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30 Sep 2008 08:57:47

Tuesday 30th September 2008

3.15pm WATCH: Cameron's 12 minute speech on the economic crisis

2.45pm CentreRight updates:

11.15am ToryDiary: David Cameron makes emergency statement to Conference

Graeme Archer on CentreRight reviews The Guardian's 'Who is the top Tory?' debate and the Conservative Humanist Association event with Richard Dawkins


Raisetaxes Matthew Elliott, John Glen, Jill Kirby and Oliver Marc Hartwich on Platform: Do we need to raise taxes?

Local government: Cllr Hugh Hunter, leader of South Ayrshire Council, on his Council's approach to fighting crime

WATCH: Three minute ITN video includes interview with Theresa Villiers and highlights of George Osborne's speech, a Channel 4 report on the Tories' chance of success in Birmingham and House of Representatives rejects $700bn bailout plan for banks' toxic debt

AmericaInTheWorld: An international consensus against Sino-authoritarianism

Tory lead down to 12% - Independent | Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

George Osborne's speech and promise of two year freeze of council tax

Picture_9 "Council tax bills would be frozen for two years under Conservative proposals aimed at helping middle-income families to cope with the economic downturn. The tax freeze would mean a saving of £70 in the first year for an average household in a Band D property." - Times

"The Tories' 40-page Reconstruction: Plan for a Strong Economy is the most important publication from the party in opposition since The Right Approach to the Economy, produced by the Thatcher economic team more than 30 years ago." - Peter Riddell in The Times

'The Sun Says' that the Tories will have to cut the bloated public sector (ConservativeHome reached the same conclusion yesterday).

Dominic Grieve to scrap police health and safety laws

"Health and safety laws that police officers say have stopped them intervening in crimes or to save lives will be reformed, the Conservatives will pledge today. The rules will also be changed to protect people who intervene to stop a crime facing arrest and charges." - Telegraph

Andrew Lansley pledges big increase in single rooms in NHS hospitals

Lansleyandrewlong "Plans to almost double the number of single rooms in hospitals were unveiled by the Conservatives at their conference in Birmingham yesterday. Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said the Conservatives aimed to increase the number of single rooms in wards by 45,000 in the party's first term in government to nearly 100,000. The proportion of beds in single rooms would increase from 28% to 55%." - Guardian | Independent

Corporate unease over Tory positions on Heathrow and nuclear power - FT

"Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, the business lobby group, said: “A high speed rail link would have a lot going for it, but don’t think for a minute that it will solve the capacity problems at Heathrow. We need to have a third runway at Heathrow, as long as all the environmental conditions are met.” - Times | Guardian

Grant Shapps: "Gordon Brown's multimillion pound schemes to help poor families get on the housing ladder have been an expensive failure." - Telegraph

Oliver Letwin promises to complete Blair's public service reforms - Independent | Sun


"Ministers in a future Tory government would be compelled to appear before Holyrood committees to explain their policies to Scotland, David Cameron pledged yesterday." - Scotsman

Welsh Tory attack on Rhodri Morgan's “unique dress sense and hairstyle” is questioned - Western Mail

ConservativeFuture's Chairman Michael Rock interviewed on tenth anniversary of youth group's formation - Guardian

Thatcher_1979 Margaret Thatcher chosen as 'Top Tory' by fringe meeting - Guardian

Today's Tory conference theme is Britain's broken society - ePolitix

David Cameron and George Osborne will make unscheduled statements on the rejected US bailout

Peter Oborne: Tories are in the pockets of market spivs

"The deeply uncomfortable fact remains that the Tory Party depends for its very existence on the financial support of well-disposed private equity tycoons, investment bankers and hedge-fund managers - the self-same men and women who have brought Britain to its knees." - Daily Mail

David Aaronovitch: Half of new Conservative policy seems simply to consist of not doing things

"Vote for a party that the Archbishop of Canterbury could be happy in: tolerant, complacent in the best sense, slightly sanctimonious, Establishment, half-full of ineffectual piety. The Conservatives are conservative again. Ready, once more, to manage decline. Vote weed." - David Aaronovitch in The Times

Taxpayers in the South East are paying out £2,000 each to support services in the North - Daily Mail

And finally...

