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8.45pm David T Breaker on CentreRight: The light at the end of the [congestion] tunnel?

Picture 66pm WATCH: Daniel Hannan MEP talks to reason.tv about the power of the internet, Enoch Powell, The Plan, the NHS and David Cameron…

4pm ToryDiary: Should we abolish vehicle excise duty and instead franchise the private sector to run motorways with tolls?

2.30pm Local Government: Surrey Council recruits £46,000 Olympics co-ordinator

Picture 41.30pm ToryDiary: Why were only 13 people arrested at last night's football disturbance?

12.15pm ToryDiary: Latest quarterly donations feature individual gift of over £1,000,000 to the Conservative Party

11.45am Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: Taxpayer funded lobbying and political campaigning abroad

9.30am Brian Connell on CentreRight: The post-duck house age


ToryDiary: Theresa May exposes how five million people have not worked under Labour

Spelman graph Caroline Spelman MP on Platform: The Labour Government has shamefully neglected its duty to defend the realm by leaving the country dangerously exposed if firefighters go out on strike

Parliament: Peter Bone MP says the Government has a "moral duty" to freeze the UK contribution to the European Union

Heather White continues her series on networking for candidates in Seats and Candidates: Making the right impression with the people that matter

Christabel Flight in Local Government: How Westminster Council is making a difference to the lives of elderly residents

International: It's far, far too early for the US Republicans to start celebrating

CentreRight: Two contrary reflections on Edward Kennedy, who died last night:

11.30am update – David Cameron issued the following statement about Edward Kennedy (cited in BBC reports): "He should be remembered as one of the most effective legislators in the history of the US Senate, a symbol of the strength and independence of the US legislature. He fought for the causes he stood for, from civil rights to education and healthcare."

WATCH: Sky News's US correspondent Greg Milam looks back on the life of Edward Kennedy

LISTEN: The BBC's Justin Webb reflects on the life and career of Edward Kennedy

Picture 2 Andrew Lansley exposes the scandal of the 4,000 mothers forced to give birth in hospital corridors, lifts, offices and even toilets

"Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds… Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley, who obtained the figures, said Labour had cut maternity beds by 2,340, or 22 per cent, since 1997. At the same time birth rates have been rising sharply – up 20 per cent in some areas. Mr Lansley said: 'New mothers should not be being put through the trauma of having to give birth in such inappropriate places. While some will be unavoidable emergencies, it is extremely distressing for them and their families to be denied a labour bed because their maternity unit is full. It shows the incredible waste that has taken place that mothers are getting this sort of sub-standard treatment despite Gordon Brown's tripling of spending on the NHS'." – Daily Mail

Chris Grayling criticised for comparing some British cities to scenes from The Wire

"Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling’s claim that parts of Britain are becoming like the American crime haven of Baltimore, as portrayed in The Wire, today brought derision – and the embarrassing revelation that he was not as familiar with the cult show as he would have people believe." – The Independent

"Alan Johnson, the man doing the job Grayling wants, was quick to complain that all yesterday's Tory analysis had in common with The Wire was that "they're both fictional". Glib references to telly programmes don't make you cool, added the ex-Chelsea mod, himself quite cool by political standards. But Johnson's protest that his shadow should be "praising the police for continued reduction in gun-related offences" is likely to fall on closed ears. The Tory claim that "gun crime is up by half under Labour" – from 5,209 in 1998-9 to 8,184 (provisional) in 2008-9 – is more likely to resonate with voters whose direct experience is greatly enhanced by crime on TV and in print." – Michael White in The Guardian

…as he bemoans the consequences of family breakdown

"Family breakdown and the devaluation of marriage has led to a generation of children with no concept of right and wrong, the Tories have warned. Youngsters have no “vestige of stability” in their lives and are exposed to drugs and alcohol at a “ludicrously young age”. The lack of a family-focused upbringing means many young children are growing up as the “antithesis of model citizens”, Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, said." – Daily Telegraph

The Independent also reproduces an extract from Chris Grayling's speech

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Chris Grayling lambasts Labour for failing Britian's poorest communities and outlines the Conservative approach to reversing social breakdown

Mark Francois Tories "would increase cash to EU if farming subsidies are cut"

"A Conservative Government would be prepared to increase Britain’s financial contributions to the European Union in exchange for reforms to European farm subsidies. Mark Francois, the shadow Europe minister, said..: “If we come into power, we will be in the foothills of beginning to negotiate a new financial perspective that will run from 2014. Our view is that there should be no further reduction in the British rebate unless it is accompanied by really fundamental reform. Nearer the time, you would need to see what our partners were prepared to put on the table. The point of principle is that we would be very reluctant to surrender anything further of the rebate unless we thought there was genuine reform available.” – Daily Telegraph

Hague attacks Brown's comments about the Lockerbie bomber's release as too little too late

