6pm WATCH: Ken Livingstone interviews Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch about the erosion of civil liberties over the last decade

5.15pm Nick Seddon on CentreRight: Look After Our NHS, or the Flat Earth Society

Picture 134.15pm ToryDiary: David Cameron reminds Scotland that the general
election offers a straight choice between five more years of Brown or a
new Conservative Government

3.15pm Local government:

2pm ToryDiary: Cameron's 'see-through government' agenda should scare every bureaucrat

1.15pm Seats and Candidates: Labour MP's secret speech at local UKIP dinner sparks rumours of electoral pact

1.00pm Local government: Council by-election results

12.45pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: "If you're Greece, and you have been consistently ill-disciplined, lied and defrauded your way into the euro, failed to abide by even the most basic of accounting norms… you're supposed to be given tens of billions of euros instead of cutting back??

12.30pm Seats and candidates: 'The war over Joanne Cash'

11.30am WATCH: Gordon Brown "gets personal" in Piers Morgan interview

11.00am Local government: Conservatives pledge to tackle tresspass

10.45am Mark Wallace on CentreRight: Sign the petition against a bailout for Greece

10am ToryDiary: Andrew Lansley denies that David Cameron ordered him to withdraw from all-party talks on elderly care

PATERSON OWEN NWToryDiary: Owen Paterson questions wisdom of forced coalitions in Northern Ireland politics

Howard Flight on Platform: In defence of the City

LeftWatch: Gordon Brown "opens up as never before" in this weekend's Piers Morgan interview

Local Government

Think Tank Central: Policy Exchange calls for wealthier students to repay university loans via private sector

International: Three reasons why the international Right has prospered during capitalism's "crisis"

Melanchthon on CentreRight: How to squander £30 million (to save £1 million)

WATCH: James Brokenshire attacks the government for misleading a parliamentary committee by duplicating evidence to back its arguments on the DNA database

David Cameron promises 'fresh start' in relations between Westminster and Holyrood

CAMERON WITH UNION FLAG "He will set out proposals for a "new relationship" with the Holyrood SNP administration at the party's Scottish conference, while defending the Union… "We must repair the relationship between the British government and the Scottish government," he will say. "It's a disgrace that during one of the worst economic crises in our modern history, when the foundations of the Scottish economy were rocked, Gordon Brown didn't meet Alex Salmond for almost a year." – BBC

George Osborne attacks Labour 'poverty of ambition' for Wales

"Conservative shadow chancellor George Osborne has accused Labour of "poverty of ambition" for Wales… The shadow chancellor was in Cardiff to unveil what he called a "new economic model for Wales", setting out Tory plans for a private sector recovery. "I thought we had a real insight into what Labour's vision of Wales is this week when Peter Hain said at least Wales is richer than Rwanda," he said." – BBC

Tory pledge to move fast on financial reform

"An incoming Conservative government would move swiftly to dismantle the current structures of financial regulation, transferring banking supervision to the Bank of England within a year of winning a general election. Only two days after Hector Sants resigned as head of the Financial Services Authority, Mark Hoban, the shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, scotched suggestions that the Tories had cold feet about the planned reforms, which rest on disbanding the City regulator and giving more power to the Bank." – FT

George Osborne put on the spot by departure of Hector Sants – Mark Kleinman writing in The Times

Liam Fox aims to boost military ties with France

FOX GESTICULATING "A Conservative government would seek to boost Britain’s military relations with France, Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said on Thursday, stating that he wanted to see “a renewed and energised Anglo-French synergy” in future years. In a speech setting out how he views the UK’s military alliances, Mr Fox made a strong call for closer bilateral defence co-operation between Britain and France, saying the two countries should do more in areas such as cybersecurity, joint training and the reform of the Nato alliance." – FT

"The Conservatives said on Thursday they would closely examine whether Britain should stay in the European Defence Agency, set up to promote European defence cooperation, if they win an election due by June." – Reuters

Labour minister unapologetic after saying it's OK to have your home repossessed

"Labour's housing minister yesterday insulted millions struggling to survive the recession by claiming that having their homes repossessed might be their “best option”… Grant Shapps, shadow housing minister, said: “John Healey’s remarks are crass and insensitive. It proves Labour ministers have lost touch with reality and I’m calling on him to apologise to the tens of thousands of families who have lost the roof over their heads.” – Daily Express

> Yesterday on LeftWatch: Meet the housing minister who says that repossession "can be the best option"

The Conservatives have not abandoned environmentalism

Picture 9 "Worries about the Tories’ commitment to the cause may be exaggerated. For one thing, neither scepticism nor indifference is prevalent at the very top of the party. Steve Hilton, Mr Cameron’s strategist, voted for the Green Party at the last general election. A rough measure of a leader’s commitment to an issue is the calibre of personnel he allocates to the relevant portfolio… Mr Cameron has handed it to Greg Clark, one of his better shadow-cabinet talents. Nick Herbert, who holds the other green portfolio of environment and rural affairs, is another bright spark whom many in the party want to see in a bigger job." – The Economist

What would Britain look like after a few years of Tory government?

"It would be living through a necessary period of austerity, as (after a gentle start) Prime Minister Cameron and George Osborne, his chancellor of the exchequer, battled to slash the deficit. With luck they would have met their pledge to protect Britain’s credit ratings and avert a steep rise in interest rates. This aspect of the Tory platform is cherished and promoted by the state-shrinking wing of the high command. Meanwhile, if the more sociological, visionary Tories are to be believed, their government would be busily re-making society. It would encourage a culture of thrift, civic activism and renewed respect for marriage and the nuclear family. Its welfare programme would be reducing the bills for social failure. It would inaugurate a “post-bureaucratic” age." – Bagehot in The Economist

"Beware, British progressives, of what you might get if Cameron falters. Australia is busy offering us a foretaste of a far nastier alternative." – Julian Glover in The Guardian

Why is David Cameron seeking to crack down on lobbying?

"Mr Cameron believes that if he wins power, there will be a surge in attempts to get close to his Tory government. He is trying to stake out the ground before that happens, according to his close advisers… Tories are concerned by the fact that several dozen of their prospective MPs are former lobbyists, while Mr Cameron's seven years in corporate communications at Carlton Television may associate him, in the eye of the public, with the industry he is declaring war on." – The Independent

Tory attack on lobbyists rings hollow – Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian

> Monday's ToryDiary: Cameron promises to curb the power of politcal lobbyists

> Roger Helmer MEP on Platform yesterday: We should stop demonising lobbyists

Geoff Hoon to quit Parliament at the election

Picture 10 "Geoff Hoon, the former defence secretary who last month launched a failed coup attempt against Gordon Brown, has announced that he will stand down from Parliament." – Daily Telegraph

Hoon's resignation letter in full – Sky News

> Yesterday in Seats and Candidates: Geoff Hoon will not defend his Ashfield constituency at the general election

> WATCH: The BBC reports that Geoff Hoon's decision to step down at the general election came on the eve of a vote of no confidence from his local party

David Cameron rejects calls for 'Cadbury Law' in UK industryBirmingham Post

Boris Johnson criticised over support for suspended Tory councillorGuardian

Mandelson hails euro as "remarkable success"Daily Mail

MI5 chief defends agency over torture cover-up claimsDaily Telegraph


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