12.30pm Benedict Rogers on Comment: Cameron's Burma message must be: "So far so good, but there is much more to be done".
Noon ConHomeUSA newslinks: Democrat attacks against Romney begin on tax and religion
Columnist Stephan Shakespeare: Opinion polls ensure that the wise views of voters are heard between elections
Nick De Bois MP on Comment: "The way to counter Ed Miliband's bleats isn’t to be seen hugging a hoodie, eating a pasty or emphasising that we really are 'all in this together'." The choice for Britain is the Politics of Envy or the Politics of Prosperity?
- Boris has 4% lead over Ken Livingstone in new London mayor poll
- Charnwood to raise £100,000 through advertising deal
Former Chairman of National Convention: The Conservative Party has lost sight of its true values
"So how should the leadership reconnect with the grassroots? For a start, ordinary members should be given more of a say in how the party is run. Candidates should be chosen by members, not just anyone who turns up. The party chairman should be elected by members, not hand-picked by the leader. Activists should have more contact with senior parliamentarians, and more chances to debate and shape policy. Members and activists are the lifeblood of any party, and the custodians of its values. “Detoxification” has seen the party lose touch with its grassroots and with the values that brought it so much success. It has seen it lose loyal voters without winning enough new ones." – Don Porter, Daily Telegraph
- It is time the dilettante PM got a grip – Anthony King, Financial Times (£)
- Tory bullies have given up nudge for shove – Brian Monteith, Scotsman
Osborne declares: I'm going after the wealthy tax dodgers…
"Mr Osborne told The Daily Telegraph: “I was shocked to see that some of the very wealthiest people in the country have organised their tax affairs, and to be fair it’s within the tax laws, so that they were regularly paying virtually no income tax. And I don’t think that’s right. “I’m talking about people right at the top. I’m talking about people with incomes of many millions of pounds a year. The general principle is that people should pay income tax and that includes people with the highest incomes." – Daily Telegraph
…And Polly Toynbee says that "the tax and finances of every citizen must be open to public scrutiny"
"In Norway, Finland and Sweden, among others, everything is known about any citizen's finances at the click of a mouse. The boss of Nokia, pop stars and politicians face annual embarrassment as the press explores their returns. Transparency underpins a culture of social justice and civic duty. I have long advocated that we follow them: after the initial shock, we would soon look back on privacy as a cheat's charter." – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
- Frustrating the intentions of the Treasury doesn't make you a moral degenerate – Stephen Levinson, Daily Mail
Osborne should think again about restricting tax relief on charitable donations – Daily Telegraph Editorial
"Mr Cameron said today: "We brought in the triple-lock to restore the link between pensions and earnings – guaranteeing the basic state pension rises by whichever is highest out of rises in prices, average earnings or 2.5%. Today we're delivering with a 5.2% increase in the basic state pension, an extra £5.30 a week, the largest cash rise in history. At a time when we're having to make cuts elsewhere, this is further proof of this government's commitment to the elderly." – The Independent
Real-time information, the scheme on which Iain Duncan Smith's welfare reforms are based, is running into trouble – Daily Telegraph
Poll finds that Tory MPs think Cameron’s gay marriage law will not succeed (and that it isn't of significant importance to voters)
"An all-party poll of MPs found only 56 per cent believed the proposal to legalise same-sex marriage would succeed, with 41 per cent of Conservatives believing it. Almost as many Tory MPs (37 per cent) believed the proposal will fail and 22 per cent said they were unsure, the survey carried out by ComRes found. It means that three out of five Tory MPs have doubts that the plan will go ahead. By contrast, more than two thirds of Labour MPs and almost all Liberal Democrat members polled were confident that it would go ahead." – Daily Telegraph
Facebook must beware a return to the dotcom bubble days – Allister Heath, City A.M
ECHR Hamza decision expected today
"Hook-handed hate cleric Abu Hamza must be kicked out of Britain today, angry MPs demanded last night. A nine-year fight to ship Hamza, 53, to the US on terror charges comes to a head this morning. But fed-up Tories say Britain should defy European judges and extradite him — even if they rule he can stay. The fanatical hook-handed Muslim cleric will learn today if he has won a legal battle to stay in Britain."
