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31 Mar 2008 08:56:07

Monday 31st March 2008

11pm ToryDiary: Tories 7% ahead in ComRes poll for The Independent

4.30pm Seats and candidates: Most women in top MEP slots received fewer votes than male rivals

2.30pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: 'If there is a recession, how bad could it be?'

1pm LondonMayor: You can take a journalist out of The Mirror but you can't take The Mirror out of the journalist

Changeforlondon Noon LondonMayor: Cameron backs Boris


11.30am CentreRight:

Local Government: Cllr Nick Cuff on the lack of local accountability for local policing

"The modern political marketplace is a competitive, open environment for ideas where previously business, government and other groups occupied their own spheres. Political leaders need to see themselves as wider influencers and be porous enough to exploit the competence and skill that is embedded in the system, both within and outside Government."

Platform: Elizabeth Truss looks at how new media is already changing society

ToryDiary: How well will the BNP do in May's elections?

Seats and Candidates: Will CCHQ publish the full results of last week's MEP selections?

Conservatives to try forcing a vote on scrapping HIPs

"Home Information Packs are taking weeks to produce and costing far more than the Government predicted, according to a report from estate agents. Some of the packs are costing more than £500 and more than half are over the target price of £350. And only one in eight is being produced within the predicted time of four to five working days. Fifty-two per cent are taking 12 days, the report claims, while 31 per cent are taking longer than 15 working days." - Mail

Replacing the BBC Trust with a Public Service Broadcasting Commission

Bbc_trust "The BBC will lose millions of pounds under a broadcasting shake-up planned by the Tories, it emerged last night. Rival TV companies will be able to bid for licence fee cash to provide quality programmes. David Cameron wants to end the Beeb’s monopoly of the £3.2billion paid annually." - Sun

"The BBC would be forced to share the £3.2billion proceeds of the licence fee and scale back its dominant presence on the Internet under radical proposals by the Tories. The party also said commercial broadcasters which did not receive public money should no longer have to be politically impartial." - Mail

Yesterday's ToryDiary: Tory consultation paper proposes ending BBC's monopoly.

Conway faces inquiry into use of housing allowance

"Derek Conway, the disgraced Tory MP, faces a second Parliamentary inquiry into his use of expenses after it was disclosed that he pocketed a six-figure windfall from the sale of a property, understood to have been subsidised by the taxpayer. He is believed to have remortgaged his "second home" - a central London flat partly funded by the taxpayer - which was used to buy another semi-detached house in Kent." - Telegraph

Bureaucrats fining businesses

Alan_duncan "A proposed law giving unelected officials powers to punish people for offences without going to court was attacked by Conservatives last night. Senior Tories said the legislation, which will give civil servants the power to issue fines, was “unjust and oppressive” and could cause “untold misery” for businesses." - Express

Party denies electoral strategy that ignores North

"Conservative Central Office last night rejected claims that the Tories have given up on the North of England. Reports yesterday suggested that the Conservative Party has drawn up plans to snub voters in the region - focusing instead on winnable seats in the South and the Midlands." - Northern Echo (See yesterday's Sunday Mirror for more)

Public mood has changed on tax

"Whatever happened to all those people who used to say that they would be Happy To Pay More Tax? Remember them? They were a notable feature of virtually every opinion poll for a good 10 years. Mr Brown has, I suspect, been relying heavily on the HTPMT brigade to sustain him through his years as PM just as he believed he could rely on them as Chancellor. Now, 67 per cent of people are telling the pollsters they believe they are paying too much tax. The rest of them are presumably lying, or else they are living on benefits." - Janet Daley in the Telegraph

Brown to steady nerves at PLP meeting

"The prime minister will use an appearance at the weekly meeting of the parliamentary Labour party to assure MPs that the government remains on course for what he has described as the "tough decisions" of 2008." - Guardian

Cabinet considers snap referendum on the Union

"Senior members of Gordon Brown’s Cabinet have discussed the idea of holding an immediate referendum on Scottish independence, but have ruled it out on the ground that such a move would only play into the hands of the SNP." - Times


Owen Paterson MP writes a diary of his week as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Who is winning the left vs right battles?

