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31 Dec 2007 19:37:15

Happy New Year everyone!

Forgive us but tomorrow's newslinks won't be live until close to noon.  Let us leave you with this image from the year about to end...

Brownbottlesit...and The Telegraph's Robert Winnett has just predicted that Labour will go bankrupt in 2008!

31 Dec 2007 08:49:10

New Year's Eve 2007

1.45pm ToryDiary: Where are the Tories on the EU Treaty?

ToryDiary: Liam Fox welcomes ConservativeHome poll on national security

ThebestukvideosPlayPolitical: The ten best political videos of 2007 (UK)

HillaryclintongraphicBritainAndAmerica: An overview of Hillary Clinton's foreign policy priorities

Daniel Kawczynski MP on the Platform writes about how the Party should support the Belarus Popular Front:

"Margaret Thatcher's steadfast resolve in her dealings with the Soviets contributed in part to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. Our generation has to show solidarity with the people of Belarus so that they too can find freedom and democracy."

Cameron "won't let matters rest" after EU constitution has been signed

Eu_flag "David Cameron has given his clearest commitment yet to tearing up the revised EU Constitution if he wins power, even if it has been signed. The Conservative leader told the Daily Mail he will "not let matters rest" if Gordon Brown succeeds in forcing the controversial treaty through Parliament and into law. His intervention ratchets up the pressure on Mr Brown over the document which is likely to dominate debate at Westminster in the New Year." - Mail

"The Conservative leader said that the treaty - which critics claim is a revamped version of the defunct EU Constitution - is "wrong" and that his party would "address the issue". In the coming weeks the Commons will debate the Reform Treaty, which was signed by Gordon Brown earlier this month in Lisbon." - Telegraph

More marginal seats to be funded by Lord Ashcroft - Times

Cameron would face revolt if he opposed pay rise

"While Dave can't openly support the feeding frenzy of MPs filling their pockets, he has let it be known that he "will not stand in the way" of greedy politicians sticking their snouts in the trough until they choke. "David can't oppose a significant pay rise for MPs because he would have a full-scale mutiny on his hands," one veteran Tory MP told the Sunday Mirror. "Many of us will retire at the next general election and we need the increase to boost our pensions." Large numbers of the Tory old guard are standing down at the next general election to make way for Cameron's barmy blue army of Tofu-sucking, tree-cuddling, Notting Hill non-entities." - Mirror

Blairites starting to raise their heads above the parapet

"Leading Blairites have broken cover to urge Gordon Brown to stage a fightback as he was warned that David Cameron is now "resonating" with voters. Senior ministers David Miliband and Tessa Jowell warned that difficulties lay ahead for the Government unless it produced a clear vision for voters. Even Justice Secretary Jack Straw, a close ally of Mr Brown, told the Prime Minister to come up with fresh ideas after months of crises and dwindling public confidence." - Mail | Scotsman | FT

"Gordon Brown's biggest Blairite critics inside the Labour party have extended an olive branch to the Prime Minister in a bid to present a united front against the Conservatives." - Telegraph

Stability versus change

"The Conservatives have put forward policies from which large numbers of us would benefit: raising the inheritance tax threshold, allowing the creation of first-rate independent schools within the state sector, getting power back from Brussels and devolving it to local councils. But voters have not yet made the mental adjustment necessary to picture the Tories as governing ministers." - Telegraph leader

The West cannot afford cosy equivocation

Janet_daley "We must decide right now that this system of liberal democratic government, which has delivered almost everything that makes life in modern Europe and the Anglosphere so enviable that millions of people will risk their lives simply to set foot in those lands, is to be fought for and defended and disseminated throughout the world with every ounce of dedication that we can muster.Somehow we must get past the hideous obstacle of George Bush, whose bizarre misjudgments nearly succeeded in discrediting the whole concept of liberal interventionism: there is a sound reason why, in spite of Mr Bush, no serious contender for the White House (or for Downing Street, for that matter) will actually renounce the principle of free-world intervention." - Janet Daley in the Telegraph

It can only get better, can't it?

"The first is that it is extremely improbable that the next 12 months could be as embarrassing for the Government as were the past three months. There is (probably) no other Northern Rock lurking out there. There are a finite number of computer disks that any administration can misplace and these have been identified. The tally of curious individuals who have donated money to the Labour Party by dubious means has surely been exhausted." - Tim Hames in the Times

Paddick attacks Boris 'the clown' - Times

Hospitals admit 500 binge drinkers a day - Telegraph

Doctor calls for sex lessons for five year olds - Telegraph

Times writers recall their worst New Years Eves - Times

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

30 Dec 2007 08:49:15

Sunday 30th December 2007

9.15pm BritainAndAmerica: The American Soldier

1.15pm ToryDiary: Peter Ainsworth publishes the environmental heroes and zeroes of 2007

ToryDiary: Tory lead narrows in YouGov poll and Our picks of the year (II)

Obama BritainAndAmerica: In the second look at the foreign policy priorities of the leading presidential candidates, we turn to Barack Obama

Strawlong Jack Straw on the "resonating" policies of David Cameron

"A senior cabinet minister has admitted David Cameron’s campaign is “resonating” with the public and the government must “adapt” if it is to keep power.  After a disastrous autumn for Gordon Brown, in which the Tories took a convincing lead in the opinion polls, Jack Straw accepted in an interview with The Sunday Times that there had been “problems” that must be put right next year and that “clear progress” must be made."

Stephen Byers urges Blairites to support Brown

"'Tony Blair is history,' the former Blairite cabinet minister Stephen Byers writes in a remarkably frank article in today's Observer. 'He is the political past and will not be part of the future of domestic politics in our country.  '2008 will be a tough year. With Tony Blair gone from domestic politics, the task of leading Labour to victory falls to Gordon Brown. It is the responsibility of all of us who want to see a fourth election victory to give him our support.'"

