Noon Simon Chapman on CentreRight: "Ian Birrell has a profoundly disabled daughter. He has seen the NHS at its best and at its worst. He wrote powerfully about the impact this has had on his political views back in 2005, when David Cameron became party leader. He writes again today, detailing the ways in which he and his family have been inexcusably let down as well as wonderfully well-served. His final point is that it is precisely because our health service is so important that we need to be clear-eyed about its faults and ruthless about remedying them."
11am Patrick Nolan on CentreRight: Letter to America – we both need to improve our health systems
10am Liz Truss of Reform on CentreRight welcomes the success of Labour's top-up fees policy: "Despite the political turmoil it created at the time, the introduction of tuition fees in 1998 and top-ups in 2006 has been one of the most successful policies of this Government. Ten per cent more students from low income backgrounds have gone to university since top-ups were introduced. There is a new stream of funding into higher education. Students have the muscle to demand better teaching."
We've updated our rolling blog on the Conservative Party's summer media hits. The blog does not include the negative hits!
Labour accused of complicity in release of Libyan bomber
accused of "facing two ways" when the party condemned the release of
the Lockerbie bomber months after rushing through a treaty with Tripoli
on the transfer of prisoners. Critics said Labour wanted to protect oil
interests in Libya, by establishing a framework for the transfer of
prisoners, while reaching out to the US by condemning the decision of
the SNP's justice secretary to free Megrahi." – Guardian
"David Cameron backs NHS with memory of his late son Ivan"
During a speech in Bolton, Cameron made clear that the NHS had
transformed his family's life after Ivan was born in April 2002 with
cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Cameron said: "The moment you're
injured or fall ill, the moment something happens to someone you love,
you know that whoever you are, wherever you're from, whatever's wrong,
however much you've got in the bank, there's a place you can go where
people will look after you and do their best to make things right
again." The Tory leader did not mention Ivan, who died in February aged
six. But Tory sources said he had Ivan in mind when he spoke of
"someone you love"." – The Guardian
"There was nothing fake about Mr Cameron's love for his son Ivan. But I wish he would stop using his memory to stifle NHS debate." – Tom Utley in the Daily Mail
Cameron promises to tackle big business's role in public health problems
"a Conservative government would propose "responsibility deals" with different industries to tackle problems such as obesity and alcoholism and prevent unhealthy products being targeted at children. Although legislation would be used only as a last resort, it would be threatened if companies refused to change "irresponsible" behaviour." – Independent
"Mr Cameron says that we drink too much and eat the wrong things. But he is vague about what he thinks he can do about it.His expertise in politics will get him into power, but he needs to sharpen up his definition of what he wants to solve and get better at working out how." – Phil Collins in The Times
The Guardian's Larry Elliott highlights the inconsistency of the Tories warning about a debt crisis but continuing to spend, spend, spend on the NHS
On Tuesday night David Cameron warned that Labour's mismanagement of the public finances meant Britain might default on its debts.
Yesterday he pledged that the Conservatives were now the party of the
NHS because only they were prepared to deliver real increases in health
spending in the next parliament. The opposition has been allowed to get away with this egregious opportunism for far too long." – Larry Elliott in The Guardian
Darling borrows £260m every day – Daily Mail
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron's twelve reasons why the NHS budget must continue to grow in real terms
The Economist urges David Cameron to be braver
"Mr Cameron is thinking more in terms of penny-pinching efficiencies than about structural reform. For example, he has questioned whether tax credits should extend as far up the income scale as they now do. He should also ask whether other welfare payments, such as child benefit, ought to be paid to the well off. Welfare should become more a safety net and less an indiscriminate bonus. Under Labour the state has acquired new legions of servants, such as the 200,000-odd teaching assistants who have made no discernible difference to exam results. Mr Cameron should ask whether Britain can live without them." – The Economist
What will the Conservatives do for the retail sector? – RetailWeek
This year's A-level results prove that the exam is not fit for purpose – Telegraph leader
"The internet will revolutionise the parties’ general election
campaigns. For our leading politicians, it is a great leap into the
unknown." – Steve Richards in The Independent
General Petraeus pays tribute to SAS and Britain's armed forces – The Sun
"If we try to deal with climate change by turning our backs on economic growth, the poor will pay the heaviest price" – Oliver Kamm in The Times
Ann Widdecombe criticises Tory leadership on climate change and candidate selection – Telegraph
And finally… Ann Widdecombe to appear on Strictly Come Dancing OR Ann Widdecombe favourite to be next British ambassador to the Vatican
"The Tory MP, who is fluent in Latin the language spoken in the Vatican, is standing down at the next election around the time the post is expected to become vacant. Francis Campbell, the current ambassador who worked at Downing Street under Tony Blair, is the first Roman Catholic to hold the position since the Reformation. Miss Widdecombe would be the second woman." – Telegraph
"Tory MP Ann Widdecombe is poised to appear on Strictly Come Dancing after she retires from Parliament next year. The high-profile former Home Office minister revealed she had been approached in the past by the makers of the hit BBC show but turned them down. But she said that she had been encouraged by political reporter John Sergeant's success on the programme, despite graceless performances that earned him the nickname of a 'dancing pig in Cuban heels'." – Daily Mail
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