1.30pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight: Lessons on from Pakistan on how to encourage marriage
12.30pm WATCH Three clips from this morning's Andrew Marr Show:
- David Cameron on dealing with the UK's fiscal deficit
- David Cameron on his plans for reforming the welfare system
- Andrew Marr questions David Cameron about the Bullingdon Club and his personal wealth
Plans to close up to 200 failing schools are added to our Rolling record of policy announcements from the Manchester Party Conference
Platform articles today:
- David Davis MP: We need a decade of freedom to rebalance the relationship between the citizen and the state – and it's about far more than civil liberties alone
- Michael Brown reflects on four decades of party conferences
Signs of the Tory ascendancy…
- Tories 12% ahead in two opinion polls – Yesterday evening's ToryDiary
- 2,000 journalists are accredited for #cpc09 (Hat tip to the Independent on Sunday).
- 100 business leaders have joined a £50,000pa club that includes dinner with David Cameron (The Sunday Times).
- "By choosing yesterday to announce that Gordon Brown will take
part in leaders' television debates, Labour was clearly hoping to do a
spoiler on the Tory conference build-up. Yet that was also a further
sign of Number 10's desperation about the government's unpopularity. No
previous prime minister has conceded to a debate because no previous
prime minister has wanted to give equality of status to his opponents.
Mr Brown has agreed to head-to-head combat with the other leaders only
because he has nothing left to lose." (Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer).
The Mail on Sunday trails Chris Grayling's 'Mug-a-Hoodie' manifesto
"Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling is to introduce new laws to tackle violent crime – and he will ditch Labour’s policy of releasing prisoners because there are not enough cells. Instead, the Tories will build 5,000 additional prison places, taking the capacity of the nation’s jails to 100,000 for the first time in history. The Conservative proposals include:
- New laws to jail people who attack policemen.
- ‘Grounding orders’ to punish young thugs who terrorise housing estates.
- Sacking police chiefs who refuse to tackle families from hell.
- Cutting parole for badly behaved prisoners."
All in the Mail on Sunday.
Boris Johnson suggests there should be a post-ratification-of-Lisbon vote
"Boris Johnson has insisted that British voters are entitled to a referendum on the European Union treaty, even if it has already been ratified by the time the Tories win power. In an intervention that will anger David Cameron and risks plunging the Conservatives into another row over Europe, the London mayor said the public deserves to have a say on the constitution." – The Sunday Times
> ConHome yesterday found that only 16% of Tory members are happy to accept a ratified Lisbon Treaty
Tory economic policy under fire
If the Tories had been in power the public finances wouldn't have been much healthier – David Smith in The Sunday Times
The Conservatives' position on the economy over the past two years has almost beggared belief – William Keegan in The Observer
Is the environment on the backburner?
"Last week, in an interview with The Sun to mark the newspaper's defection to the Tories, Cameron laid out 10 key pledges – none of which included the environment or climate change. In a separate interview with The Spectator, Cameron listed "the deficit, Afghanistan, the broken society and mending the mess of our politics" as his priorities…" That's how the Independent on Sunday sets up an interview with Greg Clark MP who has the job of saying the Tories remain green.
Will you keep British troops in Afghanistan for the next five years if necessary to win the war? Will you hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it has been ratified by all 27 countries? Do you aim to reduce the 50p top rate of income tax during the next Parliament? The Independent on Sunday gets vague answers to its questions.
Conservatives will be party for the poor, says Eric Pickles
"Eric Pickles, the party chairman, said the theme would run "almost through the conference's DNA". He told the Observer: "You will judge us on how we treat the most vulnerable, those in poor schools, in sink schools; those on housing estates that have been largely forgotten by Labour. I was brought up on a council estate and I get increasingly angry with this lot trotting out what they are going to do – they have been there for 12 years and the poor have got poorer on those estates." – Observer
And why has The Sunday Times
written this: "Duncan Smith, it seems, will be involved in a future
Tory government, chairing a cabinet committee on welfare reform"? New
to ConHome but buried in a leading article.
John Rentoul attempts to say Cameron is sending conflicting messages to The Sun and Independent
"In Friday's Sun, he cemented the newspaper's support by using it to announce his 10 "key pledges". His other purpose was to answer the 49 per cent of people that say, in our ComRes poll today, that they "don't really know what David Cameron stands for". The Sun pledges contain nothing new, yet they do, paradoxically, give an idea of what Cameron stands for: a low-tax, benefit-cutting, nationalist populism. For Sun readers, Dave stands for the values of Sun readers. Yet when he talks to The Independent on Sunday, he couldn't care more about the environment, or civil liberties, and he's a "liberal conservative not a neo-conservative" in foreign policy." – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday
[It would appear that Mr Rentoul has never heard of "the politics of and"].
Cameron's biographer James Hanning paints a portrait of the Tory leader
"Cameron, for all the polish, is a political nerd. He is fascinated by the business of politics, how it is done, why people rise, why they fall. Like Blair, Cameron has a big tent of many voices. A certain guileful lack of clarity can be an advantage. It helps sustain interest, so you only tell people things in dribs and drabs. Sometimes, as with the Lisbon debate, a little obscurity can keep the show on the road until a solution presents itself. But play that game too long and you look evasive. The NHS, we are told, is safe, as is the foreign aid budget. But does he support Trident as it currently exists? Would he oppose electoral reform with the last breath in his body? How will he increase tax? Will he raise taxes on flying? Will he cut or means-test child benefit? Will he make the BBC charge for its website? With up to eight months to go until the election? Now that would be telling." – Independent on Sunday
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