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31 Jul 2007 01:34:00

Tuesday 31st July 2007

9.15pm Seats&Candidates: Ali Miraj suspended from the candidates list

4.45pm ToryDiary: Nick Herbert responds to Law Commission's cohabitation proposals

12.15pm ToryDiary: The July ConservativeHome survey is now live

Noon ToryDiary: David Cameron says good discipline is the key to successful schools

10.30am ToryDiary: Cameron questions Miraj's motives

ToryDiary: Labour lead just 3% in new Independent poll (and Tories are ahead with women)

BritainAndAmerica: The Petraeus/Bush surge is delivering results in Iraq


Andrew Lilico: The difference between a modern Conservative and a Blairite

CF Diary: There is good news as well as bad, you know! and Apply for your Fresher's Fair pack

Seats and Candidates: Jonathan Evans MEP on shortlist for Cardiff North

Ben Rogers on Platform: Like an army, let us learn some discipline, unite and fight for our vision

School discipline focus

"In a speech to the rightwing thinktank Policy Exchange, the Tory leader will take advantage of the late cancellation of a trip to Pakistan to explain the Conservatives' plans to give headteachers more control over expulsions, and to argue that discipline is the foundation of all successful schools." - Guardian

EU treaty referendum to fend off early election

Eu_flag "David Cameron will make a referendum on a new EU treaty a key general election issue if Gordon Brown calls a snap poll in October or next May, senior Conservatives said yesterday. The treaty reviving the European constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005 is due to be agreed by EU leaders by the end of the year, possibly as early as October." - Telegraph

The right balance

"David Cameron said he is ready to 'get the balance right' after a Tory grandee warned him focusing on 'nicey-nicey' politics would not win the next election. The Conservative leader, bruised by internal rows and a slip in the opinion polls, insisted he was focusing on domestic issues such as crime, not just climate change and global poverty." - Daily Mail

Pupils failed by special school closures

"Shutting special schools has damaged the prospects of thousands of vulnerable children, the Tories claimed. A report commissioned by party leader David Cameron found that 146 have been closed since 1997 with the loss of around 9,000 places." - Daily Mail

Lord Saatchi's critique

Saatchi_2 "David Cameron faces fresh criticism over his leadership today as a senior Tory figure warned "nicey-nicey" politics would not win him the next general election." - Guardian

"David Cameron’s ratings as a leader and potential prime minister have fallen back further, compared with those of a strengthening Gordon Brown, according to a Populus poll for The Times. Mr Cameron faced more dissent yesterday as a former Conservative Party chairman and a senior backbencher called on him to abandon efforts to reposition the Conservatives." - Times

>>> Yesterday's ToryDiary - Lord Saatchi calls for an end to "nicey-nicey" politics

Ali Miraj's critique

"Criticism of David Cameron's leadership from within his own party grew yesterday when a senior Tory figure, an MP and an activist who was part of his 2005 leadership campaign, questioned his strategy.The BBC reported comments last night from Ali Miraj, an activist it said was part of Mr Cameron's campaign for the leadership two years ago." - Financial Times

>>> Ali Miraj expanded on his comments on Platform last night

Howard's end?

John_howard "John Howard has become an icon for uncompromising conservatives the world over. His election victories predicated on his staunch support of the war on terror, tough stance on illegal immigration and commitment to low taxes are seen as proof that traditional conservatism can still win elections in the modern world. But it is Howard’s desire to keep on fighting the old battles with the trade unions that has placed his political career in jeopardy." - James Campbell on Spectator online

Men the most impressed with Brown

"Pressure on David Cameron will mount today with the publication of poll showing that the Tory lead over Labour has been reversed by Gordon Brown with a swing among male voters. The former party chairman Lord Saatchi warned him that "nicey nicey" politics would not win the next election, but the Conservative leader is rejecting calls for him to shift to the right to address the Tory "wobble"." - Independent

Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary...

30 Jul 2007 04:12:53

Monday 30th July 2007

10.45pm Ali Miraj on YourPlatform: Dave, where has the sunshine gone?

10pm ToryDiary: Labour 6% ahead in Populus survey

9.15pm BritainAndAmerica: Bush and Brown bond at Camp David

3.30pm ToryDiary: Lord Saatchi calls for an end to "nicey-nicey" politics

12:10pm ToryDiary: Improving Special Needs EducationAinsworth_peter_2_2

ToryDiary: Ainsworth calls for Environment Agency to pay back bonuses

Stephan Shakespeare: Changing the leader would be madness for the party; but it is also madness not to change a flawed strategy.

