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Monday 26th March 2007

6:40pm ToryDiary update: Cameron launches quality of childhood inquiry

5:30pm Seats and candidates update: Andrew Jones selected for Harrogate and Knaresborough

10.45am BritainAndAmerica update: Weakness invited Iran's capture of British sailors  ToryDiary: Cameron's shadow cabinet A-team

Seats and candidates: Proportion of women adopted dips to 33.6%

CF Diary: Race relations problems in the YCs

Greghandsmp Greg Hands MP on YourPlatform: The proposal for a new £10,000 parliamentary communications allowance is bad for democracy

BLOG OF THE WEEK

This week's blog of the week is that of The Difference - a new small 'c' conservative magazine dedicated to politics, ethics and faith and linked to the Conservative Christian Fellowship.

WillettsdavidsoccDAVID WILLETTS TO SPEARHEAD 'LOST CHILDHOOD' INQUIRY

"The political battle between Gordon Brown and David Cameron will today shift from the budget to the quality of childhood when Mr Cameron announces a formal inquiry into lost childhood in Britain.
The inquiry will be led by David Willetts, the party's cerebral shadow education secretary, and will look at how children are being raised in a newly hostile environment that prematurely blurs boundaries between childhood and adolescence." - The Guardian

TORIES ANNOUNCE MEMBERSHIP OF OLYMPICS SCRUTINY PANEL - The Guardian

TWO BLAIRITE MPs ATTACK CAMERON'S SMALL 'C' CONSERVATISM

"It isn’t just that he is a Conservative — it is that he is conservative. He knows that he can’t argue against the world as it is. But he has no vision of how he wants it to be. That’s why he is tempted to press pause in the NHS. It explains his cloudy rhetoric about social responsibility." - MPs James Purnell and Jim Murphy in The Times

JACKIE ASHLEY: THE TORIES WANT MILIBAND

"The trouble is that in a beauty contest between two fortysomething Davids, Cameron is likely to win. He is, frankly, smoother, glossier and now more practised at leadership than the cerebral Miliband. That's why the conservatives and their friends in the press are so keen to promote a Miliband challenge." - The Guardian

"Gordon Brown must be challenged for the Labour leadership, one of Tony Blair's closest friends and allies have insisted.  Peter Mandelson said it was 'obvious' there should be a contest when Mr Blair steps down.  He claimed Mr Brown risks becoming the Labour equivalent of Michael Howard, who failed to the capture the public's imagination after he was crowned Tory leader." - Daily Mail

PRISONERS ARE NOW KNOWN AS RESIDENTS

"If you thought the people in jail were called prisoners and that they lived in cells, think again.  They are now known as 'residents' and - yes, you've guessed it - they stay in 'rooms' to which they are given the key.  This mind-boggling state of affairs came to light following inquiries by the Tory MP Philip Davies. But when the prisons minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, was told that thousands of convicts had keys to their cells, did he order them to be confiscated? Not at all. He defended the practice." - Daily Mail leader

LAWS YOU WANT TO REPEAL

"The Identity Cards Act and human rights legislation are the laws that most Daily Telegraph readers would like the Tories to repeal if they win power.  We asked for your views about which of the thousands of Acts and regulations introduced by Labour since 1997 should be scrapped. Many suggested the European Communities Act 1972, though Tony Blair could hardly be blamed for that. Labour laws such as the hunting ''ban'' and devolution did feature prominently." - Telegraph

50yearsCARRINGTON: EU HAS GONE TOO FAR

"Lord Carrington is the last surviving Tory grandee responsible for Britain's decision to join the European Union but he is having difficulty summoning the enthusiasm to celebrate the organisation's 50th anniversary.  "To be honest I feel rather agnostic about the whole thing," says the former Conservative foreign secretary who spent most of his political career arguing the case for British membership." - Telegraph

EU CELEBRATIONS IGNORE CHRISTIANITY

"Angry that a "Berlin Declaration" unveiled yesterday listing the EU's achievements and challenges on its 50th birthday contained no reference to the continent's Christian roots, Pope Benedict said that Europe could "not be built by ignoring its people's identities".  In his remarks to bishops gathered for ceremonies in Rome to mark the signing of the treaty that founded the EU in 1957, the Pope declared that the reluctance of women in Europe to have babies and Europe's failure to regenerate itself was putting the continent on the path to oblivion. "From a demographic standpoint ... Europe seems set on a path that could lead it to take leave of history," he warned. Europe was "losing faith in its own future"." - The Guardian

SEGOLENE ROYAL BOOSTS CAMERON'S EUROSCEPTIC CREDENTIALS

"Ségolène Royal, the French Left's candidate for president, would find it difficult working with the "anti-European" David Cameron and shuns comparisons with the "ruthless" Margaret Thatcher, her partner and Socialist party leader, François Hollande said yesterday." - Telegraph

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