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30 Nov 2006 09:02:10

Thursday 30th November 2006

Evening updates on ToryDiary:



London Mayor blog: Cameron says Livingstone is an ageing, far left politician and wants to introduce ethnic monitoring throughout Tory party

Pagetbrown_nick_1 Nick Paget-Brown on YourPlatform: Crime and the Missing Culture of Punishment...

"The mismatch between our “liberal culture” fostered and protected by unaccountable “professionals” in alliance with parts of the media, and the real concern of the public to see practical, visible but “positive” sanctions and punishments has become enormous but is largely ignored. Cultural timidity has trumped legislative intent."

Spencer Tasker's idea: Hypothecation of revenues derived from specifically environmental taxes, charges and levies

Seats and candidates: Finalists for Hampstead and Kilburn and Finalists for Hereford


"This Saturday evening millions of Britons will be at home watching Strictly Come Dancing – a programme about a variety of personalities acquiring the practical skill of Ballroom Dancing through instruction and practice.  Craftsmen like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey are national icons. From Betjeman on architecture to Fred Dibnah on engineering, the nation has long shared a fascination for skills and craft.  It's about time the education system caught up with popular sentiment, by recognising the role practical skills play in peoples' lives and national life. We must elevate the practical."

Shadow education minister John Hayes MP continues his crusade to put skills at the heart of the Tory agenda.  Click here to read the full text of his speech to Conservative National Education Society yesterday evening.


"Criminal charges have been recommended against 11 people linked to the Conservative Party after Britain’s biggest inquiry into postal vote fraud, The Times has learnt.  Detectives investigating alleged vote-rigging in Bradford have submitted a file to prosecutors which they believe contains sufficient evidence to bring the suspects, including a former Tory councillor, before the courts." - The Times


"When the history of the Tosser family comes to be written, John Prescott's name will adorn an early page. For he yesterday seized the chance to launch the new discipline of Tosser studies, which is certain to prove a magnet not just for genealogists but for social historians.  Mr Prescott's own special interest lies in the Tory Tossers, of whom he claims to know a very large number. Far be it from us to accuse Mr Prescott of social climbing: we prefer to regard the Deputy Prime Minister's obsession as a sign of the underlying affinity between himself and his subject. "It takes one to know one" will surely come to serve as the motto of students in this field..." - Andrew Gimson in The Telegraph

>>> ConservativeHome's report of yesterday's Prescott Vs Hague encounter


Also: "Sir Robert Atkins was re-elected to the post of Deputy Chairman. Philip Bushill-Matthews was elected Treasurer. Richard Ashworth and Charles Tannock were elected to the Conservative Delegation Bureau." -

>>> Background: Kirkhope faces Eurosceptic challenge to his leadership of the MEPs

>>> Related link: Syed Kamall's pocket guide to the EU


"Chancellor Gordon Brown says he is upbeat about his son's future after revealing four-month-old Fraser has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.  Mr Brown received messages of support from political allies and opponents, with Tory leader David Cameron among the first to offer his best wishes." - BBC

See The Sun's detailed report and leader.


"I am deeply concerned about the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) proposals — who perform more than 50,000 of the 180,000 abortions each year under contract to the NHS — to provide abortion on demand (report, Nov 28). Currently, there are about 600 abortions performed each day. Making abortions available on demand will encourage women to use abortion as a form of contraception..." - Letter to The Times from Nadine Dorries MP

"Charles Clarke yesterday became the most senior Labour figure to challenge the planned commissioning of a new British nuclear deterrent, dismissing it as "an expensive new weapon to fight the last war"." - The Guardian

"Eighty per cent of the members of a new-style House of Lords could be elected under a plan backed by the Cabinet to break the logjam over reform of the second chamber.  In an unprecedented move, when MPs vote on the Lords shake-up in the new year, they will rate the different options in order of preference so that one proposal eventually enjoys majority support after second preferences have been redistributed." - The Independent

"The winners of's annual Charity Champion Awards have been announced, with Hilary Benn, John Bercow, Ed Balls and Greg Clark among the winners.' -