Interviews: Any questions for Mark Field MP?

LondonMayor: Andrew Boff sets out the themes of his campaign

Keith Standring on YourPlatform examines government plans further to restrict our freedom.

William Hague offers support to private referendum on new EU Treaty

"The Conservatives could back a privately funded referendum on the new European Union treaty if Gordon Brown refuses to allow the British people the final say, William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said yesterday." - Telegraph

>>> Sign The Telegraph's online petition

Hague and Davis offer support to Cameron

"Recalling his own time as Tory leader, Mr Hague said Mr Cameron had achieved wonders for the Conservatives in the past 18 months. "He has been able to achieve things, as I can say with authority, previous leaders were not able to achieve over the last 10 years."" - Telegraph

"On reports that several disaffected MPs were demanding a no-confidence vote in Mr Cameron, Mr Hague said: "I don't know whether that is the case, but I don't think that would be the view of 99 per cent of the Conservative Party."  He added: "We have a very strong and united team around him. It is the most cohesive team I have known in my time at the senior levels at the party." Mr Hague concluded: "The last thing we should be is disheartened about this situation." - The Independent

"Mr Davis also made an impassioned plea to the party to 'hold its nerve'.  He said: 'David has passed his first test. Now the party must pass its first test, and that is a test of discipline.  'We have done a great deal in bringing the party back into the arena where people are paying attention to us. We have now got to stick to the course. What we must not do is lurch to the Right. There must be no lurches to the Right or Left.'" - Daily Mail

Bruce_anderson_2 Bruce Anderson is unimpressed with the reaction of Tory MPs to the party's recent difficulties

"Mr Cameron does not appear to do self-doubt. To his regret and exasperation, the same cannot be said of his party. It is instructive to contrast Labour and Tory MPs over the past few months. Until it became clear that there was no alternative to Gordon Brown, lots of Labour MPs - including ministers - were full of doubt. Then came the coronation, and suddenly all was loyalty. Almost all Labour MPs still want to win." - The Independent

Osborne_george_portrait Tim Hames believes that David Cameron's problems began when he failed to move George Osborne...

"The first was the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle conducted four weeks ago today. In it, the Conservative leader spectacularly failed to deal with his two most pressing personnel problems: George Osborne and William Hague. One has too little credibility for his present post and the other is too good for his position. Shadow Chancellors, like Chancellors, are supposed to have the air of a bank manager about them. Who wants to turn up to their local Barclays or NatWest to ask for a loan and be confronted with someone who looks 14, seems immensely pleased with himself and has a voice that might qualify him for a Bee Gees tribute group, sitting behind the manager’s desk?" - The Times

Images Q&A with Sayeeda Warsi

In a feature for The Independent the party's new community cohesion spokesman defends David Cameron's trip to Rwanda and underlines her own opposition to the Iraq war.

Brown says the world owes America for its leadership on terror

"Gordon Brown has countered growing American fears that he is preparing for a British withdrawal from Iraq by lavishing praise on George Bush.  As he flew out to his first meeting with the President since taking over from Tony Blair, the Prime Minister spoke of the 'debt' the world owes the U.S. for its 'leadership' in the fight against international terrorism." - Daily Mail

Interview with Tory mayoral hopeful Andrew Boff -


29 Jul 2007 09:09:04

Sunday 29th July 2007


Columnists: Graeme Archer's Diary: Shambo and racial profiling

ToryDiary: Brady calls for more balance in the party's politics and Platform 10 launches

Platform: Martin Sewell: Jack Straw's Bill of Rights

Davidcameron100x100 Conservative fortunes

"David Davis, the shadow home secretary, made an impassioned plea to Conservative MPs and activists last night to hold their nerve and rally behind David Cameron." - Telegraph

"A defiant David Cameron is facing down his Tory critics by declaring he will not 'go on a wobble' and will press ahead with his campaign to place the Conservatives firmly in the centre ground." - Observer

"Pressure is growing on David Cameron to embark on a shake-up at his party headquarters amid plunging opinion poll ratings." - Sunday Times

