little room for the Third Way of Tony Blair, but it does leave a gap to be filled by a combative, wily and resourceful bruiser of the old school. Step forward, Gordon Brown." - Birmingham Post

THE PEOPLE DESERVE MORE RESPECT

"John Prescott can with impunity assault people and demand sex in his office, but a harassed teacher who lays a restraining hand on a child’s shoulder risks ruin. The Home Office can mismanage dangerous prisoners, yet roll its eyes up in pious self-justification as it libels the innocent. Health and police posters can berate us as malodorous wife beaters while actual police ignore burglaries and NHS Direct takes four hours to ring back." - Libby Purves in The Times

SALMOND SNUB

Alexsalmond

"Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP, last night contemptuously dismissed a suggestion from the Scottish Tories that the two parties could work together in the next Holyrood parliament. Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Conservative leader, prompted the rebuff from the SNP - which has a long-standing policy of non- co-operation with the Tories - after she called for parties to work together outside formal coalition on "the real devolution agenda"." - Scotsman

THORPE'S THOUGHTS

"Well, I'm afraid the Tories look to have blown their chances of taking the wheels off Labour's battered chariot when the wagons next circle to do battle at the hustings. Why? Because their fresh-faced youth of a leader, David Cameron, has the idea that he and his pals need to be politically correct and have more "inclusion" – political shorthand for forcing local Conservative Associations to pick candidates." - John Thorpe MBE in the Yorkshire Evening Post

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