9.30pm David T Breaker on CentreRight: Conservatives can win the health debate. Conservatives must win the health debate.
8pm Julia Manning on CentreRight: What The Times DID NOT say about the great man Lord McColl
4.30pm On CentreRight Mark Wallace of The TaxPayers' Alliance reacts to Sir Patrick Cormack MP's call for allowances to be replaced by much higher basic pay: "Against the background of a recession in which huge numbers of ordinary taxpayers are losing their jobs, taking pay cuts or accepting pay freezes, a large jump in remuneration for MPs could only harm the already poor standing of Parliament. If the people think you are a bunch of greedy swindlers, the way to prove them wrong is not by demanding an extra £66,000 a year." Read all of Mark's seven objections to Sir Patrick.
Gurmaj Dhillon on Platform: We must not ignore the plight of young people in today’s labour market
Alex Deane on CentreRight: Anonymity on the Internet may be a thing of the past
The Financial Times warns that Tory reforms will be expensive in the short-run
"The Tories are pointing in the right direction on schools, welfare and healthcare: they hope to drive up productivity by introducing competing private providers into these arenas. Such policies would improve public sector value-for-money. In the medium term, they would create room for savings, for example, by helping to contain the medical costs of the greying population. But, in the short term, these reforms would be expensive. During the grim years of restraint, they would be a fresh drain on the exchequer. And, even if they were costless, they could not boost productivity by the amount needed to shelter services from the axe." – FT leader
David Cameron’s intellectual influences suggest a sceptical cast of conservatism – Times leader
Cameron’s ‘black swan’ debate fails to fly – Jim Pickard in the FT
"Politically though, the most interesting point here is about Brand Cameron. For several years, DC and his team have tried painfully hard to present him as an ordinary kind of guy, the sort of bloke who does the shopping, goes to the pub, etc. That has been very useful for changing public views of the party, but is it enough to make him a credible Prime Minister-in-waiting? …This morning’s event is the start of the Tory rebuttal, an attempt to get across the idea that as well as charm and good hair, DC has a brain too. Seems he’s keen to go head-to-head with Mr Brown on the intellectual front, setting out his claims to be qualified to run the country." – James Kirkup in The Telegraph
Tory peer advises private healthcare provider
"The Shadow Health Minister, Lord McColl, is a paid consultant to a new private healthcare company that provides a fee-paying rival to the National Health Service’s family doctor service." – Times
David Cameron’s slick PR mask can’t hide nasty truth – Kevin Maguire in The Mirror
Anne McIntosh MP "has fallen out with successive figures at the top of the constituency association" – The Independent on the Tory frontbencher's deselection threat
Bernard Ingham accuses The Telegraph of running a month-long kangaroo court on expenses-gate
"In one sense, The Daily Telegraph did us all a great service in buying a computer disk to reveal MPs' exploitation of the Westminster expenses and allowances system, which the Commons would have otherwise tried to cover up. But in another sense, it did the body politic a major disservice by effectively holding a month-long kangaroo court. If it has not entirely tarred every MP with the same brush, it has quite failed to distinguish between the criminal and the opportunist. So far, not a single charge has been laid against any MP. I suspect it will be difficult to do so because there seems to be ample evidence going back years, of active official encouragement to milk the system." – Former Thatcher press secretary Bernard Ingham in the Yorkshire Post
If you add it all up, MPs are paid handsomely – Irwin Stelzer in The Telegraph
£500m cost of running Parliament – BBC
Generals call for 'Bungling Bob' to be replaced – Daily Mail
A High Pay Commission is 'stupid idea'
"The Chancellor was right yesterday to dismiss the idea of a High Pay Commission. His phraseology was characteristically mild: he was "not persuaded" of his merits. He might have put the point more strongly, for this is one of the most seriously stupid ideas that has come out of Britain's liberal/left establishment since the £6-a-week pay limit in 1975." – Hamish McRae in The Independent
Daily Telegraph to apologise to Gordon Brown over photo of children – Guardian
Hillary Clinton says it would be "absolutely wrong" to release Lockerbie bomber – BBC
> Last week's ToryDiary: Scottish Conservatives insist that Libyan bomber should be at "death's door" before release
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