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31 Jan 2009 09:01:32

Saturday 31st January 2009

9.30pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: "The transformation in Iraq is remarkable"

9pm ToryDiary: Do you support free movement of labour across Europe?

12.30pm WATCH: UKIP video calls for restrictions on free movement of labour within EU

10am ToryDiary: Tory MEPs lead the way in Europe with publication of their expenses

ToryDiary: British jobs for Italian workers today but there'll be Italian jobs for British workers tomorrow 

Peter Whittle on CentreRight believes that we should support the protests at the Lindsay oil refinery: "The growing protests by groups of workers over the use of foreign labour is evidence perhaps that working people, battered into submission for years by a contemptuous governmental, cultural and media establishment, are finally turning. Enough, they are saying, is enough."

Jack Pershke on Platform: Can we mend our military?

Local government: Councils threatened with legal action over lack of rape support

Steelegop International: US Republicans elect African American as their new Chairman

WATCH: David Cameron talks to Sky News about Tory thinking on a fiscal stimulus

The Financial Times warns that Tory peers face many potential conflicts of interests

"Two-thirds of David Cameron’s front-bench team in the Lords have paid outside jobs, some of which present a potential conflict of interest with the peers’ official parliamentary roles, analysis by the FT has revealed. Labour attacked the Tories’ slew of second jobs on Friday as the escalating row over peers’ outside interests increased pressure for re form of the second chamber." - FT

Cameron calls for bankers to look after the poor

"Cameron said that the City should switch its focus from developing the complex derivative products that caused the crisis to providing help for the less well off. "Our financial system boasts people so bright they've created financial instruments beyond even their own understanding. Now they need to use those talents to help the poorest build assets." - Guardian

"The Conservative leader said his government would put families before profit. He declared war on firms that undermine family life by making staff work long hours and vowed to crack down on those polluting the environment." - The Sun

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Cameron calls for "bright" bankers to use their talents to help poor
> Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: Cameron's State Socialism

Peter Mandelson warns against protectionism

"Both politicians and businesses have to be utterly clear that the solution to the contraction in global growth is not protectionism or a reversal of global economic integration. This does not have to be as simple as the erection of new tariffs. The decision by globally active banks to withdraw lending from their international operations can be just as damaging to the dynamic that drives long-term global growth." - Times 

Matthew Parris: The English patient may not get better

Parris_matthew_green "What if, by the end of the winter of 2009-10, those green shoots fantastically conjured up by Baroness Vadera this month, really do begin to appear - but only in America? What if China and India, after catching a cold, bounce back quite fast as clients' economies begin to recover - but not ours? What if the economic trough into which Germany, France and other Northern European economies are also slipping, proves shallower for them, and their recovery comes faster? What if by spring next year the United States is demonstrably powering the global economy out of recession - yet we British still languish? What if our near-addictive past reliance on financial services hampers the restarting of the domestic economy here, because it is the City that has taken the most direct hit?" - Matthew Parris in The Times

More than half of all hardened and violent criminals are escaping a prison term - Telegraph

Simon Heffer wonders how a young man who is illiterate could have gained seven GCSEs - Telegraph

Darling and Smith face axe after Labour does badly in European Elections - Daily Mail

Tony Blair calls for Hamas to become part of Middle East Peace Process - Times

Peter Oborne: We must not "escalate" in Afghanistan - Daily Mail

And finally... David Cameron is interviewed by James Harrington, aged 12 - The Guardian


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

30 Jan 2009 08:54:43

Friday 30th January 2009

8pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight questions 'Cameron's State Capitalism'

4.30pm Local Government: Council byelection results

4.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron calls for "bright" bankers to use their talents to help poor

2.45pm Local Government: Gordon Brown promises huge council house building programme

Bushsnr 2.45pm WATCH:

1.45pm Local Government: Let councillors vote by mobile phone from the pub says Blears.

