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Wednesday 24th January 2007

4pm Seats and candidates update: New selection procedures

12:30pm ToryDiary update: Cameron compares the government to the stranded ship 

BLOGS

Rszcmocd27102005521035ToryDiary: Tories silent in latest Catholic-Labour row

Christine Constable on YourPlatform: English Democrats and the SNP forming common ground?

Aristeides on London Mayor blog: London Transport

Joe Loconte on BritainAndAmerica.com: My week with the BBC (2)

THE END OF THE A-LIST?

"David Cameron is shelving his key A-list policy, which was supposed to ensure that Conservative MPs are not almost all white, middle-aged men... Under the new rules local branches will no longer have to choose from the A list of priority candidates selected by head office, but can choose from a general list of 600 people approved to stand for the party. In return, the local branches will have to ensure that half the candidates they are considering at every stage of the process are women, culminating in a shortlist of two men and two women." - Times and Telegraph

>>> Yesterday's Seats and candidates thread on this issue.

TORIES AND UKIP

"In a supremely smug article on this subject last Friday, the weekly bible of the bien-pensant class, the Economist, warned Mr Cameron about UKIP, saying that "to bend even slightly in its direction, however, would guarantee not only defeat, but ridicule". Really? I would concede that for the Tories to announce withdrawal from the EU would be a little breathtaking. But what about the rest that UKIP stands for? Would a Tory shift towards grammar schools, lower taxes, a smaller state, controlled immigration and democratic equality for England really have the party's opponents howling with hysterical laughter, and the voters stampeding for Gordon Brown? Somehow, I doubt it." - Simon Heffer in The Telegraph

Vaizey_ed_9ED VAIZEY RIDICULES 'CROWDED TRAINS ARE SAFER' NONSENSE

"Rail chiefs yesterday told passengers to quit moaning about packed trains — because standing up is SAFER.  They said people crammed into “sardine specials” avoid injuries in a crash because they cushion each other.  Tory MP Ed Vaizey, whose Didcot constituents suffer crowded trains, said: “This is ludicrous. It’s like saying you should pack a family saloon with 12 people as a road safety measure.” - The Sun

GAY RIGHTS CLASH

"Churches were on a collision course with the Government last night after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York backed their Roman Catholic counterpart by criticising new gay rights laws.  Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, the two most senior figures in the Church of England, said in a joint letter to the Prime Minister that the consciences of Christians must not be trampled over." - Telegraph

TORIES AND THE ARTS

"It is as if south London has slipped into some grim time-warp and suddenly finds itself back in the mid-1980s. That proud Conservative council Wandsworth has just announced a cost-cutting offensive and, to show how seriously it takes the business of keeping down taxation, it has started by hammering a local fringe theatre." - Independent

"Bob Geldof confounded many last year when he agreed to become a member of David Cameron's globalisation and global poverty policy group.  And I gather the Tories are hoping to pull in some similarly eclectic names for a soon-to-be-announced task force on the arts.  Sir John Tusa, the managing director of the Barbican Centre, has been lined up to chair it," I'm told. "The party is currently scouting around for some Lefties from luvviedom to add some unconventional wisdom to the task force's deliberations." - London Spy

Swire_hugo_1 HUGO SWIRE'S REACTION TO THE BBC'S NEW iPLAYER

"It is now incumbent upon the BBC Trust to objectively view the case made by OFCOM and the BBC's competitors, to ensure that this newly emerging market is not distorted.  There are well documented cases where the BBC has used it's publicly funded position to dominate the marketplace in the past, and the Public Value Test must prevent that from reoccurring in the future.  It is particularly important in newly emerging markets that the BBC does not abuse the position it is given as a result of the unique way it is funded.  We want the Licence fee payer to get the best service possible, but making content available free on line clearly has the potential to distort the marketplace if it is not properly controlled." (no link)

CASH-FOR-HONOURS

"Downing Street's director of political operations has been questioned for a second time by police investigating allegations of cash-for-honours." - BBC

CLIMATE CONFLICT

"Preparing for the consequences of climate change means we must re-evaluate our policies. We need a sharper focus on preventing and addressing climate change in the developing world. We must also examine potential areas of conflict caused by climate changes in planning defence policies." - David Cameron in the FT

18ds_logo_1 A ONE MINUTE ADVERTISEMENT AGAINST STATE FUNDING OF POLITICAL PARTIES

As part of a new weekly campaign 18 Doughty Street is about to make a one minute political advert against state funding of political parties.  Click here to help design that advert.

ONE YEAR OF CANADA'S STEPHEN HARPER - Christian Science Monitor

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