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31 Jul 2008 08:37:28

Thursday 31st July 2008

6.15pm ToryDiary: Parallels with 1995-97 (and differences)

4.30pm Seats and candidates: Labour's John Austin MP will quit at next election

Whatnext Racheljoyce Top-up payments for healthcare and a stronger role for matron are two of the ideas in our special Platform on the future of Tory healthcare policy. Simon Chapman, Nadine Dorries MP, Andrew Haldenby and Dr Rachel Joyce all contribute.

Greg Hands MP on CentreRight wants his DNA back:  "A new report shows that I am one of more than a million entirely innocent people on the DNA database, which also includes 100,000 children."

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Sky's new opinion poll tracker

Three PlayPolitical videos:

Steve Richards: The Labour leadership battle has begun

"Brown is trapped in a narrative from which there is no escape. The polls will not improve greatly in the autumn and yet this period is now being seen as his defining test. Meanwhile the leadership question drowns out all other ministerial messages. Suddenly one question overwhelms all others: How to end the noise? There is a single answer. Fairly or not, and whatever the risks, only cathartic change brings the chance of calm. Miliband's intervention makes it more likely than not that Labour will have a new leader by the end of the year." - Steve Richards in The Independent

Brown's allies brief against Miliband

Miliband_david_red_tie "Gordon Brown's allies yesterday accused David Miliband of self-serving disloyalty and weakening the prime minister's authority after the foreign secretary provoked a firestorm of speculation over his leadership ambitions with an article in the Guardian calling on Labour to find a new forward vision to defeat the Tories." - Guardian

Writing in The Sun George Osborne accuses Labour of putting political ambition before the urgent interests of the nation.

The Telegraph profiles the team behind Miliband.

A Times leader worries about his commitment to the state: "His years at Mr Blair's side have made him a reformer, but one who believes firmly in government action. His article yesterday asserts the need for “government to act as a catalyst”, describes “the political creed of the Labour Party” as “combining government action and personal freedom” and suggests that social justice and better public services are inconsistent with deregulation and lower spending. His confidence in the State is striking."

A Government minister questions the timidity of Brown's first year

"The only way forward now is bold Labour. What we want to see is the Gordon Brown of Bank of England independence, SureStart and Make Poverty History. I think that his responsibility is to provide the bold and decisive leadership that we now need." - Ivan Lewis MP talking to The Independent

Ian Blair hits back at attempts to oust him

"Sir Ian Blair yesterday warned that his post as commissioner of the Metropolitan police was becoming increasingly politicised and that plans by the London mayor, Boris Johnson, to take more control of the force could ultimately be damaging.  The commissioner was speaking as it emerged that an aide to the mayor had to be reined in by a lawyer from seeking Blair's suspension over allegations of cronyism." - Guardian

Tory press officer attempts to fix newspaper poll - Independent

Is the Conservative Party cooling on the green agenda?

"Green campaigners smelt a rat in May after Mr Cameron failed to mention the words "environment" or "climate change" in a 1,200-word statement about his priorities for government." - Andrew Grice in The Independent

Whittingdale_john John Whittingdale leads MPs' call for internet firms to police 'dark side' of web

"The internet industry must take more responsibility for protecting young people from the "dark side" of digital content relating to abuse, violence and suicide, according to a committee of MPs... The committee chairman, John Whittingdale, criticised YouTube for not going far enough with proactive measures, beyond a pledge to take down material when it is "flagged" up by users." - Guardian

"Both Labour and the Conservatives have abandoned the less privileged and created an 'underclass'" - John Rutherford in The Guardian

Vince Cable urges the end of higher charging for pre-payment energy users - Independent

We'll pay a high price for free-trade failure - Peter Mandelson in The Telegraph


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

30 Jul 2008 08:56:33

Wednesday 30th July 2008

3.15pm PlayPolitical: David Miliband tells Sky News that his controversial Guardian article was an attack on David Cameron, not Gordon Brown. Anyone believe him?

Andrewmitchell 3pm Andrew Mitchell MP updates ConHome readers with a progress report from the Conservative social action project in Rwanda

2.45pm Peter Cuthbertson on CentreRight: In Hobbesian Britain, carrying a knife is often rational

2pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight: Labour are undermining at least 50% of Britain's historic core values

11am Dan Lewis on CentreRight: In economic policy, is Obama to the left of Gordon Brown?

