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Tuesday 23rd January 2007

Early evening ToryDiary update: Paul Dacre accuses the Tories of surrendering to the BBC's worldview

3pm ToryDiary update: 18 Doughty Street launches a new website and a whole new approach to political campaigning 


ToryDiary: Tories have best policies for six out of nine key issues and Michael Gove on the emergence of an anti-Islamist intelligentsia

Seats and candidates: Associations to be forced to select from gender-balanced shortlists?

LondonMayor: A safe city, by Aristeides


Doctors_2 "Government health targets, including waiting time limits, would be discarded by the Conservatives in favour of longer term health outcomes which would measure how well treatments worked. David Cameron, the Tory leader, said yesterday that many of the controversial targets would go.  They also intended to give GPs the power and the money with which to pay for treatments. "We will replace the national top-down targets that can distort clinical decisions with objectives that measure the benefit to patients," he said."- Telegraph

"There is little evidence that most GPs want to take over a main role in commissioning healthcare, as the Tory statement suggests. Hence, perhaps, their tepid response to the Tory plan. The Blair-Brown remedy is decentralisation combined with greater patient power, which MPs debated last night. But do patients want it?" - Michael White in the Guardian

"A paradox of the NHS after a decade of record investment under New Labour is that GPs and consultants have never been better rewarded — or more demoralised. The reason is simple. These highly trained, highly skilled professionals are treated, because of the exigencies of this Government's obsession with centralised target-setting, like assembly-line drones, ticking the boxes to fill the day's quotas. No amount of money can compensate for this demeaning loss of authority and responsibility." - Telegraph leader

Cameron_hospital_1 "Mr Cameron may well believe that his best chance of power comes from neutralising the fears of a Conservative government, only to be radical once in power. But history suggests that you can only do that if your radicalism goes with the grain of your assault on power. For their own long-term good, and ours, the Tories should be offering what Labour may be too conservative, too hidebound to suggest." David Aaronovitch in the Times


"A year after the prime minister launched his "respect agenda", 40 towns and cities in England were yesterday promised extra help to curb anti-social behaviour. Local authorities will also be issued with a "respect handbook" telling them what to do. But the Tories said areas facing high levels of anti-social behaviour needed more police on the streets, yet the Home Office had scaled back plans for extra community support officers (PCSOs)." - Telegraph

Asb "The daily lives of many thousands of blameless people, particularly the elderly, are made unbearable by what the police regard as trivial incidents. But the lesson of "zero-tolerance" policing in New York is that a revolution can be brought about in the quality of urban life by clamping down on "low-level" offences such as graffiti, hooliganism and street disorder. The neglect of minor delinquency leads to major delinquency, and to the demoralisation of the communities whose support Mr Blair would like to enlist." - Telegraph leader


"Three-quarters of the big transport projects approved in England in the last year are in Labour-held constituencies, figures released last night show, provoking Conservative charges of political bias." - Guardian


"David Cameron may have reinvigorated the Conservatives and delivered a healthy string of opinion poll leads over Labour but his MPs still revere the woman who led them through the Tory glory days of the 1980s. Although the party's youthful new leader has spent much of the past year distancing himself from the legacy of Thatcherism, the Iron Lady herself is still the most popular political hero for more than a quarter of Tory MPs, a survey of more than 150 MPs found."


"We should create a culture where it is normal for policy and decision-making to have direct input from citizens. How? By providing "a citizen's right to initiate" including legislative processes, public inquiries and hearings into public bodies. The public wants a voice." - Helena Kennedy in the Independent


Ian Gibson MP praises Castro regime - Telegraph Spy

"An extra infantry battalion of about 600 soldiers has been put on standby to be sent to Afghanistan in March to increase the size of the British force to more than 6,500 Service personnel." - Times

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