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30 Jun 2007 09:45:56

Saturday 30th June 2007

1pm ToryDiary: Leigh vs Portillo

ToryDiary: Brown Bounces

BritainAndAmerica: America still accounts for half of world defence expenditure

YourPlatform: Cllr Phil Taylor from Ealing is optimistic about Tony Lit's chances in the by-election's June survey of readers' opinions is now live - click here to have your say.


Brown "The new Prime Minister has kept up a machine-gun rattle of new announcements and initiatives, panicking the Lib Dems with his job offers, poaching a Conservative MP, distancing himself from Blairite men and measures. Many Tories are looking on in vertiginous awe. Some, having indulged Mr Cameron while he remained ahead, are feeling mutinous. They should keep a sense of proportion. Every new leader gets a honeymoon: Mr Cameron's is wearing off just as Mr Brown's begins. That said, if our poll jolts some Tories into displaying a little more urgency, it will be no bad thing." – Telegraph leader

"Mr Cameron, who has been warned by whips that MPs across the party have become alarmed by the Brown bounce in the polls, signalled at a private dinner of Tory MPs that he will start to embrace more traditional core issues such as Europe, crime and family breakdown." – Andrew Pierce in the Telegraph


"We met yesterday afternoon for Mr Cameron’s first interview since Mr Brown’s elevation to the premiership. As the flood waters slowly ebbed away in the Leeds canals, he was greeted with a mixture of nervous adulation from party members and rude disinterest from people recognising him as they walked by." - Alice Miles and Helen Rumbelow in the Times

"David Cameron came out fighting today, mocking Gordon Brown for a brand of “McPolitics” as polls showed that the new Prime Minister was winning voters back to Labour." - Times



"By agreeing to a referendum, Gordon Brown has a real opportunity to show that he responds to popular sentiment - while distancing himself from the Blair era of spin, showing that he is a man of integrity, and, incidentally, shooting the Opposition's fox yet again. If he does not, his premiership will start with retreat and obfuscation." – Ruth Lea in the Telegraph


"Dave and I are in accord. We sing, in perfect harmony, from the same proverbial song-sheet. You cannot get a sliver of tissue-paper between us. For Dave has said that our new Prime Minister should call an immediate general election. He couldn't be more right. You see, given the state the Conservative Party is in, that general election would almost certainly be lost, as our poll today seems to indicate." – Simon Heffer in the Telegraph


"The youths who attend radical mosques fulminate about Iraq, but their hatred runs deeper than politics. They hate a popular culture that they themselves consume, in the form of computer games, conspiracy theories, internet message boards and (in some cases) cheap flights to Islamic countries where they are properly indoctrinated. The lesson we should learn is that the distinction between a domestic and foreign terrorist threat is disappearing." – Telegraph leader

Nile_gardiner "Friday morning’s foiled attack underscores that Britain remains in a state of war, and is a central front in the global war against terrorism. New Prime Minister Gordon Brown must demonstrate courage, resolve, and determination in the face of a mounting threat. Indeed his own legacy as British leader may be defined ultimately by his ability to deal with the most important issue of our time — global terrorism and its support by state sponsors such as Iran and Syria." - Dr Nile Gardiner in the National Review

"We would do well to remember that it was secular faith that inspired much of the terror of the last century. The fantasy that society can be progressively transformed by violence inspired some of humanity’s worst crimes, and it casts a poisonous spell today." – John Gray in the Times

"It is time the Government admitted that all the compromises forced on it by the provisions in the European Human Rights Convention are inadequate." – Times leader


Terry_leahy_2 The Sun lists several outside appointees to Brown’s advisory roles including a surgeon, Sir Alan Sugar, and Tesco’s Sir Terry Leahy.

Lord Stevens turned down a ministerial position - Times

The Conservatives have lost control of Mendip Council after one councillor went independent – Western Daily Press

Western Daily Press also compares the lives of the wives of Brown and Cameron. Both went to Bristol University.

"The early release from prison of 1,000 criminals including burglars, drug dealers and fraudsters marked Gordon Brown’s first day of office yesterday." (The BBC's website doesn't seem to have covered this) - Times

The Daily Mail digs up information about Brown's staunch Tory family (doing what it does best).

Sorry for the downtime from 8am until 10am this morning but our hosting service was undertaking some maintenance.

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29 Jun 2007 08:39:01

Friday 29th June 2007

6.30pm ToryDiary: Brace yourself for two bad polls tomorrow...