1.30pm ToryDiary: William Hague launches 'Commission on Transport in the north'

11.15am Parliament: Paul Goodman worried by anti-Semitic attacks

10.30am Parliament: David Lammy is dreadful at questions to Department for Innovations, Universities and Skills

10am Seats and candidates: John Bercow calls for all-women and all-BME shortlists


Lordstratchclyde Lord Strathclyde on Platform: The House of Lords is clean and decent but must act against Labour sleaze

Seats and candidates: Search for 100 Peers: Lurline Champagnie

Local Government: Cllr John Peach on Reforming Children's Services in Peterborough

International: Benjamin Netanyahu warns against a nuclear Iran sheltering terrorist regimes

Nicholas Boys Smith on CentreRight: How overregulation could threaten economic recovery

Tories 11% ahead in YouGov poll

"In the autumn, the Prime Minister enjoyed a seven percentage point lead over David Cameron when the public were asked which party was most trusted to restore the country's economic fortunes. However, the position has reversed and the Conservatives now have a seven-point lead over Labour on economic competence." - Telegraph | Yesterday's ToryDiary

SNP confident of passing budget on second attempt - BBC

Liberal Democrats' change of heart makes the difference - Scotsman

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Were the Scottish Tories right to back the SNP budget?

Tories plan annual mental health checks for returning soldiers

Fox_osborne_hague "Military veterans would be offered annual mental health checks under Tory plans to combat soaring numbers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and drink problems... Liam Fox, the shadow Defence Secretary, accused the Government of giving a low priority to former service personnel. He said: "You simply can't trust to luck the psychological well-being of people who have been willing to risk life and limb for our security. We must not allow these people to slip through the net."" - The Independent

Damian Green reveals high cost of detaining foreign prisoners before deportation - Telegraph

"Suddenly every party is in favour of high speed rail" - Steve Richards in The Independent

Labour plan broadband for every home by 2012 - BBC

Hunt_jeremy_nw > Jeremy Hunt reacts on CentreRight: "David Cameron has pledged that a future Conservative government will aim to get superfast broadband to the majority of the population within 5 years. After delivering the satellite and cable revolution last time, it looks like it will once again be a Conservative government that takes Britain's digital industries forward."

Brown orders council house building programme

"The biggest council house building programme for decades was ordered by Gordon Brown yesterday as he urged town halls to rescue the construction industry and help to kick-start the economy." - Times

Flagship Labour welfare programme 'failing'

"A flagship £1bn government programme to find jobs for people on sickness benefit is running 73 per cent short of its target, an unexpectedly bad outcome that will test political consensus about expanding private welfare provision." - FT

Iceland to be fast-tracked into the EU

"Iceland will be put on a fast track to joining the European Union to rescue the small Arctic state from financial collapse amid rising expectations that it will apply for membership within months, senior policy-makers in Brussels and Reykjavik have told The Guardian."

The Telegraph: The euro will struggle to survive the recession

"The one-size-fits-all inflexibility of the eurozone deprives single currency members of the vital weapons of devaluation and monetary policy with which they can at least try to ameliorate the impact of the global downturn." - Telegraph

Barack Obama slams "outrageous" Wall Street bonuses - The Sun

"Obama cares about Europe. Britain he can take or leave." - Martin Kettle in The Guardian


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

29 Jan 2009 09:02:57

Thursday 29th January 2009

11.15pm ToryDiary: New YouGov poll puts Tory lead at 11%

11pm Latest on CentreRight:

8.15pm ToryDiary: Were the Scottish Tories right to back the SNP budget?

6pm Jeremy Hunt on CentreRight: Digital disappointment

5.45pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: How can an MP of 12 years' standing accidentally vote the wrong way?

John_hayes_44.30pm Parliament: MP of the day - John Hayes for standing up to anti-Semitism

4.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: The Muslim Council of Britain finds a new excuse to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day

2.30pm Latest from CentreRight:

Theresa_villiers_mp_212.30pm Parliament: Theresa Villiers opposes third runway at Heathrow

12noon Parliament: Cheryl Gillan wants more done about job losses in Wales

11.30am Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: What is the Conservative position on flights?

11.15am ToryDiary: Further rebuke for Derek Conway

11am ToryDiary: The journalist behind the recent Ken Clarke stories explains himself

ToryDiary: Is it time to reform the House of Lords?

