8.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Brown gets his Obama meeting… but it won’t help him
12.30pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight: "I could never vote BNP, but I get very frustrated at the kneejerk condemnation of the left for those who do, because it’s missing the point and it’s aiming at the wrong target. It is not fascist to be angry if your family can’t access housing, while, around you, estates are filled with people whose relationship with Britain is, to be kind, tangential. It is not fascist to point out that the unintended consequence of expanded EU immigration is the suppression of wages for the skilled working class. It is not fascist to spend your waking life fearful about what your children are exposed to when you’re not there to protect them."
Martin Parson on CentreRight looks at who is responsible for ‘Imagine you were one of the 7/7 London bombers’ teaching materials
Michael Gove comments on news that many school places are being allocated by lotteries – Telegraph
Lord Mandelson attacks Unite for claiming a major car plant is on brink of collapse – Telegraph
Lord Mandelson yesterday blasted “doomsters” who talk down the British economy – The Sun
The BNP threat
"The UK is divided into 12 regions for the European ballot, with voters asked to back parties rather than candidates. In practice, a party must win between 8 and 13 per cent of the total votes cast to have at least one representative picked from a list of nominees, depending on the size of the region. In the North-west, where the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, is its main candidate, the party has to add only two or three percentage points to the 6.4 per cent of the vote it secured in 2004. In Yorkshire and Humber, where the BNP polled 8 per cent last time, it probably has to increase its support by three or four points." – Independent
"The BNP’s strength comes from a sense of disenchantment felt by many poor, white communities in Britain whose concerns – not least regarding job stability, inflexible council housing lists, and crime – seem to be ignored by a distant Westminster elite that seems to speak a different language." – Independent leader
Brown has one last hope
"The PM believes that President Obama’s visit to Britain this April for the G20 economic summit holds the key to his recovery. He wants to use the occasion to strike what he calls a ‘grand bargain’ between the world’s most powerful countries to come up with a new global plan to move out of recession. Such a bargain would mean a massive, coordinated financial stimulus from each country involved, isolating Cameron who believes that spending restraint is the only answer, and potentially providing Labour with a boost and a positive message for an early summer election. Mr Brown desperately needs to pull this off. If he fails, then all he has to look forward to is 15 dreadful months of sheer humiliation as his broken, divided, rudderless and sleaze-ridden Government crawls to inevitable defeat." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail
Labour leadership speculation accelerates
"Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, has been accused by ministers who regard themselves as fans of Tony Blair of positioning herself as the cabinet’s warrior against City bonuses. Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, indicated cabinet unease with Harman when, on Thursday night, she told ministers to "get a grip". But the week’s speculation turned into full silly season mode when Yvette Cooper, the chief secretary to the Treasury, was touted as a "Stop Harriet" candidate." – Guardian
"Barely a day goes by without fresh evidence of ambitious Cabinet members positioning themselves with all the subtlety of a sackful of ferrets. It has prompted one minister, Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, to urge her Cabinet colleagues to "get a grip", warning that disunity destroys parties and that voters will not forgive them if they believe "we are more interested in our own jobs than theirs"." – Telegraph leader
It’s time to stop worrying about Labour and ask some tough questions of the incoming Tories – Matthew Parris in The Times
A prominent group of Labour supporters seeks extra £20bn spending splurge – BBC
Women still face enormous prejudice in Parliament – Sarah Vine in The Times
Amanda Platell defends the dressed down Camerons
"There are many things David Cameron can be attacked for. But criticising him for dressing down to attend a film premiere with his wife and children last weekend isn’t one of them. Cameron was accused by some of looking like an ill-kempt oaf, when in truth he looked like any ordinary dad. And unlike Gordon Brown, who these days looks as though he’s dressed for his own funeral, Cameron always appears far more at ease in his own skin – let alone his own clothes – than the PM ever does. As for his wife Samantha, she is simply the most stylish woman ever to grace the British political stage." – Daily Mail (click on the link to view the ‘offending’ clothes).
And finally… Guess who wrote this?
"Out there, Labour is profoundly detested by large numbers of people, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. Failure feeds on itself, so Labour gets scant credit for what it has done best and blame for some things not its fault. Sleaze allegations encrust all parties long in power – whether it’s Labour Lords for hire, MPs’ expenses or the oddity of financiers’ titles for enriching themselves and impoverishing the nation. Worse still, Labour has lost its political talent. So long in power, ministers are now managers toiling in their silos, talking like policemen, devoid of political imagination." – Click here to find out.
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