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11pm LISTEN: Tim Montgomerie and Dr Tim Bale answer the Radio 4 Westminster Hour's 'Has David Cameron changed the Conservative Party?' question

8.30pm WATCH: Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth urges the nation to have ''bravery and patience'' as the number of British casualties in Afghanistan rises above 200

Picture 114.45pm Seats and Candidates: Anne McIntosh facing deselection vote in Thirsk and Malton

3.45pm Seats and Candidates: Leyton and Wanstead PPC Edwin Northover
welcomes the prospect of Harriet Harman's husband being parachuted in
to contest the seat for Labour

3pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight recommends 60 minutes of television for political obsessives

12.45pm WATCH: Michael Gove explains why he believes it is unfair for school pupils to be told that A-Levels in Further Maths and Dance are of equal value

Noon ToryDiary: The public believe that the "progressive" mantle has been ceded by Labour to the Conservatives (and Lib Dems)

ToryDiary:

Dominic Raab on Platform: We are losing sight of our core freedoms whilst handing out novel rights like confetti for every conceivable social gripe or grievance

Seats and Candidates: Martin Bell and Terry Waite forge alliance to target Alan Duncan and MPs with a "dodgy record" on expenses

Lord Hanningfield in Local Government: Exempt eco-friendly councils from Landfill Tax

Graphic old lab Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: So-called New Labour have socialised the British economy at least as effectively as so-called Old Labour

WATCH: 

CAMERON DAVID BLUE SHIRT How David Cameron's Brittany break came to an abrupt end this week…

"As he prepared for the ferry journey home last Wednesday, however, the Tory leader was jolted back to reality. He knew that his holiday was well and truly over when an aide told him that Alan Duncan, his shadow leader of the Commons and a multimillionaire, had been caught on film saying that MPs were having to live on "rations" following the clean-up of MPs' expenses… Little did Cameron know that even more trouble was brewing that would throw his party further on to the back foot and lift Labour morale to its highest level for months. On Wednesday morning, political blogs were reporting that Daniel Hannan, a Tory MEP admired by Cameron, had gone on American television to rubbish the National Health Service." – The Observer

…as The Independent on Sunday lambasts him for taking internal flights in private jets

"David Cameron's attempts to detoxify his party are dealt a further blow today with details revealed for the first time of his extensive travel by private jet and helicopter funded by multi-millionaire businessmen. The Conservative leader has accepted more than 60 flights by luxury plane and helicopter from 10 industrialists and plutocrats with a combined fortune of £3bn, figures obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal… A spokeswoman for Mr Cameron said yesterday: "He is totally committed to the environment. All flights are carbon offset and he tries to avoid flying where possible." – The Independent on Sunday

The paper details sixty free flights he has taken within in the UK and who paid for them; and an editorial accuses him of leaving "the impression of public-relations ineptitude at best, hypocrisy at worst."

HANNAN DAN Daniel Hannan brands his critics "asinine" as debate about the NHS continues

"The Conservative Euro-MP who sparked the row over the National Health Service last night hit back at his critics by branding them "fatuous" and "asinine." Daniel Hannan refused to apologise for branding the health service a "relic" in a US television interview – comments that forced David Cameron on to the back foot. Mr Hannan, in his blog on www.telegraph.co.uk, expanded on his views by claiming the "only foreign admirers of the NHS are those on the serious Left".  – Sunday Telegraph

"Yes, Britain does love the NHS. And this is why the majority want it to change, and be recast for the 21st century. Yet the Tories fear that any debate about “fundamental change would lead to them being labelled anti-NHS. That’s why Hannan’s intervention is so unwelcome for Cameron. He wants sweeping change — and he’s far from alone. One in six people in Britain want to “completely rebuild the system”. I suspect most Tories do, too, but daren’t say it." – Fraser Nelson in the News of the World

"Even though Americans spend twice as much as us, their health
provision is not twice as good. Although the NHS may be bureaucratic and
inefficient, it is a surprise to think it is relatively cost-efficient.
Indeed, one recent study showed the United States was the least effective of
19 industrialised nations in providing healthcare for those aged under 75
who were amenable to treatment. That was put down to the inadequate care
given to the 47m Americans who are not insured. Socialised medicine does not have to be like this: European and Scandinavian
systems have much better records in treating the sick. They have avoided the
monolithic state system in favour of diversity and choice. Britain and
America should learn from them." – Sunday Times editorial

Michael Gove and a number of leading MPs are accused of wanting to dismantle the NHS

"David Cameron was facing a battle to restore party unity behind his health policy last night after it emerged that several of his key shadow cabinet members put their names to a manifesto criticising the NHS and calling for it in effect to be dismantled. The Observer can reveal that leading Tory MPs – who include Cameron's close ally Michael Gove – are listed alongside controversial MEP Daniel Hannan as co-authors of a book, Direct Democracy, which says the NHS "fails to meet public expectations" and is "no longer relevant in the 21st century". Others listed as co-authors in the book, published shortly after the 2005 general election, include shadow cabinet members Greg Clark and Jeremy Hunt and frontbencher Robert Goodwill. Clark and Hunt were unavailable for comment last night." – The Observer

