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30 Apr 2009 08:59:55

Thursday 30th April 2009

10pm ToryDiary: Look out for a five pronged affirmation of "new Toryism"

5.30pm WATCH: David Cameron outlines his latest thinking on MPs' expenses

12.15pm ParliamentGovernment deservedly loses Commons vote on Gurkhas

11.45am Local Government: Staffordshire Conservative manifesto launched

Picture 16 11.15am WATCH: Andrew Lansley attacks Labour for failing to get the National Flu helpline up and running

Latest from Parliament:

9.45am ToryDiary: David Cameron refuses to rule out scrapping/ delaying replacement for Trident

ToryDiary: David Davis concludes that he cannot justify a wholesale upgrade of Trident, as he weighs into the debate about public spending

Jonathan Munday on Platform: The next Conservative Government must introduce a Great Repeal Act

Seats and Candidates:

Local Government:

Star Chamber: End the Government Car Service

WATCH: Sky News asks the question: are enough preparations being made to deal with swine flu?

The Times characterises the new generation of Tories as "Greenhorns with no green credentials"

"David Cameron will head a party dominated by MPs more socially conservative and less concerned with the environment than their leader, an analysis of Conservative parliamentary candidates suggests. Mr Cameron has told close colleagues that he believes he is on course to win 140 new Tory MPs after the next election, The Times has been told. While such a net gain would give Mr Cameron an overall majority of about 15, it could place him to the left of most of his parliamentary party, in which the majority will be new to the Commons." - The Times

Profiles of some of the Tory MPs of tomorrow - The Times

LANSLEY ANDREW NW Swine flu: Andrew Lansley welcomes stockpiling of anti-viral drugs and face masks

"The shadow Health secretary Andrew Lansley welcomed the Government's decision to increase the anti-viral stockpile and procure face masks for NHS staff. "We will need to explore further possible counter-measures including whether the Government will now provide anti-virals preventatively to all those who have come into contact with people who are infected; how the Government proposes to fill the gap caused by the delay in setting up the National Flu Line, which won't be ready until the autumn; and whether it will be the Government's intention to close schools for three weeks at a time if a case of pandemic flu is identified," he said." - The Independent

"Tory bigwigs at war on military spending"

"Tory plans to slash arms spending were in disarray yesterday after a revolt that could split the party. The Mirror has learned shadow defence secretary Liam Fox has emailed defence firms with a vow to fight George Osborne's bid to save £3 billion by cutting the A400M transport aircraft and another plane programme. Dr Fox told them he will fight any such cuts - a move which threatens to set the Tories at each others' throats." - The Mirror

How the civil service is planning for a Tory Government

"So far, Mr Cameron shows every sign of understanding the imperative of being prepared. At his direction, an unprecedented programme of training and planning has been underway for months, with the aim not just of turning opposition spokesmen into battle-ready ministers, but policy into legislation, and principles into fundamental changes to the very culture of government." - Benedict Brogan writing in the Daily Telegraph

DSC05260 Boris gives himself six and a half out of ten after a year in office

"In an interview with the Guardian to mark his first year in office, the Conservative mayor gave himself just "six and a half out of 10" for his mayoral performance to date. "If I think we are doing OK and I have a chance of being re-elected and people aren't too hacked off with me then yes, I would be absolutely crazy not to try for a second term. It's a wonderful job. It's almost certainly the last big job I will do in British politics." - The Guardian

> Saturday's ToryDiary: Being Mayor is "almost certainly my last big job in British politics"

Gordon Brown struggles to maintain his authority after humiliating defeat on the Gurkhas

"Gordon Brown was struggling to maintain his authority over Labour MPs last night after suffering a shock Commons defeat on restricting the right of former Gurkhas to settle in Britain. Twenty-seven Labour MPs voted against the Prime Minister and dozens abstained in favour of a Liberal Democrat motion that would give all Gurkhas who have served in the Armed Forces an equal right of residence... David Cameron said: “The basic presumption that people who fight for our country should have a right to come and live in our country has been set out very clearly. The Government has now got to come back with immediate proposals so that those Gurkhas who have been waiting so long for an answer can have that answer.” - The Times

The 27 Labour rebels who helped defeat the Government - The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Tories and Lib Dems defeat Government on settlement rights for Gurkhas

MPs to vote on expenses reforms today...