Stewart Jackson told The Sun: “Abu Hamza and others should be put on a plane and extradited to the US regardless of the court’s decision.”
Chris Heaton-Harris added: “We should tell them to stick their judgment where political correctness doesn’t shine — and send Hamza to the US to receive justice.” – The Sun
- Former U.S Ambassador under Bush says that Britain should renounce ECHR – Daily Telegraph
- We must bow to the will of the European Court – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
- Kick out Hook – Sun Editorial
Did a Labour Minister approve the rendition of a Libyan dissident to Gaddafi and torture? – Daily Mail
Cameron to make first western leader trip to meet Aung San Suu Kyi
"The Prime Minister will signal Britain’s support for the political thaw in the former colony by meeting with Nobel Prize winner and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 66. Miss Suu Kyi, who spent 15 of the past 22 years locked up by the former junta, won a seat in parliament for the first time in by-elections a week ago, seen by the Foreign Office as a step in the right direction for the repressive regime." – Daily Mail
- Prime Minister off to Japan today, accompanied by weapons manufacturers – The Guardian
Lobbyists "exploiting petition system" – The Independent
Focus group suggests Boris will sweep outer London
"Residents in a key suburban borough defended his privileged background, work ethic and even his extramarital affairs. Praise for Mr Johnson was expressed in terms rarely heard in connection with domestic politicians, as members of the focus group suggested that he combines Margaret Thatcher’s principled resolve with the Duke of Edinburgh’s outspoken honesty. This contrasted sharply with a withering and angry judgment of his Labour opponent, Ken Livingstone, who was dismissed as slimy, dishonest and damaged." – The Times (£)
- It’s not supposed to be about you, Boris and Ken – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
- Councils in pension shake-up – Financial Times (£)
IEA urges a bonfire of planning laws
"Nimbyism must be driven out by the Government as it liberalises planning laws if it wants to tackle Britain’s “extraordinarily high cost” of housing, a think-tank with close links to Tory MPs warns today. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has published research claiming that planning restrictions are a key determinant of housing costs. Ministers must take on countryside campaigners if they want to halt the problem, it concludes." – The Times (£)
Fuel drivers union resumes strike talks – Daily Express
"Osborne threat to thatched cottages"
"Osborne was yesterday accused of putting thatched cottages at risk by withdrawing freedom from tax on repairs. Owners, many of whom are retired, have to pay for the upkeep of their homes but the Chancellor scrapped their VAT exemption for restoring decaying timbers and walls. The Listed Property Owners’ Club fears that many hard-up owners will not be able to afford repairs and their homes will start to rot." – Daily Express
Mugabe "fighting for his life" – The Sun
Labour post-Bradford panic over mayoral and police by-elections
"Senior shadow cabinet members, shocked by Labour's Bradford West byelection defeat, are questioning whether Labour MPs should be debarred from standing in mayoral, and possibly police commissioners' elections, in a bid to prevent another wave of byelections that will drain the party's financial resources and possibly threaten safe Labour seats. The calls are understood to have the support of the Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman, as well as figures in the Labour whip's office." – The Guardian
Britain demands repayment of £45m lent to Argentina before Falklands invasion – Daily Mail
What is it about Michael Gove that makes people hate him so much?
"Michael Gove is the most hated Education Secretary ever. Discuss. If you had been sitting at teachers' union conferences for the past eight days, you might think so. Do not just take my word for that. Listen to what some of the delegates have been saying. For instance, Sarah Caffrey, from Bristol, at the National Union of Teachers' conference in Torquay, called him an "evil entity who hovers around and seems to think we're doing such an excellent job we should be working longer and longer hours for less and less pay"." – Richard Garner, The Independent
- NUT votes for strikes against academies – The Times (£)
- Councils pay teaching union staff £13 million – Daily Express
BBC Parliament’s re-run of the 1992 general election yesterday was compelling viewing – Daily Telegraph Editorial
> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.