"Puffed-out Cameron picks up the pace again after cameras spot him walking during morning jog" - Daily Mail


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

29 Sep 2008 08:33:00

Monday 29th September 2008

New opinion poll: Click here but not before 10pm

Frontpageverdict 5pm ToryDiary: Our verdict on George Osborne's speech

4pm Peter Franklin on CentreRight expects an imminent Labour reshuffle

2.45pm WATCH: George Osborne offers two year council tax freeze to councils that make economies

2.30pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight: Cognitive Polyphasia


12.30pm ToryDiary: George Osborne speech

11am Nadine Dorries MP on Platform: I hope George Osborne will pledge to cut personal taxation

Jim McConalogue on CentreRight is frustrated with the Tories' 'We will not let matters rest there' mantra

Villiers_theresaToryDiary: Tories promise 45 minute rail link to Birmingham (but not until 2027)

Bob Neill MP on local government: Local policies for local people

Louise Bagshawe on CentreRight: Is the ICC big enough?

Watch: Highlights of first day of Tory Conference

Watch: You can't tax and regulate your way out of recession says Boris

AmericaInTheWorld: Can American support for embattled allies risk war as well as prevent it?

Conservatives promise UK GI Bill

"Service men and women will go into schools to mentor young tearaways, while troops will receive free teacher training and university tuition." - Telegraph | BBC

Boris Johnson promises to freeze his share of London council tax

Council_tax "This year the precept stands at £309.82 for an average, Band D home - a rise of 152 per cent since 2001 - amounting to nearly half of the £681 bill in the borough of Wandsworth, and just under a quarter of Hackney's charge of £1,308.27." - Telegraph

Boris jokes at expense of George W Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger - The Sun

Tax and spending debate

"Criticism of George Osborne, shadow chancellor, will be restricted to a few of the more extreme "usual suspects" at fringe events, a leading potential rebel forecast. "I'd be very surprised if we have grown-up serious people agitating this week," he stated. But he warned "the debate on tax has not really kicked off yet . . . it will come in time, particularly if our poll lead starts to slip badly". Another senior rightwinger echoed this sentiment, angered by Mr Cameron's assertion yesterday that the debate on whether to offer tax cuts had been closed." - FT

Osborne's Office of Budget Responsibility could be used to counter the tax-cutters - Fraser Nelson, Spectator

"Will Conservative reforms of education and welfare - central parts of Mr Cameron's platform - still be affordable with the Tory leader insisting (correctly) that his first priority is to reduce debt?" - Times leader

"But if we’re all going to be pulling in our belts and finding savings, why not start with the bloated public sector. Six million people — one in four of the workforce — are employed by the State, some as little more than interfering busybodies. Thousands of diversity officers, smoking police and five-a-day diet advisers are effectively “the hidden unemployed” — paper-carrying drones whose absence would go unnoticed. Entire Whitehall departments have no useful purpose — not least the DTI, which Labour itself came close to scrapping." - Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun

City regulation

"David Cameron backed curbs on City bonuses as part of a crackdown on financial regulation, but pledged to avoid “bashing the financiers” rhetoric, as he sought on Sunday to regain the political initiative in the markets crisis." - FT

Tories under fire for accepting cash from City 'wolves' who made a killing from financial crash - Daily Mail

Capitalism is under attack - and Cameron is steadfast in defence - Janet Daley in The Telegraph

Hague_william_official "When Gordon Brown talks of the age of irresponsibility, he is not the answer to the age of irresponsibility; he is its definition." - Guardian report on William Hague's speech to Conference

Let Parliament debate the British bailout - Telegraph leader

'It's not policies that the Tories need, but a bit of gravitas' - Bruce Anderson in The Independent

"I accept Cameron does good mood. He smiles at the right time, frowns at the right time, wheels out his family at the right time, keeps his head down at the right time. But this is the week the hiding from policy will have to stop, and the reliance on style has to give way to a focus on substance." - Alistair Campbell in The Sun

William Rees-Mogg: The best Tory team for fifty years

"In most of his recent speeches and interviews, David Cameron has spoken about the significance of the Conservative team. His young group at the top of the party are indeed “the brightest and best” the party can produce. Mr Cameron himself is only 41; his Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is only 47, with four year's experience as Leader of the Opposition behind him; his Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, is only 37; the Tories' one-man think-tank, Michael Gove, is another 41-year-old. One might have to go back to 1951 to find a comparable team." - William Rees-Mogg in The Times


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

28 Sep 2008 08:54:39

Sunday 28th September 2008

5.30pm ToryDiary: Big government = Big problems

4.15pm ToryDiary: This week's must-have

Leerotherham22 3.45pm Lee Rotherham on CentreRight: One Conservative who won't be making it to Birmingham...