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29 Nov 2006 08:27:09

Wednesday 29th November 2006

Afternoon updates:

CF Diary: Shane Greer on the battle for student government

ToryDiary: Are the police even bothering to fight crime? and New campaign against state funding of political parties

12.30pm PMQs report: Serious Hague outwits ill-informed Prescott


ToryDiary: Tories issue response to anti-Semitism report

Robert Colvile on YourPlatform: The Sustainable Communities Bill wins a parliamentary champion

Seats and candidates: John Maples writes to all candidates

Richard Jenner on advocates 100% reserve banking

CF Diary: Brief on centre-right youth politics in Solvakia, and Matthew Richardson's monthly report

Telegraph_on_loans PARTY FINANCES

"The Labour Party is on the verge of financial ruin after figures released yesterday showed it has to repay £7 million in bank loans by January.  The news comes as big donations have virtually dried up because of the controversy generated by the cash for honours police investigation.  Only the trade unions' continued support is keeping Labour afloat. But the problems will be compounded next year when the party has to repay a further £7 million to the businessmen whose loans triggered the inquiry." - Telegraph

Andrew Pierce of The Daily Telegraph lists the four businessmen bankrolling the Tories - Lord Ashcroft, Lord Laidlaw, Michael Hintze and Johan Eliasch.


"Council tax bills are to soar to £1,500 a year for most families, it was revealed last night.  The cost of an average Band D home is to rocket by an inflation-busting five per cent a year for the next three years.  There has already been an 84 per cent rise in council tax since Labour came to power in 1997." - The Sun

The Sun Says: "It's good to know council taxes will not rise by more than 5 per cent this year, next year and the year after.  That’s double the rate of inflation — and brings the average bill to £1,500 a year.  It comes on top of an 84 per cent rise since Labour took power.  It would be still higher, but for “generous” Gordon Brown.  He has found £3.5BILLION extra from the Treasury to keep town halls solvent. And where did all that cash come from?  Yes, out of your pockets, suckers!"


"The English deserve their referendum, too, on whether they wish to remain in any sort of union with Scotland. If they can have their own Parliament, then why shouldn't England? If they wish to be separate, then why should the English subsidise them? Above all, why should the rights of the English majority be so aggressively denied?" - Simon Heffer in The Telegraph


David Willetts confirms that there'll be no education vouchers under a Cameron government - Independent

Whittingdale_john "Television quiz shows that ask viewers to phone in to win cash prizes are tantamount to a fraud, MPs said yesterday.  The chances of winning can be as little as 1 in 5,000... After the hearing, John Whittingdale, the committee chairman, said that he expected Michael Grade, the new head of ITV, to take a close look at its call-in quiz operations.  The committee will publish recommendations for new regulations after Christmas." - The Times

"Labour MP John Cruddas and Lib Dem Simon Hughes said policymakers had failed to recognise BNP gains were linked to anger over who gets homes." - BBC

"The influx of Eastern European workers to the UK has driven up rates of unemployment and house prices, leading economic experts warn.  The respected Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the massive increase in cheap foreign labour has pushed unemployment rates up from 4.8 per cent last year to 5.6 per cent in 2006." - Daily Mail

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28 Nov 2006 08:39:13

Tuesday 28th November 2006

7pm news update: "Blogs and other internet sites should be covered by a voluntary code of practice similar to that for newspapers in the UK, a conference has been told. Press Complaints Commission director Tim Toulmin said he opposed government regulation of the internet, saying it should a place "in which views bloom" - BBC

CCHQ press release: "Conservatives today expose the full extent of Labour’s reliance on the unions. Loan and donation figures from the Electoral Commission reveal... Almost 90 per cent of Labour’s donations now come from the unions, up from 34 per cent in the same period last year and still rising from 74 per cent in the previous quarter. In addition, new analysis shows that Labour is £2 million in debt to a trade union bank. The bank is 73 per cent owned by trade unions with senior union officials making up over half the non-exec board.

