11.30pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Has Iraq’s PM just endorsed Obama?

8pm Seats and Candidates: Watford candidate arrested

7pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: House prices and wealth

5.45pm ToryDiary: Record low for Labour in ComRes poll

12pm Louise Bagshawe on CentreRight: Miliband falls, Purnell rises

ToryDiary: Project Cameron has evolved but has been remarkably consistent overall

Local government: Labour set to give ‘bin men’ new reasons not to collect your rubbish

Platform: Andrew Palmer looks at the prospect of a post-Mandela South Africa

Economy going from bad to worse

Darling_alistair "Taxpayers are at the limit of what they are willing to pay to fund public services, the Chancellor has said in an interview with The Times.  In his gloomiest assessment yet of the state of the British economy, Alistair Darling gave warning that the downturn was far more profound than he had thought and could last for years rather than months."

"Public sector net borrowing for the first quarter of 2008/2009 was £24bn – the biggest quarterly figure since records began in 1946." – Sky

Borrowing to surge as Brown moves the economic goalposts – Daily Mail

Osborne derides Brown era – FT

Telegraph leader-writers ask a very good question: "When was the last time a leading politician said we could not afford a fashionable, high-spending programme?"

"Government should not be the arbiter of whether it has met its own fiscal rules, by judging the dates and duration of an economic cycle. There is a strong case, as the Conservatives have proposed, for independent scrutiny of the fiscal rules. The Government has tarnished the credibility of budgetary policy. That must change. " – Times leader

The Tories and tax

"David Cameron warned that an incoming Tory government might inherit such an economic mess it would be forced to raise taxes. He had three aims: a "blame Labour" insurance policy in case he actually has to do it; to lower public expectations on tax cuts, in case they prove impossible in a first term; and to tell Tory traditionalists the nation’s finances are in such a parlous state that he will not bow to their demands to promise immediate tax cuts." – Andrew Grice in The Independent

FT: Neither of the main parties yet have convincing answers to Britain’s social problems

"British society is not broken, but it is damaged. It will need a series of complex local interventions, not the rebadging of ideological policies that aim to solve phantom general problems." – FT leader

Both main parties look to improve parenting – Guardian

Duncan_alan_on_dp Alan Duncan supports right of local people to save their red phone boxes

"The red phone box is part of our heritage and, like the Routemaster bus, it is an iconic symbol of British design around the world. This is not something that we should be just chucking away with a load of old telephones. If people wish to keep them they should be allowed to." – Mr Duncan, quoted in The Telegraph

Labour plays ‘the Thatcher card’ in Glasgow East

"In Glasgow East, [Labour] is presenting the former Conservative prime minister as a hate figure and accusing her government of "wrecking" the country.  Labour launched its attack on Baroness Thatcher after John Mason, the SNP candidate, compared Gordon Brown to Margaret Thatcher and said he could see little difference between her policies and those of the Labour Government." – Telegraph

Tories gain two seats on large swings in Jacqui Smith’s marginal constituencyHerald

Smith Institute warned about its political neutralityBBC | Guido on Brown’s failure to answer questions

"The Government is drowning in shallow water. Ministers flail around in an alphabet soup of piddling little initiatives" – Matthew Parris in The Times

Ofcom to censure Channel 4 for documentary that was sceptical about climate change

"Complaints about privacy and fairness from the government’s former chief scientist, Sir David King, and the Nobel peace prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be upheld on almost all counts, the Guardian has learned.  But it is understood that Channel 4 will still claim victory because the ultimate verdict on a separate complaint about accuracy, which contained 131 specific points and ran to 270 pages, will find that it did not breach the regulator’s broadcasting code and did not materially mislead viewers."


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