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Wednesday 21st November 2007

1pm PlayPolitical videos:

12.30pm BritainAndAmerica: Thanksgiving in War Time

11.15am ToryDiary: Live blog of PMQs

Mindblowing ToryDiary: Good morning Prime Minister, here are today's newspapers and Nominations for Best Book

Robert McIlveen on Platform: Liberal interventionism – naïve, dangerous and profoundly un-Churchillian

Columnist Peter Franklin: Consensus confounded

PlayPolitical: President Bush pardons the Thanksgiving Turkey and If women ran the world, there'd be no problems (apparently)

Conservatives promise a supply-side revolution in education

"David Cameron said further changes in "structures" were needed on top of Labour's city academies. He aims to portray Gordon Brown, who wants to focus on "standards not structures", as an opponent of reform. The Tory plans to create more than 220,000 places over nine years would meet demand for places from parents of children in the most deprived boroughs who lose appeals to win admission to their first-choice secondary school." - Independent

The Telegraph summarises the new Conservative education proposals:

  1. "Provision of 220,000 new school places
  2. A legal presumption that any "fit and proper persons" — including parents, charities and businessmen — should be able to set up their own schools
  3. Shake-up of planning rules to release excess land for education purposes
  4. Allow smaller schools to be built
  5. Divert more money to children from disadvantaged areas
  6. New rewards for teachers educating the poorest pupils
  7. A ban on mixed-ability classes to ensure all subjects are "set" by ability
  8. A new reading test for all six-year-olds to identify those struggling with basic literacy
  9. Renewed focus on the back-to-basics phonics method of reading
  10. Reforms to the school inspection regime to provide more "scrutiny of under-performance"
  11. New rules on discipline banning independent appeals for pupils expelled from school"

"Sloppy dress is at the root of poor discipline in schools, David Cameron said yesterday in a policy document on education.  Teachers should act to stop children who walk around with their shirts hanging out or ties askew. The paper suggested that pupils should stand up automatically when a visitor enters the classroom, and that schools should all appoint head girls and boys." - Times

"The Conservatives' new education policy marks nothing less than a revolution in the supply side of schooling provision.  Modelled on the Swedish system, which permits a wide variety of organisations such as charities, voluntary groups and parents' co-operatives to open and run government-funded schools, this Tory initiative offers a serious structural alternative to local education authority domination of state education." - Telegraph leader

David Davis explains why he called for Ian Blair's resignation - Guardian

Donations to parties fall despite poll speculation - FT

Number 10 'muzzled' Foreign Office, say Tories - ePolitix

Huhne's reaction to the 'Calamity Clegg' messages put out in his name suggest a certain unpreparedness to run anything important...

"I was as shocked as anyone... You can't keep tabs on running a big campaign. One thing I have learnt in running an organisation is you have to delegate and trust people." - Independent

Clegg attacks Ashcroft's funding of the Conservatives

"Labour wants a settlement on party funding because it has been spooked by the Ashcroft millions – money currently pouring into marginal constituencies across Britain from the non-domiciled peer. The Conservative party used to be "made in Britain" but now appears to be "assembled in Belize"." - Independent

The former prime minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith, has died aged 88 - BBC | Telegraph

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

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