DUNCAN ALAN NEW Alan Duncan comes under fire from the Sunday tabloids for "bleating that he's not filthy rich"…

"Former oil trader Duncan – who gave it up for politics but is still thought to be worth at least £2.1 million – whined: "I really find it irksome to be labelled a multi-millionaire. I am not a multi-multi-millionaire… I certainly would have been if I'd stayed in the oil business, so you can imagine it gets up my nose that not only have I given up being super rich, but I'm accused of being super rich when I'm not." – News of the World

…and taking a "luxury holiday" in Bali

"Top Tory Alan Duncan is enjoying a luxury holiday in Bali with his partner – days after he bleated about how MPs are forced to live on “rations”… But Mr Duncan has managed to make his meagre rations stretch far enough for a business-class flight to the paradise island of Bali for a holiday costing up to £10,000, the Sunday Mirror can reveal." – Sunday Mirror

The latest polls bring little good news for Labour

"Peter Mandelson has emerged as a favourite to succeed Gordon Brown, an exclusive Sunday Mirror/ICM poll reveals today… The poll had some bad news for Labour, with David Cameron's Tories stretching their lead to 17 points. The Conservatives were up two points on 43 per cent, Labour were down one on 26 per cent and the Lib Dems down one on 19 per cent since last month." – Sunday Mirror

"Just 7% reckon the economy has already started growing again, with only a further 13% saying the recovery will begin before the end of the year, a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times reveals… The public unease about the economy is matched by the continued low level of public support for Labour. According to the latest findings, Gordon Brown’s party is languishing on 28%, 14 points behind the Conservatives on 42%. The Liberal Democrats are on 18%." – Sunday Times

> Last night's ToryDiary on the polls

Liam Fox joins tributes to the 200 casualties in Aghanistan

"Two more British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, taking the number of UK personnel killed since operations began in 2001 to 201. Prime Minister Gordon Brown described the death as "deeply tragic news". "Today is a day of mourning, and also a day of reflection. I want to thank the entire armed forces and the families and communities which sustain them," he said… Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said passing the 200th death mark served as a "stark reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of British troops in Helmand". – BBC

David Cameron allegedly encouraged party member in North Wiltshire to deselect James Gray

"An activist from Mr Gray’s local constituency who engaged the Tory leader in conversation is said to have been told bluntly: ‘He [Mr Gray] is a s***. Why don’t you get rid of him?’ Last night, the activist, who did not want to be identified, said ‘wedding conversations should remain private’, while a spokesman for Mr Cameron said he had ‘no recollection of saying this’." – Mail on Sunday

Ken Clarke Ken Clarke accuses Government of burying publication of "damning" business survey

"The Government has been accused of delaying the publication of a "damning" survey that contradicts its claims that efforts to aid small businesses during the recession are working. Ken Clarke, the shadow business secretary, said the Department of Business had held back the results of its Innovation and Skills' SME Business Barometer Survey in April until after Parliament entered recess on July 21" – Sunday Telegraph

David Davies demands details of Mandleson's private meetings with influential friends

"Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, ordered officials to draw up draconian regulations on internet piracy just days after he had a private dinner with a Hollywood mogul who is a critic of illegal file-sharing… David Davies, the Conservative MP, said last night: “It does seem a remarkable coincidence. Peter Mandelson should be forced to reveal the full extent of his meetings with wealthy friends on holiday and, in the name of openness, disclose exactly what they discussed.” – Sunday Times

Janet Daley: Nothing is as liberating as prosperity

"It was the Conservatives who broke the mould of British electoral politics by offering economic self-determination (to coin a phrase) to the many, not the few. They did this by altering the basic understanding of wealth production: the wealth of a country was not a fixed entity, not a pie that needed to be cut up and distributed (or redistributed) by the state. Wealth could grow almost without limit. It expanded with increased activity, and the force of its own market dynamic would spread it to as much of the society as was free to join in that activity. Wealth does not have to be forcibly transferred from one sector of society to another, like a parcel. In fact, the more it is forcibly directed, the less it grows." – Janet Daley in the Sunday Telegraph

HOWARD-MICHAEL Michael Howard strikes gold

"Michael Howard has struck gold in Mongolia. The former Tory leader is the director of a company which has found one of the world’s biggest deposits of precious metal. The discovery, by the Canadian mining company Entree Gold, has a potential value of £7.6 billion. In addition the Heruga site is believed to hold at least 3.8m tons of copper, worth about £12 billion at current prices. Howard, who is nonexecutive deputy chairman of the company, said: “We have found gold and the question is whether the Mongolian government will let us extract it and it looks quite promising.” – Sunday Times

And finally… Lord Tebbit's top shooting tip

“If I’m having a bad day with the gun, I tend to imagine the bird is Neil Kinnock, or more recently Cherie Blair, and my aim is guaranteed to improve.” – Lord Tebbit quotes in the Telegraph

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34 comments for: Sunday 16th August 2009

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