"Gordon Brown's plans to reform the system of MPs' expenses will go to a series of House of Commons votes later. His proposals include more transparency over second jobs and MPs' staff being employed by the Commons authorities. But Mr Brown's plan to abolish the controversial second homes allowance in favour of flat-rate attendance expenses was dropped amid widespread opposition. The votes are seen as a test of his authority after the government suffered a surprise Commons defeat on Wednesday." - BBC some Labour members reportedly fear exposure as adulterers when expenses are published

"Three Labour MPs are said to be terrified that the release of their expenses claims will expose them as adulterers and financial cheats. Four ministers are also understood to have warned party whips they might have to resign for abusing the system, when MPs' receipts are published before the summer recess in July." -  Daily Mail

Fraser Nelson: Accepting 50p tax was the trap into which David Cameron has walked

"Mr Cameron walked into Gordon’s trap, which was not that the Tory leader would oppose the measure, but that he would accept it. The Prime Minister is bequeathing to a recession-struck nation the fourth-highest top tax rate on the planet, just for the devilish joy of watching a Conservative party too timid to state the simple truth: that high tax rates make everyone poorer. Economically, it is a poison pill. The tragedy is that so many of Britain’s entrepreneurs will not hang around long enough to see whether Cameron swallows it. They know that greed is still good — for everyone. But does the Conservative prime minister-in-waiting?" - Fraser Nelson writing in The Spectator

WILLETTS DAVID NEW David Willetts reflects on Thatcher and Thatcherism

"De Gaulle claimed to be driven by une certaine idée de la France. Thatcher had a certain idea of England—and it probably was England, not Britain, which was one of its problems. It was a picture of sturdy individuals with their freedoms protected by strong institutions. I remember when as a keen young ideologue I called it laissez faire and she corrected me—no, she said, a system of “ordered liberty.” Perhaps she just didn’t like French phrases." - David Willetts MP writing in Prospect

Parallels are drawn between Gordon Brown and John Major losing the grip of power...

"Gordon Brown’s premiership faces a lingering death as painful as that experienced by John Major in 1996-97 unless he gets a grip quickly. Long-serving MPs were drawing parallels last night between the two: the willingness of government backbenchers to defy their leader, a loss of prime ministerial authority and open fatalism about the party’s electoral prospects." - Peter Riddell writing in The Times

"The Prime Minister has lost his way. He has lost his place in the script... We have been here before. In fact, we have been here twice in living memory. James Callaghan and John Major seemed similarly doomed, especially in retrospect, as they limped towards their conclusions – in Callaghan's case 30 years ago this Sunday. But Callaghan retained his dignity and not even Major cut so miserable a figure as Brown does now." - John Rentoul writing in The Independent another commentator identifies "the longest assisted suicide in history"...

"The death throes of the Labour Government that started with Gordon Brown's arrival in No10 and reached its terminal phase in last week's Budget, could be called the longest assisted suicide in history. Labour really is dying and Mr Brown could not have done the deed on his own." - Anatole Kaletsky writing in The Times

...and a former Sun editor declares his hatred for the Prime Minster

"I can't remember when I last felt like this. It’s probably the best part of three decades ago. I detest this Government with my heart and soul and have literally begun to hate the Prime Minister. For a decade he pocketed our hard work. Slowly, secretly, but without hesitation he stuck up our taxes. All the time he took credit for the global boom, never once criticising the bankers, the private equity guys or the hedgies. " - Kelvin Mackenzie writing in The Sun

David Cameron's mother-in-law speaks about the loss of Ivan - Daily Telegraph

Alistair Darling hints that ID cards could be dropped - Daily Mail

Hazel Blears warns that recession could spark riots and civil disorder - 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 Apr 2009 08:59:58

Wednesday 29th April 2009

10.15pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight writes an open letter to Alan Duncan demanding an apology for his remarks about Miss California on Have I Got News For You

6.15pm Local Government: From Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs

Picture 86pm WATCH: The full unedited exchanges on the Gurkhas from today's PMQs

4.30pm ToryDiary: Tories and Lib Dems defeat Government on settlement rights for Gurkhas Updated at 5.45pm with full reaction from David Cameron and Damian Green and at 6.30pm with reaction from Liam Fox

4pm WATCH: Sky News's Joey Jones reviews the highlights of today's PMQs

3.30pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight on the dangers of coherency in politics

3pm Parliament: Jacqui Lait calls for children to be protected from exploitation

2.30pm ParliamentGeorge Osborne mocks the Government's growth projections

2.30pm WATCH: Gordon Brown goes to leave the Commons when called to make a statement after PMQs

1pm Local Government: Boris Johnson wants to hand power down to London boroughs.


