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Wednesday 28th March 2007

8pm ToryDiary update: ConservativeHome's 2nd birthdaySamcoatesandsamcoates_2

3.45pm ToryDiary update: Sam Coates and Sam Coates

3.30pm on The Fisk: Iain Murray says 'Give free market environmentalism a chance'

>> A two week old MORI survey gives the Conservatives an 8% lead (see PoliticalBetting.com)

2.30pm ToryDiary update: Manchester casino would mean degeneration - not regeneration

12:35pm ToryDiary update: Cameron asks Blair about Iran and business tax

12.15pm BritainAndAmerica update: Iran kidnapping - What Britain must do next

BLOGS

ToryDiary: Labour set to be minority party in both England and Wales and Tory lead down from 11% to 4%

Seats and Candidates: Shireen Ritchie faces 'bias' concerns and Calder Valley selection

Lastrefuge

YourPlatform: Neil O'Brien's comprehensive article, Environmentalism is the last refuge of a Europhile

Mailleader BIG PRAISE FOR CAMERON FROM DAILY MAIL

"On too many vital issues, the Tories and the Labour Party - to the impoverishment of political debate and the future of Britain - have the same policies.  But inexorably, we are seeing the emergence of one area over which there are fundamental differences: the family.  Yesterday, in a considered speech, David Cameron laid the blame for many of today's ills at the door of family breakdown... But Mr Cameron also recognises that marriage is the cement which can hold society together. Parents of young children who have been through a wedding ceremony are six times more likely to stay together than those who have not.  The Tories - unlike Labour - would encourage commitment to marriage through the tax system - an approach practised by many European countries.  His bold assertion will offend many on the Left who will say we cannot be judgmental about marriage, families and the upbringing of children.  Indeed, the Labour Party has gone out of its way to undermine marriage both by recognising civil partnerships and, much more worryingly, financially incentivising single motherhood.  Mr Cameron has raised issues which cry out for debate. He deserves praise for his courage in saying what, by and large, most politicians choose to ignore." - Daily Mail

SOFA STYLE LEADERSHIP

"David Cameron would be forced to consult his Cabinet on all new policies or face censure by Parliament if he became Prime Minister under Conservative plans proposed by Ken Clarke to restore confidence in government. The idea is aimed at preventing future Prime Ministers copying Tony Blair's informal "sofa style" which has been blamed for major policy failings, including errors over the Iraq war. The plan for a new ministerial code, drawn up by Mr Cameron's own advisers, is the centrepiece of the first report by the Tory leader's Democracy Task Force." - Telegraph

NATIONALISTS PULL AHEAD OF LABOUR AS TORIES AVOID DEBATE ON THE UNION

Alexsalmond_2"The Populus poll puts the Nationalists ahead of Labour in both the first-past-the-post and proportional-representation sections. They are on track to win 50 seats in the 129-seat Scottish Parliament, seven more than Labour. The Liberal Democrats would have 18 MSPs, the Conservatives 17 and the Greens one." - Times

"It is not unusual for the Scottish National Party (SNP) to have an opinion poll lead north of the Border five months before an election. It is unprecedented for it to be in that position a mere five weeks before the ballot boxes are opened." - Times leader

"Not without good cause, Scottish Labour politicians smell a rat. They believe Mr Cameron is more interested in a weakened Labour Party than in saving the UK. Their leaders attacked him yesterday and said that his relative silence in the fight against the SNP was endangering the very union he purports to support. The Tory leader has five weeks to prove them wrong." - Telegraph leader

WEEKEND AWAY

"Few Tory politicians are more vocal about their desire to leave the European Union than Harwich MP Douglas Carswell. So imagine his horror when he and his girlfriend arrived in Berlin on Saturday for a romantic weekend, to find that the leaders of the EU's 27 member states had converged on the German capital to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome." - Telegraph Spy

Theresa_may

THERESA MAY PROMOTING W2W

"When she arrives at Stressholme Golf Club in Darlington - her final stop in the Tees Valley - she seems relaxed and easygoing. She may be anxious to go home, with the long journey back to Maidenhead, her Berkshire constituency, looming, but if she is, she doesn't show it. She greets the women warmly and, perching casually on a desk, her leopard-print pumps on display, begins the team talk." - Northern Echo

CRISIS IN DENTISTRY

"Next week on April 1st, the Dental Contract will celebrate its first birthday, except that there won’t be any cake, balloons or bubbly. Even those few dentists who have managed to hit their newly imposed NHS targets spot on are still feeling their professionalism has been undermined. Most dentists that contacted 2020health for our review of the Contract said the past year had been one of uncertainty and disappointment." - 2020health

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