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31 Oct 2007 08:59:23

Wednesday 31st October 2007

11.45pm PlayPolitical: Oh dear; Iraqi army training has to get better than this


5.30pm ToryDiary: Tory poster to mark non-election

5.15pm CF Diary: Willetts salutes the work of Student Unions

12.30pm ToryDiary: Your favourite right-of-centre/ conservative (and elected) leader in the world today is... John Howard

ToryDiary: Tory MPs dissent from report calling for relaxed abortion laws and David Cameron to challenge Saudi leader on funding of extremist literature

Vikings, Vouchers and Valhalla - Greg Hands MP reports from the Swedish New Moderates' conference on the Platform

Columnist Peter Franklin advocates a "hypertext constitution":

"Whose fault is it that a Government elected with barely more than a third of the popular vote is now poised to ratify the repackaged EU constitution? I'm afraid that it all stems from the inherent weaknesses of our own constitution. Its individual parts - both efficient and dignified€ -“ may be perfectly formed, but as a whole it lacks an immune system, leaving it defenceless to any foreign bodies the Government of the day may choose to expose it to."


Support for Labour lower than any time since Blair

"Labour's majority could have been threatened if Gordon Brown had pressed ahead with plans to hold a general election tomorrow, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll. Support for the party has fallen to its lowest level in any ICM survey since Tony Blair left office." - Guardian

Yesterday's ToryDiary on the 5% lead

Attitudes to immigration

"Immigrants? Britain is plain full of them. Think of the House of Windsor, a hotch-potch of German and Greek ancestry with assorted other European bloodlines stirred into the pot. Think of such prominent Tories as Malcolm Rifkind and Michael Howard whose families successfully sought refuge from persecution before knitting themselves into the fabric of British life." - Ruth Wishart in The Herald

"Was Mr Cameron playing the populists' card, returning to one of Michael Howard's so-called "dog whistle" issues, which dominated the Conservatives' last election campaign? No doubt there is a connection between Mr Cameron's approach and the polls that suggest immigration tops voters' concerns." - Steve Richards in the Independent

"An unseemly anger against immigrants seems to be boiling over in the country. A speech by Tory leader David Cameron calling for a cap on migrant numbers has been given a warm reception. An underestimation by ministers of the number of foreign workers in Britain has been seized upon with glee by the usual reactionary subjects." - Independent leader

Is break-up inevitable?

"What is happening in Scotland is what has been happening throughout Europe. As globalisation makes national government ever less potent, sub-national government becomes stronger and more valued. Old arguments about viability, borders and sovereignties are left behind as centralist excuses, overwhelmed by both sentiment and realpolitik." - Simon Jenkins in the Guardian

Murdo Fraser supplements his Plaform article with an article for the Scotsman about a federal UK

Ed Balls seems to have something against excellence

"It's a pity that Ed, who could have stood up for high standards, has buckled. But I'm afraid he has form. It is on his watch that the educational establishment has been driving policy. And it is his bureaucrats who have proposed five-minute lessons because children are thought to have short attention spans, who have proposed children mark each other's work because that's less hierarchical and who, notoriously, proposed that you should teach history with Churchill written out of the script." - Michael Gove in the Telegraph

Hugh_robertson_2 Jowell claims Olympic budget is still under control

"The shadow sports spokesman, Hugh Robertson, described the minister's statement as "staggering", and said it proved the government does not know the state of the budget: "The minister's admission... that the Olympic Board does not have access to up-to-date figures for the Olympic budget is staggering," he said." - Guardian

Canadian Tories' tax pledge

"Canada's Conservative government on Tuesday promised to deliver C$60bn in business and personal tax cuts over five years. "Business taxes will come down again... to ensure continued economic growth in the face of growing international competition and uncertainty," said Jim Flaherty, finance minister." - FT

John Howard not dead yetJohn_howard

"As the election nears and the real issue becomes standards of living, Mr Howard and his experience become more appealing: the mood for change that earlier polls seemed to suggest is not yet apparent. Mr Rudd may have to wait three more years: and if he does, with Mr Howard promising this will be his last election, he may have a more open goal at which to kick. For the moment, Australia seems after all to be leaning back towards the known quantity." - Simon Heffer in the Telegraph