11am Parliament: Roger Helmer: Working Time Directive opt-out is safe - until European elections

Picture 10 11am ToryDiary: Conservatives will mend Britain's broken economy, its broken society and its broken politics

10.45am WATCH: The Crown Blogspot's video reminding us why we should sign the petition calling on Gordon Brown to resign

10.30am Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight is impressed with the Conservative Party's female candidates

ToryDiary: Will the next Conservative Government face tougher challenges than Margaret Thatcher did in 1979?

Stephen Mold on Platform: The economic lessons we can learn from Canada

Seats and Candidates: Paul Shea selected for East Ham

Local Government:

Star Chamber: Abolish the Standards Board for England

Julia Manning on CentreRight: Isn't the unfolding tragedy over the latest 'flu outbreak that it is a death sentence for the poor?


CCHQ diverts resources to seats lower down the target list

"The Conservatives are diverting campaign money and resources away from constituencies that they believe they will easily win, as growing poll leads increase the scale of the party’s electoral ambitions. Candidates in Labour seats that would fall to the Conservatives on a swing of only a few hundred votes are being told that their seats are in a category comfortingly termed “sure win”... The increasing likelihood of victory for the Conservatives at the next election has prompted the party to consider diverting resources away from seats it believes are already in the bag to those previously regarded as unrealistic prospects." - The Times

DSC05309 We'll win the election, says William Hague

“It is likely that we are going to be able to win the next election... I put it no more strongly than that.” While there was no complacency in the party, he said that a trend was setting in. “However much opinion polls go up and down there is a mood of ‘this is long enough of a Labour government’ .” The Tories were psychologically prepared for government, he said. “We have the right mixture of excitement — when you have lost three elections it is quite exciting.” - Shadow foreign secretary William Hague quoted in a wide-ranging interview with The Times

George Osborne mocks Gordon Brown after the PM's economic policy is criticised in Poland

"Gordon Brown came under fire both at home and abroad yesterday over the state of Britain's finances. On a visit to Poland, he had to listen to its Prime Minister pointedly criticise countries that tried to spend their way of recession... George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, said the Prime Minister had been given a "lecture on prudence" by the Polish premier. He added: "We are used to Polish builders telling us to fix the roof while the sun was shining, not the Polish Prime Minister as well." - The Independent

Conservatives welcome breakdown in negotiations on the working time directive

"All 26 other European Union member states are now expected to join the British opt-out which allows UK workers to work more than 48 hours a week, leaving the controversial Brussels employment legislation in tatters... Philip Bushill-Matthews, the Conservative's employment spokesman in the European Parliament, said: "The result of the breakdown of negotiations is that the opt-out remains secure – until the next attempt to undermine it. The current commission proposal for review automatically lapses, and it will be up to the commission to come up with a new proposal." - Daily Telegraph

Tories deny YouTube video shows David Cameron at 1988 rave

"The Tories were today forced to deny that a video clip purporting to show a long-haired party-goer at a 1988 outdoor rave was the party leader David Cameron. The purple-tinted video, set to a hypnotic acid house rave track, shows a man bearing a striking similarity to Cameron with shoulder-length hair and wearing dungarees." - Daily Mail

FOX LIAM NEW Liam Fox raises concerns over review of the reserve forces

"A radical reorganisation of the armed forces reserves, which would see them integrated more fully with regular forces and better trained, was announced by the Ministry of Defence yesterday. It will involve a cut of about 2,000 posts, mainly as a result of modern communications systems replacing traditional signallers... Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said the plans were short on detail: "Changes to the shape of our armed forces should be made within the context of a strategic defence review - one which is hugely overdue - not in this piecemeal fashion." - The Guardian

David Cameron rebuts The Times' attack on his supposed failure to promote women

"The fact is we've got more women in the Shadow Cabinet than Labour have in their Cabinet. We have more than 80 parliamentary candidates who are women. If we form a majority of just one at the next election, the number of female Tory MPs will treble to 55. Half the peers I have appointed since becoming leader are women... In my private office, four of the most senior posts are filled by exceptionally able women who I personally appointed myself." - David Cameron writing in The Times