4.30pm Seats and Candidates: Rachel Joyce selected for Harrow West


  • The Difference's Dr John Hayward is frustrated at the third class service of the Royal Mail
  • The BBC has more Cabinet reshuffle news - Sir Digby Jones and two LibDem peers have accepted offers, but Jon Cruddas rejected his.
  • Civitas' Anastasia de Wall is sceptical about Brown's education reforms
  • Wat Tyler has drawn up an interesting graph plotting GDP per capita against the size of several Western governments
  • Glyn Davies tries to wish the new Welsh Assembly coalition well
  • Croydonian links to an interesting survey showing a significant minority of Palestinians want full Israeli occupation

3.30pm ToryDiary: How should Cameron respond to Brown? (On security)

Eurosumberg 3pm Seats and candidates: Tory MEP David Sumberg (North West) has announced he will stand down

1.15pm BritainAndAmerica: Malloch Brown's appointment to Foreign Office signifies shift away from Blair's foreign policy

11.45am ToryDiary: Who should be the next Party Chairman?

11am: Our Events section has been updated with a host of events coming up in July. Email us if you'd like yours added.

10.15am ToryDiary: Security is back on the national agenda

ToryDiary: Caroline Spelman tipped to replace Francis Maude and Tories launch fundraising drive

YourPlatform: Peter Noordhoek offers his perspective on policy co-ordination

Seats and Candidates: Philip Allott selected for Halifax and Video of Cameron's visit to Ealing Southall

CampaignTogether: Sign up to help the Party


Hugo_swire "David Cameron is preparing to sack or demote two of his Old Etonian friends as he reshuffles his front bench team. The Tory leader has accepted that he needs to reassert his authority and quell growing unease within the party that he is losing his grip. The principal casualty is expected to be Hugo Swire, the culture spokesman, who embarrassed Mr Cameron when he was forced to make an embarrassing retreat over a plan to scrap free admission to museums and art galleries." - Telegraph

"The extreme Cameroons would probably like to dispense with Hague, Davis and even Liam Fox. Certainly the High Priest of Tory modernisation, Michael Portillo, wrote a few days ago that he believes that Cameron has now surrendered to the Tory right and preyed in aid comments by Davis and Hague reassuring the Tory faithful that Cameron is, after all, still a Tory. In fact, it transpires that Hague and Davis were actually doing this only at the leader's request." - Michael Brown in the Independent

"There are two schools of thought advising Cameron. Some believe he should adopt the principle of 'marking the man' and make his appointments having considered who they will be shadowing. Others think 'playing the ball' is more important and the best people should be appointed regardless of their opponents. Cameron is determined to pick his team based on who he wants rather than who he thinks should be sacked. " - Iain Dale in the Telegraph


"Gordon Brown is trying to present his new Cabinet as bringing fresh talent to tackle Britain’s future challenges. In fact, the Cabinet members all have significant failures on their CVs. We provide a summary of these failings as part of the TPA’s Better Government campaign." - TaxPayers'Alliance pdf

"Gordon Brown had more than enough time during his leadership non-contest to mull over the line-up of his first Cabinet. He has used it well. Yesterday's reshuffle was radical and bold. It was radical in the way it changed the departmental geography of Whitehall, in an attempt to deliver a semblance, at least, of joined-up government. And it was bold in its advancement of young talent while avoiding, for the most part, appointments that smacked of faction, cronyism or political correctness." - Telegraph leader

David_miliband "David Miliband is an undoubtedly able individual. But he has an innocent enthusiasm for the EU that might not make him the best man to play hard-ball with Britain’s partners in the deliberations to come over the final shape of a new treaty. Supposedly “Blairite”, he has a whiff of the old Left about him on the very subject that he is supposed to control, foreign policy." - Times leader

"If there was less drama than some had predicted - no shock big name so far from business or the Conservatives - then there was also less brutality. While making some concilliatory gestures to opponents of the Iraq war, Mr Brown treated Tony Blair's supporters with tolerance and rewarded his own friends judiciously." - Guardian leader

"How can the PM make the Defence secretary carry out the responsibilities of Scottish Secretary as well? We have troops in action in Iraq and Afghanistan and a vital need to deal with welfare issues for forces families and tackle overstretch. If ever there was a need for a totally committed cabinet minister, this is it. After the Iran hostages shambles, it is not clear that Des Browne is up to one job, let alone two." - WebCameron

"Few things matter more to people in this country than the war in Iraq, whose growing and increasingly agonising toll was exemplified by the deaths of three more soldiers yesterday. Yet the already ineffectual minister in charge of our Armed Forces is left in place." - Simon Heffer in the Telegraph

