12.30pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: If Labour think things are bad now… they should wait for opposition
David Torrance on Platform: Debunking the myths about Margaret Thatcher and Scotland
The future of Trident
The Royal United Services Institute says that an air-launched cruise missile system for Britain's deterrent lacks strategic credibility – Letter to The Guardian
> Yesterday on CentreRight: Simon Chapman warns against playing politics with Trident
Thatcher and Cameron
"In her final party conference speech before the 1979 election, Mrs Thatcher said: 'Today, Labour policies are at a dead end, economically and politically. This is not something to crow about. We do not hope for a country in ruins so that we can take it over. We want to be elected so that we can do better, not because we cannot possibly do worse.' She promised to break the stranglehold of the public sector, rein in state spending, champion enterprise and slash taxation. Voters responded, the election was won and Mrs Thatcher delivered. Now is the time for Mr Cameron to show us what he is made of." – Daily Mail leader
"Not everything in the garden was lovely. There were victims, though far outnumbered by beneficiaries. And the egregious bonus culture has taken some of the moral shine off Thatcherism. But overall the changes she made to Britain have given us more than two decades of unprecedented prosperity. They saw Britain reinstalled as the world's fourth- largest economy, losing our reputation as the sick man of Europe and taken seriously again as a leading world power." – Charles Powell in The Times
Major and Brown
"One senior Conservative MP tried to sum up the differences between John Major and Gordon Brown: “Major actually never stopped thinking about what was right for the country,” he explained. “The economy that he handed over was testament to that. But he did lose his party in a most spectacular way.”" – Quoted in The Daily Telegraph
> Rob Wilson MP from May 2008: You're no John Major, Mr Brown
David Davis: Switch off the surveillance state
"We cannot achieve the cuts in public spending we need by the Chancellor's "efficiency savings". Some savings are easy to find. My party would cancel the identity card scheme, cutting about £5bn of spending at once. Databases are another obvious area: government IT projects have a predictable tendency to overrun on cost, particularly when the purpose of the project is ill-defined; and they are prone to mission creep. We have seen it with all counter-terror and pre-emptive legislation. There is a tendency to use it for purposes for which it was not originally intended. In particular, the internet scrutiny scheme, costing around £2bn, should be scrapped. The Contact Point children's database, with running costs of £44m a year, should also be stopped." – David Davis writing for The Independent as part of a feature on possible ways of reducing the size of the state.
Pay MPs more if they cut the size of the state
"To limit the costs, a portion of the salary would be determined by how much MPs manage to cut government spending. This would encourage a greater willingness to scrutinise expensive legislation, rather than passing it on the nod." – Ian Pears in the FT
The shiny new Tories
"David Cameron markets himself like Nike or Apple, as a blank screen on which our private fantasies can be projected. He could get rid of ID cards or Trident or make sure that British history is taught properly in schools, he could scrap Heathrow's third runway. He tosses a glimmer of blue-sky thinking, a dash of sturdy yeoman tradition, a glint of green, a shard of postwar austerity. The Tories are shape-changing, fluid, superficial. They are anything you want them to be. But, for the moment, while they're still in their box, at least they smell new." – Janice Turner in The Times
'Recent events make me feel ashamed to be a Labour MP' says Charles Clarke – Independent
Don't just blame Brown for Labour's failure, his Cabinet didn't stand up to his schemes – Matthew Parris in The Times
ConHome calls it Brown's scorched earth policy… Amanda Platell calls it 'Spite Flight'
"First it was the 50p tax rate, now we’ve got the lunacy of the new Equality Bill that allows employers to discriminate on the grounds of gender (and no doubt trans-gender, too). Welcome to ‘Spite Flight’ as Gordon Brown and his cronies force through their warped agendas before they lose power. I dread to think what more damage they will wreak in the dying days of government." – Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail
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