"Gordon Brown was last night accused of saying too little, too late after finally uttering his first words since Britain’s biggest mass murderer was sprung from jail. Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said yesterday: “The whole country is astonished that it has taken the Prime Minister five days to give at best a partial response. When so many other people in other countries have commented on the Scottish government’s decision, it is a continuing failure of leadership for Gordon Brown to be unable to say what he thinks about the ruling on Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi.” – Daily Express

> WATCH: William Hague declares Gordon Brown's inability to voice an opinion about the release of the Lockerbie bomber as a "failure of leadership"

Chris Patten: Brown should condemn al-Meghrahi’s release

"We know what Mr Brown and the government think about Brighton Football Club’s escape from relegation, the health of talent show star Susan Boyle and, of course, England’s cricket victory (they were in favour of it). So why have we been denied their views on the release by the Scottish justice minister of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi?" – Lord Patten of Barnes writing in the FT

Labour plan attack on George Osborne, but business leaders are unlikely to listen

"Labour will contrast the "strong team" of Mr Brown and Mr Darling with the less experienced David Cameron and George Osborne, urging voters not to take a chance on a Tory government when experience can help a sustainable recovery. It will portray Mr Osborne as the Tories' "Achilles heel". But among businessmen at least, such attacks look unlikely to hit home. ComRes found that they have more confidence in the Tory economics team than in Labour. Only 18 per cent of business leaders are confident in the ability of Mr Brown and 19 per cent in Mr Darling, while Mr Cameron enjoys the confidence of 53 per cent and Mr Osborne 41 per cent." – The Independent

David Cameron and Ivan Further coverage of David Cameron's poignant interview with Grazia in which he talks about losing Ivan

"David Cameron has spoken movingly about the death of his son Ivan, saying he takes comfort in knowing the boy is not suffering any more. The Conservative leader said his other two children are coping with the loss far better than he and his wife Samantha." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary posts: David Cameron tells Grazia magazine about the "immense void" left by Ivan and A second instalment of extracts from the Grazia interview with David Cameron

A journalist embedded with Project Umubano reports back on the Conservative trip to Rwanda

"Project Umubano has had notable successes. In the past three years, the medical team has treated over 5,000 people. The private sector has established a twinning arrangement with Harvard Business School and the Saïd Business School at Oxford. The legal team was this year supported by lawyers from Allen and Overy, a firm which recently struck its own partnership with Rwanda. But it was not just Rwandan development that Project Umubano helps – handily, it can also benefit the political careers of the volunteers… Compassionate conservatism was displayed by many, but self-promotion was important to a few. It remains to be seen which will triumph in the wider realms of the Conservative Party." – Lucy Kinder in The Independent

Picture 4 Sir Bernard Ingham rails at primaries and positive discrimination in parliamentary selections

"I invite you to join me in a constitutional protest at next year's General Election. Refuse to vote for any candidate who has not been selected by regular, open competition, who can't articulate a political philosophy or a programme for government, and who parade under high-minded but meaningless labels." – Sir Bernard Ingham writing in the Yorkshire Post

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Cameron has to jettison the Blairite ultras

"Asked whether he really wants to be called a Blairite in view of Blair's unpopularity, [Michael] Gove replies: "He's not as popular as he deserves to be, and he's emphatically not as popular within Labour as he deserves to be – amazing ingratitude on their part"… But why should any honest Tory feel any gratitude or admiration whatsoever for Blair? Next year the Tories will be picking up the pieces left behind by a prime minister who presided for 10 years (with the support of his chancellor) over an illusory boom which, since it was in fact artificially fuelled by rocketing house prices and an explosion of household debt, was bound to end in bust." – Geoffrey Wheatcroft in The Guardian

Ruth Lea: Be in no doubt, there are hard economic times ahead

"Market sentiment has in the past few months gone from bearish to bullish as pundits have declared the end of recession. The mood has gone from deep despair to extraordinary elation — this week marked the biggest six-month rally in world share prices for 50 years — as good news takes centre stage and bad news is consigned to the wings… Apologies for being Cassandra, but I do not see comfortable times ahead." – Ruth Lea writing in The Times

Daniel Finkelstein: The case for increasing the number of special advisersThe Times

Crunch time for council workers’ golden pensions

"Millions of public sector workers will have their pensions slashed under plans to deal with a massive shortfall in the value of local government pension funds, The Times has learnt. The move by ministers to strip council workers of their “gold-standard” final-salary pensions is likely to trigger widespread industrial action… David Cameron has already said that he would scrap MPs’ generous pension benefits and hinted at wider cutbacks to public sector provision." – The Times

David Cameron commits to payback of bank charges

"Tory leader David Cameron says victims of "unfair" bank charges must be compensated "quickly and fairly". He'll also consider automatic payback of all charges, which could total over £10 billion." – Money Saving Expert

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30 comments for: Wednesday 26th August 2009

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