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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

BLOGS

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 100policies.com 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.

SOARING COUNCIL TAX

"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!"

ENGLISH INDEPENDENCE

"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

OTHER NEWSLINKS

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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