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Friday 28th August 2009

6.15pm Daniel Kawczynski MP on CentreRight: David Miliband must meet the mother of PC Yvonne Fletcher

4.45pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Michael Martin's peerage was quietly announced today

Spectator4.15pm ToryDiary: Fraser Nelson is new Editor of The Spectator

1.30pm Local Government: The Council Tax burden on the elderly has nearly doubled under Labour

12.30pm ToryDiary: David Cameron accuses Gordon Brown of "hiding behind the cloak of constitutional convention" over his refusal to voice an opinion on the release of the Lockerbie bomber

11am ToryDiary update: Dr Charles Tannock MEP backs £10 charge for GP visits Updated with further explanation from Dr Tannock of the background to his proposal

10.45am Seats and Candidates: Non-postal open primaries announced for Skipton & Ripon - and Bracknell

£10charge  ToryDiary: Dr Charles Tannock MEP backs £10 charge for GP visits

Also in ToryDiary: Which frontbencher made the biggest media impact in August?

Dylan Thomas on Platform: Why I believe Iran is behind the upsurge in British casualties in Afghanistan

Seats and Candidates: Richard Harrison selected for Easington

Local Government:

International: Increased support for Canada's Conservatives cools election speculation

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Keep Laura Kuenssberg blogging!

WATCH: How a new baby boom has pushed the UK population over 61 million

HANNAN DAN The Times backs politicians like Daniel Hannan questioning establishment views...

"Conventionally, politicians try to avoid saying controversial things. They adhere to “the line”, try to avoid embarrassment. The result is a bland discourse, and a politics delivered in code. No one says what he or she means, everyone hints at it, and tries to avoid breaking any taboos. This code is one of the things that people most dislike about politics. It excludes anyone but the insider. It leads to assumptions that ought to be questioned remaining unquestioned. It can render political debate meaningless. Take Mr Hannan’s remarks about the NHS. If these are to be regarded as too outrageous to leave the lips of anyone in public life, then an entire strand of opinion goes unrepresented and the debate on healthcare is stunted." - Times editorial the man himself says there is no harm in agreeing to disagree

"If current media norms had applied throughout the 20th century, it would have been a terrible "gaffe" to suggest that Britain ought to rearm in the Thirties or that the state shouldn't set prices and incomes in the Sixties. Worst of all, insistence on conformity prevents Parliament from doing its most important job, namely to constrain the Government. When MPs contract out their opinions to their Whips, they cease to represent their constituents." - Daniel Hannan writing in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Dan Hannan in the news

The Daily Mail calls on David Cameron to give the NHS some "tough love"

"Mr Cameron, in particular, is frightened to voice all bar the gentlest of comments, for fear of being accused of 'nastiness'. This stance is increasingly untenable. The NHS is staffed by many tremendous doctors and nurses. And, yes, the founding principle of free healthcare for all must be preserved. But it must also be acknowledged that the 60 year-old NHS is not sacrosanct. Every week it swallows £2billion from the public purse, yet - as recent days have shown - it is inefficient, bureaucratic and provides woeful value for that money. It is time for Mr Cameron to end his timidity and give the NHS what it so desperately needs - some tough love." - Daily Mail editorial

MAY Theresa (blk jacket) Tax credits could face axe in Tory welfare shake-up

"Tax credits could be scrapped as part of a long-term reform of benefits, the Conservatives have suggested. Theresa May, the Tory work and pensions spokeswoman, used a speech on welfare to attack tax credits in principle, rather than the way that they are implemented. Previously under David Cameron, the Conservatives have said that they opposed the way tax credits have been managed and did not think that they should be given to the middle classes." - The Times

Chris Grayling rebuked by Baltimore mayor over The Wire parallel

"After drawing parallels this week between what his party calls "broken Britain" and the fictional drama about the crime-ridden US city of Baltimore, Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, was rowing back last night as he came under fire from two figures he would probably rather keep on side: the mayor of Baltimore and the chief constable of Greater Manchester police." - The Guardian