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

30 Mar 2008 09:01:13

Sunday 30th March 2008

Wherethefpgraphic 11.30am ToryDiary: Who is winning the left v right battles?

ToryDiary: Tory consultation paper proposes ending the BBC monopoly

Paterson_owen_2 Owen Paterson MP on Platform describes a Week In His Life As Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary

Nile Gardiner on CentreRight: Des Browne appeases the Taliban

ConservativeHome continues to ask for more information about the gerrymandered MEP selection process.  Although difficult to confirm, we have already been told that Vicky Ford and Marina Yannakoudakis were given higher rankings by CCHQ than men who received more votes than them.

PlayPolitical: CNN report on Hillary Clinton's refusal to quit the race for the Democratic nomination


(1) Government minister Ivan Lewis sets out manifesto for Labour recovery...

  • "Policies on crime and poverty ahead of global warming.
  • Ten years in prison for people carrying guns and knives.
  • Foreign criminals to be deported immediately.
  • A government that fights for people's rights if they are ripped off.
  • Equal rights for white men at work"

Read the full article in the News of the World.

Portillo (2) Michael Portillo warns of big trouble ahead for MPs when their expenses are revealed...

"The House of Commons is headed for catastrophe. When the details of members’ expense claims are published, as they are bound to be under freedom of information laws, the public will be appalled. They will see that MPs help themselves to allowances as thinly disguised bonuses."

Read the full article in The Sunday Times.

Michael Gove condemns Labour's approval of sale of 19 schools' playing fields last year

"It is ironic that the government is selling off school playing fields on the eve of a campaign to get children to lead more active lives. The planning rules need to be changed to make it easier to set up schools and use them for education and recreation. At the moment, the government's whole approach doesn't protect what we have, or allow for expansion where it's needed." - Quoted in The Observer

Nick Herbert pledges to stop releasing terrorists early - Observer

John Rentoul: Labour is winning all of the big arguments

"Labour has won the intellectual argument on education, in that the Tories no longer want to go back to selection. It has won the argument about poverty, because the Tories want to abolish child poverty too, instead of dismissing it as a utopian dream. And the argument about tax cuts versus public spending has been resolved in Labour's favour." - Independent on Sunday

Johnson_alan_purple Alan Johnson to announce 'voucher system' for patients with acute medical conditions - Sunday Telegraph

Positive reaction from The Sunday Telegraph's leader writers: "Mr Johnson's plan to give patients the power to choose which hospital will treat them has the potential to end that dismal situation for good. But it will do so only if patients are properly informed. We hope and expect the Government to provide all of the necessary information."

"The Army's most hard-pressed fighting units are losing more than 1,000 troops a year through drug abuse and desertion"

"Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP and a former infantry commander, said: "Only one in 10 who walk into an Army recruiting office actually make it into the infantry.  They are a highly valuable resource and to lose this number when they are facing the brunt of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is a terribly serious blow to the Army."" - Sunday Telegraph

Infighting within 10 Downing Street intensifies - The Sunday Times

Christian charity funds twelve interns for MPs including Caroline Spelman - The Independent on Sunday

Mark Thatcher, the son of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, has married again in a secret ceremony in Gibraltar - Reuters

On this day in 1978 the Tories recruited Saatchi & Saatchi to be their advertisers - BBC

"Widespread" evidence of illegal immigrants working in care homes - Sky

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

29 Mar 2008 08:59:12

Saturday 29th March 2008

Cleggnickonnewsnight_3 2pm ToryDiary: LibDems are to the left of Labour

Platform: Tom Mludzinski on nuclear disarmament

Seats and Candidates: The story of MEP candidate selection

PlayPolitical: Barack Obama denies Democrat contest has got dirty

Have you voted in the March survey yet?