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The Times launches unfair attack on David Cameron's attempts to promote women

Gordon Brown faces new challenge over MPs' expenses

"Brown faced a challenge last night when the cross-party Commons standards and privileges committee announced it would table its own amendment on expenses and allowances during the debate tomorrow. The committee, whose members include five senior Labour MPs including the former ministers Paddy Tipping and Chris Mullin, will propose that the system of MPs' allowances should be referred to the standards watchdog, Sir Christopher Kelly... The Conservative frontbench is planning to abstain on the committee's amendment. David Cameron is also planning to support all Brown's plans, except the reform of allowances to subsidise MPs' second homes." - The Guardian

Stephen O'Brien criticises Government over lack of flu helpline

"Leaflets about the swine flu outbreak and how to prevent its spread are to be delivered to every UK household... But the Conservatives have criticised the government over the national flu helpline, which was supposed to be ready in early 2009. Shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien said: "The national flu line will be crucial if a pandemic were to happen in Britain, by allowing people to get the information and the anti-virals they will need to fight the flu without having to go to GP surgeries or hospitals." - BBC

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Conservatives question the Government's readiness to respond to a flu outbreak

DSC05282 Boris Johnson promises Olympic benefits for Londoners

"Boris Johnson promised yesterday that a combination of mobile swimming pools, "street athletics" and outdoor "green gyms" would help Londoners realise the benefits of the 2012 Olympics as part of a £30m investment plan. The mayor of London also promised hundreds of initiatives at local level, and to sweep away bureaucracy to allow Londoners to use discounted facilities across the capital to boost sports participation." - The Guardian

> Yesterday in Local Government: Boris Johnson launches sports programme

Simon Heffer: You had to be there to grasp the scale of Margaret Thatcher's revolution

"Her arrival as prime minister, 30 years ago next Monday, and the breaking of the discredited consensus that it effected, remain the most positive and important events in our post-war history. If anyone tells you otherwise, then (either literally or metaphorically) they weren't really there." - SImon Heffer writing in the Daily Telegraph

Peter Riddell: David Cameron's plans for power can be changed by reality of office

"The present Tory Opposition is preparing assiduously, with an implementation team headed by Francis Maude. Former ministers and civil servants have supplied advice, while briefing sessions have been organised for the Conservatives by the Institute for Government, an independent charity concerned with improving the effectiveness of administration... Yet he [David Cameron] knows that even the best prepared plans will look different in the harsh reality of office." - Peter Riddell writing in The Times

Alice Miles: Tory plans are muddled and baffling

"The Tory programme lacks all coherence. Take, for instance, the party's commitment to protect the rising budgets for health and international development, while looking for spending cuts elsewhere, as highlighted by the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne at the weekend. It is utterly baffling." - Alice Miles writing in The Times

Janet Street-Porter: I don't want MPs lecturing us about thrift

"David Cameron, once a PR man, is a master of the soundbite, but hijacking the word thrift is rich coming from a group of workers (MPs) still arguing about whether they should be allowed to vote on their own pay, and be reimbursed for second homes... David Cameron talks about removing tax credits from the middle classes and implies that he will raise taxes, but why should ordinary individuals pay more when the waste in government and their inept attempts to harness new technology have cost billions?" - Janet Street-Porter writing in The Independent

Revolt grows over treatment of Gurkhas - Daily Mail

Peter Hain: We need to wake up and tackle BNP poison head on - The Guardian


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

28 Apr 2009 09:03:40

Tuesday 28th April 2009

10pm Ruth Lea on CentreRight: The Labour Government is dishonest, self-serving and rotten to the core

6pm Local Government: Boris Johnson launches sports programme.

5pm ToryDiary: You know the game's up for Labour when... Jarvis Cocker says a Tory victory is "necessary"

4pm WATCH: Speaking in Warsaw, Gordon Brown defends his plans on MPs' expenses

2.30pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Eric Pickles reveals his top five websites

1pm Parliament: Lord Tebbit on the cost of illegal immigration

12.45pm ToryDiary: Conservatives question the Government's readiness to respond to a flu outbreak

12.15pm Seats and candidates: Lord Portillo?

11.30am Parliament: Dominic Grieve: "Prison crisis is entirely of the Government's own making"

FIELD MARK 11.15am Mark Field MP on CentreRight: "Conservatives appreciate that raising tax now even on the wealthiest in our communities risks prolonging the UK's economic downturn"

11am Parliament: When should pupils be expelled from schools?