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30 Oct 2007 09:01:45

Tuesday 30th October 2007

11.45pm TheWrongMan: Halloween ad from the Tories

7.30pm ToryDiary: Tories 5% ahead in ICM poll with leaderless LibDems showing signs of life

7.15pm ToryDiary: Cross-party talks on party funding have broken down

5pm Parliament: Conservatives dominate parliamentary debate on Burma and Jowell accuses CCHQ of perpetuating Red Arrows myth

2.45pm CF Diary: Introducing CF Countryside

1pm ToryDiary: Gove on Brown

12pm CF Diary: New CF website!

10am CF Diary: CF changeover will be at Spring Forum

10am ToryDiary: Conservative members want renegotiation referendum if Treaty is ratified


ToryDiary: Bounceback!

Andrewhaldenby Andrew Haldenby on Platform: Spending more and more on health and pensions adds to the already heavy burden our young people have to bear

Andrewlilico Columnist Andrew Lilico:  How we should approach welfare reform

TheWrongMan: The 300,000 immigrants that Mr Brown failed to count

Tories 8% ahead in ComRes poll for Independent

And all because of men?: "Tory support among men has risen from 31 per cent to 41 per cent, while among women it has increased from 37 per cent to 41 per cent. Conversely, Labour's support among men has dropped from 40 per cent to 31 per cent and among women from 35 per cent to 34 per cent. A possible explanation is that men regard Mr Brown's vacillation over calling an election as weak, whereas women may be less concerned about it." - Independent

>> Yesterday evening's ToryDiary on the poll.

Daily Mail welcomes David Cameron's speech on immigration

"For more than 40 years, Left-wingers in politics and the media have successfully silenced rational debate on the impact of mass migration, shouting 'racist' at anyone who dared even raise the subject.  The consequences can be seen all around us. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, Britain's population is set to soar to more than 71 million by 2031, putting ever more pressure on our public services.  As Mr Cameron pointed out yesterday, the great bulk of this population growth - around 70 per cent - is attributable to net immigration. What is 'racist' about wanting to manage the tide?  There was nothing remotely inflammatory about the Tory leader's speech. On the contrary, it was a dispassionate and intelligent analysis of the pros and cons of the issue." - Mail leader

>> Yesterday's ToryDiary summary of the speech.

Etchingham Sky News apologises for presenter's remark about Tory immigration policy

"Sky News was forced to apologise after one of its presenters joked on air that the Conservative Party supported a policy of "extermination" for immigrants.  Julie Etchingham's remark was broadcast as David Cameron was outlining Tory policy on immigration.  Mr Cameron was saying: "Some of the increase in population size results from natural change – birth rates, death rates. Here our policy should be obvious...." At that point Etchingham, above, was heard to say "extermination".  Sky News said the "regrettable" remark was "not intended for broadcast". Etchingham is leaving the channel to present ITV's resurrected News At Ten with Sir Trevor McDonald." - Telegraph

Envoy complains about ‘one-legged Lithuanians’ remark from David Cameron - Times

Cameron: I'll work for half pay - Telegraph

"The Tory leader warned that the extravagance of his colleagues was damaging Parliament's reputation, and insisted he was prepared to do his job for half the current pay.  It comes a week after Parliamentary authorities disclosed that members' expenses and allowances topped £87 million for the last time last year, double the rate of inflation." - Daily Mail

Gordon Brown to play part of Union protector - Rachel Sylvester in The Telegraph

Murdo Fraser's Platform article picked up - The Herald

Nigel Evans MP sleeps out as part of Burma protest

"A group of protesters has set up camp on Parliament Square in a vigil for the people of Burma, home to a brutal military regime.  Last night - after a Commons debate on the issue - they even welcomed Tory backbencher Nigel Evans MP, who spent the night in his sleeping bag.  "I spoke to someone who was released after six years' captivity in Burma and he said that things do filter through over there - if you think you can lock them up and extinguish their spirit, you're wrong," he said." - Telegraph Spy

CoatesandevansNigel Evans MP with ConservativeHome's Sam Coates.  Also part of the sleepover was Ben Rogers.

