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Champagne may be banned again but Tories should be allowed some fizz in Birmingham

By Tim Montgomerie

Happy-Conservative For the third year in a row Tory frontbenchers have been ordered not to drink champagne at the party conference. The ban is perfectly understandable. Cuts, long promised, are finally coming and they are going to be painful for many families.

A little celebration - a little Cava perhaps - would seem forgivable, however.

This is the first conference the Conservatives have been in power for thirteen long years. This is the first new Tory-led government since 1979.

Although many good things were lost in the failure to win an outright majority the Coalition government looks much bolder than many of us could have hoped. Just today we have announcements of an attack on the health and safety culture and measures to restore discipline in schools. You can keep track of all Conference announcements here.

The biggest announcement this week - if yesterday's Times is to be believed - is a massive overhaul of the welfare system. These reforms will 'make work pay' for the poorest households. Yet again it is the Conservative Party that is leading the war on poverty. While Gordon Brown entrenched dependency - perhaps, deliberately, as a political strategy - David Cameron, in the tradition of Margaret Thatcher's right-to-buy, is helping the less privileged towards independence.

Screen shot 2010-10-02 at 08.11.58 At Conference ConservativeHome will be publishing the first edition of our new quarterly magazine. It is a celebration of the Tories' road back to power. It will be available at ConHome's fringe events. I'll be publishing details of how people not going to Conference can purchase their copies soon.


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