10.15am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: The battle of the petitions

10am Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: Beware triumphalism!


Mark Brooks on Platform: Because of male cancers, boys' education, male suicides... We need a Minister for Men

Star Chamber public spending saving idea 7: No more UK aid for India

Local government:

New ComRes poll puts Tories 19% ahead - Independent | Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

TelegraphYOUGOVpolls Click on the image on the right to enlarge a Telegraph chart of their YouGov polls >>> 

David Cameron demands referendum on new EU constitution from Gordon Brown - Telegraph

Picture 4> Put the EU-turn widget on your own website
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron launches new campaign for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

Unlike Geoffrey Howe, George Osborne will wield the axe from day one

"The Thatcher government sparked outrage in 1981 by cutting spending and raising taxes in the midst of recession. Some 364 indignant economists famously called for a change of course. As it happens, one of them was Mervyn King, now governor of the Bank of England. George Osborne, Mr Cameron’s shadow chancellor, has a rather different take. The mistake was not to have acted sooner. The 1981 Budget should have been unveiled in 1979. The implication is that a Cameron government would act swiftly and decisively to restore the public finances." - Philip Stephens in the FT

Cameron's 'Austerity' speech was in total contrast to his first speeches as leader - Michael Brown in The Independent

Is the Thatcher era over?

"One of Mrs Thatcher’s most famous phrases was: “There is no alternative.” As yet, no major political figure in Britain or the western world has really articulated a coherent alternative to the free-market principles inherited from Thatcherism. Until that happens, the Thatcher era will not be definitively over." - Gideon Rachman in the FT

Margaret Thatcher backs The Sun's campaign for justice for Gurkhas - The Sun

Scottish Tories hold family and social justice conference

GOLDIE annabel Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie's remarks are captured by The Herald: "A family can be a single mum or dad who looks after and takes responsibility for a child, where they provide a loving and caring environment. But mothers or fathers who ply their kids with alcohol or don't make them go to school or don't make sure they are in by a reasonable hour or are not concerned by their child's behaviour are not good parents. The family is the natural building block in any society. If these foundations are unstable, society is unstable, and that instability is self-perpetuating."

Chris Grayling's backing for knighthood for Ryan Giggs covered in The Sun -

LabourMeltdownLABOUR REBELLION 1: Stephen Byers attacks his own party for "cynical move" on 50p tax - BBC
LABOUR REBELLION 2: Cabinet rebels want ID cards scrapped now - Independent
LABOUR REBELLION 3: Scottish QC defects to Tories over Labour failure on crime - Telegraph

LABOUR RETREAT 1: Brown on his daily allowance for MPs plan - BBC
LABOUR RETREAT 2: Jack Straw abandons Titan prison plans - BBC
LABOUR RETREAT 3: Jacqui Smith scraps giant email database plan - Daily Mail | Video

...But one lady woman is not for turning:

HARMAN RED "Harriet Harman yesterday published her landmark equalities bill, defying business by insisting that all companies with more than 250 employees publish the average pay of male and female staff by 2013. The proposal, part of a sweeping review of more than 100 pieces of British equality legislation, was condemned by the CBI, the Engineering Employers Federation and the British Chambers of Commerce." - Guardian

Polly Toynbee salutes the Harman Bill (but wishes it had happened in 1997) - The Guardian

Theresa May said yesterday that she was unconvinced by Ms Harman's reforms - PoliticsHome

Edwina Currie: Equality is fine, but this absurd bill will be a disaster for women and Britain - Daily Mail

Photograph of the climate protestors who glued themselves to Commons statue - Sky



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

27 Apr 2009 09:02:28

Monday 27th April 2009

9pm ToryDiary: A Conservative majority of 170!

6.30pm WATCH: Nicholas Soames MP objects to use of Winston Churchill by UKIP

5.45pm ToryDiary: "One BBC journalist told me that his colleagues and editors were now more interested in an announcement from George Osborne than from Alistair Darling."