The prospect of Boris beating Livingstone

Boris_ken_3 "The race is far from over but in Downing Street there is a weary anticipation that the incumbent will lose. Some will claim that Mr Brown’s allies are seeking to depress expectations and rally opposition to the Tory candidate in talking up the threat to Mr Livingstone." - Times

"The symbolic effect would be huge. Not since 1979 would there have been such a big gain by the Tories from Labour - and a gain at the heart of world-famous territory that Labour believes it owns. Mayor Boris would represent generational change in favour of the Tories more strikingly than anyone since Margaret Thatcher misquoted Francis of Assisi on the steps of Number 10 nearly 30 years ago." - Charles Moore in the Telegraph

Cameron's speech on the economy

"Britain is heading for tougher economic times, yet Gordon Brown has failed to prepare for the downturn, David Cameron has warned." - Telegraph

"Tory leader David Cameron yesterday promised a new era of “economic dynamism” in his efforts to woo business leaders." - Express

Brown stressing over polls

"Equally worrying to ministers and Labour MPs is the state of mind of the messenger himself. Desperate to improve Labour's fortunes, Mr Brown is hardly sleeping. His fingernails bitten to the quick, he barks down the phone at callers and most mornings has fired off dozens of bad-tempered emails to officials before 5am. Anecdotes abound of Mr Brown roaming Number 10 in the middle of the night grumbling about why the doors to the Cabinet room are locked." - Toby Helm in the Telegraph

How Harlow's 'GMTV families' are deserting Brown - Telegraph

The ditherer tag hurts Brown

"Every week Mr Cameron plugs away with his “dither and delay” strategy and it is beginning to stick. For, like all the best slurs, there is truth in it. Just as alarmingly for No 10, there also seems to be an almost uncanny growing resemblance between Mr Brown and Mr Bean." - Ann Treneman in the Times

The increasingly bearable lightness of being George Osborne

"The japes and one-liners, along with his age, at first made him seem mischievously slight. They also called into question the key quality that any shadow chancellor needs to project, especially if he wants to lure voters from the known quantity of an incumbent government at a time of economic gloom: sober judgment. Yet even some of his opponents concede that Mr Osborne has matured since taking on the job in 2005." - Economist

Cameron having a couple of pints of bitter

"On the face of it, re-opening a pub wouldn't appear too onerous task for a self-styled "man of the people". But somehow Tory leader David Cameron managed to make having a mid-afternoon pint look more uncomfortable than a grilling in the House of Commons" - Mail

The Church and politics

"Atheists and believers do not have to be locked in destructive political combat. Politicians listen to scientists, to the military, even to economists. If politics is to play its role in overcoming evil, then it must also listen to the Church. For 2,000 years the Church has grown as an “expert in humanity”, notably thanks to her patient listening in the confessional, in her apostolate with the sick and the poor, and in her experience of persecution." - Former PPC James Mawdsley in the Times

The Speaker must go

Michael_martin_speaker_2 "It is not his misinterpretation of procedure that disqualifies him, nor his touchiness, nor his partisanship - though, taken cumulatively, all these have served to undermine his position. Nor should he resign over rows concerning his wife's use of his allowances. Such rows are undignified and distracting, but not hanging offences.No, the reason Mr Martin should step down is that he is meant to be the representative and agent of parliamentary supremacy." - Telegraph leader

Terrorists released to ease overcrowding

"Urgent changes were made to the Government’s early-release scheme for prisoners last night after the disclosure that two terrorists had been freed before the end of their sentences. The two releases are embarrassing for ministers. Next week Parliament is to debate giving police powers to detain terrorist suspects for up to 42 days." - Times

"The decision to award early release to a man jailed for a terrorist offence was attacked by the Conservatives yesterday. The Ministry of Justice confirmed Yassin Nassari, who was arrested at Luton Airport with blueprints for a rocket in his luggage, was freed 17 days early." - Herald

