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Thursday 15th February 2007

Exclusive_18 10am ToryDiary update: Tories considering ribbons as alternative to rosettes

BLOGS

ToryDiary: Gove targets Emperor Ming and Axe the bin tax

YourPlatform: Jamie Martin argues that Britain's poorest children need vouchers in education

SOCIAL MOBILITY STALLED

"Labour has slammed the door on opportunity, with poorer families struggling to own a home, get a degree or a good job, a devastating report out Thursday claims. The analysis by a leading group of Conservative MPs claims social mobility has 'stalled' during a decade of Labour rule, holding back millions of children. The report from the 50-strong No Turning Back group warned that less than one in ten children from the poorest 20 per cent of society is now gaining a university degree." - Daily Mail

Patrickcormack DISQUIET OVER CORMACK'S DESELECTION

"Nadine Dorries, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, is furious about the attempt in South Staffordshire to deselect Tory grandee Sir Patrick Cormack - the party's longest-serving MP, and a Westminster character tipped to become Speaker." - Independent

"I have been asked why I am so cross at Sir Patrick’s de-selection. Because I was brought up to respect my elders. Because I know and value the worth of wisdom and knowledge. Because I think when someone gives thirty seven years excellent service that should be acknowledged, rewarded and respected." - Nadine Dorries' blog

"At 67, he is unlikely to expect to become prime minister, but age isn't the determinant of that. Winston Churchill became prime minister at 65 and again at 76; Benjamin Disraeli at 63 and 69. The best organisations embrace variety. Youth has its place - but so does experience." - Telegraph leader

CAMERON WOULD FACE PUBLIC CENSURE IF HE TRIED HARDER DRUGS

"A large majority of voters do not care if Tory leader and Witney MP David Cameron smoked cannabis at school or university, according to an opinion poll. But it suggested he would face public censure if it emerged he had tried harder drugs or used any narcotics once he left education and began work." - Press Association

Tony_blair_pen BLAIR SCHEME TO ENCOURAGE GIVING TO UNIVERSITIES

"Today, I will launch the first national scheme to encourage a "culture of giving" to universities from business, former students and philanthropists. It is a vital part of our changes to higher education to ensure universities remain world-class and competitive. And United Kingdom universities are still a huge strength for Britain. Out of the top 50 universities worldwide in the independent Shanghai University rankings, Britain alone of all European countries has five. No other European Union country has more than one. Our new endowment plan will give them a third major source of funding - alongside the £10 billion a year provided by the taxpayer and the £1.4 billion that fees will raise annually." - Tony Blair in the Telegraph

BORIS' IDEA TO ENCOURAGE GIVING TO SCHOOLS

"One of the joys of living in London is that rich and poor are crowded together, and wherever the new Masters of the Universe live, there will be a school that could be doing better. Isn't it time to change the law, so that they didn't have to spend their bonuses on Aston Martins or property in Greece? Let us release the pent-up wave of philanthropy. Let us change the 1944 Education Act, so that private money can at last be used to help state schools." - Boris Johnson in the Telegraph

DEATH TAX CRUSADE

"The Daily Express crusade to abolish inheritance tax won strong new support today. Tory former Cabinet Minister Lord Forsyth of Drumlean praised the paper for standing up for hard-working people. He said that the tax must be scrapped now or the Government would become so reliant on its revenues, that it would find it increasingly difficult to do without them." - Daily Express

V_card_1 VALENTINE'S DAY CAMPAIGNING

"A couple of years ago, I reported a clever initiative on the part of the prospective Tory candidate for Romsey, Caroline Nokes. The 34-year-old won the attention - if not the hearts - of thousands of would-be constituents by sending them Valentine's cards - complete with an opinion survey, of course. Yesterday, she was at it again." - Telegraph Spy

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