"I went to Downing Street to see the talent. All Cabinet members have to do the “walk of fame”. This is both very short, and very long, at the same time. It is pure showbiz, with only a herbaceous border for a backdrop. Yesterday, the undeniable star of the walk was Jacqui Smith, resplendent in a white jacket, the post-Blair must-have wardrobe item for all women in politics." - Ann Treneman in the Times

>>> Yesterday's rolling blog on the reshuffle


Shaun_woodward "Having promised surprises, Gordon Brown was as good as his word in appointing Shaun Woodward as Northern Ireland Secretary and making Baroness Scotland of Asthal the first black and female Attorney-General." - Times

"Mr Woodward may not be the first multimillionaire with a butler to serve as Northern Ireland secretary, but he is certainly the first to do so for Labour." - Guardian

"A close friend of Peter Mandelson, Mr Woodward, who is married to Camilla Sainsbury, of the supermarket dynasty, entered Parliament as a Conservative "golden boy" in 1997." - Independent

"A Tory defector, a former UN deputy secretary general who angered the Americans and a member of the Guildford Three have all been taken into the cabinet" - Guardian


"Middle England is an irresistible object of satire, the perpetual target of class warriors from Nancy Mitford to John Prescott. It is rare, in fact, to find anyone who has a good word to say about the middle class, which is odd when you consider that the effect of social mobility would be to create a society almost entirely composed of the educated middle classes." - Jane Shilling in the Times


Pinochet_2 "The unannounced visit to Britain by the Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet in September 1998 presented Tony Blair's government with the first real challenge to its commitment to international human rights. But documents released by the Ministry of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act show that Pinochet's previous trips to this country had already raised concern at the heart of the Conservative administration." - Independent


"The investigation by the American Department of Justice of allegedly corrupt dealings between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia has cast a shadow over the company's plans for transatlantic expansion. But it is likely to pose much more of a dilemma to the Government, which may have to decide whether to allow investigators to see confidential documents held by the Ministry of Defence, the signatory to both stages of the £43 billion al-Yamamah arms deal." - Telegraph leader

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28 Jun 2007 08:58:48

Thursday 28th June 2007

9.45pm Seats and candidates: Graham Robb selected for Sedgefield

Cameron_as_kitch 4.30pm Seats and Candidates: Campaign Together

Go to now to sign up for helping the Conservative cause.


  • Daniel Finkelstein on Comment Central compares the extent to which Blair and Brown have aged in the last decade with some celebrities. He also reminds us that David Miliband's blog is still in existence and urges him to continue writing it as Foreign Secretary.
  • The Psychiatrist, Dr Michelle Tempest, sets out the three issues she believes Alan Johnson will have to address as Health Secretary.
  • 18 Doughty Street (clip) had Brown biographer Francis Beckett and John Major's former Chief Press Secretary Jonathan Haslam on last night to discuss Brown's first 100 days. Also, Cally's Kitchen reviews his visit to their studio.
  • Alistair Campbell watches the handover of power on television and wishes Brown well. Bryan Appleyard hopes Brown doesn't "try his utmost".
  • Jeffrey Archer, yes that one, gives some insights into what he does with his time.
  • The Social Affairs Unit have four interesting book reviews today.

3.45pm ToryDiary: How should Cameron respond to Brown?

12.30pm Seats and Candidates: Asian radio entrepreneur to be Ealing Southall candidate

BBC: Blair questioned again by police about cash for honours

10am ToryDiary: David Cameron embraces the And theory and Could a junior doctor be the next MP for Sedgefield?



ToryDiary: How to beat Brown

YourPlatform: Andrew Haldenby on how Brown mustn't be the heir to Blair

Blog of the week: Nick Bourne AM, now to be leader of the Welsh official opposition, blogs regularly on the main issues in Cardiff and the Conservative Party.


7622gordonbrownap "In order to convince the electorate that he leads a "new" government, he has to distance himself from the very administration in which he was the second most powerful figure. So it was that he bit the bullet and conceded that, over the past decade, Labour has failed to deliver on the socialist staples of health, education and housing." - Telegraph leader

"If his philosophy is right now, the people and the policies will have a chance to shine. If his outlook on politics and society is misplaced, no Cabinet reshuffle or slick think-tank agenda will save him at the ballot box." - Times leader

"Mr Brown, who spoke with heavy authority outside No 10, will never achieve - or want to achieve - his predecessor's easy populism. He will not weave his magic over Westminster as Mr Blair did one last time yesterday. But in a fundamental way he has suggested this week that the New Labour strategy he helped create will not change." - Guardian leader

