Christina Dykes on Platform: Just like any other profession, politicians need skills training
David Cameron: The five lessons I learned as the father of a disabled child – and intend to put into practice
"It feels like you're on the beginning of a journey you never planned to take, without a map or a clue which direction to go in. That's one of the reasons why the next Conservative government is going to increase radically the number of health visitors. I'm not suggesting it's their job to diagnose disabilities, but for decades they've been in the home with parents, spotting warning signs early and offering sound advice. I know how crucial that early help is, which is why we need more of it." – The Conservative leader writing in The Independent
"Families caring for disabled children should be spared the ordeal of having to spend hours dealing with paperwork by being offered a one-off assessment of all their needs, David Cameron reveals today… Mr Cameron sets out a comprehensive plan to help disabled children and their families in a speech at a Research Autism conference today." – Independent
"When it comes to special needs, Mr Cameron knows whereof he speaks. Armed with knowledge of the bureaucratic jungle faced by parents in similar situations, he is putting forward sensible proposals to improve the lives of children with disabilities, as well as their carers. The expected pledge that a future Conservative government will put an immediate stop to the programme of special school closures is welcome. Undoubtedly, some disabled children benefit from being educated in a mainstream school. But the Government's policy of pushing "inclusion" has made life harder for many disabled children and their carers. Special schools still have a vital place." – Independent leader
Tories plan local TV revolution
"ITV’s regional news bulletins would be replaced by 80 city-based stations under a Conservative government, under a plan for reforming local television unveiled today… The Shadow Cabinet member threw his weight behind a scheme devised by Roger Parry, the former chairman of Johnston Press, who said that it was possible to set up 81 new television stations covering four fifths of the country after 2012." – The Times
Greg Clark says Labour is copying Tory ideas on green energy
"David Cameron's party has sought to claim the environment as a Conservative issue, and the Tories, like Labour, want to increase the share of Britain's energy generated from renewable sources. That would mean the number of wind turbines would continue to grow sharply under a Conservative government. However, the Tories say local communities should be given a more direct incentive to accept new windfarms and other sites." – Telegraph
"The Conservatives are urging the government to avoid a "valley of death" between the end of the current grants scheme for small-scale renewable energy projects and the launch of the so-called "feed-in tariff" over the next two years." – Guardian
"The government is expected to announce a scaled-down version of its grand plan to create up to 10 "eco towns"." – BBC
Sixteen of twenty specialist newspaper respondents say Tory media is operation is 'good' or 'excellent'
The operation won the thumbs up in a survey by PR Week.
In suggesting possible replacements for Andy Coulson should he leave his Tory communications post, PR Week produces this gem: "1,000/1 Damian McBride Gordon Brown's former media handler has relevant experience and is looking for a job. Of course, it would take a conversion of Damascene proportions." "Damascene" does not come close as a description!
Tories accuse Labour MPs of hypocrisy after abandoning Gary McKinnon in his fight against extradition to the US – Daily Mail
Peter Riddell: Expect David Cameron to bring in outside experts to run departments
"The pool of experience in the Commons has become narrower as many MPs are already full-time politicians when elected. Hence Mr Brown has brought in outsiders with specialist knowledge, such as Lord Carter to work on the Digital Britain plans… Future prime ministers will face the same dilemma. Where will they find expert ministers? Mr Cameron has brought in Baroness Neville-Jones to work on national security issues and Lord Freud on welfare reform and unemployment. Expect many more." – Peter Riddell in The Times
Real UK unemployment is between 4 and 5.5 million – Allister Heath in City AM
Stephen Glover: The BBC will always hate the Tories
"If Mr Cameron becomes Prime Minister, I would like him to address the question of the BBC's excessive power in the interests of freedom and plurality. I hope he understands that the Guardian/BBC onslaught of recent days was calculated to discredit Andy Coulson, and therefore to damage him… Mr Cameron can hug as many huskies as he likes, and embrace all manner of fashionable causes, but the lesson of the past week is that the Guardian and the BBC will always hate him because he is a Tory." – Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail
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