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31 Dec 2008 08:58:02

New Year's Eve 2008

7pm ToryDiary: Happy 2009!

Picture_7_26.30pm Douglas Murray on CentreRight: The extremists behind London's anti-Israel demonstrations

4.30pm Ben Rogers on CentreRight: Victims of intimidation

3.45pm Local Government: Wokingham Council bans jargon

3.30pm ToryDiary: Gaffes of 2008

12.15pm ToryDiary: Ones to Watch in 2009

11.15am: Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: "Government opts not to regulate" and other headlines you haven't seen recently

ToryDiary: Speech of 2008

Nonjobs Local Government: Non-jobs of the Year

Nick Seaton in Local Government: Stop this Big Brother threat to our children

WATCH ITN's 4-minute political review of 2008

Cameron_looking_left Cameron accuses Brown of bombing us to bankruptcy

"David Cameron ridiculed Gordon Brown's call for Britain to adopt the Blitz spirit yesterday by accusing him of 'bombing' the country to the brink of bankruptcy. The Prime Minister has claimed that the looming recession is a test of character similar to that faced during the Second World War. In his New Year message to his Tory faithful, however, Mr Cameron turned the suggestion back on Mr Brown, claiming that his 'tax and debt bombshells' were to blame for the economic crisis." - Daily Mail

"The Conservatives must understand, and enunciate, three things: that those in socially unproductive roles in the public sector may also lose their jobs; that spending and borrowing will, in these conditions unprecedented in most of our lifetimes, have to fall; and that increases in taxation, in whatever form they take, will serve only further to depress an economy rather than to give it the kick start for which it is crying out." - Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary included the full text of David Cameron's New Year message

Jeremy Hunt: Lottery good causes cash diverted to Olympics

"A quarter of all money raised for good causes through the national lottery has been spent on the Olympics or on administration the Conservatives have claimed... Mr Hunt said that the good causes – which include grassroots sport, the arts and the British film industry – will have to wait until March 24 for "lottery freedom day" when the cost of the Olympics" - Daily Telegraph

Fox_gesticulating Liam Fox: Labour failing to give our forces adequate training

"Armed Forces personnel are being sent into war zones without proper training because of cost-cutting, the Conservatives have claimed. Ministry of Defence figures show that 30 per cent of training exercise cancellations in the past year were put down to "savings measures"... Dr Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said the figures were another sign of Labour's failure to prioritise defence spending at a time of severe need." - Daily Telegraph

Tory anger over knighthood for top Treasury civil servant

"The Treasury’s top official, who was at the helm during the boom before the credit crunch, has been knighted for his role in dealing with Britain’s deepening financial crisis. The move, as the pound plunged to a record low against the euro and after another slide in house prices, prompted protests that the honour was premature and self-congratulatory... Michael Fallon, a Tory member of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, said: “This award looks premature: they haven’t solved the banking crisis yet or brought stability to the financial system.” John Redwood, the Conservative backbencher, said: “We don’t want to be claiming victory until the battle is won. This battle isn’t over.”- The Times

Chris Grayling: The DWP can't even protect its own staff

"More than one assault takes place in Jobcentres every day, official figures have revealed... The Tories, who obtained the figures, warned the risks and costs of violence against staff were set to increase as more people lose their jobs and need state help. Chris Grayling, the Tory shadow work and pensions spokesman said the situation was "nothing short of a disgrace". - Daily Telegraph

Penning_mike Tory attack on "nanny state" parental advice on children's alcohol consumption

"Rather than telling parents how to bring up their children, they should be looking at the wider issue of the damage their 24-hour drinking policy has caused to society. There is no doubt that parents should act responsibly when giving alcohol to their children but this is common sense. This is yet another example of this Government’s nanny state behaviour by telling people what they should be doing in their own homes." - Mike Penning quoted in the Daily Mail

Tories' plan to raise cash for regeneration of big cities

"Britain’s big cities could be given powers to raise millions for regeneration by selling loans on money markets if the Conservatives win the General Election. The idea is one of a series of radical measures in a local government shake-up being considered by Eric Pickles, the shadow communities secretary." - Birmingham Post

75p "insult" to pensioners in care homes - Daily Mail

Private firm may track all email and calls - Guardian

Labour considers car speed-limiters - Independent

Ministers' pension pot soars to £7.4m - The Sun

"Globetrotting" MPs under fire over £1.4million "fact-finding trips" - Daily Mail