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29 Oct 2007 09:01:19

Monday 29th October 2007

8pm ToryDiary: ComRes poll would give the Conservatives a parliamentary majority

7.30pm PlayPolitical: Sarkozy walks out of CBS interview

5pm ToryDiary: More members were dissatisfied than satisfied with David Cameron before the Blackpool Conference

4.45pm Events: Tomorrow's events include what promises to be a very interesting late morning lecture by Michael Gove on what he thinks about Brown, an IPN lecture on post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, and a worthy discussion hosted by the New Culture Forum on the future of classical music

2.30pm CF Diary: Matthew Richardson launches Chairman campaign (and its slate) and Scottish CF conference

12.45pm ToryDiary: Highlights from David Cameron's immigration and population speech


Mark Field MP, 11am on Platform: It's time to create a federal parliament for the United Kingdom

10am BritainAndAmerica: In past years the British state rolled out the red carpet for Ceausescu and Mobutu; it's King Abdullah's turn today

ToryDiary: Cameron promises coherent strategy to manage net immigration and its consequences

Columnist Stephan Shakespeare: Time for Cameron's team to step forward

Brandon Lewis on the Platform:

"Some politicians will think that their role is to improve their community, their country or their local resident’s lives and ultimately that is true. However, unless we communicate how we will do that, why we will do it a particular way; even why and if something needs doing at all, then we will get nowhere."

Cameron sceptical about detaining terror suspects longer

"David Cameron has vowed to oppose Gordon Brown's "muddled" push to double the time terrorist suspects can be detained without charge." - Telegraph

"Amid strong indications that the Government is considering doubling the limit, Mr Cameron, speaking on Sunday Live, a Sky News programme, accused Mr Brown of being incoherent for advocating an extension while promising a new chapter in the history of British liberty." - Times

Cameron's first speech on immigration

"Effectively tackling Mr Brown on his slogan "British jobs for British workers", he will suggest that, if more British citizens work instead of claiming benefits, there will be fewer vacancies to attract immigrants. The population is projected to pass 70 million in the next 25 years. Mr Cameron will tie immigration to social policy, ranking it alongside family break-down as a key driver of rising British households. This in turn has pushed up house prices." - Telegraph

Reviewing how the union works

Rifkind "The Tories were accused of prompting the break up of the UK last night as it emerged David Cameron is set to commit his party to stripping Scottish MPs of the right to vote on English matters at Westminster. He will back proposals by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Scottish secretary, to create an English Grand Committee of the House of Commons to deal with issues which only affect people living south of the Border." - Scotsman

"Ministers on Sunday accused David Cameron, Conservative party leader, of threatening to “break up” the UK with proposals to stop Scottish MPs voting on English matters." - FT

"The creation of what would effectively be two classes of MPs at Westminster would indeed undermine the commonality of national purpose that is supposed to define the spirit of the Westminster Parliament. Is this really what a party that once styled itself as the defender of the Union wants?" - Independent leader

"There is a way to solve all these problems, and that is, as we have urged before, to devolve to English counties and cities the powers which, under the 1998 Scotland Act, are given to Holyrood. English and Scottish councils should also be given a significant measure of fiscal autonomy. All Westminster MPs would then be on the same footing, and the West Lothian question would at last find its answer." - Telegraph leader

"David Cameron yesterday hinted that the Tories were in favour of reviewing how much money Scotland gets from the Exchequer when he admitted his party was asking itself whether the current share-out of UK spending was fair." - Herald

"The Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond reignited the dispute over control of North Sea oil yesterday after the Tory leader, David Cameron, again questioned whether Scotland was too generously funded by the taxpayer." - Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary on the issue

Wars don't come cheap

British_patrol "There is no such thing as a cheap war. Soldiers must be given support, both in battle and when they return from battle. Their families also need support. On Poppy Day, we all need to reflect that our soldiers are putting their lives at risk for us; we should at least put our taxes on the line for them." - William Rees-Mogg in the Times

In defence of Cameron's realism

"The Tory leader does not accept that democracy is a universal antibiotic, guaranteed to cure any political ailment in any country at any stage of historical development. Mr Cameron argues that it is impossible to create stable and secure democracies without two pre-conditions: the rule of law, and a strong civil society. In this, he is drawing on the British historical experience." - Bruce Anderson in the Independent

