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Monday 12th February 2007

6.15pm ToryDiary update: Edward Leigh's latest attack on Project Cameron will test unity of Cornerstone 

Guardian caption competition of Cameron and Osborne in Sweden (Guardian report here and BBC Online).  ToryDiary will post on the Swedish trip tomorrow.


ToryDiary: Labour has shifted the electorate leftwards with a major increase in state dependency

CF Diary: Two websites to watch

Seats and Candidates: Five women and three men on final shortlist for Hampshire East

YourPlatform: Dr Lee Rotherham outlines the danger of Lib-Con co-operation on Europe


Marijuana "The Conservative party yesterday threw its collective weight behind its leader, David Cameron, after he refused to deny stories that he had been punished as a schoolboy at Eton for smoking cannabis. One of his closest supporters, the shadow chancellor George Osborne, said the public did not care about his drug taking in his youth." - Guardian

"Cannabis smoked today is ten or even 20 times stronger than when David Cameron was a teenager in the 1980s - hugely increasing the danger it poses. The major difference is an increase in intensive indoor cultivation, rather than allowing the plant to grow naturally outdoors." - Daily Mail

"The debate about David Cameron's alleged drug-taking as an Eton schoolboy dominated traffic on the Tory leader's website yesterday." - Guardian

"The episode undoubtedly left the future Tory leader shaken but, according to the book Cameron: The Rise of the New Conservative, it did not deter him from carrying on using drugs throughout his Oxford University days." - Daily Mail

"Drugs have lost their toxicity as a political issue, and my guess is that the change has happened in little over a decade – the result, more than anything, of a great demographic wave." - Sam Leith in the Telegraph

"Mr Cameron's position is even more secure for now. The public may generally be ready to believe the worst of politicians, but they do not currently care whether the Tory leader smoked cannabis while he was at school." - Guardian leader

"Mr Cameron had always intended to make 2007 the year in which he tried to reconnect with those Tory doubters by stressing the old themes, including law and order. But the revelation that he himself once had a small problem with law and order will not make this easier. It may persuade some doubting Tories that he is too metropolitan to represent them. Before coming to such a conclusion, however, those Tories should ask themselves how teenage boys are likely to behave." - Bruce Anderson in the Independent

>>> Yesterday's ToryDiary on the issue


"One in three households across Britain is now dependent on the state for at least half its income, it emerged today. Official government figures showed that more than seven million households are getting most of their income from government handouts. The figures also reveal the huge gulf in welfare dependency between single parent and two-parent households." - Telegraph


"Mr Cameron's two-day visit to Sweden was being billed as a low-key fact-finding mission, on which he aims to learn about the Scandinavian country's approach to family policy, childcare and the environment. Long a beacon for the liberal left, Sweden is now governed by a coalition headed by the centre-right Moderate Party, which unseated the Social Democrats in a general election in September. Mr Cameron is due to meet Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt for private talks as well as visiting a plant producing environmentally friendly buses and lorries." - Ananova


"Sir Hayden Phillips has drawn up proposals under which parties would earn 60p for every vote they received in general elections or byelections for Westminster seats. Up to 30p would be earned for each vote in European or Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland assembly elections." - Guardian

>>> 18 Doughty Street ad against state funding of parties


"Conservatives will not tack to the right to see off the electoral threat of the UK Independence Party, shadow foreign secretary William Hague has said. Leader David Cameron's efforts to move the party onto the political centre ground over the past year have been greeted with rumblings of discontent from some traditional Tories, who have warned of a drift towards Ukip." - Guardian



"Vaizey and his four fellow MPs have only themselves to blame for their exile. The cross-party group has volunteered for a week-long journey of nearly 200 miles in temperatures as low as -40C to raise money for charity." -  Guardian


"If the Labour Party can survive its disastrous situation, it may reasonably expect to recover when it has pulled itself together under a new leader. No one can be sure how the country will respond to Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. It is possible that he will seem too Scottish, too grim and too severe, but he is certainly not a negligible figure. He has greater intellectual force than David Cameron or than Tony Blair." - William Rees-Mogg in the Times

"Australian PM John Howard has criticised US presidential hopeful Barack Obama for saying US troops should withdraw from Iraq next year. His comments came soon after Mr Obama officially announced he would seek the Democratic Presidential nomination." - BBC

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