11.30pm Melanchthon on CentreRight wonders if the PM's bullying behaviour is a resigning matter

7.45pm ToryDiary: Would you like to suggest any other components for the ideal Tory leaflet?

BlackEye6pm LeftWatch update: Bullying charity says staff at 10 Downing Street contacted them / Charity also dismisses Mandelson's denials as "nonsense"

5.45pm ToryDiary: What's the key message for Lib/Con marginals?

3.15pm WATCH: William Hague lists Labour's failures

3pm WATCH: ITN reviews Brown, Mandelson and Rawnsley discussing the PM's allegedly violent temper

2pm ToryDiary: How should the Tory economic message be described?

Ideal11.30am ToryDiary: How should Conservative leaflets attack Labour?

ToryDiary: George Osborne plans to sell discounted shares in state-owned banks to ordinary Britons

Neil Pearce on Platform: Why I, as a Conservative trade unionist, believe the unions should cut their links with Labour

HagueWells LeftWatch: Hague compares Labour to a defeated army that is poisoning the water wells as it retreats

Also on LeftWatch: The very definition of champagne socialism

Local government: Coventry plans to dim street lights

In the opening line of its leader the Independent on Sunday gets to the heart of Brown's mini-revival:

"There is something remarkable about the sheer bloody-minded resilience of Gordon Brown."

Read the leader in full.

Civil service chief warned Gordon Brown over abusive treatment of staffObserver

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 08.27.47 Andrew Rawnsley summarises his account: "To some of his enemies – and by enemies I mean people within his own party – the prime minister's conduct towards colleagues and staff has at times been so appalling that it raises a question mark about his fitness to hold his great office. To admirers, who include people on his staff at whom he has unleashed his furies, those volcanic rages are a price worth paying for his other qualities as a leader."

> Yesterday evening's LeftWatch on Andrew Rawnsley's revelations

Last night's Sunday Times/ YouGov poll had the Tory lead down to 6%ToryDiary

David Cameron's personal lead over Gordon Brown halved in six months according to data from

"Freddie Sayers, Editor of, said: "For the first time, we can now see the story behind the polls. Gordon Brown's reputation has gradually recovered from the darkest days of last summer, and the enthusiasm about David Cameron has fallen off. There is still a huge gap between them, but it is half as huge as it was last summer. Brown has gone from catastrophic to very bad and Cameron has fallen from unfeasibly popular to mildly popular." – Quoted in The Sunday Telegraph

Leadership_performance_ratings_graph See more at PoliticsHome.

"There is no campaign manager taking charge of what comes out of the Conservative campaign headquarters." – James Forsyth in Mail on Sunday (at bottom of link)

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 08.28.05 Michael Heseltine tells Tory supper that he expects hung parliamentThe Sunday Telegraph

Michael Portillo attacks inconsistency of Tory thinking on economic policy

"The most damaging aspect of the Conservatives’ recent performance is inconsistency. Had they argued this out among themselves when the economy turned bad, and chosen either to call for austerity or to stick with the old line of keeping in step with the government, they would now be in a better state. It is not just that indecision raises doubts about competence. It is more that the next government must possess extraordinary grit, because the situation really is worse than that faced by Thatcher. The Conservatives are failing the grit test." – Michael Portillo in The Sunday Times

David Cameron gets some tactical advice for the election debatesMail on Sunday

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 07.44.34 David Cameron's 'Obama Army' – The Mail on Sunday has a poster graphic of the Tories' minority candidates

Industry jitters after Tories go quiet over energy plansSunday Telegraph

The economic crisis gives us a golden opportunity to rethink the way we provide public services – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph

A leader in The Sunday Telegraph agrees: "The Conservatives have some radical plans for education: they say they will dismantle the barriers that make it so difficult for those who are not part of the existing state bureaucracy to set up schools, and will divert funds to help individuals who want to start them. We hope that David Cameron will extend that radicalism to the rest of his political programme. Britain's state-run services, just like its economy, desperately need reform. The Conservatives will only deserve to win the next election if they can credibly promise to provide it."

Both Labour and the Conservatives are fighting for the co-operative voteObserver

Stuart Wheeler ready to banbkroll Nigel Farage's campaign to oust Speaker BercowSunday Express

And finally…

Yes_min "Writers of the political sitcom Yes Prime Minister have reunited after 22 years to pen a play based on the popular TV show…. Actors David Haig and Henry Goodman will play the parts of Hacker and Sir Humphrey Appleby in the forthcoming stage version. The production runs from 13 May to 5 June, as part of this year's Chichester Festival Theatre season." – BBC


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99 comments for: Sunday 21st February 2010

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