9.45pm Melanchton on CentreRight: "Sir Nicholas [Winterton] is obviously correct to say that the sort of people in standard class (students with large ruck-sacks, friends chatting, people listening to music loudly on their headphones, parents battling to keep their children amused) are quite different sorts of people from those in first class (business people, those seeking quiet, those who prefer their own company)."
5.15pm Local government:
12.45pm Paul Goodman MP on CentreRight: The brightest and best won't hang around the Commons
Richard Wellings on Platform: How the next government can lower business costs by simplifying the tax system
- Commentators see James Purnell's retirement as symbol of weaker, less moderate Labour Party
- Labour borrows ANOTHER slogan from the BNP
Conservatives consider scrapping PAYE
"The Conservatives are working on a pilot for a new automated bank-based system that would remove the responsibility of deducting and paying income tax from employers. The new system could save businesses up to £5.5bn according to the Tories and increase revenues to the Exchequer of £1bn., according to the Tories election hopefuls." – Telegraph
In The Telegraph, Charles Moore praises David Cameron…
"There was a time – much too long a time – when the Tory Party was so enfeebled that it allowed us in the media to lead it… David Cameron, assisted by Mr Osborne, has changed that. They understood that the Tory Party had turned in upon itself. It needed to talk in a different way, about different things, through the mouths of different people, before voters would ever again pay it attention. All the stuff about gender, class, family, ethnicity and sexual orientation was not so much political correctness as noticing the variety of people who walked down the street and wondering why so few of them voted Tory." – Charles Moore in The Telegraph
In The Mail, Amanda Platell issues a warning to David Cameron…
"Many natural, instinctive Conservatives feel increasingly isolated by the coterie of privileged friends and associates who hold sway at Party HQ. In Dave's rarefied metropolitan world, youth, gender, ethnicity and sexuality count for more when qualifying to become a candidate than hard work, experience, party loyalty and ability. And I fear this trend is creeping into the party's policy priorities, too." – Amanda Platell in The Mail
Tory councils join talks on high speed rail line despite Theresa Villiers' stance – Guardian
"Ms Villiers has refused to accept a proposal from Lord Adonis to participate in the final preparation of the white paper and its launch to avoid being seen to endorse its choice of London to Birmingham route. “We believe any route should be decided in consultation with the public, not by a cosy political consensus,” she said. “Labour will decide on their route in their white paper and we will look at it when the whole of the general public gets a chance to look at it.”" – FT
Bryony Gordon is impressed that David Cameron is saying 'enough' to the sexualisation of children by the likes of Lily Allen – Telegraph
Liam Fox must wait to learn fate over £25,000 overclaim appeal – Telegraph
Founder of lastminute.com becomes latest business boss to back Tories – The Sun
Labour strategy learns from Obama's emphasis on peer-to-peer persuasion
Speaking to The Guardian, Labour's Douglas Alexander: "Revealing that Labour has been in discussion with the Obama team for over a year, he said: "Their key campaigning insight in an age of cynicism about politicians is word of mouth. The Conservatives are fighting a broadcast election in a networked age. What we are going to offer is not a one-way communication, but one-to-one communication. "Obama better understood community organisation and peer-to-peer communication than any recent candidate and we are applying that lesson." He said Labour had made 400,000 voter contacts in marginal seats since the start of the year, using software that allows members to set up phone banks in their own homes. That is double the number of Labour's voter contacts in 2005."
Dutch cabinet collapses in dispute over Afghanistan – BBC
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