11.45am ToryDiary: Rolling guide to significant new Conference policy announcements

Hammersmithmodel 10.15am Local government: It can be done (lower taxes, less debt and better services)

10am ToryDiary: David Cameron promises to impose spending "straightjacket" on Tory government

Samantha Callan on Platform: Could the Conservatives be the ‘Great White Hope’ for Family Policy?

Suli Shah on CentreRight: Ronald McDonald vs Uncle Sam

Tories to set up Office of Budget Responsibility

Osborne_speaking "The Tories would set up an independent organisation, the Office of Budget Responsibility, that would act as a watchdog on all public spending and borrowing.  It would produce the country's economic forecasts, instead of the Chancellor on Budget Day, and a full audit of all of the nation's borrowing." - BBC

Writing for The Sunday Telegraph, George Osborne sets out his plan for ending Brown's Age of Irresponsibility.

"While George Osborne must get a grip on public spending, Conservatives should also tackle ill-gotten gains in the City" - Michael Fallon in The Observer

Labour's claim to fairness is flawed - Jesse Norman in The Independent on Sunday

Do the Tories have something planned on council tax?

"Last night there was speculation that the Tories could also unveil a surprise pledge to cut council tax. Boris Johnson, London's mayor, will announce today that he will freeze the portion of Londoners' council tax bills levied to fund City Hall, but David Cameron is under pressure from MPs to go further." - Observer

No complacency, no complacency, no complacency

“I worked for John Major in the 1992 election. No-one thought he was going to win, so I know its possible for an Opposition to lose.” - David Cameron within an interview for the News of the World

Maudeonpoliticsshow BUT: "Preparations for government are already well under way, with a “grid” being drawn up for the first 100 days in power. Privately, the party is so confident of winning that Francis Maude, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, has written to Sir Gus O’Donnell, head of the civil service, asking for two civil servants to be seconded to Conservative Central Office to smooth the transition. In a new policy, the Tories plan to appoint 12 chief executives from the private sector to act as “superheads” for each Whitehall department." - The Sunday Times

Matthew d'Ancona must give us Phase II in Birmingham

"Mr Cameron accepts that what has got through to the punters so far is probably "green", "new", "pro-family" and (possibly) "pro-NHS". He also accepts that many voters, perhaps most, will be looking at him for the first time. For the Tory leader, this presents a dilemma. They must acknowledge the new economic context and amend the tone accordingly - recognising, as he revealed to Charles Moore in Saturday's Daily Telegraph, that his first years as PM may be taken up with "disaster recovery"." - Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph

Cameron's 'I'm ready to be PM' speech

Cameronatcsj "[He] will instead deliver his speech in the old-fashioned way: from a lectern with a pile of paper in front of him. One senior Tory tells me: 'It will be the exact opposite of his speech in Blackpool.' That is no less an attempt to make a statement about himself than last year's walkie-talkie feat of memory. Then his priority was to appear cool under the threat of an early election which the polls said he would lose. Now he needs to look ready to move into Number 10." - Observer

Hedge funds, tax exiles and City financiers helped fund Tories

"The Tories were accused last night of being bankrolled by a City 'wolf pack' after it emerged that the party was receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds from hedge fund managers who have been making vast sums of money from plunging bank shares." - Observer | Sunday Times

Martin Ivens: The Tories have yet to replace David Davis

Davis_formal "But Cameron misses a larger-than-life figure who appeals to council-house Britain and northern voters. The loss of David Davis, who resigned as shadow home secretary to spend more time with his ego, is still felt. Davis promised to hug a hoodie very hard indeed: his replacement, the bright Dominic Grieve, looks as if he still hugs a teddy." - Martin Ivens in The Sunday Times

Gove invites key Blairites to join a future Tory cabinet - Observer

Douglas Carswell MP launches fresh bid to oust 'touchy, stubborn' Speaker - Mail on Sunday

'Top Tories' private lives': The Mail on Sunday publishes articles on the private lives of Tooting PPC Mark Clarke and Michael Gove's life at university.  Neither is worth reading.

