Noon Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: "It seems to me an utter perversion of the meaning of compassion, both in law and morality, to suggest that an unrepentant, mass murderer of entirely innocent human beings should not be required to end his life in prison."
- Should companies who make donations be denied planning approval?
- Lib Dem-run Sutton Council is estimating it will lose over £1 million of the £5.5 million it invested in an Icelandic bank
- Cllr John Bell: Working for a Conservative Tameside
Dr David Green on CentreRight: How reforming the banks could help fix ‘broken Britain’
Martin Parsons on CentreRight: The Taliban are not the only threat to peace in Afghanistan
Today's must-read: Peter Lilley was right
"After Peter Lilley told the 1992 Tory conference, in a parody of The Mikado: “I’ve got a little list of benefit offenders who I’ll soon be rooting out and who never would be missed”, he was condemned as nasty and uncaring. Much of the nation recoiled in mock horror… Popular culture, which once endorsed the liberal view that Lilley was a bigot, has now accepted the reality of the situation he outlined all those years ago. The genuine cases the welfare state was created to help – people hit by serious illness or those made redundant during recessions like the current one – are being stigmatised and margin-alised because of the antics of the feckless… The irresponsibility of the underclass has become a television staple, from the Jeremy Kyle show to dramas like Shameless and documentaries from the meanest streets… The parents with the toughest task in Britain now are those trying to raise children well in areas where the Shameless lifestyle has achieved critical mass." – Patrick O'Flynn in The Express
David Cameron: Cutting spending and debt 'will make or break my Government'
"The Tory leader predicted that he will be judged in office on how he handles the public finances. “Getting the deficit under control will make or break my government,” Mr Cameron said in an interview with the Economist magazine." – Telegraph
"Senior Tories fear that unless they persuade voters now of the need to get Britain back into the black, they will become unpopular as they cut spending in government. Mr Cameron made clear for the first time that more detailed plans will be set out by the Tories before the election." – Daily Mail
"To date, the central feature of British political discourse has been cowardice about the deficit. But, if the main parties do decide to address the fiscal gap, they must make sure that their proposals are contingent on recovery, and are not etched immutably in stone. The parties should set out broad plans for what the state should do, drawing up lists of functions to trim, even if they do not have a timeline for when their axes will fall. Britain may bounce back rapidly. It may not. No one knows. And it is not the mark of a statesman to pretend otherwise." – FT editorial
Tory doubters worry that David Cameron is 'fighting the last war' with his NHS pledge
"The [doubters] suspect that voters have moved on since 2005 – that while they still "love" the NHS, they no longer believe it should be immune to financial pressures or reform… Some Tories ask whether it might be better to "invest" in the nation's future by giving priority to education rather than preserving an NHS structure that smacks of post-war planning and the top-down government that Tories want to dismantle. There is also some whingeing that such a landmark policy was handed down by Mr Cameron and George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, without any debate. It is clearly not up for negotiation and will be the first spending pledge in the Tory manifesto. The only other budget guaranteed to rise is international development, and that could be fudged once the Tories were in power by including money spent on climate change and defence." – Andrew Grice in The Independent
"NHS workers who take sick leave are claiming tens of millions of
pounds a year in overtime and anti-social hours allowances while off
work, The Daily Telegraph can disclose."
Women MPs? If they are attractive, says Tory constituency chairman
"Alan Scard, the chairman of a Conservative association in Hampshire, said he would select female candidates based on beauty as well as brains. His comments are likely to infuriate David Cameron, who is striving to shed the party's traditional male image." – Daily Mail
> Yesterday evening Alan Scard issued an apology: Read the apology and watch the video of the offending remarks
A civil servant who campaigned against Julie Kirkbride MP has been sacked – BBC
Alan 'rations' Duncan is enjoying a summer getaway worth £10,000 – Daily Mail
David Hughes is disappointed with an investigation into the Tory heartland which yields nothing but clichés – Telegraph
The Foreign Office has strongly denied claims by Gaddafi's son that Abdelbasset al Megrahi's release was linked to lucrative trade deals with Britain – Sky News
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Cameron demands statement from Brown on release of Lockerbie bomber
Mandelson 'on good form' after prostate gland op – BBC
Ken Livingstone is to marry among the wallabies and emus of London Zoo – Independent
Roy Hattersley: It's time to rehabilitate the state
"The time has come for "the state" to be rehabilitated. And that has to begin with the acceptance that when things go wrong, even the most passionate opponents of "big government" complain that the government is not big enough and should be doing more. When a child dies of neglect or abuse, the local authority is accused of incompetence and negligence; if there is an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, claims about inadequate precautions are heard; former employees of companies which have collapsed during the recession demand to know why more has not been done to save their jobs." – Roy Hattersley in The Guardian
Former BNP officials charged over leaked membership lists – Times
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