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10pm LeftWatch: Tories launch first anti-Labour poster of the 2015 general election campaign…

8.30pm ToryDiary: David Cameron's words on Europe should not be subject to exacting scrutiny. They are designed to leave all options open.

Screen Shot 2012-09-28 at 20.13.328pm WATCH: The Tories can be "bloody difficult people to like", says Janet Daley

2.45pm LeftWatch: Cameron seen as tougher, stronger and more competent than Miliband but Labour leader more 'in touch'

1.15pm Martin Callanan MEP: Europe and the USA have taken action against Argentina's economic intransigence – so should we

12.45pm Local government: Council byelection results from yesterday

ToryDiary: Can Cameron appeal simultaneously to Lib Dem and UKIP-minded voters? Yes he can.

LeftWatch: Overweight man promises to go on diet next year. Alcoholic says he'll just have one more beer. Ed Balls promises to take tough decisions AFTER the next election.

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Millions of voters still have no clear idea who Cameron is or what he believes… and that's his fault

ShappsColumn

Grant Shapps MP, Tory Chairman, begins a new, regular column for ConservativeHome: This year's party conference will be more focused on grassroots members

Lord Lexden on Comment: Remembering the Ulster Covenant, signed a century ago today

Local government: Institutional racism is keeping black children in care

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: Britain’s energy sector has been re-nationalised – by the French


CameronUKCameron won't address EU referendum issue until AFTER party conference…

  • The Telegraph has "EU referendum not a priority, says Cameron";
  • The Prime Minister is likely to placate Eurosceptics, reports The Guardian, by signalling he will make major speech about Britain's EU membership later in year;
  • Nick Robinson agrees: "Mr Cameron has decided not to use his party conference speech to respond to mounting pressure within his party for a tougher stance towards the EU and an in/out referendum."

…but there are also signs that when Cameron says something it may be significant…

  • "The Prime Minister will push for the repatriation of more than 100 powers over justice, crime and policing. He is also likely to veto the EU’s demands for a bigger budget and will give the clearest signal yet that the Tories will offer an EU referendum in the next Parliament" – Daily Mail
  • The Express reports "Let's go our own way in Europe, says David Cameron".

Cameron arrives in São Paulo, seeking to boost trade for UK arms firms in BrazilGuardian

…But, says The Mail, the Brazilian media want to talk about Boris.

Cameron's plan for minimum alcohol prices left in tatters after EU legal threatDaily Mail

Ministers have been condemned by a committee of MPs for failing to investigate properly allegations of fraud in the Government's flagship schemes to get the unemployed back to workIndependent

Unnamed Tory MPs plan to write to Graham Brady, chairman of the influential backbench 1922 Committee, to say they have lost confidence in Andrew MitchellThe Sun


AshcroftLord Ashcroft: Tories must reach out to all voters, not pander to their own

"To govern alone, the Tories need to attract and hold people who did not vote for them last time and may never have done so before. The latest phase of Project Blueprint, my ongoing research on the prospects for an overall majority, found there are as many people who voted Lib Dem in 2010 who might be persuaded to vote Tory as there are Conservatives tempted to switch to Ukip. The Conservatives do not have the luxury of choosing between the two if they want to govern alone after 2015." – Lord Ashcroft in The Guardian

The British economy is coming out of recession, and is stronger than almost everyone believesThe Economist


Nelson Fraser Feb 2010Fraser Nelson: Wealth taxes simply don’t work

"The last German and Austrian wealth taxes were abolished in 1997; Finland’s and Iceland’s in 2006; Sweden tore up its wealth tax in 2007, hoping to persuade its rich to invest more money at home. All of these governments acted from a desire for more tax revenue, not less. And all realised that the notion of wealth tax had been defeated by one of the most persistent forces in human history: mankind’s ingenuity at avoiding taxes." – Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Boris Johnson leads Conservative resistance against Clegg's mansion taxes

"Clegg has conducted himself with dignity. He has remained loyal to
Cameron beyond the call of duty. He has held his ramshackle party
together against the odds."
– Simon Jenkins in The Guardian says Clegg deserves a bigger dollop of respect

Labour pledges 'ruthless' post-election spending reviewBBC

Balls Ed 470 May 2012

"An incoming Labour government will introduce a root and branch budget review to examine every penny of public spending, Ed Balls the shadow chancellor tells the Guardian. The budget review, expected to report within a year after the next election should Labour find itself back in No 10, is designed to look at the purpose and value of all public spending against the backdrop of some of the toughest long term tax and spending challenges to face the postwar Labour party." – Guardian

"The move is designed to convince the public ahead of Labour’s annual party conference in Manchester that Labour MPs are not oblivious to the public spending dilemmas facing the UK"FT (£)

The Times (£): "Ms Harman, the Labour deputy leader, said that the party would “not be signing up” to the Chancellor’s deficit reduction plans. But aides to Mr Balls, who is anxious to give himself maximum room for manoeuvre before the next election, said that no such decisions had been taken."

Gay couples should be allowed to marry in church, says Miliband as he backs Government proposalsDaily Mail


JOHNSON ALAN purple"Former Cabinet minister Alan Johnson said yesterday that Mr Miliband had not proved he is up to the job. The former Home Secretary said Mr Miliband “has to do more to demonstrate that he is a leader”."
Express

  • David Miliband to snub brother Ed's speech as feud goes on – The Sun

Labour might be better in partnership with the Lib Dems – There would have been no war in Iraq or attack on liberties, concludes Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

Gordon Brown's UN press conference cancelled after only one reporter turns up to hear himTelegraph

Time for MPs to summon statisticians over endless revisions

"It is hard to know whether we should believe anything we are told by our statistical masters. Originally, we were informed that the economy shrank by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter; then that it fell by 0.5 per cent; yesterday this was revised down to 0.4 per cent." – Allister Heath for City AM

David Cameron promises to brush up on British history after Letterman testMetro

> Yesterday's video choice of Cameron's Letterman performance

Cameron denies that he kept Obama on hold to finish game of tennisDaily Mail

It's not just in Britain; all across Europe party membership is in declineThe Economist's Bagehot


VAIZEY EDAnd finally… 'I have a television so why can't I have a games console?’

"Ed Vaizey revealed he had been told not to have gaming equipment wired up to his office TV because it would look ‘frivolous’. But the Tory culture minister said he was going to ‘renew’ his campaign, arguing that it was connected with his day job." – Daily Mail

The Sun Says: "He has a TV in his office, he says, so why not a games console? Well, Government ministers can watch news on TV. We’ll allow that. Why should anyone pay for them to play Call Of Duty? The man needs his Ed tested."

Mr Vaizey also joined George Osborne and Michael Gove for six hour Wagner fest at Royal Opera HouseDaily Mail

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