Gordon_brown "Instead of top-down state control, it’s time for real social responsibility — trusting people, not telling them what to do the whole time. Gordon Brown says he wants to be different — and I’d like to believe it. But looking at his record over the past ten years, it’s hard to see how he can be the change this country needs." - David Cameron in The Sun

"British politics has reached a genuine turning point. Since he became leader, Mr Cameron has been able to sit back and let Mr Blair and Mr Brown tear each other apart. He must now settle down to a long game of guerrilla political warfare with the most ruthless fighter in Westminster. The election may come as early as next summer, or as late as 2010. But the battle for Middle England starts now." - Fraser Nelson in the Spectator

"What, then, could Mr Brown do to convince the country that it now has a down-to-earth government of honesty and change? The answer is “plenty”." - Anatole Kaletsky in the Times

Brown's nine pitfalls - Peter Riddell in the Times

The chinks in Brown's armour - Guardian


"_40083062_davies_203 There are two piles of letters in Quentin Davies's office - a small one with a note saying "praise" on the top, and a large one labelled "vitriol". The man who defected to Labour because he disliked David Cameron's "PR agenda" handed a propaganda coup to Gordon Brown this week." - Telegraph interview with Davies

"David Cameron must now count him a lost sheep. Never mind, these are win-win situations. Every time a Conservative MP crosses the floor to join Labour there is a small but measurable increase in the average IQ of both parliamentary parties." - Matthew Parris in the Times

"Quite what Quentin Davies is doing with this lot I have no idea, though for the avoidance of doubt he should now do two things. He should dispel any possible suggestion of corruption by announcing that he will in no circumstances accept a peerage, and he should offer to be the Labour candidate for Sedgefield, so the people of Grantham can have a proper Tory." - Boris Johnson in the Telegraph

Cameron "It's bound to be a difficult time. But my tip for Dave? Don't beat yourself up about it, love. There's no way you could have known. Like so many men in a similar situation, the pressure of leading a double life only made Quentin perform more brilliantly as the loyal Tory MP he outwardly was." - Catherine Bennett in the Guardian

"Ed Balls, a key aide to Gordon Brown who is guaranteed a top job in the new government, boasted to a reception that Quentin Davies would not be the last to cross the floor of the House of Commons." - Telegraph

"Why did Mr Cameron not have the sense to acknowledge the written submissions that Mr Davies made to him about his unhappiness with certain policies and aspects of Mr Cameron's style? Why did he not have someone senior in the party talk to Mr Davies and try to bring him round? Why did the party not send someone more convincing than Alan Duncan, the trade spokesman, to take on Mr Davies on Newsnight?" - Telegraph leader

>>> Nigel Evans MP wrote about Quentin Davies last night


_39155793_nick_bourne203 "The Tories’ new status as the largest opposition group in the National Assembly means they will gain new resources and more airtime. But more importantly, they can position themselves as a credible alternative to Labour and Plaid – a confidently Welsh party bound by neither left-wing nor Thatcherite ideology." - Western Mail


"Migrants from 130 countries with a high risk of TB are being cleared to live in Britain without any health checks, it has emerged. Once here, those with the disease are entitled to free treatment on the Health Service. The Conservatives said last night that the loophole was fuelling 'health tourism' and any migrant found to have TB should be placed immediately on a plane back home." - Daily Mail

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27 Jun 2007 09:01:07

Wednesday 27th June 2007

6pm BritainAndAmerica: Will the relationship be less special after Blair?


5.45pm YourPlatform: Nigel Evans MP offers us his forthright thoughts on Quentin Davies

4.45pm ToryDiary: Rolling post on the Government reshuffle


  • The Times' Sam Coates has been busily blogging on their News Blog today as a one-off. His 18 posts include anecdotes from the Parliamentary press corps and PMQs, and he reveals the press team and website of Blair's new office.
  • The TPA, which now has an office in the West Midlands, believes the fraud in Birmingham City Council is symptomatic of the lack of financial control in local councils and asks for whistleblowers from other councils to come forward.
  • 18 Doughty Street have made a video about the prospect of Brown at PMQs, showing boxers in red, blue and yellow vests fight it out. This short clip from last night's programming shows a discussion about whether the spate of TV programmes about becoming a tycoon is a sign that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.
  • ToryRadio has podcasted Brown's acceptance speech, Dizzy is worried by his voice and wonders if we're seeing the resurrection of Operation Gobble

4pm ToryDiary: Brown to replace Benn with Bercow?