Theresamayqs_2 ToryDiary: Send us your questions for Theresa May, the new shadow work and pensions secretary

Dr Mark Thompson on Platform: We need a new approach for IT procurement in government

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Simon Mort

Local Government:


WATCH: President Obama on his Economic Recovery Plan

Osborne_george_smiling Tories taunt Gordon Brown over "the true cost of Labour failures" as IMF predicts economy will shrink by 2.8% this year

"It has been a constant refrain, an accompaniment to every storm warning of economic trouble ahead: “Britain is better placed to ride out the global downturn than the rest of the world.” But Gordon Brown’s claim was blown away yesterday when the International Monetary Fund marked Britain down to suffer a worse recession than any other developed nation. “This is the day when the British people were confronted with the true cost of Gordon Brown’s failures,” George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, said." - The Times

"Alistair Darling must use the Budget in April to rescind the two main measures of November's ill-judged pre-Budget report – the temporary cut in VAT and the planned 45 per cent top tax rate. The first has been ineffectual, the second will be harmful. The IFS correctly observes that we can only balance our books by raising taxes or cutting spending. Raising taxes in a recession is not an option. The Government must emulate every business and family in the land and reduce its outgoings. With a planned spend next year of £640 billion, it cannot credibly claim there is no scope for savings." - Telegraph leader

Tories backed by 28 Labour rebels in last night's vote on Heathrow expansion...

"The government last night narrowly ­survived the first parliamentary test of its decision to expand Heathrow airport... The Conservative motion was a word-for-word copy of the early day motion tabled by Labour MP John Grogan before Christmas – a tactic they believed would recruit maximum numbers of Labour MPs to their ranks – but in the event 28 went through the division lobbies with the opposition, with the government's majority slashed to 19." - Guardian Villiers clear the way for more flights from small airports

"The Conservatives said yesterday that they were willing to expand airport capacity in the South East despite the party’s environmental opposition to a third runway at Heathrow. Luton, City Airport or Southend could be allowed increased numbers of flights or an extra runway under the Tories, even though they argued against Heathrow’s expansion on the grounds that it could jeopardise the target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Theresa Villiers, the Shadow Transport Secretary, did, however, repeat her opposition to expansion at Gatwick and Stansted and to a new airport in the Thames Estuary." - The Times

Theresa Villiers and Greg Clark taking part in live webcast on climate change, the environment and Heathrow at 11.30am this morning -

Scottish Tories back SNP budget - but it is defeated by the Presiding Officer's casting vote

"The SNP had the support of the Scottish Conservatives for their £33bn budget, and thought they had bought off the two Scottish Green MSPs with a last-minute promise of a £33m programme of home insulation. But it wasn't enough, and the vote was tied 64 to 64. The presiding officer voted with the status quo – which in this case he interpreted as meaning he should vote against the bill" - The Guardian

Annabel_goldie "Labour's actions today are grossly irresponsible and quite frankly pathetic. It is political posturing at its very worst, which could cost Scotland £1.8bn and will only increase uncertainty during Labour's recession. The Scottish Conservatives fought hard to secure nearly a quarter of a billion pounds worth of concessions from the SNP Government to help in these difficult economic times. Labour secured nothing. Gordon Brown has created a recession, Iain Gray has just made it worse. When will Labour learn to put the national interest before narrow party interest. Labour is all at sea with minority government, it has no compass and no hand at the helm." - Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie quoted in The Herald

"The absolute mayhem, bordering on farce, at the Scottish Parliament yesterday as the SNP's budget was kicked into touch by two of its members, for whom nobody had ever cast a vote, is the price we were always likely to pay one day for our new devolved democracy." - Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph

Tories to encourage school trips to farms

"Pupils would be able to go on class trips to the farmyard and "adopt an animal" to teach them where their food comes from under Tory plans. Layers of "cotton wool" which prevent schoolchildren from being taken on trips would be shredded so that teachers are not afraid to organise trips, according to Shadow Farming Minister Jim Paice... Mr Paice called for action to teach youngsters about their food to "explode some myths" - Yorkshire Post