Cameron calls for inquiry into humiliating T5 opening - Guardian

Meet the single mum who is the BBC's new Economics Editor - Mail

British planes strafe Basra - Times

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

28 Mar 2008 08:55:25

Friday 28th March 2008

6.30pm PlayPolitical: David Cameron discusses Labour's failure to "reassure" on the economy

Douglasmurrayfitna 4.45pm CentreRight: Douglas Murray on Geert Wilders' 'Fitna'

4.45pm Seats and candidates: Request for full transparency of MEP selection ballot

3.45pm ToryDiary: Conservative support is broader but not much deeper

2.15pm ToryDiary: Our March survey is now live

Mepballotgraphic12.45pm Seats and candidates: MEP rankings announced today

12pm LondonMayor: Bookies backing away from Livingstone

10am CentreRight: Charlie Elphicke highlights the importance of today's speech from David Cameron on the economy

10am: We thought the Mirror story was petty but this is quite funny.... has created Dangerous Dave's Run The Red Light Cycling Game

Gersonfpgraphic ToryDiary: Will McCain learn from Cameron's social justice agenda? and Tories maintain large lead in latest YouGov poll

John Leonard on Platform: Reducing the number of MPs would be bad for democracy

Parliament: Nigel Evans and Peter Bottomley sign EDM opposing gay Iranian's extradition

PlayPolitical video: Hillary Clinton seen shooting snipers in new video mocking her "dangerous" visit to Bosnia

Cameron_arms_up David Cameron: Tax relief is third priority after higher spending and reduced borrowing

"Mr Cameron said that he wanted to cut the size of the state but that reducing borrowing would come before tax cuts.  “Using the tax burden is never a good idea because you can reduce or increase the tax burden depending on what you do with government borrowing,” he said. “It is not a good measure of our success.”" - FT

"Conservative leader David Cameron is to call for "a new economic strategy" to help the UK's companies create jobs as well as opportunities to succeed.  He is expected to demand better infrastructure for firms in areas such as transport, to move goods around, and education, to nurture new talent." - BBC

Greg Clark MP: Tax credits do not cure poverty, they disguise it

"Tax credits may be the real achilles heal for Labour because people get stuck in low paid jobs without the prospect of financial or skills progress. You get into this undesirable equilibrium where people are in work but need income support. That is not poverty cured, that is poverty disguised." - Greg Clark MP quoted in The Guardian

Gmtv The new target political group: The GMTV family

"They do not want a government to interfere in their lives. They want to send their children to a school without the risk that they will be knifed. They want reassurance that they will not lose their job to India. They want protection from terrorists. They are worried about immigration levels." - Identified in The Telegraph

Scottish Labour's Wendy Alexander gives game away for 2010 election - Telegraph

Tories should not oppose electoral reform for the House of Lords and local government - Iain Dale in The Telegraph

Preferential votes give Tories cause to consider poll reform - Peter Riddell in The Times

Could the LibDems win Henley if Boris becomes Mayor? - Andrew Sparrow in The Guardian

"Of [business people] polled, 62 per cent would prefer the Tory candidate to win, with 24 per cent opting for Mr Livingstone and 15 per cent for Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate." - Independent

Brownsarkozy Sarkozy visit: The Europhilia and the questionable troops promise

Sarkozy embarrasses Brown by praising his 'great job on the EU Treaty' - Daily Mail

Con Coughlin pours cold water on the French President's offer of more troops for Afghanistan: "At present, the 1,500 French troops in Afghanistan are nowhere near the main area of action, where the thankless task of trying to subjugate the Taliban has been left to the British, American, Canadian, Dutch and Danish troops in the south of the country.  But then, those who have dealt with Mr Sarkozy before on these issues have found that the headline-grabbing promises he makes during high-profile meetings with foreign leaders in reality don't amount to very much." - Telegraph

Church and science don't have to be at war - Mark Pritchard MP in The Telegraph

White working-class teenagers perform worse than their black and Asian classmates at GCSEs - Guardian

Mark Thatcher faces new extradition threat to Equatorial Guinea - Telegraph

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

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