Noon update: Guido has exposed that the statement purporting to come from the Mayor of Baltimore was in fact from a spoof website set up by Labour blogger Alex Hilton of Recess Monkey

> Tuesday's ToryDiary: Chris Grayling lambasts Labour for failing Britain's poorest communities and outlines the Conservative approach to reversing social breakdown

Lord Ashcroft attacked by Prime Minister of Belize

"In an extraordinary attack, the Prime Minister of Belize accused Lord Ashcroft of being "predatory" and implied that he had subjected the former colony to "new age slavery". "There will be no more suffering of this one man's campaign to subjugate an entire nation to his will," said Dean Barrow in a specially convened parliamentary debate called to renationalise the country's main telephone company, which was formerly owned by Mr Ashcroft... Mr Ashcroft's political links in Belize are with the People's United Party (PUP), which lost control in an election last year to Mr Barrow's United Democratic Party (UDP)." - The Independent

HUNT JEREMY NW Jeremy Hunt outlines why he favours local TV over regional TV

"According to Ofcom only 59% of people are interested in watching programmes about their region. This is unsurprising given that places as far apart as Bristol and Falmouth are in the same region. This compares to 70% who would like to watch content about their city or town. It is local not regional TV that consumers want - and we are the only party giving serious consideration to why it is that Britain is one of the only countries in the developed world not to have a local TV sector. The key question is whether such a sector can be commercially viable." - Marketing Week

Boris: Tax on City profits would be "crackers"

"Boris Johnson today hit out at plans to impose fresh taxes on the City of London as "crackers". The Mayor went on the offensive after Financial Services Authority chief Lord Turner called for a new levy on the financial services industry." - Yesterday's Evening Standard

Cook Richard East Renfrewshire PPC Richard Cook on this summer's social action project in Bosnia

"Richard Cook, the Tory candidate for East Renfrewshire, was one of 30 conservatives who travelled to Srebrenica in Eastern Bosnia, backdrop to genocide in 1995, as part of Project Maja... He described the Bosnian project as a huge learning experience. "I think people in the current parliament should go out there to see it, but particularly people for the future parliament, from all parties. If there is going to be more trouble, more ethnic cleansing, then I think it is likely to happen within the term of the next Parliament. The better informed that people are, then the less likely it is that the UK parliament will turn its back on the people the way it did previously, much to the shame of a Conservative government and everybody else who was in that parliament of the time." - The Herald

> Dudley South PPC Chris blogged for CentreRight about Project Maja in Bosnia here and here

Ignore Grazia girl at your peril

"The Grazia interview is a savvy move by the Tory leader. The relationship between the party and the magazine has become quite cosy of late. Samantha Cameron is regularly featured as a style guru on its pages and last year the magazine ran a long feature, declaring the Conservatives are cool... Politicians ignore Grazia girl at their peril. The latest poll (July) from Ipsos-Mori showed that the Tories had a three point lead over Labour among 18-34 year olds – in other words, 32 per cent of young people said they would vote Conservative against 29 per cent Labour." - Emma Jacobs in the FT

> David Cameron's Grazia interview was covered in ToryDiary posts here and here

Neil O'Brien: A Simple solution to GCSE grade inflation

"Rather than tearing up the exam system, we could – as many other countries do – simply publish two different measures. Alongside their grade at GCSE or A-level, pupils would be given a percentile score, telling them what proportion of their fellow students did better or worse." - Neil O'Brein in the Daily Telegraph

And finally... Vote blue, go pink: Tory logo turns rainbow in attempt to win the gay vote

Picture 9 "The Tories have unveiled a 'gay-friendly' logo in bright rainbow colours in a bid to attract new voters. The green and blue tree trademark has been given the vibrant makeover ahead of the party's annual political conference in Manchester. The emblem, launched on the Conservative website, is being used to promote a 'Conference Pride' event at the rally next month... More than 700 people are expected to attend a £15-a-head bash at the trendy Spirit Bar in Canal Street, the heart of the city's famous gay village." - Daily Mail


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