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Monday 16th March 2009

Picture_13 6pm ToryDiary: Policy Exchange appoints Andrew Lilico as its Chief Economist

5.15pm Andrew Lilico writes a valedictory post on CentreRight

2.45pm WATCH: A variety of Lib Dem MPs and peers answer the burning question: Why are you a Liberal Democrat?

2pm Parliament: Daniel Hannan - every child in the UK born with £30,000 debt

1.30pm Alex Deane on CentreRight has a policy proposal borrowed from an unlikely source

12.45pm ToryDiary: Highlights of David Cameron's monthly press conference

Bbc12.30pm Jeremy Hunt MP on CentreRight: The BBC licence fee should be frozen in these tough economic times

Noon Parliament: Mental health of the armed forces another strike against localism

11.45am Local Government:

11.45 am Parliament: Stephen O'Brien opposes presumed consent for organ donation

11am Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight:  Won't Barroso's "regret" over the Tories' exit from the EPP be a badge of honour for Tory eurosceptics?

10.45am Parliament: Jonathan Djanohly opposes plan to link statutory redundancy pay to average earnings

10.30am Matthew Sinclair on CentreRight: How British taxpayers' money is supporting hate propaganda in the Palestinian territories

ToryDiary: Have we yet reached the point where the Conservatives can win a working Commons majority?

Andrew Lilico on Platform: What killed private capitalism?

Seats and Candidates Diary of a PPC: Deirdre Alden, PPC for Birmingham Edgbaston

Local Government:

Julia Manning on CentreRight: "Not only do more confident, more involved parents who nurture and teach their children good habits save the NHS Public and Mental Health budget millions, but they are an investment for the future of civil society."


WATCH: Could the Government introduce minimum unit prices for alcohol?

Lansley_andrew_nw Andrew Lansley shuns chief medical officer's idea of minimum prices for alcohol

"Sir Liam Donaldson's report is a frank admission that the government's alcohol strategy has failed. The government's response to his report is another example of Labour's confusion and incoherence. If there was an ounce of leadership from Labour ministers on this issue there would be no need for Liam Donaldson to try his shock tactics to kick-start government policy... There is clearly a need for action. But it is very important to recognise that to deal with this problem we need to deal with people's attitudes and not just the supply and price of alcohol. Our proposals, which include measures to tackle loss-leader promotions and higher taxes on high-alcohol drinks aimed at young people, would address this without penalising the majority of moderate drinkers. This would seem to be a much better route to go down than distorting the whole drinks market." - Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley quoted in The Guardian

George Osborne condemns European Commission proposal to regulate the City

“We need greater international co-operation on banking but that shouldn't be an excuse for another power grab by the EU. We've all had to foot the bill for the mistakes made by the regulators, and so those regulators should be accountable to the British taxpayer not to Brussels. Gordon Brown should stop dithering and stop these plans in their tracks.” - George Osborne quoted in the Daily Mail

Dominic Grieve questions Keith Vaz's continued chairmanship of the Home Affairs select committee

"MP Keith Vaz faced calls to resign as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee last night after the emergence of a letter in which he asked a High Court judge to halt a case in which a friend stood to lose £400,000. The Labour MP intervened on behalf of a Shahrokh Mireskandari, a high-profile solicitor and convicted con man from whom he had allegedly received hospitality... Opposition parties have called for the former minister to step down, with Tory justice spokesman Dominic Grieve saying that the news "casts real doubt on his continuing as chair". - Daily Telegraph

Sharon Shoesmith's sex discrimination case "not worth pursuing" says Michael Gove

"The council chief sacked over her handling of the Baby P child abuse case is claiming she was the victim of sex discrimination, it emerged today. Sharon Shoesmith, 55, stands to win more than £1million if successful in her claim she was dismissed from Haringey Council because she is a woman. Michael Gove, Shadow Children's Secretary, said yesterday: "There should be no reward for failure in either the public or the private sector. The public will rightly regard this as a case which is not worth pursuing." - Daily Mail

May_theresa_blk_jacket Theresa May brands James Purnell "negligent and arrogant" over Job Centre closures

