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8.15pm WATCH: Inflation falls to 3%

7pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: Presumably the Government’s setting of RBS bonuses is the taking of operational control?

6pm ToryDiary: William Hague demands answers from Miliband over alleged Guantanamo torture cover-up 

5.15Hunt_jeremy_formalpm CentreRight:

2.15pm WATCH:

1.45pm Local government: Harry Phibbs reacts to today’s Conservative decentralisation green paper:

"The best news is the proposal to "give residents the power to veto high council taxes via local referendum." In 1978 Proposition 13 was passed in California part of the "taxpayer revolt" that saw the election of Ronald Reagan to the White House two years later. The lower taxes that resulted caused California to outperform the rest of the United States in economic growth."

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12.15pm ToryDiary: New Ipsos Mori poll would give Tories a 194 majority

Local Government: Proposition 13 to come to Britain

11.30am Jill Kirby on CentreRight is inspired by Frank Field

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ToryDiary: Conservatives promise "radical" decentralisation for local government Updated with pdf link to the whole document

Mark Prisk MP on Platform: The construction industry needs action not words

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Stanley Johnson

Local Government:

Overnight CentreRight posts:

WATCH: Hillary Clinton visits Asia in first foreign trip as Secretary of State

David Cameron on the sacking of 850 workers at the Mini plant at Cowley

"The Mini plant’s management sparked fury among workers and unions yesterday when it gave some workers just an hour’s notice that they were to lose their jobs. “The Mini has been a great boost for Britain and a great boost for Oxfordshire,” said Mr Cameron. “I think what that shows is we are in a deep recession, we need more action on credit. We need to make sure we get that finance moving.” Asked about the treatment of the workers, he said: “The most important thing is to try to make sure we get workers jobs and that’s about getting credit moving.” – Western Mail

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George Osborne slams Brown over Lloyds’ takeover of HBOS

"Downing Street insisted that Gordon Brown had no regrets "at all" over intervening to hasten Lloyds’ takeover of HBOS as the embattled banking group endured another turbulent day on the stock market… George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, said: "For the Prime Minister to say he has no regrets just shows how remote from reality he has become. What the British people want is some humility from their Prime Minister, some recognition he has made mistakes and the leadership that is so currently lacking." – Independent

David Cameron: Welsh people getting "bored" with the debate over devolution

“Devolution exists and the Conservative Party wants to make it work. We have said, look, let’s instead of having endless arguments about more and more processes, let’s actually talk about outcomes. Let’s talk about the things people care about. How are we going to get the jobs back? How are we going to get credit out of the banks and into the businesses? How can we improve the health service in Wales? It’s those, I think, meat and drink questions, rather than should the Assembly have a little bit more power or a little bit less power which I think is beginning to bore people in Wales slightly.” – David Cameron quoted on Wales Online

William Hague continues to question Miliband over claim Government asked for U.S. help to cover up ‘Guantanamo torture’ of Briton

"David Miliband was urged to come clean last night over claims the Government asked for U.S. help to cover up the torture of a British resident at Guantanamo Bay. Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague demanded a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding a letter from the Americans which persuaded High Court judges to suppress evidence about the treatment of Binyam Mohamed. He called on Mr Miliband to clarify claims that the Foreign Office asked George W Bush’s administration to help prevent publication of details of Mohamed’s alleged ordeal… Mr Hague wants to know who at the Foreign Office requested the letter, and if the U.S. had warned that co-operation on intelligence matters would be harmed before it was written. He also urged the Foreign Secretary to press Barack Obama to allow publication of the documents." – Daily Mail

Philip Stephens: A limp excuse for a Tory foreign policy

"Such has been the Conservatives’ distance from power in recent years, no one has paid much heed to the party’s foreign policy. Now the opinion polls tell a different story. By the middle of next year David Cameron could be Britain’s prime minister. The Conservative leader’s view of the world suddenly matters. The snag is that I am not at all sure that Mr Cameron has a foreign policy." – Philip Stephens in the FT

> ConservativeHome published thumbnail summaries of key planks of David Cameron’s foreign policy last month

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Tim Loughton: Government guidance glamorises underage sex

"Teenage fatherhood and underage sex is glamorised in Government guidance, according to the Conservatives. The advice, from the Teenage Pregnancy Unit, instructs teachers to tell teenage boys about the "enjoyment of early fatherhood" and discuss with them their "parenting aims and aspirations"… Tim Loughton, Tory children’s spokesman, said: "There are still too many young mothers and fathers having their childhoods robbed from them after starting families younger than they planned. We need to do more to teach youngsters about the responsibilities of relationships and parenthood and be careful not to glamorise teen parents which may encourage some to take irresponsible risks with sex." – Daily Telegraph

Further coverage of Tory call for Alex Salmond to quit Westminster

"Alex Salmond faced calls to quit as an MP yesterday after it emerged that he now has one of the worst attendance and activity records of any Scottish member of the House of Commons. The Scottish Conservatives claimed the First Minister had "misled" the people of his Banff and Buchan constituency by claiming he has one of the best records of any Scottish MP." – The Scotsman

