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Friday 16th March 2007

11.45pm Seats and candidates update: Zac Goldsmith adopted for Richmond Park

5pm ToryDiary update: Tory members embrace Cameron's family agenda but reject the green tax plans  


ToryDiary: More audio, less visual

Britain and America: An international epidemic

CF Diary: March CF bulletin

Seats and Candidates: Three updates last night


"In the 1930s we cut our defences — and paid the terrible price of World War Two. In the 1980s we stayed strong in the face of the Soviet Union — and the result was victory in the Cold War and the crashing down of the Iron Curtain. Any government I lead will put our security first — keeping Britain in our rightful place at the world’s top table. That’s why, this week, my party saved the Government’s bacon and helped keep our country safe for the future." - David Cameron in the Sun



"Former US vice president Al Gore has praised both Gordon Brown and David Cameron for their "leadership" in dealing with environmental problems. Mr Gore addressed the Conservative frontbench before a private meeting with Mr Cameron, and then talks with the chancellor. He said the UK should be proud that there was a "healthy political dialogue" about climate change." - BBC

"David Cameron has been praised by former US Vice President Al Gore for the pioneering lead he has given to the campaign to combat climate change." - Conservative Party 


"Senator McCarthy and the way he exploited an America worried about subversion in the Cold War was more than half a century ago. A feature of that inquisition was that it made its impact by hunting out the relatively innocent to burn at the stake. That is the mood threatening to develop here over racism. Cameron did well to show his awareness of it." - W F Deedes in the Telegraph

"Returning, briefly, to yesterday's sighting of former shadow minister of homeland security Patrick Mercer pushing his bike, we belatedly realise the appropriate greeting should have been: "Faster, you Tory bastard."" - Guardian Diary


Ann_widd "Tory MP Ann Widdecombe could soon get a taste of life with controversial father-of-17 Mick Philpott. The outspoken former frontbencher is in talks with ITV to take part in a series in which she will spend a week living with the unemployed Derby resident - plus his wife, girlfriend and 11 of his children. Mr Philpott earned notoriety after suggesting Britain was "going down the pan" because his local council could not provide him with a bigger house." - 24dash


"Despite their drastically shrunk memberships, they have sought to maintain bloated staffs and ludicrous election budgets. There is a strong case for insisting that if they are to enjoy any subsidy from the taxpayer, then parties must be obliged to accept strict controls on how much they spend (which is often purchased by deficit financing)." - Times leader

"The Tories also point out that annual spending caps do not take account of the much longer-term ebbs and flows of party income. Now that they have money at last, they are spending like mad on trying to recruit and train networks of agents, open campaign offices in the North, update computer hardware and software and rebuild membership, all of which fell into desuetude during the years in which the party was virtually broke." - Mary Ann Sieghart in the Times

Lord_ashcroft "The party leaders say they want an agreement, though everyone knows the Conservatives, flush with money again after 15 years of penury, won't lose much sleep if Sir Hayden's plea for agreement by August is kicked into very tall grass. Lord Ashcroft and his acolytes say so openly. Their technique is to prod Labour's weak spot: if there is to be a £50,000 cap it must include trade unions. They want to break the union link, confident they have more supporters with 50 grand to spare." - Michael White in the Guardian


"Our age is being shaped by the twin forces of globalisation and interdependence. In such an era, our Union is not a relic of a bygone age, but a quintessentially modern expression of how we find common bridges between diverse peoples and hold shared values while retaining distinctive identities. What a dismal message it would send to the rest of the world that we, on these small islands, cannot live together in a political, social and economic union." - Tony Blair in the Telegraph


"The Conservative Party's decision to adopt American-style "open primaries" to select some of its parliamentary candidates has generally met with a positive response. But the party is coming under fire for the way it is handling tonight's primary in the key target seat of Richmond Park, where environmental campaigner Zac Goldsmith starts as favourite to win the nomination. "I applied for a ticket to the event, but was told it was already oversubscribed," complains one local resident who was eager to take part in the process. "Apparently fire regulations dictate that no more than 350 people can attend." So just how open is this open primary?"" - Telegraph Spy



"This is not — whatever President Mugabe may claim — a personal attack on him. We care about policies not personalities. We want reform. We want sensible economic measures. We want a return to freedom of association and freedom of the press. We want free and fair elections. More importantly, so do the people of Zimbabwe. We don’t care if this is done by Mr Mugabe or by someone else." - Margaret Beckett in the Times


"Tories have attacked London Mayor Ken Livingstone for seeking to reduce the view of St Paul's Cathedral from Richmond Park. The stunning scene from King Henry's Mound could be all but eradicated by Mayor Ken Livingstone's plans to reduce the viewing corridor from 150m to 70m." - YourLocalGuardian


"Labour's ruling National Executive Committee is expected to agree a timetable next week for the leadership election to replace Tony Blair. The BBC understands Labour officials have settled on a seven-week campaign for both the leader and deputy leader to run simultaneously." - BBC


"It hosts a metropolitan elite that loftily gazes three ways: outward, at the supposed superiority of anything not British; inward, at its own ineffable genius; and down its elegantly pampered nose, at the provincial trivialities that consume the dreary lives of the rest of the population. But worst of all; much more, much more baleful than any of these irritations, is the political, cultural and intellectual hegemony exercised by the ultimate self-serving metropolitan monopoly, the BBC." - Gerard Baker in the Times

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