In defence of liberal internationalism

"The cure for mass poverty and the political criminality that it breeds is a combination of liberal democratic government and free market economics. To be aware of that truth and yet refuse to disseminate it must be as wicked as withholding Western drugs that can cure Third World diseases. And it will not do to dismiss some peoples, with post-colonial contempt, as "unready". The only way that people learn how to deal with freedom is to exercise it. To say that they must win it for themselves without outside interference is to ignore the terrifying effectiveness of modern tyranny, with its armoury of weapons and electronically comprehensive surveillance." - Janet Daley in the Telegraph


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28 Oct 2007 07:31:08

Sunday 28th October 2007

10pm PlayPolitical: Who is the scariest Republican Senator? and Democrats v Republicans (Apple v PC parody)

7.45pm ToryDiary: Harriet Harman is right...

3pm ToryDiary: Is Germany shifting leftwards under Merkel?

1pm ToryDiary: You couldn't make it up

Cameron on Brown on Sky News Sunday (1pm): "If you, all your life, campaign against everything Margaret Thatcher has done, you look a bit silly when you pose with her.  If you keep telling people how decisive you are and strong and then you cancel an election I think you do look a bit of a phoney.  I'm sorry, I just say it as I see it and that's how I saw it."

ToryDiary: David Cameron likely to adopt Rifkind plan to address West Lothian Question

Goodman_paulPlatform: Paul Goodman, Shadow Community Cohesion spokesman in the Commons, unearths extraordinary Government evasion over a Muslim group and a contested London mosque scheme.

Columnist Graeme Archer: Remember the men who died for us

Observer/ MORI poll gives Labour 1% advantage

"Gordon Brown has edged ahead of David Cameron in an exclusive Observer poll today which ushers in a new era of 'boat race' politics in which Labour and the Tories are almost neck-and-neck." - Observer.

Yesterday evening's ToryDiary on the poll.

David Ruffley plans 'police reserve force'

"The Conservatives have drawn up radical plans to replace Labour's controversial "Blunkett's bobbies" with a police reserve force similar to the Territorial Army.  The new force would comprise tens of thousands of paid special constables, all highly-trained with full powers of arrest.  Its creation would lead eventually to the scrapping of police community support officers, or PCSOs, who have attracted widespread criticism for being toothless." - Sunday Telegraph

EU Referendum: The Sunday Telegraph reports on yesterday's cross-party lobby.  Chris Palmer has blogged the rally.

Cameron defends wife from criticisms over her commercial work

"David Cameron staunchly defended his "fantastic and brilliant" wife Samantha and said she will not resign as director of upmarket stationer's Smythson if he becomes Prime Minister.  He hit back at criticism of his wife, who was accused of abusing her role as Leader of the Opposition's wife by plugging the company's products in an interview with Harper's Bazaar magazine in August." - Mail on Sunday

Cameron under fire for politically incorrect joke

"David Cameron was accused of a politically incorrect gaffe last night over a lighthearted remark he made about one-legged Lithuanians at a meeting with leading figures in the arts world.  Labour said the Tory leader was guilty of "crass insensitivity" after the comment, made at an Arts Council lunch on Tuesday, was leaked to The Mail on Sunday.  According to Arts Council sources, Mr Cameron told his hosts: "I hope you won't be giving grants to too many one-legged Lithuanian lesbians," prompting embarrassed looks all round." - Mail on Sunday

Liberal Democrats

In head-to-head debate Clegg promises to expose "illiberal" Cameron and Huhne nominates Gordon Brown to be the patron saint of tax accountants.  The Sunday Telegraph has more.

"Labour's private pollsters believe the Tory success is mainly explained by the dramatic fall in Lib Dem support during a period of transition. They believe the Lib Dems will return to their traditional poll rating of 17-18 per cent once a new leader is elected - at the expense of the Tories." - Observer

Downing Street orders shake-up of PMQs briefings as Brown struggles in head-to-heads with Cameron - The Sunday Times

Michael Portillo returns

Michael Portillo returns to The Sunday Times and discusses obesity.

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