Britain still the Euro-capital of teen pregnancy - Daily Express

Picture_2 And finally... Tesco already selling Easter Eggs

"Shoppers at a Tesco store were stunned to see Easter eggs on sale — four days after Christmas. Customers burst out laughing as staff put out “Easter Treats” displays of daffodils and chocolate goodies on Monday. Stephen Roland, 31, said: “I couldn’t believe it. Selling Easter eggs three or four days after Christmas is ludicrous — particularly when Easter is in April next year.” - The Sun


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30 Dec 2008 09:02:02

Tuesday 30th December 2008

Astatement 4.45 Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: A Statement of Conservatism

4.15pm WATCH: Government advisers recommend technology that automatically restricts cars to speed limit

3.15pm ToryDiary: Moment of 2008

12.30pm ToryDiary: Frontbencher of 2008

11.30am ToryDiary: Cameron promises to keep to his gentler, greener conservatism in New Year message

10.30am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: "2008 was the best year for socialism since 1917"

ToryDiary: Backbencher of 2008

Local government: Eric Pickles plans purge of 'Town Hall fat cats'

Cllr Merrick Cockell on Local government: Parents, not the state, should decide if their children are placed on a national database.

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Caroline Kennedy is bidding to succeed Hillary Clinton as New York's junior Senator, you know.


Grant Shapps highlights householders' fears about mortgage and rent payments

Shapps_grant1 "Yesterday the Tories seized on an opinion poll showing that 44% of mortgage holders are worried about being able to meet their mortgage payments over the next year. The YouGov survey also found that 47% of local authority and housing association tenants and 41% of private tenants are worried about being able to afford their rent. Grant Shapps, the Tory spokesman on housing, said: "Householders up and down the country and in every kind of housing are now concerned, as never before, about their ability to maintain a roof over their heads over the next 12 months." - Independent | Iain Dale

PDF of Grant Shapps' 'The New Homeless' report

Michael Gove: 15,000 teachers go sick everyday

Picture_15 "Teachers are calling in sick at the rate of 15,000 a day. Almost three million working days were lost last year, up from 2.5million in 1999. Some 311,000 teachers took at least one day off. Tories called the official figures 'very worrying', linking them with mounting bureaucracy and disruptive classroom behaviour." - Daily Mail

ConservativeHome comment: "This story is the splash in the Daily Mail. Yesterday James Brokenshire's knife crime story was the front page headline in The Sun. Eric Pickles' story on Labour's plans to tax 'nice neighbourhoods' led Boxing Day's Daily Telegraph. All good 'Christmas holiday period' work by our frontbench."

William Hague defends his outside interests

"Some people want politics to be totally professionalised, and for politicians to be nothing other than politicians for every single second of their lives. I have written books on history, on Pitt and Wilberforce. I think it is a net gain to politics for some of us to have interests of that kind." - The Shadow Foreign Secretary quoted in the Daily Mail

Tory grassroots want David Davis and Ken Clarke back on frontbench

Stories in The Independent and Guardian note yesterday's ConservativeHome poll of party members.

'Better the devil you don't know' when it comes to election chances

"The Conservatives' greatest asset is that they are not in power. Fortunately for them, their greatest asset almost certainly trumps their greatest liability, which is that few voters have any idea how the Tories will comport themselves if and when they regain power. For the foreseeable future, the devil that voters don't know looks like being more attractive than the one they do." - Anthony King in The Telegraph

Gordon Brown has re-iterated his opposition to any change in the law on assisted dying - BBC

"In addressing their lectures to Mr Brown, rather than their own errant flock, the Bishops are moral cowards." - Dominic Lawson in The Independent

Peter Oborne quotes some Cicero

Oborne "Writing more than 2,000 years ago, a Roman politician made the following observation: 'The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.'  These words were uttered by Cicero in 55BC. Today they are every bit as apposite." - Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail

Thirty years ago... James Callaghan attempted to stop Margaret Thatcher attending anniversary of suffragette movement

"Secret papers released after 30 years show how Labour tried to sideline opposition leader Margaret Thatcher on the anniversary of universal suffrage." - BBC

Saatchi & Saatchi's Labour Isn't Working poster caused "consternation" in Labour government - Times

