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8.15pm ToryDiary: Many factors likely to tip Christians toward voting Conservative

7.30pm Melanchthon on CentreRight reinvents a fable

4pm Lucy Parsons on CentreRight: "The retirement age should be abolished – it forces people out of the workplace and is particularly harmful for those on lower incomes who need to supplement their state pension.  As life expectancy continues increasing, the expectation that we can stop working entirely by 60 or 65 is a fiction."

Picture 511.30am WATCH: Nick Griffin tells Andrew Marr that any more
immigrants should be located in liberal Hampstead rather than Barking,
Barnsley and Manchester

ToryDiary: News of the World says Tories want to mothball tax cut promises

John Webley on Platform: The lights would indeed go out under Labour

Local government: Should packaging be restricted to reduce landfill?

Donata Huggins on CentreRight: Should Cameron give us the Britishness Day Brown failed to deliver?

LISTEN: Radio 4 profiles Andy Coulson

WATCH: 'I love the Brits' says Obama

Michael Gove wants tougher GCSEs

Gove IDCC "Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, wants to turn back the clock to before the 1990s, when exam boards were dominated by academics from top universities. His pledge comes amid criticism of this year’s GCSE papers, which many perceived as being too easy. One biology paper asked 16-year-old pupils to “give one example of an illegal recreational drug” while a maths exam gave marks for writing the number 4,117 in words and working out 50% of £60." – The Sunday Times

Are Conservatives about to invest in more council housing?

"The Conservatives are preparing to unleash a new era of council house-building, in a radical shift that would undo 30 years of right-wing thinking. The shadow housing minister, Grant Shapps, said the Conservatives want to increase council involvement in low-cost housing, overturning one of Margaret Thatcher's trademark policies." – The Observer

Iain Duncan Smith proposes cooling off period before married couples can divorce

"The Centre for Social Justice, Duncan Smith’s think tank, will propose measures starting with the establishment of a national network of family relationship centres to offer advice. These would be used not just to help couples planning to split up, but would prepare them in advance for marriage, advising on parenting skills and how to deal with crisis points in a relationship." – The Sunday Times

Has the CSJ usurped Policy Exchange as the Tories' favourite think tank?

CENTRE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE Melissa Kite in The Sunday Telegraph suggests so:  "The CSJ is Mr Cameron's favourite think tank and he has adopted many of its ideas. A previous report calling for tax breaks for married couples two years ago became official Tory policy."

David Cameron rules out any more powers for Scotland until at least 2015The Sunday Times

Has David Cameron tackled what he called the 'scandalous under-representation' of women in his party? The Observer investigates

Observer photo gallery of six "new look Tory women".

Lord Tebbit opens fire on Andy Coulson

"Lord Tebbit lent his voice to the Tory rebels. “Cameron has talked a lot about ‘detoxifying’ the Conservative brand,” he said. “Perhaps he should now think about a ‘detoxification’ of his own office.”" – The Sunday Times

"There is also the position of Cameron's adviser Andy Coulson, who, as editor of the News of the World at the time of Goodman's antics and trial, took responsibility and resigned, even though he denied any knowledge of the voicemail burglaries. He may yet face some awkward questioning by MPs, but, having carried the can once, he is – new revelations apart – unlikely to be required to carry it again." – Independent on Sunday

"It goes with the territory in which Andy Coulson operates that he has made enemies in his own party, too. Tory backbenchers ask why he gets a "second chance" when, no doubt partly on the spinmeister's advice, David Cameron ordered summary executions of some Conservative MPs who had caused embarrassment with their expenses. The shadow cabinet chafes on the tight leash he has imposed on them. Senior Tories wouldn't be human if they were not resentful that the leader's chief propagandist earns several multiples of the salary of an MP – a lot more, in fact, than David Cameron." – Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

D'ANCONA MATT Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph takes a different view on Andy Coulson: "This leads us to the second and most persuasive element of the Tory defence: which is that Coulson had already resigned over what had happened at the News of the World, following the jailing of his royal editor, Clive Goodman, for conspiracy to intercept messages to senior members of the Ro
yal family and their servants. As they say in Essex: the boy done his bird. He repaid his debt to society. Like Norman Stanley Fletcher: he'd gone straight."

Christopher Booker looks at the latest evidence on 'climate change'

"Even a compromised agreement to reduce emissions could devastate the economy – and all for a theory shot full of holes." – Christopher Booker in The Sunday Telegraph

The Sunday newspapers say very different things about Government thinking on troop numbers for Afghanistan

IndyObserver The Observer talks of 2,000 more British troops for Afghanistan while The Independent on Sunday headlines reductions of 1,500.

The Sunday Times probably has the most interesting story: "Senior Labour figures accused the head of the army last night of playing politics as he said that there were too few troops and helicopters in the Afghan war zone. One minister expressed fury that General Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the general staff, had attended a private dinner with Tory MPs and suggested an extra 2,000 troops were needed in Helmand province."

"Privately, David Cameron talks about Afghanistan in terms of international development and diplomacy. He has also stopped complaining that defence spending is too low. In this silence, we can hear a worrying consensus. Britain is slowly becoming the sort of country that has billions to give flak jackets to bankers, but not soldiers." – Fraser Nelson in The News of the World

"This Government has neglected our helicopter fleet while its smooth words about a handful of extra troop-carrying aircraft being made available over the next two-and-a-half years are simply inadequate. If they could find billions to bail out the banks, why can't they acquire more aircraft? Similarly, why are our combat units so desperately under-manned?" – Patrick Mercer MP in the Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: You can't win a war on a peacetime budget

'Britain has become a cold place for Christians' – Bishop warnsMail on Sunday

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39 comments for: Sunday 12th July 2009

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