Edward Leigh: Too many cannot read and write

"An "unacceptably" high number of people in England cannot read, write and count properly, MPs have warned. The Public Accounts Committee said in 2007 51,000 pupils left school without a GCSE of at least D-G in maths and 39,000 left without this in English... CPA chairman Edward Leigh said: "This is a dismal picture, both for the many who face diminished prospects in what they can achieve in life and for the competitiveness of our country in the world economy." - BBC

Tory peer accused of misusing Lords to boost her own firm

"A Conservative peer who owns a political networking consultancy was last night facing allegations that she had misused parliamentary facilities to promote her own business. Lady Cumberlege, a former minister in John Major's government, yesterday admitted failing to declare "punctiliously" her financial interests during House of Lords debates." - Guardian

Inaccurate Government statistics cause fresh embarrassment

"The Government faced fresh embarrassment over its ability to handle statistics yesterday after it was forced to delay publication of two sets of data because of inconsistencies. The Ministry of Justice was due to publish quarterly sentencing figures today and quarterly probation statistics tomorrow but postponed both after officials discovered inaccuracies... Shadow Justice Secretary, Dominic Grieve said: "This is further evidence of disarray in the publication of regular statistics on criminal justice - it comes as yet another blow, both to the government's credibility and public confidence." - Daily Telegraph

Iain Martin: David Cameron can be a great PM - or a footnote

"What should be dawning on Cameron is that there will be no possibility of a mediocre Blairite ramble through a decade in power and on into a world of overpaid public speaking. He can do what needs doing and become a great prime minister. Or he can duck tough choices and be chased from office – just as Gordon Brown is going to be." - Iain Martin in the Daily Telegraph

The Lords "cash for amendments" scandal is a parable for the end of New Labour

"There is a powerful allegorical quality to the Lords scandal. The chamber so brutally attacked by New Labour as the embodiment of all that was wrong with Britain in 1997 may yet come to embody all that is devious and corrupt about New Labour in its death throes. Yet there is a crucial difference. In 1997, sleaze was brilliantly used by Labour to divert attention from a near-miraculous economic recovery. Now, it simply the latest squalid addition to a compendium of abject failure." - Fraser Nelson in The Spectator

Picture_2 "Rise of the Red Tories"

"The crisis is an opportunity to sweep away the rotten postwar settlement of British politics. Labour is moribund. But David Cameron has a chance to develop a "red Tory" communitarianism, socially conservative but anti-big business" - Philip Blond in Prospect magazine

Tim Montgomerie: Introducing "Red Toryism"

US House passes Obama's fiscal stimulus package without Republican support - BBC

Standards Committee to publish new report on Derek Conway today - BBC

Britain opens door to 36,000 Gurkha veterans after policy U-turn - Times

Half a million Poles "will stay in Britain despite recession" - Telegraph

Chief medical officer to issue strict guidance on children's alcohol consumption - BBC


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

28 Jan 2009 09:02:18

Wednesday 28th January 2009

5pm Latest from Parliament:

Herbert_nick_nw_24pm ToryDiary: Nick Herbert explains how rural areas are feeling the effects of the recession

3pm WATCH: Gordon Brown and David Cameron's exchanges at today's PMQs

2.30pm Latest on CentreRight:

12.45pm Local Government:Does The Queen have her portrait up in your Town Hall's foyer?

12.30pm ToryDiary: The economy dominates another session of PMQs

ToryDiary: Talk of a Tory landslide is premature and counterproductive

Villiers470 Theresa Villiers on Platform: The Government have failed to make the case for a third runway at Heathrow

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Stuart Wheeler

Local Government:


WATCH: Ken Clarke makes his Commons debut as Shadow Business Secretary responding to yesterday's announcement on government support for the car industry 

Cameron_bw_looking_right David Cameron pledges to strip corrupt lords of their peerages

"A Conservative government would change the law so that members of the House of Lords could be stripped of their peerages for breaking new anti-sleaze rules, David Cameron told The Independent yesterday. The move came as it emerged that the four Labour peers at the centre of the "cash for amendments" allegations are expected to lose the party whip." - The Independent