Parallels between Blair and Obama

Picture_10 "Like Obama, he was a highly pedigreed lawyer who ran as a post-partisan change candidate. Like Obama, he broke years of what seemed, to progressives, like interminable conservative rule. Like Obama, he was nonconfrontational in style, charismatic without heat (reedy frame, wide-caliber smile), and idealistic without being ideological. His speeches also inspired and rang with logic. International leaders also embraced him and saw his victory as the dawn of a new era. The weight of the world and his own country’s expectations rode heavily, too, on his shoulders." - New York Magazine

And finally... Sarah Palin's daughter has baby boy - NY Daily News

Samuel Huntingdon, Author of Clash of Civilisations, RIP - Reihan Salam


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29 Dec 2008 08:20:45

Monday 29th December 2008

6.45pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: On the merits of an official state religion

4.30pm Seats and candidates: News of the World "misrepresented" incomplete Ipsos MORI research

3.15pm Dan Hamilton on CentreRight: How would you reform the House of Lords?

2.45pm ToryDiary: Hague calls for Israel to stop its action against Hamas

Picture_5 2.15pm WATCH: James Brokenshire MP discusses the thirty-year high in fatal stabbings

2.15pm Ridley Grove on CentreRight: The Right was right Dave. You were wrong.

11.15am Local Government: Worst Council of the year? Hackney's late entry

10am ToryDiary: Public expenditure control (not tax) is now the number one challenge for George Osborne

10am Louise Bagshawe on CentreRight: Reviewers wanted for Political Book of the Year

ToryDiary: Grassroots want the 'big beasts' in the shadow cabinet

Local government: Cllr Patricia O'Brien defends Suffolk Conservatives' schools policies

Robert Halfon on CentreRight: If we want an enduring peace in the Middle East, then Israel must be allowed to defeat Hamas in Gaza

Today's must-read: "Out of the Gaza bloodshed the real winner is...Iran" - Michael Burleigh in the Daily Mail

Osborne talks of trio of Tory tax cuts

"The Tories are preparing a tax cuts agenda to prove they have the right ideas to rescue Britain from the economic slump. Chief among them will be a vow to reverse Labour plans to increase National Insurance contributions by more than  £5billion after the next election. But there will also be help for savers and pensioners." - Daily Express | ToryDiary

Tories step up economic critique of Labour

Picture_4[Image from Christmas Eve's Sun]

"Yesterday, David Cameron and Mr Osborne foreshadowed their winter offensive against the Prime Minister, stepping up their attacks on Gordon Brown's stewardship of the economy. Mr Cameron accused Mr Brown of "economic crimes", insisting that the Prime Minister had driven Britain to "the brink of bankruptcy". Mr Osborne said the Government's spending policies were turning the country into "a bankrupt country on the verge of becoming the sick man of Europe again with high unemployment"." - Independent

"Most Britons believe the recession will last for two years, according to a Financial Times/Harris poll."

More than 1,600 people will lose their jobs every day during 2009 - Telegraph

"More than 100,000 families are receiving benefits payments worth more than the average worker's take-home pay" - Telegraph

Business leaders want freeze in minimum wage - BBC

Michael Gove highlights massive breakdown in school discipline

"Thousands of children are being suspended from schools for offences that could warrant expulsion, the Tories have said." - Yorkshire Post

"More pupils are likely to answer male teachers back in the classroom and disrupt their lessons. Female teachers report a drop in rowdy behaviour, though they are more likely to be harangued by aggressive parents." - Independent

"Fatal stabbings have risen to their highest level in three decades, say the Conservatives" - BBC

Tory MEP slams China for its trade in dog and cat fur

"A Scottish Conservative MEP has warned China it must ban the trade of dog and cat fur if it hopes to join the "civilised" world. Struan Stevenson, a long-time campaigner against the fur trade, issued the call just days before the trade will be banned across Europe." - The Herald

The government has rejected criticism by five Anglican bishops who questioned the morality of its policies - BBC | Video

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Cameron's attacks on Labour excess supported by chorus of bishops

"Will Standpoint fall at the first hurdle?" - The Independent overviews Standpoint magazine's prospects after its first six months.

"The number of civilians killed by violence in Iraq has fallen by two thirds in 2008" - BBC

Weekendhighlights Villiers_theresa_nw ToryDiary: Theresa Villiers deserves to stay in the shadow cabinet

Seats and candidates: 119 of 120 Tory candidates in marginal seats support repeal of hunting ban

Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: What's your New Year message to Gordon Brown?