Gordon Brown promises "serious" change in 2008 - BBC

"Brown tells Britain to prepare for 'global financial turbulence' in 2008. 'Our strong economy is the foundation,' Brown writes in his new year message. 'With unbending determination in 2008, we will steer a course of stability through global financial turbulence. The global credit problem that started in America is now the most immediate challenge for every economy.'" - Observer

The Independent on Sunday reports that the Government's programme will include the green light for nuclear power.

Full text of Gordon Brown's message.

PDF of David Cameron's New Year message.

Brown offers co-operation to Clegg

"Gordon Brown has offered to hold talks with the new Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, on constitutional reform in a move that is likely to fuel speculation of a new Lib-Lab pact to freeze out the Tories." - Observer

Party funding

"The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to study a Tory dossier that claims the unions are “ripping off” members by asking for inflated fees that are creamed off into Labour coffers... Jonathan Djanogly, shadow solicitor general, who sent the dossier to the OFT, said: “The Labour party is cashing in from shoddy fund-raising practices.”" - The Sunday Times

"A Finnish billionaire who inherited a fortune from the arms trade and has extensive gambling interests in Las Vegas has emerged as one of David Cameron’s major financial backers." - Sunday Times

David Davis steps up campaign to scrap ID cards

"If Gordon Brown picks one failure from his first six months to learn from, it should be the loss of 25m people’s personal details. If he makes one resolution for 2008, it should be to scrap his reckless plan to introduce compulsory ID cards." - The Shadow Home Secretary writing in The Sunday Times

Liam Fox outlines the building blocks for a real and lasting peace in Afghanistan - Sunday Telegraph

Gilmour The political year should not pass without a proper tribute to Lord Gilmour, one of the most trenchant Tory critics of Thatcherism - Alan Watkins in The Independent on Sunday

Catholic bishops called before MPs to explain their "doctrinaire" approach to education

"Roman Catholic bishops are to appear in front of a powerful committee of MPs amid fears that they are pushing a fundamentalist brand of their religion in schools. Bishops have called on parents, teachers and priests to strengthen the role of religion in education. In one case the Bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O'Donoghue, instructed Catholic schools across much of north-west England to stop 'safe-sex' education and place crucifixes in all classrooms." - Observer

Concern at Catholic policies comes at a time when the Government's approach to teenage pregnancies is shown to have failed - Sunday Telegraph


Q. What's better than kissing a baby for a politician?
A. Helping baby lambs to be born.

The Mail on Sunday has the story of David Cameron helping a local farmer with a pregnant ewe.

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

29 Dec 2007 08:48:20

Saturday 29th December 2007

11.15am ToryDiary: The Guardian-isation of Christmas?

ToryDiary: Our picks of the year (I)

Johnmccainworldview_2 In the first of a series of daily posts, BritainAndAmerica will be summarising the key foreign policy recommendations of the leading candidates to be America's 44th President.  We begin with John McCain.

PlayPolitical: World leaders react to Benazir Bhutto's assassination

From yesterday evening: Lynton Crosby returns to help run Boris Johnson's campaign

Shapps Profile of Grant Shapps MP: "Mr Shapps's energy has caught the eye of Mr Cameron. He has recovered from the setback of being the man who ran the Ealing Southall by-election for the Tories last July. It was one of the staging posts of Cameron's Summer of Discontent, along with the row over grammar schools." - Telegraph

Doubts raised about MPs deciding when Britain goes to war

"Parliament must not be allowed to decide when Britain goes to war, two former defence chiefs insist today.  Strong opposition to a war powers act, modelled on the US statute and being considered by the Brown government, is voiced by Lord Guthrie, chief of the defence staff under Tony Blair, and Sir Kevin Tebbit, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence." - Guardian

Peter Oborne's 2008 Almanac

  • February: "Gordon Brown's Government suffers heavy defeat in the Commons over plans for detaining terror suspects without charge for 42 days, following a huge rebellion by Labour MPs."
  • March: "Labour's standing in the polls collapses to 28 per cent - 20 points lower than the Tories and worse than under the leadership of Michael Foot."
  • May: "Labour loses hundreds of seats in local elections. Massive victory for Conservatives after Boris Johnson, to widespread amazement, sweeps to victory as London mayor."
  • August: "Nick Clegg loses his job."
  • August: "Hillary Clinton's presidential bid collapses amid chaotic scenes at the Democratic Convention in Denver, after her party concludes she is unelectable."
  • December: "Tory MP Quentin Davies, who defected to Labour when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, unsuccessfully attempts to rejoin the Tories."

Read Peter Oborne's other predictions in today's Daily Mail.

Andrew Grice offers some advice to Gordon Brown (as if written by Tony Blair)

"Don't let Prime Minister's Questions dominate your whole week. I never watch it these days, but I thought you got the measure of Cameron in the last session before Christmas. I know it's against your instincts, but try a bit of self-deprecating humour in front of the mirror beforehand. If it worked for me, it can work for you!" - Independent

"Don't write Brown off yet" - The Daily Mail proves its Editor's continuing openness to Gordon Brown with today's leader

Tom Kelly, Alastair Campbell's successor, honoured - BBC

"Gordon Brown has, in effect, ended the Prime Minister's right to nominate people for peerages and issued a New Year honours list that sticks with recommendations made by committee." - Independent

Questions raised over Speaker's wife's £4,000 taxi bills - Times

Why do the Brits shy away from leading the Anglosphere? - John O'Sullivan in The Telegraph

Soldiers are to be offered interest-free Government loans to help them get a foot on the housing ladder - Daily Mail

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

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