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Monday 23rd March 2009

DEANE ALEX 6.45pm Alex Deane on CentreRight has a very clear position on inheritance tax

5.30pm David Cameron in Parliament: "A longer recession than the United States or the eurozone. The fastest rise in unemployment since records began. And the worst public sector deficit in British peacetime history."

4.45pm The What does your desk look like? thread has been updated with four new photographs

3.45pm ToryDiary: Andrew Lansley issues five point plan to avoid another Mid Staffs

2.45pm Harry Phibbs on CentreRight: Where do your children go to school?

2.30pm ToryDiary: Questions for you

1pm Parliament: Forced electronic tagging of sheep would be appallingly costly

HENDRY CHARLES 12.30pm Parliament: Charles Hendry: nine million people are in fuel poverty

Noon WATCH: The ten minute Politics Show interview during which Ken Clarke made his remarks about inheritance tax

11.30am Local Government:

11.15am Parliament: How much will Royal Mail pensions cost the taxpayer?

10.15am Dan Lewis on CentreRight: The last thing the British economy needs is higher taxes - the government will just get lower revenues

ToryDiary: Five principles that should guide the Tory response to Brown's debt hangover

PaulineNevilleJonesSI Dame Pauline Neville-Jones on Platform: The State must not be given free rein to snoop on our emails

Seats and candidates: In our latest diary of a candidate, High Peak's Andrew Bingham reviews his week

Local government:

WATCH: Three classic Yes Minister sketches

David Cameron's statement on Jade Goody

"I was very sorry to hear the sad news about Jade. Her brave fight has raised awareness of this terrible disease and her legacy will be to save the lives of more young women in the future. My thoughts are with her family and particularly her two young sons at this terrible time."

IHTHeadlines Newspapers see confusion in Tory tax policy

  • Tories will postpone flagship inheritance tax plan - Telegraph
  • Tory climbdown on inheritance tax - Daily Mail
  • Conservatives in disarray over 'sooner or later' tax promise - Times
  • Party at odds over its policy on inheritance tax and top income-tax rate - Independent
  • Tories 'split' over inheritance tax reforms - Scotsman
  • Ken tax boob - The Sun
  • Tory inheritance tax pledge put in doubt - Guardian
  • Inheritance tax cut not Tory government priority - Herald
  • Confusion over Tory inheritance tax plan - FT

"Quite apart from the economic unsoundness of raising tax on the investing and wealth-creating classes at a time when the economy needs their enthusiastic participation (and their money) more than ever, more confusion has been thrown into the Conservative message. The question, "What do the Tories really stand for?" is even more difficult to answer with any clear conviction – which can only add to the uncertainty and suspicion that voters already feel about Mr Cameron's team." - Janet Daley in The Telegraph

Julian Glover: Tory cuts must hit Tory causes

"Cameron must face [The Boris Johnsons and Norman Tebbits of his party] down if he is to look like anything other than a mean old Tory from central casting, squeezing the poor so the rich can afford their Audis... Tory cuts must be seen to hit Tory causes too: the Queen's marching bands; Trident; tax havens; farmers - an array of middle-class subsidies. Promises of a council tax freeze seem fanciful. An inheritance tax cut is surely unaffordable, as Ken Clarke said yesterday - the first frontbencher to admit it." - Guardian

> Two weeks ago ConservativeHome made the case for 'Tory cuts for Tory causes'

Trevor Kavanagh: Cameron mustn't just beat Labour - he must kill it off

"Cameron cannot afford to leave Labour licking its wounds on the sidelines. He must drive a stake through their hearts and scatter their troops to the wind." - Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun calls for the Tories to champion the unemployed victims of Gordon Brown's policies

Jonathan Aitken: The way we treat prisoners creates a conveyor belt of crime - Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary on the Aitken report

Decca Aitkenhead meets William Hague

Picture 15 "Hague's politics may not have changed much, but the rest of him has, and the effect is quite dramatic. Having a pint with Hague would be a lot of fun; he is self-deprecating and quick-witted, and though more guarded than all the joking would suggest, more disposed to laugh at himself than almost any politician I have met. He says he feels more comfortable in the role of a deputy than he ever did as leader, and seldom can a sense of congruence have manifested itself more physically. Almost everything about Hague that used to feel wrong - the strangely strained voice, the face which looked simultaneously foetal and fogeyish, the prematurely receding hairline - suddenly somehow works; he looks comfortable in his own skin at last." - Decca Aitkenhead of The Guardian meets William Hague

Betrayal fear as Brown holds secret talks on Falklands

"David Lidington, Shadow Foreign Office Minister, said: “We want good relations with Argentina, but the Prime Minister must make it very clear that the democratic rights of the Falkland Islanders must come first. Gordon Brown should be urging Argentina to accept the reality of the Falkland Islands’ wishes and to normalise their relations with the people there.” - Quoted in The Express

Recession could trigger civil unrest, even riots, warns Frank Field MP - BBC

A wide-ranging inquiry into MPs' expenses is being considered by the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life

"It comes after employment minister Tony McNulty said he had not broken any rules by claiming an allowance for a home in London where his parents live." - BBC

"A Labour minister faces a sleaze inquiry after claiming £60,000 from the taxpayer in expenses on his parents' home. Tony McNulty was forced to admit that he rarely stays at the house in his constituency despite claiming around £14,000 a year in parliamentary expenses." - Daily Mail

"Lord Myners, the City Minister who is in charge of tackling the Government's clampdown on tax avoidance, set up his own business in the tax haven of Bermuda" - Telegraph

Joseph Rowntree: 25% of government databases are illegal and should be scrapped or redesigned - BBC

'I Won't Be Silenced By Canadian Tories' - George Galloway in the Daily Recor

> Matthew Sinclair on CentreRight

And finally... Yes Minister goes Dutch

"Yes Minister is to be remade by Dutch television — with Sir Humphrey's permanent secretary role going to a woman, called Helen van Zuylen in the series. Fans of the original series may wonder why the programme makers have changed one of the great characters of television comedy — the very essence of Establishment values, with his pinstriped suits, club membership and first-class classics degree from Oxford. Could a woman get away with being as condescending as Sir Humphrey?" - Times

And finally (2)... Michael Gove on David Willetts

"My Shadow Cabinet colleague David Willetts is among the most brilliant people I've met. It's not just difficult political problems (where should the taper be set for the working family tax credit?) he can resolve. He's also a shrewd reader of social change. It was wrestling with an Ikea flatpack the other day that made him realise how decisively power relations have shifted between the sexes. It is women who now drive our economy, and whose time is much, much more precious, David concluded. Because we live in a world where our food is ready-made but our furniture requires hours of careful assembly." - Times


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