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9pm David Lidington MP on CentreRight: The Republicans need to learn from Cameron

Picture_118pm PlayPolitical video: Carol Thatcher talks to Sky News about life in Downing Street

7pm Harry Phibbs on CentreRight: "Has anyone else noticed that collective responsibility among Ministers has been abandoned?"

4.45pm Seats and candidates: Scottish Tories lift suspension of Philip Lardner

3.45pm Local Government: Labour announces consultation on public access to data on councils’ efficiency

3.30pm CentreRight:

1.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron outlines a liberal conservative foreign policy

11.45am Peter Cuthbertson on CentreRight: Another church with the courage of the Guardian’s convictions

ToryDiary: Pakistan should be a top foreign policy priority for David Cameron

David Eyles on Platform: Why the Magna Carta still matters today (Part II of II)

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: An energetic debate

The latest US2008 attack ads: Obama blasts McCain’s links with Bush, McCain blast Obama’s spending plans

Brown_oldWidespread criticism of Brown’s housing plan

"Gordon Brown’s hopes of generating a political recovery by announcing measures to kick-start the housing market were fading last night as he faced a welter of criticism from industry experts and at Westminster." – Scotsman

"The package, costed at £1.6 billion, will add to pressures on public borrowing. While there is a natural sympathy for homeowners who face repossession, there is also a moral hazard in signalling that taxpayers will bail out distressed borrowers once house prices cease to be a one-way bet. The benefits of the housing boom were not universally shared: they were enjoyed by those who took out high mortgages with low deposits. It is inequitable if the costs of those decisions are now widely distributed." – Times leader

"The underlying truth is that house prices need to fall back to a sustainable equilibrium. They are currently dropping at a rate of more than 1 per cent a month, but are still too high. Prospective buyers benefit most from a market in which homes are more affordable." – FT leader

"George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, warned about the dangers of borrowing even more. He said: "If Gordon Brown tries to borrow his way out of trouble and wreck the public finances in the long term for his short term survival then I don’t think the British people will forgive him. Getting the next generation to pay for his short-comings is deeply unfair." Critics pointed out that Norman Lamont, the former Tory Chancellor, suspended stamp duty in December 1991 with little effect." – Telegraph

The UK economy is likely to fall into recession this yearBBC

"Britain is the worst placed among the world’s major economies to withstand the impact of a global slowdown – and the only one forecast to be in recession this year, according to the respected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development." – Independent

Labourisntworking Unemployment soars to 16 year high – Guardian

David Cameron’s visit to Afghanistan

"On a visit to Afghanistan, David Cameron proposes one cheap, simple reform that would make the lives of our ill-equipped, overstretched, taken-for-granted troops a whole lot happier. He says under the Tories, the days soldiers have to spend travelling home for rest in the UK will no longer be counted against their leave. Just one question: why wasn’t this affront to decency put right years ago?" – Mail leader

Labour’s support within union movement collapsesTelegraph

Charities compete to run private jailsTimes | FT

"An elderly couple are vowing to go to jail rather than pay the 2012 Olympics surcharge on their council tax bill."Daily Mail

LibDems attack BBC for "frivolous" use of licence feeePolitix

‘The Republicans are losing the chattering classes’

Finkelsteindanny "It is common to write of the current strength of the Democrats as if it were a passing phase caused by the unpopularity of George W. Bush. But it is the rise of the mass chattering class, rather than the temporary problems of the present White House incumbent, that really threatens the Republicans. Republican reformers note with dismay that the less educated you are, the more likely you are to vote conservative. Once upon a time this might have been an electoral advantage. Now it is anything but. The poorly educated are a declining market sector." – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times

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