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Tuesday 30th January 2006

EVENING UPDATES: £2M SUBSIDY WINS 2008 TORY CONFERENCE FOR BIRMINGHAM and LORD LEVY REARRESTED (BBC | IAIN DALE)

1pm Seats and Candidates update: Gray wins ballot of local members

Noon ToryDiary update: Tax campaign video launches

IslamismCLICK HERE TO READ IT.

BLOGS

ToryDiary: Tory report targets unrepresentative Muslim groups and Cameron faces backlash from social conservatives on gay adoption decision

YourPlatform: A very cold Liam Fox reports from Washington DC

SMITH INSTITUTE - A CHARITY CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH GORDON BROWN - IS UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR POLITICISATION

SEE GUIDO FAWKES' POST

"The tax-exempt London group being probed by British authorities over its relations with the Labour Party held an event last year at which a U.S. political operative discussed strategies for battling Conservative leader David Cameron. Cameron, 40, should be branded "an empty opportunist who will do anything to win,'' Bob Shrum, a veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns including those of Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, said in the March 16, 2006, seminar, according to a transcript provided by the research organization, the Smith Institute.  The U.K.'s Charity Commission said in November it is looking at the institute's 2004 decision to appoint Ed Balls, a close associate of Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and now a treasury minister, as a research fellow. It is the second probe into the organization in five years."- Bloomberg

Timesclipping CITIZENS HAVE THE TOOLS TO BREAK THE POLITICAL CONSENSUS

Writing for today's Times, ConservativeHome Editor Tim Montgomerie believes that the internet can challenge Britain's grey political consensus.  Discuss the article on 18DoughtyStreet.com.

THE TORY RIGHT DOESN'T GET PROJECT CAMERON

"Underpinning everything David Cameron does is awareness that Britain is now a social democratic country. If he wins an election, it will be in spite of being called a Tory. The right, which includes many rank-and-file party members, refuses to recognise this. Its adherents want heroics. They yearn to see their leader launch his forces in splendid charges against the enemy, which they believe will rouse the admiration of voters, as well as that of the late Lord Tennyson." - Max Hastings in The Guardian

DAVID CAMERON'S PUBLIC SERVICE AGENDA

"Mr Cameron has so far failed to address the central question for the next few years: at a time of much slower growth in public spending, how can rising demands for services be met without more direct payments by users of services, such as tuition fees, road pricing etc? Perhaps that is what social responsibility really means." - Peter Riddell in The Times

THE TORY A-LIST HAS DELIVERED PROGRESS

So argues Michael White in The Guardian.

A VERY GOOD LETTER TO TODAY'S TELEGRAPH

Sir – "Only 26 per cent are satisfied with Tony Blair," wrote Prof King about your YouGov poll. Given the damage done to our nation, should that not be: "How can as many as one in four still support Tony Blair after 10 years of failure?" - from Joe Windsor, Poole, Dorset

TAX THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY

"The gaming industry is doing rather well by New Labour and should be required to offer something in return. The government-inspired expansion in gambling will lead to more problem gamblers, more ill health, more shattered families. Why should the taxpayer pick up the bill? There is a powerful argument for a levy on the new casinos that will help pay for the damage they will inevitably cause." - Telegraph leader

LABOUR RATTLED BY TORY ATTACK ON PRISONS

"John Reid's allies accused the Conservative party of political "mischief making" last night after it blamed spending priorities set by Gordon Brown for the current prisons crisis.  George Osborne, shadow chancellor, said Mr Brown's "Treasury targets, his skewed PFI [private finance initiative] accounts and his extraordinary decision to freeze the Home Office budget, have all contributed to the current crisis"." - FT

LORD CHANNON HAS DIED

Paul Channon, the former Conservative MP and Cabinet minister, has died aged 71 - Telegraph

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