Picture_39 10am PlayPolitical video: Watch Ed Balls skipping

ToryDiary: Labour's leadership crisis

Farmer David Eyles, writing for The Platform, worries about charging people for merely possessing a knife.

Two PlayPolitical videos:

David Miliband: Labour needs to change and change now

"David Miliband, seen as a frontrunner to succeed Gordon Brown if he resigns, today intervenes in the debate about Labour's future saying "the times demand a radical new phase" from the government if it is beat the electoral odds and win a fourth term." - The Foreign Secretary doesn't mention Gordon Brown once in an article for The Guardian

Cameron focuses on local media while holidaying in South West

"David Cameron relaxed into his British beach holiday yesterday with a televised shopping trip, a national radio phone-in and an interview with 70 readers of a local newspaper." - Times

Picture_38_2 "Conservative party leader David Cameron today set out his pitch for Westcountry votes in a unique event with Western Morning News readers. In a wide-ranging hour-long session he fielded questions on the European Union and water bills, rural housing and post office closures tearing the heart out of rural areas.  He backed the use of wind farms to help the environment, criticised the cost of the new logo for the Cornwall super-council and said a cull of diseased badgers could help to tackle TB in cattle herds in the Westcountry." - Western Morning News

Let children drink at home, says David Cameron

"Some of the friends I had, the ones who had the biggest problems, were the ones who actually were never allowed to drink anything at home - whereas the ones who drink responsibly were the ones who were given a glass of wine or a small glass of beer or a shandy or something. That's the right way to do it in the home." - Speaking to Radio 1 yesterday, quoted in The Telegraph

Johnson_boris_pointing Boris Johnson's aides plot to suspend Met Chief Blair - Times

Andrew Grice's five part review of Tory policies turns to schools and hospitals today - Independent

Part 1 on the broken society | Part 2 on the economy

Reuben brothers give Tories nearly £200,000 - FT

Grant Shapps accuses Labour of using HIPS to deliver backdoor council tax revaluation

"Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps, said: "Behind the smokescreen of HIPs, Labour's real agenda is to build up a property database of every home. Property Information Questionnaires are most likely just another way of conducting Labour's controversial council tax revaluation and re-banding by the backdoor.
"The public will be clobbered twice – once for a costly Home Information Pack and then again in the form of higher council tax bills for home improvements and their parking spaces."" - Telegraph

"How tax credits hit the rocks" - Sue Cameron in the FT examines the failure of one of Brown's flagship policies

Labour's English problem

Images "With all the political attention paid to the Celtic fringe of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, Labour sometimes lost sight of the simple fact that four-fifths of the British population live in England. And the English are once more ceasing to vote Labour.  This may be the single most important fact about the last general election. Labour won another national majority of seats, and indeed they won a large majority of English seats - but the Tories gained marginally more popular votes than Labour in England. The full result was startling. In May 2005, Labour won 286 out of 529 English seats with 8.05m votes, or 35.5% of the popular vote; Tories 194 seats with 8.10m votes or 35.7%, Liberal Democrats 47 seats, with 5.201m or 22.9%." - Geoffrey Wheatcroft in The Guardian

Failure of Doha

"The failure of the talks is economically disastrous and could be politically destabilising. A deal could have been worth several hundred billion dollars in increased global activity, a fillip that national economies could use now." - Telegraph leader

PLEASE NOTE: Samuel Coates is no longer working for ConservativeHomeAll email to Tim Montgomerie please.


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

29 Jul 2008 09:04:11

Tuesday 29th July 2008

Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: How and why the Church of England will split

5pm ToryDiary: Conservatives to the right, LibDems to the left, SNP to the north

5pm PlayPolitical videos: McCain ads attack Barack Obama for (1) inexperience, (2) hypocrisy

4.30pm CentreRight updates:

1pm PlayPolitical videos: Harriet Harman explains why she wants to toughen the law for men who kill unfaithful wives and soften the law for wives who kill violent husbands and Should Brown step down?

Lunchtime updates on CentreRight: Tim Montgomerie isn't worried about overpopulation and Peter Whittle is looking for cultural distractions from economic difficulties

James_morris_2 11.15am Seats and candidates: James Morris adopted for Halesowen and Rowley Regis

10.45am Suleiman R Shah writes his first entry for CentreRight: Wake up and smell the Lassi: "The Australian Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, described the Afghan-Pak border region as the "the current international hotbed of terrorism" in a press conference with Condi Rice last week. This was an understatement. It's not just the border region, but increasingly Pakistan proper."