5.15pm Latest from Parliament:

5.15pm WATCH:

2.15pm ToryDiary: Boris attacks 50p tax band as an "assault on London"

Picture 121.15pm WATCH: Alan Duncan: If you read that Miss California has been murdered you'll know it was me

11.15am ToryDiary: David Cameron launches new campaign for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

10.30am WATCH: Video of David Cameron's full thirty minute Cheltenham speech

10am Julia Manning on CentreRight: What the Government needs to do to protect Britain from Mexican swine flu

ToryDiary: Ten reasons why Tory MEPs are 'delivering for Britain'

Howard Flight on Platform: How we should regulate the UK's financial services industry

6a00d83451b31c69e20115705490d3970b-150wi Seats and candidates: Diary of a PPC: Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire)

Local government: Is town twinning a good thing?

Star Chamber:

Coverage of David Cameron's "age of austerity speech"

 Britain will become the 'sick man of Europe' again unless debt crisis is dealt with, warns Cameron - Sky

CameronWaving"In his gloomiest speech since taking over as Tory leader in 2005, Cameron said that the dire state of the public finances meant that he would be judged as prime minister by his success in dealing with the debt crisis." - Guardian

"David Cameron warned public sector workers to prepare for a painful pay squeeze from next year because an incoming Tory government would have to take "incredibly tough decisions" to cut Britain's debt mountain. The Conservative leader said the financial crisis was so severe that Britain needed to undergo "massive change" as it entered an era of belt-tightening." - Independent

"Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, who remains Mr Cameron's closest ally, champions spending cuts over tax rises and promises detailed plans to ensure he has a proper 'mandate' to wield the axe. He believes business tax cuts, in particular, are vital to ensure that Britain begins pulling itself out of the economic nightmare. But Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley promises the budget for the NHS will be protected. That would imply massive cuts elsewhere or significant tax increases." - Daily Mail

> ConservativeHome's ten point summary of the things that mattered from the Cheltenham Spring Forum

Bruce Anderson: David Cameron must be willing to tell voters things they don't want to hear

"Although David Cameron was right to avoid the trap which Labour was setting, and to refuse to turn the next election into an argument about the new super-tax, he will have to refight some of the intellectual battles which Mrs Thatcher seemed to have won. He opposed 42-day detention, even though the polls indicated that it was popular. He should also defy the polls on the question of a low-tax economy. In these troubled times, a politician brave enough to tell the voters that their first instincts were wrong could earn their respect for displaying leadership." - Bruce Anderson in The Independent

Melanie Phillips: Cameron must cut taxes and spending

PHILLIPS-MELANIE "Despite the rousing cry of David Cameron yesterday - a 'return to traditional public spending control', a 'new culture of thrift in government' - the concern remains that a Tory Government will merely provide yet more of the same old, same old. If this country is to recover and flourish once again, it needs to produce more wealth and to live within its means. That means significantly reducing public expenditure and reducing taxes, not just for the wealthy but across the board." - Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail

If taxes have to rise...

Roger Bootle, writing in The Telegraph, has a suggestion: "If taxes have to rise, I have a modest suggestion which could help. Rather than doing this in the usual way, instead make people contribute to government funding. In return for increased "taxes", give them a certificate, a gilt if you like, which entitles them to a stream of interest payments, which could be used to reduce their tax bills in future."

Lib Dems ‘drifting into wilderness’ says defector to Tories, Norsheen Bhatti - Times

Saturday's Seats and candidates post: Lib Dem parliamentary candidate defects to the Conservatives

Alan Duncan may face police probe for talking about murdering someone on prime-time television - Daily Mail

Margaret Thatcher's successors ruined the prosperous Britain she created - Edwina Currie in The Telegraph

The political importance of Samantha Cameron

CAMERON MR&MRS "Sustaining her husband’s commitment to public services, serving as a one-woman focus group or casting a retailer’s eye over his project, Sam Cameron shapes the current brand of Conservatism in a number of subtle ways. Perhaps the strongest, however, is her taste in people. There are Conservative colleagues of her husband whom she likes — Andrew Feldman, Michael Gove, Steve Hilton. And there are those of whom she is less fond. An invitation to Dean, the family’s beautiful constituency home, for the weekend is as much in her gift as his." - Times

Brown's reform of MPs' expenses "dead" says Cameron as Labour backbenchers revolt - The Sun

Clegg u-turns on demand to stop MPs buying second home - Express

Harriet Harman to publish Bill that will force employers to reveal pay of men and women - BBC

John Reid could return in summer reshuffle of government - Mirror

Government minister Lord West places bet on Labour losing election - Telegraph

Picture 1110,000 people have signed 'Brown must go' petition - Guardian



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