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on the issue

Ex-MI5 chief: We risk a police state

"Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has warned that the fear of terrorism is being exploited by the Government to erode civil liberties and risks creating a police state. Dame Stella accused ministers of interfering with people’s privacy and playing straight into the hands of terrorists. “Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with people’s privacy,” Dame Stella said in an interview with a Spanish newspaper… David Davis, the Tory MP and former shadow home secretary, said: “Like so many of those who have had involvement in the battle against terrorism, Stella Rimington cares deeply about our historic rights and rightly raises the alarm about a Government whose first interest appears to be to use the threat of terrorism to frighten people and undermine those rights rather than defend them.” – Daily Telegraph

"It is a plain fact that, over the past decade, civil liberties in the United Kingdom have been seriously undermined. We now live under a government that detains its citizens for long periods without trial; uses covert surveillance techniques to spy on everyone from organised criminals to litter louts; seeks to record every electronic communication we undertake, and that will, eventually, compel us to register for identity cards." – Independent editorial

> Jonathan Isaby’s post on CentreRight yesterday: Could I now be arrested for photographing the Changing of the Guard?

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Maria Miller raises alarm over proposed anti-gay picket in her constituency by fundamentalist US Christians

"The fundamentalist US church notorious for picketing the funerals of dead soldiers plans to carry out its first protest in Britain this week, it has emerged. Followers of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church have threatened to picket a sixth form college in Basingstoke, Hampshire during a staging of The Laramie Project, a play about an American youth murdered because of his sexuality… Maria Miller, Conservative MP for Basingstoke, said that she had contacted the Home Secretary to see what action the Government may be considering in relation to possible attempts by the Phelps family to enter the country. She condemned the church’s "highly inflammatory language and behaviour" and said the young people who had worked on the play would not be intimidated by threats." – Daily Telegraph

Michael White previews the BBC drama, Margaret

"A dozen actors, from Patricia Hodgson and Kika Markham to Angela Thorne and Greta Scacchi, have tackled Thatcher. What [Lindsay] Duncan unexpectedly conveys in Margaret, as none did before her (unless we count the Spitting Image puppet), is her enduring vulnerability beneath the armour-plated exterior. As the most dominant prime minister since Churchill is brought down by a combination of her party and her hubris, viewers can actually feel sorry for Thatcher."- Guardian

David Cameron’s politics professor, Vernon Bogdanor, on his famous student

"David was one of the nicest and ablest students I ever taught," Bogdanor says. "But I’m not responsible for his views." Cameron is evidently far more of a Euro-sceptic than his former tutor. What’s more, Cameron’s plan to come up with a bill of rights to replace Labour’s Human Rights Act – one of the foundation stones of the new British constitution, as Bogdanor sees it – caused the Oxford academic to make one of his regular forays into print to denounce the Tory leader’s thinking as "confused" and "full of contradictions". – Guardian

Mandelson calls for Labour calm as row grows over claims that Brown was offered ‘lifeboat’ to quit before election

"Peter Mandelson issued an appeal for Labour calm last night amid fresh speculation over Gordon Brown’s future. The Business Secretary used a speech in New York to warn MPs against giving the Tories an advantage by indulging in a ‘frenzy’ about the future. Lord Mandelson’s carefully chosen words were seen as an attempt to shore up party morale at a time when the polls and the economy have turned against the Prime Minister." – Daily Mail

Rachel Sylvester: Even Labour MPs are shortselling the bust PM

"Political authority is like market confidence. Once it has gone, it is difficult to get back. In a way that is neither fair nor rational a slide can quickly turn into a slump. Just as Lloyd’s shares continued to tumble yesterday so the Prime Minister’s reputation is going through the floor. Gordon Brown has had a personal boom and bust every bit as real as the economic one as the political market reaches the conclusion that Labour is heading for electoral defeat. The decision by the welfare guru David Freud to resign as a government adviser and join the Conservative frontbench is a vivid demonstration of the change in the balance of power. This was nothing to do with policy differences and everything to do with political reality." – Rachel Sylvester in The Times

Fall in inflation expected laterBBC

 Brown pushes ahead on postal sell-off plansFT

 Cabinet mood swings towards curbing bank bonusesTimes

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And finally… A N Wilson slams David Cameron’s  dress sense

"There they stand at the premiere of a cartoon film. She is a good-looking woman, well turned out as always in a dress and high boots. Her clothes are those of a smart Notting Hillbilly. Casually elegant, but chic. His clothes, on the other hand, are desperately trying to tell us something. The dark corduroy shirt, not tucked into the jeans. The truly awful camouflage trainers and the bright-green laces flopping any-old-how. This is a 42-year-old man disguised as a teenager out on a Friday night. Step forward the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition and his wife Samantha." – A N Wilson in the Daily Mail

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14 comments for: Tuesday 17th February 2009

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