10am Graeme Archer on CentreRight: A disabled health service

ToryDiary: Could a Miliband-Johnson 'dream ticket' revive Labour?

Greg Hands MP on CentreRight: Why are guidebooks so left-wing?

Chrisgraylingmp Chris Grayling MP on Platform: We must end the extreme deprivation of Britain's cities

Local government: Pickles attacks plans to re-unionise local government

PlayPolitical video: Pro-Obama advert from is aimed at youth market and is set to air on Comedy Central, 'Hope could happen to you'

SNP and Tories deny reports of secret talks

Salmond_alex "A senior Salmond aide said: "It is a ludicrous report and the exact opposite of the truth. The SNP is currently the only party the Tories are not having discussions with, given that they are in the Calman Commission with Labour and the Liberal Democrats." - Herald

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Annabel Goldie denies secret talks with the SNP

"The Labour Party in Scotland will be more independent of party bosses in Westminster in the future if the three main contenders for the leadership get their way" - Scotsman

Andrew Grice continues his week-long examination of Tory policies with a focus on the economy - The Independent

Labour has stolen the Tory policy of crime mapping, they should also steal the elected police chiefs policy - Telegraph leader

The Guardian says Labour MPs are not ready to go public against Brown

"The Labour party appeared to rally round its troubled leader yesterday, as MPs sought to deny the existence of a list of names being sent to the cabinet calling on them to urge Gordon Brown to quit." - Guardian

But Rachel Sylvester, in The Times, finds little loyalty for Brown: "There is little residual loyalty towards the Prime Minister among his Cabinet. “I don't think Gordon would die in a ditch for me so why should I die in a ditch for him?” one minister said."

Boris Johnson sees two years of leadership speculation ahead

"For most of the next two years, it can be confidently predicted, the story of the Labour Government will be about coups and plots and Cabinet rivals warring for succession. One day we will be told that the armies of Hattie Harperson are mustering in the wings; the next day the media will be talking up the claims of Geoff Hoon - "Who Hoon?", as Lenin so pungently put it.  One day a female columnist will announce that Miliband has the magnetic good looks to see off Cameron; and the next day a rival female columnist will proclaim that, on the contrary, James Purnell is the man, what with his sideburns and his interesting views on welfare reform." - Boris Johnson in The Telegraph

Is it Brown? Darling? Harman? Who's in charge?

The Telegraph reports on confusion as to who is running the country during the PM's summer break.

Gg385_375144a Cheeky youths collar Gordon Brown for photo-op - Times

"Business cheers Brown's policy on unions"

"Gordon Brown was on Monday praised by business for resisting “the worst” union demands on policy, but urged to stand his ground in the run-up to this autumn’s politically charged party conference season... The relaxed business reaction was in stark contrast to a Tory briefing document that on Monday proclaimed the resurrection of a Labour party in hock to its historic paymasters." - FT

Harriet Harman wants softer sentences for domestic abuse victims who murder their partners - ePolitix

The Sun wants tax cuts

"UNIONS and Leftie MPs want Gordon Brown to hammer the rich and impose a windfall tax on banks and energy moguls... The Treasury already grabs a huge slice of the cash pouring into Britain from these giants. And if we hit high earners, we will lose some of our biggest wealth creators.  As a nation, we already pay too much tax. Too much is squandered by incompetent ministers.  What we need is value for money, an attack on waste — plus the TAX CUTS such a policy could deliver." - The Sun Says

Welsh Assembly making too frequent requests for transfers of power from Westminster - Western Mail

PLEASE NOTE: Samuel Coates is no longer working for ConservativeHomeAll email to Tim Montgomerie please.


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

28 Jul 2008 09:04:44

Monday 28th July 2008

Alex Deane on CentreRight: A second Labour MP calls on Brown to go

5.15pm ToryDiary: Annabel Goldie denies secret talks with SNP

Picture_30 3.15pm PlayPolitical: A taste of things to come... Harriet Harman is (Acting) PM?

3pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: Our train network is a total disgrace

12.45pm ToryDiary: The right and wrong ways to attack Labour

10am Matt Sinclair on CentreRight lifts the veil on the huge advertising budgets now enjoyed by the "eco-socialists"

ToryDiary: Ten opinion poll findings

Stephen O'Brien MP on Platform: The end of life care strategy

Two PlayPolitical videos:

Brown faces massive leadership speculation...

Labour needs a new leader, even if that means a coup - Jackie Ashley in The Guardian

HarmanjohnsonmilibandChoose Harriet Harman says William Rees-Mogg in The Times: "Labour has to change the climate of debate. It seems to me that a woman candidate would, from her gender, have a better chance of doing that than any of the men."

"It is almost impossible for Mr Brown to cling on. It is also almost impossible to displace him." - Bruce Anderson, in The Independent, explains why he can't see Brown winning or being ousted.

Janet Daley, in The Telegraph, can see Brown being dumped and looks forward to a Labour Party that challenges the Tories with a reforming agenda.

Tory defector Shaun Woodward becomes unlikely confidant to Brown - Telegraph he offers concessions on minimum wage and time off to his union paymasters

Weakened Gordon Brown gives in to union demands - Times

Melanie Phillips: The Tories are still following, not leading

Phillips_melanie_official "What are the Tories saying, for example, about the fundamental onslaught upon the integrity and identity of the United Kingdom posed by both devolution and our membership of the EU, which aims to reduce nations to regions controlled from the centre by the super-state of Euroland? They are silent. What are they saying about Labour's ruinous levels of public spending? Pledging to match them. What are they saying about the obsession with global warming which has produced ruinous policies on land use which have pushed up the cost of food? They share it. Far from providing a clear and principled alternative, the new model Tories still defer too much to fashionable opinion; are still terrified of offending that opinion - particularly in the BBC; and are still following rather than leading." - Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail

Chris Grayling: Gulf between rich and poor wider  than Victorian times

"The Conservatives claim their research, based on Government figures produced by Oxford University, shows the scale of the divide. In areas of central London 99.55 per cent of children are officially classified as living in poverty, whereas in other parts of the same area the figure is just 0.64 per cent." - Telegraph

"Can Cameron's formula fix the 'broken' society?"

Andrew Grice writes an extended examination of Tory social policy in The Independent

Cheryl Gillan defends continuation of Welsh Office...

Gillan_cheryl_new "Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said: “I think the role should exist and I would argue the case for it because I think Wales needs a strong voice at Cabinet level. If you’re suggesting they get rid of Gwydyr House [the Wales Office’s London headquarters] and downgrade Wales in any way, I would be disappointed. Quite frankly, if Labour does make that move it will say everything about what Wales means to Labour. In Wales, we will have to see how David Cameron wants to respond to it. He must do as he sees fit, but he’s never given me the impression that he wants to downgrade it in any way.”" - Western Mail

...while the SNP plan for independence:

"Alex Salmond has demanded the drawing up of plans to help prepare for independence by splitting the Scottish civil service from its UK-wide structure." - Telegraph

Derek Conway given twelve months to repay money paid to his son

Conway_derek_long "Shamed Tory MP Derek Conway has been given a year to repay taxpayers' cash he wrongly used to bankroll his family. Mr Conway was ordered to hand back £13,160 from wages he paid to son Freddie after an inquiry found no evidence the student had done any work as a researcher. But Commons officials are letting the MP repay the cash in 12 instalments of £1,096 taken from his monthly pay." - Mirror

Energy firms conspire to raise prices says Cttee of MPs chaired by Peter Luff - Times

38% of voters most blame Government for rising fuel prices - ePolitix

Surge in equal pay claims is causing financial headache for local councils - FT

Is Barack Obama for real?

“The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.”  That’s brilliant. We all want that. Except that it ain’t gonna happen any time soon. Certainly not this century. Even under a new Messiah.  It is this sort of overblown idealistic rhetoric that makes me worry — and the evidence that people are gullible enough to swallow it." - Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun

"Mr Obama has almost single-handedly resurrected the importance of proper speech-making" - Michael Gove in The Times

Yesterday on CentreRight: Essential reading for Obamacons

And finally, our Hello! moment for the day...

Camerononholiday The Sun has photographs of the Camerons relaxing on holiday.

PLEASE NOTE: Samuel Coates is no longer working for ConservativeHomeAll email to Tim Montgomerie please.


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

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