"The first signs of a split between David Cameron and George Osborne emerged as the Conservatives blamed each other for Gordon Brown's surge in the polls." - Mail on Sunday

"As David Cameron finished his end of term address to backbenchers last week ...Tory MPs rose to their feet and cheered him to the rafters. As they did so one veteran parliamentarian leaned over to whisper in his neighbour's ear: "I haven't heard support like this since IDS addressed us the week before he resigned." - Telegraph

A Labour view of Cameron - John McTernan in the Telegraph

Platform10 Platform 10 launches

"We are Conservative supporters, but we're not part of the Conservative Party. We have set this up so there is a forum to make the case for a modern, liberal Conservative agenda." - Platform 10

Cameron to announce more special school places

"David Cameron will promise tomorrow to increase the number of places at special schools, in his first major move on education policy since the Conservatives' bitter row over grammar schools." - Observer

Interviews with David Cameron

"When I caught up with the leader of the opposition he didn’t look like he wanted affection. He was still pumped up with adrenaline and anger after his bumpy ride at prime minister’s questions last Wednesday when Labour MPs jeered his return from a disastrously timed trip to Rwanda. Under the permatan Cameron is cool and fierce. I would sooner have hugged a hoodie." - Sunday Times

"So is David Cameron worried? In a timely interview in Rwanda last week, just hours before he boarded a plane back to a furious waterlogged constituency (and saintly, welly-shod Gordon Brown), the Tory leader was relaxed and resolute, ready to face down not only the kamikaze wing of his party, but his critics within the media who fuel such tendencies." - Observer

Giselastuart100 A referendum on the new EU "treaty"

"One of Tony Blair's last acts was to renege on the promise of a referendum and it is almost unbelievable that one of Gordon Brown's first acts has been to do the same." - Gisela Stuart MP in the Telegraph

Brown and Bush will get on

"Gordon and George may never bond in the same way as Tony and George, but it is important to the administration that, in the words of one State Department official, "they at least get to second base". They will. Mr Brown wants to win the next election, and win big. But he has no desire to be the first PM since Heath not to form a strong alliance with at least one US president." - Matthew d'Ancona in the Telegraph

"He knows that his predecessor paid a colossal price for binding himself so inextricably to this President. He equally knows that, as hated as his host may be in both Britain and America, there is a large penalty for not having a functioning relationship with the White House." - Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer

Gordonbrown100x100 Brown's progress

"On each of the electorate’s priorities, Brown has moved towards higher spending, higher taxation and more government, and away from the public sector reform efforts of the Blair government. It is not an exaggeration to say that in 30 days the government has undone much of the progress achieved by its predecessor in 10 years." - Andrew Haldenby in the Sunday Times

Conservative concern over possible political charities

"A government document has proposed that the rules be modified so that charities can make political campaigning their "dominant" activity. The document, issued by Ed Miliband, the cabinet minister responsible for the voluntary sector, has alarmed Tory MPs, who fear it will usher in American-style political campaigning by charities." - Independent

Identity Cards

"Brown is clearly willing to give up Blair’s ideas and accept those of his political opponents. Dropping identity cards would not be a sign of weakness but rather of his increasing strength." - Michael Portillo in the Sunday Times

Nickferrari London Mayoralty

"An outspoken radio disc jockey is preparing to enter London’s mayoral contest on an independent platform after rejecting David Cameron’s advances to stand as a Tory candidate.Nick Ferrari, the presenter of LBC’s breakfast show, is believed to have secured a substantial war chest from business leaders to mount a challenge to Ken Livingstone, the incumbent." - Sunday Times

Boris Johnson's application form - Telegraph

Mandelson rebuked on lobby links

"EU trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, has been the subject of an official rebuke after refusing to reveal details of meetings with industry lobbyists." - Sunday Times

Tonyblair100 28 days later - how is Tony doing?

"He may be heading off to Barbados for another holiday at Sir Cliff Richards' villa this summer, but this spell of R&R aside, Mr Blair seems intent on setting up a Downing Street in exile." - Independent

Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary...

28 Jul 2007 05:05:37

Saturday 28th July 2007

7.30pm BritainAndAmerica: Don't expect big policy shifts at first Bush-Brown heads of government meeting

ToryDiary: Is the Conservative Party in a a "very grave crisis"?

