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5.30pm CentreRight: Nile Gardiner on displays of patriotism at the Republican Convention

4.15pm CentreRight updates:

1.15pm Charles Tannock MEP on CentreRight: The brutal application of the death penalty in Iran

PlayPolitical: Gordon Brown defends "careful economic interventions" in Scottish CBI speech and RNC video biography of Sarah Palin

Local Government: BNP continue to advance in local by-elections

Rupert Matthews on Platform: Reality Check – wishful thinking on energy policy causes the EU to bottle out of imposing sanctions on Russia

ToryDiary: ConHome admin

Willetts_2Willetts: Tories must prepare to govern

With the polls predicting a Conservative victory David Willetts has said that the Tories must begin to make detailed plans for governing – ePolitix

Without ideas, the Tories are doomed

"Cameron will, like Blair, enjoy a decent honeymoon, and earn plaudits for two or three big ideas unveiled during his first 100 days of office. Then what? Unless I am terribly mistaken, I don’t see the script for a brave new world emanating from Conservative brains either. Unless the deficit in British ideas is addressed, Cameron’s government will suffer a similar fate." – John Kampfner in The Telegraph

Gordon Brown has ruled out giving cash handouts to families struggling with the cost of rising energy bills

"There had been speculation that ministers would unveil plans to give households up to £100, following in-depth talks with energy companies. But Government sources have now said that they are focusing on long-term proposals including support for energy efficiency measures." – The Telegraph

Brown will be ousted in months, critics sayThe Independent

There are plotters, but there’s no credible plot … yet – Peter Riddell in The Times

Hasty plotters still offer no plausible vision of life after Brown – Steve Richards in The Independent

David Blunkett says people should work until they are ‘incapacitated’

David_blunkett400"In a speech to the Counsel and Care charity in London, he said people should stop assuming that the Government had "prime responsibility" for supporting them through "the ever increasing years of retirement". The former Work and Pensions Secretary said people should be prepared to use equity release schemes to pay for their care in retirement, rather than protecting the value of their inheritances to their families. Mr Blunkett said that he believed that carrying on in "work activity", whether full-time or part-time, for as long as possible should form part of the "social care agenda" for the future." – The Telegraph

Clegg clears way for Liberal Democrats to do deal with SNP on local income tax

The Liberal Democrat leader yesterday gave his blessing to a deal with the SNP that could mean local income tax being introduced in Scotland – The Scotsman

Like Margaret Thatcher before him, Salmond’s downfall will date from the day he began to meddle with Scottish taxes – Simon Jenkins in The Guardian

Liberal Democrats have called for ‘minor’ criminals to be kept out of jail, with the money saved put into police fundingThe Guardian

Cherie Booth tells politicians to stop ‘hysterically’ hyping crimeThe Independent

Credit crunch forces consumers to change spending habits

Spending down on cars, pensions and savings as cheaper food brands see market share grow – The Guardian

Harvardyard_2US Ivy League targets brightest British students

American universities are planning to use recruitment agencies to entice the brightest British students across the Atlantic with generous bursaries – The Times

Grown-up offspring cost parents £21,500

"Not only are mothers and fathers contributing towards the cost of going to university, the first car, the first house and the first wedding, but many are forking out for their children’s children too, according to a survey today. An adult child over 18 costs parents on average £21,540, not counting day-to-day living expenses, says the insurance and investment group LV=" – The Guardian

The concrete ceiling holding back British women exists in their own minds – Alice Thomson in The Times

American forces have conducted the first known foreign ground assault in Pakistan raid inside Pakistan against a suspected Taliban havenThe Telegraph

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