Role of Scottish Secretary will survive reshuffle - Scotsman


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

27 Sep 2008 08:52:35

Saturday 27th September 2008

4.15pm Local Government: David Cameron: Post offices can survive

3.45pm ToryDiary: New powers for Bank of England will be central to Tory economic proposals

3.30pm Peter Whittle on CentreRight: The real culprits for Britains broken society

12.30pm ToryDiary: Conservatives will announce "comprehensive plan" for economy at conference

11.30am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Three cheers for Tesco, Ryanair and Sky

10.30am Greg Hands MP on CentreRight: Germany's take on the financial crisis - blame the U.S.

Thestateofgrassrootsopinion ToryDiary: The state of grassroots opinion

121m Local government: Tories to find £121m to restore weekly bin collections

J P Floru on Platform: Putin is thrilled with EU foreign policy

Suli Shah on CentreRight reviews the first US Presidential debate: "It was notable how many times McCain said “you don’t understand” to Obama. Not sure how this will come across – will it help the Obama is inexperienced argument, or make McCain look like a lecturing granddaddy? Equally notable was how many times Obama said “John is right” – will it make Obama look like he’s a listener and bi-partisan, or confirm that McCain has better judgement?"

Picture_3 Two PlayPolitical videos:

Tory lead trimmed to 9% in ICM survey - Guardian | Our comment

Dominic Grieve launches attack on multiculturalism

"In an interview with The Guardian on the eve of the Conservative party conference, Grieve says that "long-term inhabitants" have been left fearful, while second- and third- generation immigrants have felt alienated and unsure what British values stand for. He also warns against downplaying Britain's Christian heritage."

George Osborne leaps on Gordon Brown's 'Age of Irresponsibility' remark

"Mr Osborne said: 'Gordon Brown has now accurately described his time in office as the "age of irresponsibility". For ten years he presided over a debt-fuelled boom and failed to call time on debt. 'The age of irresponsibility has now become the age of hypocrisy. This is an astonishing admission from which he can never row back.'" - Daily Mail

Davis_david David Davis: Tories don't yet have the range of policies necessary for financial crisis - Telegraph

Jonathan Freedland: Could Osborne steal Jon Cruddas' tax idea?

"The talk of the Labour conference was MP Jon Cruddas's neat proposal to take 580,000 people out of the top rate of tax, effectively leaving only those earning more than £50,000 eligible - a middle-class tax cut - paid for by taking more from those earning in excess of £175,000. Could Osborne steal that idea, adapting it so that it only squeezed the super-rich, say those earning more than £250,000 or even £500,000? I wouldn't put it past him. It would prove that the Tories really had changed and that they dealt in action, not just talk. They could claim to be both popular and progressive - and they would leave Labour floundering." - Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian

Simon Heffer: Osborne must control spending or there'll be crippling tax rises

"People, mainly in the public sector, will have to lose their jobs as the state does less. Big capital projects will have to be put on hold. Mr Osborne should warn that Labour's probable alternative - a steep rise in taxation - would make everyone much poorer, with no appreciable improvement in living standards." - Simon Heffer in The Telegraph

"George Osborne will put reducing debt at the heart of a Conservative fight-back on the economy tomorrow when he reveals details of an independent body to limit public borrowing." - Times

David Cameron: I'm more experienced than Blair was

"And what of his own 'experience'? He points to his time as a 26-yearold advisor in the Treasury on Black Wednesday and then working for Michael Howard in the Home Office as he successfully brought down crime rates, not forgetting his seven years at Carlton Communications, one of the UK's leading media companies. 'I mean, that is more experience of government than Tony Blair had, more experience of business than Gordon Brown had.' He is scathing, too, about Mr Brown's Downing Street operation." - David Cameron during a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail

Eric Pickles: Tory campaigning operation better than at any time since 1979

Pickles_eric "On the eve of the Tories’ annual conference, Mr Pickles hailed a “golden age” for the electoral machine. The constituency-level networks of activists, on which every party relies to get the vote out, appeared at least the equal of the late 1970s." - FT

Birmingham is model for Tory renaissance says David Willetts - Telegraph

Reform of the Barnett formula could jeopardise Annabel Goldie's modest success in Scotland - Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph

Profile of Chris Grayling: The Times asks if the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is the Tories' new Norman Tebbit?

Profile of Michael Gove: "Well expressed, modern, sweeping in its scale, thoughtful, and with a modesty of style that obscures the hardness that lies underneath." - Andy McSmith in The Independent compares the qualities of Michael Gove's 7/7 book with the man's character

"The Prime Minister is grievously wounded. Further assaults will leave the Tories looking sadistic and irresponsible." - Matthew Parris in The Times


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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