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Monday 4th December 2006

7pm ToryDiary update: Cameron backs Tony Blair on Trident

4.15pm seats and candidates update: All A-list final for top target Stourbridge

+++ Breaking news (BBC): Australia's Labor party elects new opponent for John Howard 

1.45pm ToryDiary update: The Ten Peaks of David Cameron's first year as Tory leader

12.45pm ToryDiary update: Francis Maude's rating falls back below zero

BLOGS

ToryDiary:

100questions_1 Cllr Harry Phibbs on YourPlatform: 100 questions councillors should ask council officers

THE INFLUENCE OF STEVE HILTON

"Shadow cabinet ministers have privately expressed misgivings about the advice given by Mr Hilton, whom they regard as highly intelligent and motivated but misguided.  The tension is most palpable with Francis Maude, the party chairman, who is frustrated by the sway Mr Hilton holds over Mr Cameron.  There was also a dispute with Dr Liam Fox, the defence spokesman and former leadership challenger, who was astonished that Mr Hilton had used a focus group to test whether the party should support the case for replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent.  Mr Hilton is one of the few advisers permitted to interrupt and contradict Mr Cameron at meetings with shadow ministers. One source said: "Steve just interrupts Cameron and says: 'Shut up Dave, you don't know what you are talking about'. Cameron takes it from him because he trusts him so much."" - The Daily Telegraph

>>> Saturday's ToryDiary posted on Steve Hilton

Oneyear_3 CAMERON IS THE HEIR TO BLAIR

"If Mr Cameron's Conservatives succeed, the electoral future belongs to image consultants and marketing experts. But if Mr Brown prevails, there might be a return to real politics. We might actually find ourselves arguing once again about the basic principles of taxation and spending, welfare dependency and wealth creation: as far as Blairites are concerned, this would be a step back into the dark ages before we kicked all this ideological nonsense into the undergrowth. In so many respects – not least those that Mr Brown himself would choose to emphasise – a Brown ascendancy would be a repudiation of what Mr Blair has stood for. But a Cameron win would be a vindication.' - Janet Daley in The Daily Telegraph

"Historically, the country has repeatedly put liberal Conservative leaders into Downing Street. Baldwin, Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Heath and Major won eight elections in the past 82 years. The reason is simple: a liberal Conservative leader can win liberal votes without losing any comparable number of Conservative votes. He can build his own coalition. Such policies can tip over dangerously, as they did for Baldwin in 1930, for Macmillan in 1963, for Heath in 1974 or for Major after 1992. But everything in politics has a risk. The first year of the Cameron strategy has been a success." - William Rees-Mogg in The Times

GEORGE OSBORNE REACTS TO 'REAL INFLATION' STORY

Research commissioned by The Daily Telegraph suggests that the real inflation rate for pensioners and poorer families can be much higher than the measure used by the Bank of England.  Reacting, George Osborne said:

"This is a stark illustration of how real living standards are falling, particularly for pensioners and the most vulnerable in society.  Millions of people are struggling as the cost of living is rising faster than their incomes. What a legacy for Gordon Brown after 10 years in Downing Street."

OTHER NEWSLINKS

Ddgraf 'Politics is the software of the nation' according to a new website dedicated to bringing the views of parliamentarians to the web.  eparliament.tv has launched with a video essay from David Davis on 'designing out crime'.

"Gordon Brown has increased taxes by nearly £9,000 per household since he came to power, according to a report out today. The money is being used, among other things, to pay for 27,000 tax inspectors." - Times

Civil liberties, green politics and inequality star in Peter Hain's deputy leadership bid - ePolitix.com

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWS OF ALL...

"Matt Tubbs' cool finish earned non-league Salisbury a shock FA Cup replay against Nottingham Forest.' (BBC)

PS The Editor lives in Salisbury!

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