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Picture 28 6pm WATCH: David Cameron gives his first 'on camera' reaction to 'Smeargate'

5.30pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: A Government minister believes that association with the USA is "poison"

3pm ToryDiary: Francis Maude asks eight questions of the Cabinet Secretary

2.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Blogs don't necessarily encourage ghetto thinking

2pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: Currency speculation

10.30am Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: At the TaxPayers' Alliance, we've just released a new calculator that allows people to work out the amount they're paying in green taxes and regulations…

10.30am WATCH: Nadine Dorries MP tells ITN that Gordon Brown's letters of regret are inadequate

ADefenceOfBlogs 10am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: In defence of blogs

ToryDiary:

Dominic Grieve on Platform: It's the interpretation of the Human Rights Act that's the problem – not the ECHR itself

6a00d83451b31c69e201156f1fbaf6970c-150wi Seats and candidates: Annunziata Rees-Mogg (Somerton and Frome) writes the weekly Diary of a PPC

Local government:

Alan Milburn, David Miliband and Ivan Lewis were all Labour victims of McBride's briefings – Dominic Lawson in The Independent

The Independent: Brown has lost his reputation for good character

"[Brown's] long association with Mr McBride casts aspersions on his remaining claims to public respect: the widespread belief that he takes a high-minded approach to politics and his reputation for common decency. Neither the adjustment to the code for special advisers – always an awkward presence in Whitehall – nor private letters of regret to the injured parties can undo what has been done. Character, deceptively perhaps, had been Mr Brown's strength. Now he looks like all the rest." – Independent leader

Brown should be judged by the company he keeps – Robert Colvile in The Telegraph

Andy McSmith: I warned them that McBride was bad news – Independent

Rachel Sylvester: The bullying and laddish Brown team

"It's not just Mr McBride who is the problem. There is a laddish and bullying atmosphere to the cabal of advisers and MPs surrounding Mr Brown. Small talk revolves around football. Briefings take place in pubs and karaoke bars. The alleged coup against Tony Blair was planned over balti and beers." – Rachel Sylvester in The Times

Steve Richards: Suddenly Brown has fewer attacking options

BROWN-GORDON-headshot "Brown’s capacity to attack the Conservatives has suddenly narrowed. There are entirely legitimate issues about the unconvincing political back story of Cameron and Osborne which are partly connected to their wealth and privileged backgrounds. Arguably there is a superficial frivolity about their approach to politics that is a product of their pasts. I am not suggesting that such assertions are necessarily right or definitive, but they are fair game. It is a game that Brown will not be able to play easily now. Suddenly the Conservatives are much safer than they were or deserve to be." – Steve Richards in The Independent

Michael Brown: David Cameron will have to dispense 'nasty' economic medicine

"Having spent four years shedding the image as the "nasty party", Mr Cameron is obliged to administer the nastiest economic medicine ever prescribed by any government since the Second World War." – Michael Brown in The Independent

Tim Montgomerie: The new media still needs the old media but we are only at the beginning of a revolution

MONTGOMERIE-ON-DAILY-POLITI "It is true the new media cannot yet succeed without the traditional media's co-operation. Guido did not publish McBride's emails on his blog but handed them to Sunday newspapers. The citizen journalists who exposed alleged police brutality on their cameras needed this newspaper to bring popular attention to the assault on Ian Tomlinson. But the traditional media should not see this need for co-operation as a reason for complacency. This is just the start of the web's political impact. My own blog reaches 10,000 people and the blog costs me just 50p a day to run. If the economics of blogging has ended the monopoly of comment, other monopolies are likely to end soon too." – Tim Montgomerie in The Guardian

"In the end, the difference between quality newspapers and even serious blogs is that your default reaction to a newspaper piece should be that it is true, whereas your default reaction to a blog post should be that it might be true, but it might equally well be a pack of lies. Rather like government smear campaigns." – Stephen Pollard in The Times

Red Tory Philip Blond renews his attack on supermarketsFT

Brown to timetable Iraq inquiry so that it won't report until AFTER General ElectionGuardian

BLEARS Hazel Hazel Blears will announce measures to make it easier for local groups to turn empty shops into galleries or advice centresBBC

Nick Clegg calls for immediate meeting on MPs' pay and allowancesIndependent

Pay in the recession

Union leaders are demanding that Labour increases the minimum wage during the recession – Telegraph

Teachers are demanding a 10% pay rise, defying calls for restraint amid the recession – Telegraph

The Government pressures Network Rail to reduce or cancel directors' bonuses of more than £1 million – Times

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9 comments for: Tuesday 14th April 2009

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