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Tuesday 13th June 2006

5pm update in ToryDiary: Coming to a dustbin near you...

4pm update in ToryDiary: CPHRC gets its teeth stuck into the Maldives

BBC: "The Lib Dems are pulling out of a deal to work jointly with the Conservatives on the issue of climate change."

1pm update in ToryDiary: An exciting new Conservative Home competition!

Noon update in ToryDiary: CCHQ hires internet guru

BLOGS

Capc Platform: ConservativeHome in Israel: Day 2 and Neil O'Brien: The moral case for breaking the EU consensus

ToryDiary: Second front now 

Community: Simon Newman

Books: The Politically Correct Scrapbook

THE CONSERVATIVE WEB OFFENSIVE

"The UK’s opposition Conservative party has hired a young “Googler” to help launch a web offensive ahead of the next general election. It is the latest in a series of links between the party and the American search group. Roake, who worked as a Google “maximiser” writing copy for online adverts, exchanged last week the free smoothie drinks and cool T-shirts of Google’s London office for the Conservatives." - Financial Times

"Why is there no British Yahoo! or Google? Why are we not home to fast-growing community websites such as MySpace, the fifth most visited site on the world wide web? The internet may have been invented by a Briton, but it is a sad truth that not one of the leading internet companies is British. I am in Silicon Valley to find out why, meeting not just the people who run these internet giants, but also the venture capitalists who turn their bright ideas into great businesses." - George Osborne in The Times

Margot_james THE RACE FOR MAYOR

"The openly lesbian vice-chairman of the Conservative party has officially ruled herself out of standing to become Mayor of London. Margot James, who is the vice-chairman of the Conservative party with responsibility for women says that she is concentrating on her campaign to become elected to the House of Commons." - Pink News

"The Conservatives have thrown open the contest to be their candidate for London mayor by allowing all voters in the capital - not just party members - to register their choice by phone or text message. David Cameron yesterday hailed the move, reminiscent of contests such as Pop Idol, as a first in British politics for such an important post." - The Guardian

"Five million Londoners will be invited to vote in a US-style primary to find the Conservative Party’s mayoral candidate to challenge Ken Livingstone." - Rosemary Bennett in The Times

"Barry Legg, who led last year's successful "A Better Choice" campaign against radical constitutional changes, said only paid-up Tory members could select candidates and gave warning that any Tory mayoral hopeful picked on the proposed system faced "the serious risk" of legal action." - Telegraph

>>> Francis Maude launches final plans for the London mayoral selection on ConservativeHome 

EVIL CORPORATIONS AND THEIR BANKERS

"Business needs to shed the image of "evil corporations and their bankers" if it is to flourish in future, David Cameron, the Conservative leader, warned last night. Companies that ignored public concerns faced "huge reputational and practical risks", he said, arguing that ethical consumers were exerting increasing power. But he stressed a Tory government would seek primarily to use exhortation, rather than regulation, to drive behavioural change by business." - Financial Times (Subscription only)

Compassionate_conservatism WHAT BETTER ENDORSEMENT FOR A CONSERVATIVE BOOK?

"Here is a book to answer one of politics' most baffling questions: Compassionate Conservatism: What It Is, Why We Need It, by Jesse Norman, head of Policy Exchange, the thinktank closest to David Cameron - which holds the kernel of Cameronian thought - and Janan Ganesh, a researcher at the organisation...This oxymoron "compassionate Conservative" turns out to be true-blue "shrink-the-state" Tory, barely rebranded... This book fleshes out that abhorrence of the state and all its works, the true dividing line between left and right." - Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

>>> The full book is viewable online here, and serialised in YourPlatform here. Email Sam if you would like to review it for ConservativeHome.

THE OTHER BLAIR LEADERSHIP IN QUESTION

"Some would argue that to remove Sir Ian now would present a victory to Islamic radicals who want him out, and who want a free hand to plot death and destruction in our society. On the contrary, it would make way for a new commissioner who could command the unequivocal confidence of the political establishment." - Telegraph leader

>>> See yesterday's ToryDiary: Tough on crime? Tough on the causes of headlines

Epped_logo THE EPP DEBATE CONTINUES..

"The danger for the Tory leader is that a big row about the EPP will remind the voters of everything they dislike about the Conservatives - in-fighting, splits over Europe, association with extremists. Mr Cameron cannot win. If he pulls out of the centre-Right bloc and forms a new grouping, as he has said he wants to do, he will almost certainly find himself with some embarrassing alliances." - Rachel Sylvester in The Telegraph

"David Cameron has risked further alienating fellow centre-Right leaders in Europe by refusing to attend a pre-summit get-together in Brussels." - Telegraph

Cameron's European blind spot - Phillip Stephens in the FT

>>> See today's Platform: A moral case for breaking the European consensus

"BULLIED BY THE STATE"

"Giving more state agents the right of entry will not merely erode liberty: it will undermine the basis of citizenship itself. We obey the government because it is limited government. When it is no longer limited, there will be nothing to make us behave but abusive proclamations, backed up by arbitrary force." - Telegraph leader

DC COMES TO BROMLEY

"To Bromley, then, for a sizzler of a day in the by-election. I refer to the weather rather than the politics but we can always hope. For yesterday David Cameron, or DC as everyone in his team now seems to call him, whooshed in by train on a mission to bring some glamour to Bob Neill’s campaign." - Ann Treneman in The Times

"David Cameron took care not to impose an A-list candidate in the Bromley and Chislehurst byelection later this month...To recap, the late Conservative MP held Bromley and Chislehurst last year with a very comfortable 13,342 majority. Anyone hoping to overturn it would have to pick up the Labour, Lib Dem, Ukip and Green votes combined. Realistically, the best the Lib Dems' Ben Abbotts can hope for is to inch ahead of Labour into second place." - Ros Taylor in The Guardian

THE WEST LOTHIAN QUESTION

Letters to The Guardian:

"Jackie Ashley is correct that the Conservative policy of "English votes on English matters" will bring about the termination of the union."
- Michael Knowles, Campaign for and English Parliament

"Jackie Ashley is wrong to say that Conservative proposals will lead to the break-up of the UK. In fact, this is far more probable if, like the government, we simply ignore the problem."
- Oliver Heald MP

UNIONS WADE IN ON POLITICAL FUNDING

"Union leaders have sent a warning to Tony Blair not to back Tory plans to impose a £50,000 cap on donations to political parties, including from trade unions, saying such a move will cost the party £39m over four years. They say this would "fatally undermine" the link between the unions and Labour and insist they will fight any such move, making Mr Blair's chances of creating a cross-party consensus on party funding unlikely." - Guardian

"If Tony Blair and David Cameron had complete freedom of manoeuvre, they could probably reach agreement on the future of party funding. But both are constrained by powerful interests, and financial backers, in their own parties. Hence, the review of funding by Sir Hayden Phillips, a retired permanent secretary, is as much about trying to shift attitudes within the main parties as between them." - Peter Riddell in The Times

>>>ToryDiary: Labour's NEC to review political funding

Peter_bowles A SECOND UUP MEMBER DEFECTS

"The shadow defence secretary Liam Fox has welcomed two defections from the Ulster Unionist Party to the Conservative Party. Former Ards councillor Philip Smith has said he is joining as he wants to get involved in national politics. On Sunday, Down councillor Peter Bowles said he was leaving as he opposes the Ulster Unionist's assembly links with the PUP." - BBC Northern Ireland

WHAT WILL REPLACE THE TORY TORCH?

Tim Dowling in The Guardian has some suggestions. As do Iain Dale and Chris Palmer.

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