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9pm Latest posts on CentreRight:

8.15pm Seats and Candidates: Candidates selected for Cynon Valley, Pontypridd and Rhondda

3.45pm WATCH: Hillary Clinton says Iran is becoming a military dictatorship

12.30pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: Comparing the Vancouver Games with the forthcoming London Olympics is a depressing exercise

11.15am Paul Goodman interviews Jeremy Hunt MP

ToryDiary: Ten observations on the state of the election campaign

Loughton Tim Loughton MP on Platform: Don't underestimate the influence of television, soaps and reality TV on young people

Local government:

ThinkTankCentral: Respublica joins the list of think tanks that blog

Seats and candidates: The candidates for the three Hull seats

Stephan Shakespeare on CentreRight: The fantasy of inner-circle-wisdom is exploded by the Greek bankruptcy

A Labour MP and whip forced to apologise after he described the Conservatives as "scum-sucking pigs"BBC

Mr Wright claimed his Twitter account had been hacked into but he actually has a record of calling Tories "scum".

David Cameron summarises Tory message in open letter to Sun readers

CAMERON DAVID AT COMPUTER "Every one of our plans – whether it's protecting the minimum wage, an NHS that is free and open to everyone, freezing council tax for two years, increasing the state pension, recognising loving families by backing marriage in the tax system or getting a grip on Labour's debt crisis – is about building a stronger, fairer society in Britain."

The letter appears in the right hand column of this page.

Conservative plans for co-operatives in the public sector

"Millions of public sector workers would be able to sack the boss and award themselves a pay rise under Tory plans to shake up taxpayer-funded services. David Cameron said they would be encouraged to set up John Lewis-style worker co-operatives to run local services." – Daily Mail

"The last British politician to establish workers’ co-operatives was Tony Benn, the Labour left-winger, whose experiment in “industrial democracy” ended in failure." – Telegraph

"Although the idea will largely apply to schools and hospitals in England, it could be extended to UK-wide institutions like Job Centres and government agencies like the DVLA, based in Morriston. Tory front-bencher Michael Gove said: “We were thinking about a variety of relatively small-scale social enterprises, individual job centres, social work, primary schools, but if it is the case that there are larger organisations, anything from the DVLA to the Met Office, that had thoughts, then obviously it would be considered by the Treasury team.”" – Western Mail

"It is a sign of how much the party has changed that its leader is proposing power to the people" – Guardian leader

The Sun Says is also enthusiastic: "Hospitals, fire stations, schools and surgeries will be run within national standards by the people who know the business back to front – the employees. They are the staff who currently spend far too much of their time tied up in red tape instead of helping the folk who pay their wages – you, the public. It will be the biggest move to shift power into the hands of the voters since the sale of council houses – another great Conservative policy that spread wealth across Britain."

In an otherwise positive leader The Daily Mail concludes: "wouldn't it be easier to put faith in Mr Cameron's commitment to devolving power from the centre if he stopped imposing his own candidates on unwilling local Conservative associations?"

Davis-David-red-tie Judges abroad have dealt with torture allegations far more robustly than we have in Britain – David Davis in The Times

Melanie Phillips: David Cameron is an egregious opportunist

"Mr. Cameron has now declared the Tories must "get a grip," implying that back-room arguments over strategy are the cause of such confusion. But the wobbles surely signal a far deeper problem: a failure to grasp what conservatism is. Examples of this profound incoherence include the Tories' proposal to cut spending on defence but not on international aid or the bloated and failing NHS. At the same time, they declare that they will allow householders to kill burglars with impunity even if they are running away and no longer pose any threat. Thus they manage to sign up to left-wing shibboleths while simultaneously pandering to right-wing populism. The result is that nobody knows what they really stand for except egregious opportunism." – Melanie Phillips in the Wall Street Journal

After the Piers Morgan interview, Brown won't be so easy for the airbrushed Tory leadership to dismiss – Steve Richards in The Independent

MPs 'should repay profits' from taxpayer-funded homes, says watchdogBBC

Kick Greece out of the Euro – Ruth Lea in The Times

"It was once well-known that Greece, Italy and other countries had used dodgy tricks to embellish their public finances prior to the launch of Economic and Monetary Union to meet the entry requirements; yet now everybody is pretending to be surprised or even shocked." – Allister Heath in City AM

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49 comments for: Tuesday 16th February 2010

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