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Monday 19th February 2007

7.15pm ToryDiary update: ICM puts Tories on 40% (9% ahead)

4.45pm LondonMayor update: Angie Bray responds to extension of congestion charge

11.45am ToryDiary update: Bruce Anderson smears Tory members

BLOGS

ToryDiary: Michael Howard blamed for Tory debts

Martin Sewell on YourPlatform: It's time for conservatives to reclaim moral high ground

Mark Clarke on CF Diary: Opportunities to study America's conservative movement

Campaignshq THE SALE OF ARMS TO UNSAVOURY REGIMES

Vote for ad concept in 18DoughtyStreet.com's campaign against the sale of arms to unsavoury regimes.

DOCTORS BELIEVE THAT LABOUR HAS FAILED ON HEALTH

"Most doctors believe that Labour has failed to reform the NHS and that funding by taxation alone will not improve the quality of care.  An online poll of more than 3,000 doctors carried out for The Times offers the most striking picture yet of the level of disillusionment within the profession. Most say that the billions of pounds injected into the service since 2002 have not been well spent and that services have not improved." - Times

Spelmanonpoliticsshow_3 CAROLINE SPELMAN HIGHLIGHTS LABOUR'S 'PEACE AND QUIET TAX'

"Good views, nearby shops and "peace and quiet" have all been used to calculate how much council tax homes should be liable for, the Tories have complained.  Details of the criteria were contained in an internal Government handbook related to a revaluation of properties in Wales, which has obtained by the party.  Spokeswoman Caroline Spelman warned they could be applied to houses elsewhere in the UK, creating a "punishing and cynical tax on people's quality of life"." - Daily Mail

CAMERON DOGGED BY COCAINE RUMOURS

"David Cameron is being haunted by a renewed bout of speculation about his possible use of cocaine, triggered by last week’s reports that he smoked cannabis at Eton. Tabloid newspapers have dispatched investigators to try to pin down the truth of persistent Westminster rumours that he has used the Class A drug. Stories surfaced in the Sunday papers raising questions about Mr Cameron’s possible link to cocaine without actually answering them." - The Times

Redwood_john_blog JOHN REDWOOD ON ROAD PRICING AND OTHER THINGS...

"Traditionally referenda are used in the UK for constitutional matters only. If this Government wished to give away more of our rights to self-government to the EU it should ask the people first. All other matters can be settled by a vote in Parliament. It is a pity the Government has failed to debate road pricing properly. If it had said road pricing would not lead to any overall increase in motoring taxation, and it would be linked to improvements in our road system it may have got a better response. Instead we all see it as yet another tax for using increasingly inadequate roads." - John Redwood's answer to one reader's question in a Q&A for The Independent

John Redwood's blog is ConservativeHome's blog of the week.  Along with Nadine Dorries' very different and much more personal blog it stands tall on the Tory green benches as representing the best of parliamentary blogging.

ROY HATTERSLEY ON THAT INCREASING FAMOUS BULLINGDON CLUB PHOTOGRAPH...

"The Labour party ought to make the Bullingdon picture a feature of its next election campaign. There are a number of Cameron photographs which, put together, would provide an entertaining leaflet. Each one could be captioned with one of the questions that opinion polls ask about politicians. Bicycling to the Commons, followed by a chauffeur-driven motorcar, would justify "Trustworthy?". Supporting Norman Lamont on Black Wednesday would precede the inquiry "Best at running the economy?". And the Bullingdon Club photograph? The question it provokes is obvious. "Understands ordinary people?" - Guardian

LIAM FOX WARNS ABOUT RUSSIA'S "GROWING AND ACCELERATING REARMAMENT" - Telegraph

MARGARET THATCHER'S PARLIAMENTARY SCULPTURE DUE TO BE UNVEILED - Telegraph

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