The full interview with David Cameron - The Independent

> Last night's ToryDiary on David Cameron's pledge

...And Labour also wants to expel corrupt peers

"We should be able to take a range of actions as necessary, including being able to suspend peers immediately while an investigation is being carried out, and longer periods of suspension if cases are proven, and the option not of removing peerages - not in the gift of the House - but of even longer and perhaps permanent exclusions in extreme cases. If the current allegations are proven, we may need as well to consider emergency sanctions if warranted." - Lords leader Baroness Royall writing in The Guardian

Earl of Onslow: We need old lags in the Lords

"I'm a Conservative. I like anything that looks like an ox cart but pulls like a Ferrari, and I think the House of Lords is a perfect example. It is an institution with immense virtues. The majority of people there are there on their honour, and they behave honourably. That is why everybody is so upset about the allegations. It really hurts." - The Earl of Onslow writing in The Independent

Fox_gesticulating Liam Fox: The way we treat our armed forces is a national disgrace

"A decade of Labour's neglect has left our Army overstretched, undermanned, and in possession of worn-out equipment due to the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The unfunded liability associated with this will total billions of pounds. This is not an assumption, but a fact." - Liam Fox writing in The Independent

Ken Clarke gets good reviews on his return to the Despatch Box

"Mr Clarke does not so much stand at the despatch box as dance a country reel with the thing. He dashes up to it, holds it momentarily, turns to the left, the right, steps away and bows... His style, devoid of soundbites and refreshingly under-rehearsed, is quite unlike anything else seen at present in the Commons. To find him here in the post-Blairite Commons is like seeing on a modern motorway a 1960s Bristol, all crinkled leather seats, mahogany dashboard and spoked steering wheel." - Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail

"Ken Clarke was back on the frontbench. The bull was out of the barn and back in the china shop. He was roaring, stamping, charging and plopping down steaming lumps of ordure wherever he felt like it. I haven't seen the Tories so happy since Gordon Brown claimed to have saved the world." - Simon Hoggart in The Guardian

> Yesterday's Tory Diary on Ken Clarke's return

Philip Hammond uncovers civil servants' £4.5 billion pension boost

"Civil servants have clocked up £4.5 billion of extra pension entitlements in the past year, the Conservatives have revealed. The figures, buried in obscure Government accounting documents, show that pension pots for civil servants are nearly 30 per cent higher than they were 12 months ago. Philip Hammond, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, who obtained the figures, said: "These huge unfunded public sector pension costs are storing up yet more problems for the future at a time when Britain is already facing a £1 trillion debt mountain." - Daily Telegraph

Wintertonnick Sir Nicholas Winterton speaks out against Tory-UUP alliance

"It is only a rejuvenated and purposeful Conservative and Unionist Party, in alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party here in Ulster, which is in a position to highlight the threat to our nation posed by the Government's reckless and ill-thought-out constitutional vandalism... I am concerned that the arrangement now being entered into between the Conservatives and Unionist Party and the Official Unionists (UUP) in Northern Ireland will divide the vote in marginal constituencies and serve only to let in Sinn Fein." - Sir Nicholas Winterton quoted in the News Letter

PM told to curb "blizzard" of initiatives

"Gordon Brown has been warned by Labour ministers and MPs to stop churning out initiatives to tackle the recession, amid fears that voters are turning against the prime minister’s handling of the downturn. Ministers and Labour MPs have warned Downing Street that people are becoming confused by an apparently endless stream of measures to fight the recession and have lost track of how much they cost and whether they are working." - FT

Tory council replaces portrait of the Queen in council chamber with modern art - Daily Mail

The tide is turning for an energy revolution - Tony Lodge writing in the Yorkshire Post

Government aide resigns over Heathrow policy - Guardian

Minister: Labour foreign policy has aided radicalisation among Muslims - Daily Telegraph

Sir Paul Stephenson to be named new Met Police chief - BBC

Ministers consider revival of local authority mortgages - Guardian

SNP's budget hangs in the balance as opponents refuse to strike deal - Scotsman

David Blunkett to remarry - Times

Iceland set to be led by world's first lesbian Prime Minister - Pink News


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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