Maude_francis_5 Conservative Party Chairman, Francis Maude, said: ”Today’s figures show how Labour’s dependence on the unions continues to grow. The unions are clearly salivating at the prospect of Labour’s leadership election. We know that previous donations have yielded an array of pet policies and bungs with taxpayers’ money. Who knows what is being promised behind closed doors for the latest slew of cash revealed today? Labour has to deal with this cronyism in order to properly clean up politics”."

>>> See here for Guido on the Tories' own financial challenges.

4pm late afternoon ToryDiary updates: ConservativeHome named Publication of the Year and Shock survey reveals that academics lean left!

11am ToryDiary update: Kirkhope faces Eurosceptic challenge to his leadership of the MEPs


ToryDiary: C2s and 'security' boost Labour and Saudi Arabia's funding of Islamism

Newmark_brooks_1 Brooks Newmark on YourPlatform: Gordon Brown - Iron Chancellor or Enron Chancellor? Rachel Joyce urges the party to Localise the NHS and integrate health and social care

Seats and candidates: Finalists for Chatham & Aylesford


"The Tories squandered £5.5 million on their move from Conservative Central Office to rented offices in Westminster, increasing the party's reliance on secret commercial loans from rich benefactors... Lord Saatchi, the then party chairman, took the decision in 2003 to make the move when Michael Howard became leader to make a symbolic break with the party's past. But when they left Smith Square, the Tories' headquarters for more than 50 years, no tenant or buyer was in place. The building, the party's only substantial commercial asset, has been empty since." - The Telegraph


David Cameron and William Hague missed the CBI Conference to visit British troops in Iraq - see photo from this morning's Sun >>>

"David Cameron’s decision not to attend the first CBI conference since he became Conservative leader has been spun in some quarters as a calculated snub. It is unlikely that it was intended as such, nor would it be taken personally by Richard Lambert, the CBI’s new Director-General. But it was badly handled, with Mr Cameron pulling out after having accepted the invitation." - Times leader

"Mr Cameron bypassed what would once have been considered to be an invaluable opportunity to reaffirm publicly his party's relationship with the business community. It must have been difficult for representatives at the conference not to conclude that this was intended as a deliberate gesture, underlining Mr Cameron's determination to sever the party from its old image as the voice of big business." - Telegraph leader

"By standing up the CBI at the last minute, Mr Cameron let down not only his hosts but the many businessmen and politicians who had flown from all over the world to attend the conference... However, if Mr Cameron's visit to Iraq turns out to mark the beginning of a shift in Tory policy over that misbegotten war, won't it have been worth it?" - Daily Mail leader (not online).

Osborne builds bridges after Cameron's 'snub' - Telegraph

Cool reception as Tories produce a policy on global warming - The Times


The Guardian has an interesting suggestion that Labour plans a legislative pre-emptive strike against Tory plans to resource target seats over the next few years in the same ways in which Lord Ashcroft successfully funded target seats before 2005.


Davis_formal_7 "It is incredibly important to resolve the question of whether the Russian state was involved. If it was—given that a British citizen who had been given asylum and was therefore under British Government protection may have been murdered on British soil—that has enormous implications for the relationship between the United Kingdom and Russia and implications, too, for other émigrés in the United Kingdom who are opponents of the Russian Government. If the Russian state was not involved, that raises the almost equally disturbing prospect that such sophisticated capabilities are available to criminals in the United Kingdom and possibly therefore to other groups." - Shadow Home Secretary David Davis reflecting on the death of Alexander Litvinenko in the Commons yesterday

“The writer is not shy. The writer shows unreliable and poor judgment. The writer was not in control of their emotions and instincts at the time of writing.  There are signs that the writer is someone who does not like to give a clear-cut image of himself. There are signs that the writer can be evasive." - The conclusions of an analysis of Gordon Brown's handwriting - commissioned by George Osborne (The Times).

"Ministers have been accused of overturning the nation's morality in a searing attack on new gay rights laws by a leading Roman Catholic churchman.  Archbishop of Birmingham Vincent Nichols threatened to withdraw Catholic co-operation with the Government over schools, charity programmes and adoption agencies if the new sexual orientation regulations go ahead." - Daily Mail


Idea Channel TV are streaming the ground-breaking Free to Choose series as it originally aired in 1980 as well as an updated 1990 version.  Essential viewing!