"The government is under fire from the Tories and trade unions for continuing to close jobcentres while unemployment is soaring and expected to top two million when figures are released this week... [Work and Pensions Secretary] James Purnell was attacked by both Theresa May, his Tory shadow, and Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, for pushing through earlier closures in areas where unemployment has since risen between 100 and 160%... May said: "Mr Purnell has been caught red-handed trying to dupe the public ... He is being negligent, arrogant and incompetent in allowing this to go ahead." - The Guardian

Chris Grayling unconvinced by plan to stop parking fine defaulters leaving the country

"A million motorists with unpaid parking fines face being stopped from leaving the country. They risk being caught up in plans to recoup almost £1billion in outstanding fines and court orders imposed for criminal offences as well as driving ones. Ministers are examining whether to use powers to track the travel plans of everyone leaving the country under a system known as e-Borders to deal with the problem of unpaid fines... Chris Grayling, the Tory Home Affairs spokesman, also voiced some concern. "I am in favour of using innovative methods to ensure that people pay their fines," he said. My only worry is that it could become so complicated that we will not be able to control our borders properly."

Eric Pickles answers Independent readers' questions - The Independent

Boris Johnson considers flexible rates for London's Congestion Charge

"Boris Johnson is considering making motorists pay different rates to enter Central London depending on the time of the day, The Times has learnt. The Mayor of London is preparing to abolish the fixed daily congestion charge and replace it with an “intelligent” congestion system, pioneered in Stockholm. One option would mean motorists paying more to enter the central zone during peak periods and less at other times, rather than the current £8 charge between 7am and 6pm. Fairer options of payment, such as direct debit or an electronic chip that picks up a car’s entry into the zone, are also under consideration." - The Times

The Times examines Tory health policy

"It is often said that the Conservatives are travelling light on policy. In health that is not quite right. It is just that, in the effort to win the favour of the workforce they are trumpeting their worst policy and keeping very quiet that health reform is likely to stay on exactly the course that the Government is already charting." - Times editorial

Lawson_nigel_today Nigel Lawson: Capitalism needs a revived Glass-Steagall

"So there does need to be a change to the banking system. In a nutshell, we need to return, in all major financial centres, to the separation of commercial banking from investment banking that was enforced in the US under the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, until it was repealed by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. This is all the more important since we now live in an age in which the acquisition of wealth appears to count for more than reputation. Achieving this will not be easy or popular in banking circles, but it can be done. We have time to get it right: this is not firefighting, but fireproofing." - Lord Lawson writing in the FT

Sir Max Hastings: "Winning the next election should be the least of Cameron's worries"

"The Tories are in no need of arguments to enable them to win an election. Gordon Brown provides those. They face the vastly more difficult task, shared by almost every political party in the western democracies, of thereafter producing a new model of capitalism that embittered electorates will acquiesce in. If Cameron and George Osborne find themselves leading Britain's G20 delegation next year, it is hard to believe that they will find the experience any more profitable than do Brown and Alistair Darling." - Sir Max Hastings writing in The Guardian

Bruce Anderson: "As well as re-capitalising the banking system, we have to recapitalise the intellectual system" - The Independent

Additional coverage of Andrew Lilico's CPS pamphlet

We need more risk and less regulation of the financial sector - Daily Telegraph

Why we should have let RBS and HBOS fail - The Scotsman

Scots Tories want pupils to face tougher test in reading and writing - Scotsman

Lord Ashcroft bails out Prince Harry's African charity with £250,000 donation - Daily Telegraph

Unemployment to rise above 2 million this week - Independent

Police launch campaign on how to spot possible terrorists - Daily Express

72% want an inquiry into the invasion of Iraq - BBC

Pensioners hire Cherie Blair to sue Sir Fred Goodwin and RBS - Times

Claims of British collusion in torture spread to Egypt - Guardian

Janet Daley: The Republicans can take heart as Barack Obama staggers to the Left - Daily Telegraph

Weekend_highlightsDavid Cameron's personal rating up sharply in new YouGov survey

80% of party members explain the Tory lead in terms of Labour failure

Eric Pickles insists that the Conservative Party is streets ahead of the opposition when it comes to online campaigning

Humfrey Malins to step down, creating a plum vacancy in Woking

What should Gordon Brown have to apologise for?

Julie Moody on how the miners' strike politicised a 15-year-old schoolgirl in County Durham

Should male MPs have to wear ties in the Commons?

An illustration of the growth of Britain's conservative movement


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