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28 Dec 2008 09:03:44

Sunday 28th December 2008

5pm ToryDiary: Conservative Friends of Israel's briefing on action against Hamas

12.30pm Ridley Grove on CentreRight: What would the British government do if Dover was bombarded with missiles from Calais?

12.15am Alex Deane on CentreRight: Israel

12.15am Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: "My New Year message to Gordon Brown is simple. Get lost. Yes, the British people should work together to build a better tomorrow . . . one that does not include you."

ToryDiary: Cameron's attacks on Labour excess supported by chorus of bishops

Seats and candidates: 'Female Tory members fear women candidates will steal their husbands'

Mark Wallace on Local government: Conservative councils should not collaborate with Labour's backdoor attempts at revaluation

Two David Cameron videos:

Picture_2 Yesterday evening's ToryDiary: George Osborne hints at trio of tax cuts

More speculation about Ken Clarke returning

A Sunday Telegraph report suggests a return for Ken Clarke and warns that Alan Duncan, Caroline Spelman and Andrew Mitchell are in trouble.

Andrew Lansley advises marketing agency that helps mount Government health campaigns - Mail on Sunday

Do the Tories have the guts to tackle overspending?

"Of all excessive spending, the bill for gold-plated, index-linked, final-salary, public sector pension schemes is among the hardest to justify. As the realities of our ageing society kick in, and private sector pensions crumble, state workers remain cosseted while the rest of us pick up the £1,300bn bill. Cameron recently hinted the Tories would tackle this outrageous "pension apartheid". But when the public sector unions growled, Tory spin doctors denied the story." - Liam Halligan in The Sunday Telegraph

John Rentoul: David Cameron has a handle on the future

Cameronhappy "At least as important in the personalised election campaigns that have been typical of British politics since at least Harold Macmillan's time is a general sense of "owning the future" – an American phrase of which New Labour became fond. There is Cameron's edge. He does not just ride a bike; sometimes he uses motorbike taxis, which are the fastest way to get around London (as well as being quite green). As well as analogies from the First World War, he refers to computer games. When he explained his Tomb Raider strategy to a Daily Mail dinner recently – that he has to complete level one, decontaminating the Tory brand, to be able to do level two, to argue for Tory principles – someone asked what Tomb Raider was." - John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

Rory Bremner can't do David Cameron

"Has Rory Bremner finally met his match? The impressionist has built a 20-year career on his uncanny ability to conjure up the voices and mannerisms of every significant public figure. But David Cameron has so far eluded him, so much so that Bremner’s efforts have been ridiculed on the ConservativeHome website. “This is awful, awful, awful,” said one contributor. Another, more sympathetic, explained: “It’s simply the case that Cameron doesn’t have a regional accent, doesn’t have an ogre-like appearance or odd set of mannerisms, and is actually pretty normal.”" - The Sunday Times

9857708_107187aAd campaign ideas for the next General Election

All featured in the Independent on Sunday.

Prime Minister seeks global coalition for change with US president-elect - Independent on Sunday

"On balance, I think that if any party enjoys a brief Barack Bounce, it will be Labour. Yes, Obama and Cameron share the mantle of "novice" and speak the language of generational change. But the incoming president fancies himself a latter-day Roosevelt and will find a more-than-willing partner in Brown. They will claim that the global financial crisis favours Left-of-centre parties and requires the government interventionism that is their stock in trade. There will be plans, blueprints and grand schemes galore. For a short while – perhaps a very short while – this burst of transatlantic activity might well give Gordon a modest boost." - Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph

"In next week's New Year message, the prime minister is expected to urge the public to "display the same spirit" as their predecessors did in World War II." - BBC

Britain plunges down world economic table - Sunday Times

Straw_jack Jack Straw promises community service sentences for knife carriers - News of the World

Today's Ed Stourton settles differences with BBC - Mail on Sunday

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved - Christopher Booker in The Sunday Telegraph

And finally...

"As a leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, David Cameron is used to being in the occasional tight spot – but few have been quite as claustrophobic as the one he found himself in yesterday. The 42-year-old scrambled awkwardly through a 3ft gap beneath a footbridge as he tackled the Great Brook Run – a mile-long race through mud and ‘raging torrents’ that would have done the SAS proud." - Mail on Sunday


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