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Thursday 25th October 2007

10.30pm ToryDiary: Tories remain 3% ahead according to YouGov - but voters remain unsure what a Cameron-led government would be like

5.30pm Parliament:

5.15pm ToryDiary: 'There's nothing so ex- as an ex-MP'

Britishinvasioniii12.45pm BritainAndAmerica: On the day GuardianAmerica launches... it's British Invasion II

Daryl_williams_3 12pm CF Diary: Daryl Williams launches his campaign for Chairman

11.30am New PlayPolitical videos:

  1. Clever Australian Labor video puts climate change at heart of campaign
  2. Peter Tatchell talks to Henry Porter about Labour's 'assault on civil liberties'
  3. McCain contrasts his Vietnam heroism with Hillary's support for Woodstock

11.05am ToryDiary: We have a winner...

10.45am ToryDiary: Restore the standing of the shadow cabinet and other frontbenchers

ToryDiary: Have your say in ConservativeHome's October survey


Columnist Louise Bagshawe writes an open letter to Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Gisela Stuart urging them to join the Conservatives.


Syed Kamall MEP on the Platform explains why we won't truly grasp the implications of the EU constitution for a generation

"New European treaties do not signify the end-state of the Union’s institutional architecture.  The Commission and Courts exploit them to provide the impetus for further institutional upheaval and to act as a catalyst for further integration."


Cameronatpmqs "As soon as David Cameron demanded a "personal apology" for the chaotic Scottish elections, Gordon Brown began a frantic shuffling through his papers, as if somewhere within them he would find the perfect retort. But when he spoke, he began by admitting there were decisions "which could have been better made", a feeble opening which produced a storm of derision from the Tory benches." - Telegraph sketch

"He saw the enemy and the enemy was English. Forget Braveheart. This was Daveheart, and a betrayal of everything that Mel Gibson stood for. Gordo could not believe what he was hearing. Daveheart was accusing the Labour Party of betraying the Scottish voter." - Times sketch

"In a heated exchange at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Brown said that all parties should share the blame for the mistakes made in the Scottish election, which led to 140,000 ballot papers being rejected." - Times

"A U-turn is being prepared by Gordon Brown over a plan to claw back surpluses in school budgets, after the proposal provoked furious disagreement from head teachers and parents. Mr Brown was attacked at the despatch box yesterday by David Cameron, the Tory leader, who said the scheme to "confiscate" 5 per cent of the £1.7bn in school surpluses had been criticised by head teachers as "unjust and ill-conceived"." - Independent

"Mr Cameron said he did not know how the prime minister had the "gall" to accuse him of misleading anyone. He called for Mr Alexander to explain himself to MPs and be stripped of his current responsibility for elections. Earlier today Mr Alexander apologised for his role in the Scottish elections fiasco." - Guardian

Stephen_crabb_mp Devoscepticism

"Welsh Conservative MP Stephen Crabb has launched a blistering attack on devolution and his own party’s support for it. Writing on the website, the MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire says the “devolution experiment” is leading to “socialism and separatism”." - Western Mail

Yesterday's Platform article by Stephen Crabb

A new form of inquisition

"The real danger is that we are entering a new era of the heresy and heretic hunting – whether it's ITV bosses booting out some middle-aged has-been from a reality TV show for his homophobic row about shirt-lifters, or Bellamy's own admission this week that he's been branded a heretic for his unfashionably sceptical views on man-made climate change. Not only have certain issues become taboo in a way that touches the totalitarian, we demonise those who don't conform." - Claire Fox in The Independent

Bill Rammell MP responds to Robert Halfon's letter

"Corporations have always made donations to political parties at national level. But the Ashcroft money is being poured into a small number of marginal constituencies in an attempt to buy the seat. Most of the donors have no interest in or connection to the constituencies. More worryingly, Ashcroft and the other corporate donors are hand-picking which candidates they support, raising questions about their independence should they be elected." - Guardian

Rubbish Bin tax binned?

"Defra was expected to announce as early as Thursday it would go ahead with bin charges - a document outlining the plans has been seen by the BBC. But Defra said no final decisions had been made on the charges, aimed at boosting recycling rates in England."

Parliamentary debate of abortion law is overdue

"Slamming the door shut on debate in this way is ill-advised. Few issues are capable of polarising public opinion as starkly as abortion. What is significant about the public mood at the moment is that the efficacy of the law is being questioned by many who broadly support a woman's right to choose." - Telegraph leader

"The framers of the original Bill were moved by compassion, not by the mores of permissiveness. Abortion was only ever, they said, to be a last resort. That principle has been dangerously undermined." - Times leader

The Government has no understanding of farming

"The problem for British stock farmers is the stranglehold of politicians. Cereals this summer have fetched better prices, partly because wheat and barley are world commodities. Livestock depends on favourable governments that appreciate that animal husbandry plays a key part in maintaining landscape as well as feeding voters. Proper contracts with butchers and supermarkets could help, but best of all would be a pro-active minister who knew which end of a sheep the lamb came out." - Michael Wigan in The Telegraph

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