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Thursday 30th November 2006

Evening updates on ToryDiary:

HAVE YOUR SAY IN NOVEMBER'S SURVEY OF TORY GRASSROOTS OPINION

BLOGS

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 100policies.com idea: Hypothecation of revenues derived from specifically environmental taxes, charges and levies

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

Hayes_john_7 "ELEVATING THE PRACTICAL"

"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.

TORIES FACE VOTE-RIGGING CHARGES

"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

YESTERDAY'S PMQs

"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

Kirkhopetimothy_1 TIMOTHY KIRKHOPE RE-ELECTED LEADER OF THE TORY MEPs

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." - conservatives.com

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

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

Heartache GORDON BROWN'S SON

"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.

OTHER NEWSLINKS

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

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