Columnists: Cameron Watt's notes from Northern Ireland

Platform: Cllr Derek Tipp on how members' voices should be heard on MEP selection

Hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying...

"We want the Conservatives to hold out concrete incentives to the coping classes: working people struggling with rising bills and mortgage payments, who resent the way higher taxes have failed to improve services. These are the swing voters, let down by Labour, but looking for reasons to install an alternative. The Tories need to start speaking to and for the hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying, lied-to, ripped-off classes. Time is short but winning over this group is achievable. They should get cracking." - Telegraph leader

Labour too poor for an election

Wilted "Gordon Brown is unlikely to call a snap general election this autumn because Labour is still deeply in the red and fears it could be outspent by the Conservatives. Speculation that the Prime Minister will soon seek his own mandate from the voters has been fuelled by a series of opinion polls since he took over from Tony Blair giving Labour a clear lead over the Tories." - Independent

Policy groups pushed forward

"The Conservative Party leadership is to bring forward publication of its policy commissions in an attempt to regain the political momentum from Gordon Brown. The review, on issues ranging from economic competitiveness to green policies, would form the centrepiece of a Tory manifesto if Mr Brown cashes in on his poll lead with an autumn general election." - Telegraph

C5 interview

"David Cameron, the Conservative Party leader, faced hostile questioning from the general public on television yesterday. The Daily Telegraph's parliamentary sketchwriter Andrew Gimson watched as Mr Cameron was interrogated on Channel Five over everything from his commitment to the environment to his decision to travel to Africa while his constituency was flooded. Initiation through hardship is the British way, and David Cameron is now enduring it. The aim is to put the new recruit through hell and see whether he can take it with stoical good humour." - Telegraph leader

Cameron's week (by Hugo Rifkind)

Hugo_rifkind "After some last-minute jitters, I make a panic phone call from the airport. “Of course you should go,” says David Davis, soothingly. “Rwanda is very important. Don’t you worry about a thing. William Hague and I can hold the fort.” Good old William. And to think some people reckon he isn’t pulling his weight!" - Times

Philosophical base

"David Cameron has spent too much time and effort polishing his public image and too little on creating a philosophical base, a senior Conservative said last night. With the party feeling punch-drunk from a series of bad polls, the latest of which puts Labour nine points clear, the Tory leader has ordered an "aggressive" summer offensive against Gordon Brown, whose honeymoon bounce is higher than anyone expected. However, the Tory front bencher told The Herald he doubted a "summer of nastiness" would work or impress the voters, who are looking for a credible alternative to Mr Brown's government."  - Herald

Legalistic nitpickers

"Mr Cameron knows that no Leader of the Opposition has it in his power to reverse the fortunes of the Government. What he must do is be in the right place when those fortunes are reversed.A couple of suggestions about where that place might be. On security and terrorism, the Conservatives tend to look like legalistic nitpickers who play down the threat. They would better be the party which insists on targeting likely trouble rather than persecuting the general public." - Charles Moore in the Telegraph

Incorporate UKIP

"Guess a new and more rigidly Rightwing party, incorporating most of UKIP, would emerge out of the wreckage. All this may never happen, and only very foolish people ever try to predict the future. But one observation can be made with total confidence. The Conservative Party really is in a very grave crisis indeed, and that crisis is about much more than the temporary difficulties facing David Cameron and the small group of modernisers who advise him." - Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail

David Davis

David_davis "This summer he needs to go one step beyond loyalty (already displayed) and convince his potential supporters that the future of the Conservative Party, its Centre-Right as well as its Centre-Left, and perhaps the future of Mr Davis himself, lies in the success of Mr Cameron’s political project. To every mutterer, a knockdown answer should be available: “Apart from David Cameron, no imaginable leader is available.” Only Mr Davis can really convince his admirers that this is true." - Matthew Parris in the Times

Constitution Treaty

"In terms of the sovereign powers transferred to Brussels, of expanded roles for the European Court of Justice and the European Parliament, of the potentially intrusive and legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights, and of expanded majority voting in the EU Council, the “reform treaty” is indeed the old constitution revisited." - Times leader

Shadow Minister for Cornwall

"The Conservative leader, David Cameron, has appointed a new shadow minister for the county of Cornwall. Cornish born MP Mark Prisk says he wants to make sure the county remains at the "heart" of Conservative Party policy making." - BBC

Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary...

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