3.30pm ToryDiary: David Cameron speaks to WebCameron about today's PMQs and Gordon Brown and And so it begins... (or is that 'continues')

1.15pm ToryDiary: Vaizey attacks "incredible" decision of BBC to cut coverage of Blair's farwell statement to Commons

LIVE BLOG of Tony Blair's last PMQs


BritainAndAmerica: George W Bush salutes Tony Blair on his final day as Prime Minister and Younger Americans lean left

ToryDiary: LibDems collapse to 12%


YourPlatform: Graeme Archer: How well have we got on with our ex-leaders? and Benedict Rogers: David Cameron deserves loyalty and patience

Seats & Candidates: ConservativeHome Seats & Candidates' downloadable database 2.0


_40083062_davies_203 "His defection was timed to cause the maximum damage to the Conservatives, who he has represented in Parliament for 20 years. The journey to Labour has been long and tortuous, and based on frustrated ambition as much as political principle." - Telegraph

"Gordon Brown engineered a pre-emptive strike against David Cameron yesterday by personally securing the defection of senior Tory Quentin Davies." - Guardian

"Gordon Brown did not leave the delicate negotiations that brought Quentin Davies into the Labour fold to colleagues or aides. He did it himself. " - Times

"The EU fanatic, MP for Grantham and Stamford, jumped ship in a bid to bolster his flagging political career. He said: €œI believe Gordon Brown is taking this country in the right direction." - The Sun

"Quentin Davies will be lucky to have as much as 24 hours of fame. But what a 24 hours. Defections are all about immediate headlines, and they seldom have a lasting impact, either on the political landscape or on the attitudes of voters." - Peter Riddell in the Times

"No, Mr Davies'™s decision,€” as is clear from his resignation letter,€” is personal. He doesn't like the Cameroons. They have ignored him." - Alice Miles in the Times


Tonyblair1 "Tony Blair will say farewell to Downing Street and domestic politics today, bringing to an end a remarkable decade in power which began with extraordinarily high hopes but ended with opinion divided over his legacy to the country." - Telegraph

"Tony Blair intends to quit Parliament immediately and forge a lucrative career as an international envoy, campaigner and roving celebrity statesman." - Times

"Taxpayers are to foot a £750,000 bill for a clear-out of Tony Blair's special advisers, the Conservatives have claimed." - Daily Mail

"The moment has been anticipated so long, it's easy to lose sight of its strangeness." - Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian


7622gordonbrownap "Gordon Brown is to reward a team of loyal young ministers who have helped plot his route to No 10 when he begins to announce his government later today." - Telegraph

"Gordon Brown'€™s accession to the premiership has spurred a rush of donations to Labour coffers with four businessmen, including leading private equity figures, contributing more than £500,000 to the party in recent weeks." - FT

Reform125wide "A new report today shows that Gordon Brown should make a decisive break from the policies of the past decade if the UK is to overcome its deep-set problems of economic and social division.  The report shows that the key policies of recent years,€“ higher spending, increased taxes and a greater role for central government, have blocked public service reform and created new pressures on vulnerable groups, such as young people.  Successful public service reform and lower taxation would help to deliver “a new politics” which empowers citizens rather than government." - Reform

"In the final hours before he takes over as Prime Minister Gordon Brown has taken time out from his helter-skelter schedule to meet a special panel of Mirror readers." - Mirror

"If Mr Brown makes tax a main battlefield, and throws some bones to the hard-pressed middle classes for whom Mr Osborne plainly couldn't care less, he will find it harder to lose his election, whenever he calls it."  - Simon Heffer in the Telegraph


"Sir Menzies Campbell yesterday vowed to make his age a plus point for the Liberal Democrats as he defended his leadership following a tumultuous week." - Guardian


"More than £1bn was yesterday wiped off the share price of BAE, Britain's biggest arms company, after it was forced to announce that the US department of justice has opened a criminal inquiry into allegedly corrupt deals with Saudi Arabia." - Guardian

"BAE Systems'€™ shares fell 8 per cent on Tuesday as investors finally took fright at ongoing corruption allegations surrounding Britain's biggest arms manufacturer." - FT


"The Democratic party is so alarmed by the prospect of competing against Fred Thompson, a Republican who portrays himself as a successor to Ronald Reagan, that it is advising campaigners how to attack the former actor and Tennessee senator." - Telegraph


"Richard Lugar, senior Republican on the Senate's foreign relations committee, said the war put vital US interests in the Middle East at risk and could end in disaster unless a coherent withdrawal plan for US forces was agreed "very soon". - Guardian


"An overwhelming majority€ of Labour AMs backed a coalition deal with Plaid Cymru today. Labour's Assembly group met to discuss the deal Rhodri Morgan has negotiated with Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones." - icWales

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