18 DOUGHTY STREET TALK TV wins a positive review from BBC Online's Brian Wheeler

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27 Nov 2006 00:56:05

Monday 27th November 2006

5pm CF Diary updates: Alexander Drake profiles the Young Liberal Movement in Australia, and summary of the National Chairman's report on CF's progress



"Today’s robust critique of the Chancellor’s welfare system, by the right-of-centre think tank Reform, reveals that benefits are paid to two fifths of all households, including some that are already earning three times the average household income." - Times leader and Times report

Go to the Reform website for a pdf copy of the full report or to ConservativeHome's YourPlatform where the author Nicholas Boys Smith summarises his findings: Now it is time to really link welfare to work


ToryDiary: Tony Blair apologises for Foot & Mouth disaster... and One year of David Cameron survey returns with Will East recommending that the NHS be opened up to new providers - competing on price.



"David Cameron has held secret talks with the head of the European Commission over tackling climate change, a sign that he is prepared to work with Brussels on his green agenda." - Times

"The Conservatives are planning a carbon tax on British businesses to persuade them to reduce their emissions, shadow chancellor George Osborne has said.  The Conservatives say the proposal would raise more money than the existing climate change levy.  Any extra money would be returned to businesses through other tax cuts." - BBC


"David Cameron has snubbed business leaders by pulling out of today's annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry at the 11th hour.  His decision not to attend the first CBI conference since he became Conservative leader will be seen as a further sign that he is distancing the Tories from big business.  Sir Digby Jones, who stepped down as CBI director general earlier this year, likened the Tory leader's withdrawal to Tony Blair's decision a decade ago not to make the Labour leader's traditional appearance at the TUC's conference when he was trying to reassure "Middle England" he was not in the unions' pocket." - Telegraph


"The situation in Iraq is one of the most critical issues facing the British Government and our country.  There are two purposes to my visit with William Hague.  The first is to meet our troops, to give them our support and to hear directly from them about their experience.  The second is to get a more direct understanding of the political situation by meeting Iraqi politicians and to look at the prospects for halting the terrible cycle of violence and for making the transition to Iraqi control over security."


"David Cameron's popularity with women is a 'myth', according to a new poll suggests widespread disenchantment with the Government among female voters.  A survey by the Fawcett Society questioned claims that the Tory leader is wooing women away from Gordon Brown... Just one in 10 women say he is more honest than most politicians, although they conceded he has more personality than Mr Brown." - London Evening Standard

"The Tories are not unbeatable and are not yet being fully tested, but Cameron is bringing on a power-hungry, enthusiastic and optimistic female force. If Labour isn't careful they could well be the future of politics." - Jackie Ashley in The Guardian reflects on the first anniversary party of Women2Win


"If we are serious about tackling the causes of deep poverty, we need a different model — one in which government as a matter of policy encourages local communities and the third sector to take risks in the name of social responsibility.  In other words, we need to arm Sir Humphrey with a new defence.  We want him to be able to say to the journlists, the auditors and the parliamentary committees: “I have been specifically commanded by Her Majesty’s Government to tell you that a significant amount of failure was anticipated, that if no failure had occurred this would have indicated that too little risk was being taken, and that what matters to HMG is not whether there are failures but whether local communities and locally based social enterprises are obtaining a high number of sustainable successes in lifting people out of traps of multiple deprivation.” - Oliver Letwin in The Times responding to an article from Matthew Parris about the dangers of political involvement with charities.


"The Tories faced another race row today after an MP suggested the majority of criminals are black.  Essex MP Bob Spink was said to have made the claims in an exchange of emails with a constituent." - Daily Mail


Lord Peyton of Yeovil - The Guardian


"Twenty-four per cent of voters gave Ms Harman a warm personal rating, compared with 17 per cent for Hilary Benn, 15 per cent for Alan Johnson, 13 per cent for Peter Hain, 7 per cent for Hazel Blears and 5 per cent for Jon Cruddas." - Independent

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