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Wednesday 13th June 2007

5:30pm ToryDiary: A noble, but mercifully short, national struggle

5PM PICK OF THE WEB

  • The Coffee House has been bustling today with posts on Brown's new Head of Domestic Policy and Strategy, Blair's penultimate PMQs, as well as Matthew D'Ancona (and Stephen Pollard) fretting about joining Facebook
  • Tim Kevan's maiden post on the high quality Ghost Cabinet blog is an excellent piece on Brown "the stealth dictator"
  • Matt Wardman has started a good "meme" on Gordon Brown
  • Jonathan "Large" Isaby has picked up on Andrew Rosindell's push for celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Prince Charles being the Prince of Wales (interesting accompanying picture of the colourful MP)
  • Pickled Politics covers the Evening Standard's expose of the Hindu Forum of Britain, headed by "fundamentalist father" Ramesh Kallidai
  • The New Culture Forum comments on Finkelstein's article on reclaiming the Summer of Love. NCF Director Peter Whittle hosted Culture Clash on 18 Doughty Street last night where they reviewed political documentaries Taking Liberties and The War on Democracy
  • The Social Affairs Unit's blog carries a review of Gordon Brown's book about heroes, by Harry Phibbs. He welcomes the inclusion of Todd Beamer but is rightly unimpressed with the factual errors in the section about Aung San Suu Kyi.

 4:30pm BritainAndAmerica: Can Politics 2.0 cross the Atlantic?

3pm ToryDiary: Strong words from Cameron in defence of Israel

1pm ToryDiary: PMQs: Liveliest House for some time

"Midwives are delivering almost 25% more babies than experts believe is appropriate, figures released by the Conservative Party suggest. The Tories say the government's failure to anticipate a big rise in the birth rate in England has left midwives under intense pressure." - BBC

Quentin_davies2ToryDiary: HospitalSOS and Telegraph spins report to reignite grammar schools argument

YourPlatform: Quentin Davies MP explains why he voted against the Iraq inquiry and Hugo Robinson explains why the EU treaty would be bad for business

WHAT SHOULD THE TORIES DO ABOUT BROWN?

"You will, I trust, forgive the bad taste of this statement of fact, but I have been loafing in the south of France for the past fortnight thinking about the Brown terror. France now is like a country born again, with a dynamic new leader, so contemplation of what is shortly to happen to us was, in such a context, piquant." - Simon Heffer in the Telegraph

Scosborne OSBORNE SPEECH ON ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT

"Future Bank of England Governors should serve only one, nonrenewable term of office, the Shadow Chancellor will say today as he calls for far-reaching reforms to the running of the Bank and the Treasury." - Times

PRINCE BANDAR'S PAYMENTS

"Des Browne, the defence secretary, yesterday refused point-blank to say whether his department's £1bn backdoor payments to Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia for arms deals were still continuing. Visibly uneasy and irritated at a lunch with defence journalists, he claimed "national security" was the reason for his silence." - Guardian

42878_375x375 BLAIR ATTACKS "FERAL" MEDIA

"British newspapers will and should be subject to some form of new external regulation, the outgoing prime minister, Tony Blair, said yesterday in a broadside that attacked the media for behaving like feral beasts and eschewing balance or proportion." - Guardian

Gallery: the front pages Blair hated - Guardian

CONSERVATIVE ANGER OVER NETWORK RAIL DELAYS

"The Conservative Party accused the Government of trying to bury bad news over rail delays as train operators expressed their growing exasperation with Network Rail." - Telegraph

WHITEHALL CHANGES

Gordonbrown150 Gordon Brown yesterday unveiled his most senior Downing Street advisers as part of a reshuffle involving a strengthening of the Cabinet Office and an affirmation of his faith in former Treasury civil servants." - Guardian

"Nothing that happens in Whitehall should be taken at face value. When a change is presented as a strengthening of Cabinet government, watch for the not-so-hidden hand of 10 Downing Street and “the great clunking fist”, as Tony Blair so elegantly described his successor’s style. " - Peter Riddell in the Times

LABOUR LEADERSHIP

"Alan Johnson today posts a public application to stay as Education Secretary in Gordon Brown’s first Cabinet if he wins the race to become Labour’s deputy leader. In an interview with The Times, Mr Johnson said that Mr Brown would underline his commitment to education by handing the brief to his No 2." - Times

"Jon Cruddas is celebrating a victory over David Miliband as Gordon Brown backs his ideas to refresh Labour’s withered grassroots before new figures showing that the party’s membership has reached a new low." - Times

WAS BUSH'S WATCH STOLEN?

"Film of President Bush being mobbed during his visit to Albania on Sunday clearly shows the leader of the free world plunging into an adoring crowd with his watch on, and emerging seconds later with his personalised Timex Indiglo missing. " - Times

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