9pm ToryDiary: It's No Surrender in Downing Street as Christopher Lockwood is recruited

4.30pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: A Rogoff-Stiglitz redux. "The laws of economics may be different in your part of the gamma
quadrant, but around here we find that when an almost bankrupt
government fails to credibly constrain the time profile of its fiscal
deficits, things generally get worse instead of better."

3.45pm LISTEN: THAT Miliband World at One "car crash" interview with Martha Kearney

12.15pm ToryDiary: Ken Clarke is right to abuse UKIP…and Boris Johnson is right to woo it

11am Simon Clark on Comment: Bob Blackman is wrong. We don't need a smoking ban in cars to protect children.

ToryDiary: Five snapshots of Cameron on tour

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.42.06
New fortnightly columnist Jesse Norman MP's first offering for ConservativeHome: Adam Smith's great insight. Compassion isn't pity. It's fellow feeling.

David Boyle on Comment: Can we save the middle classes?

Councillor Mark Bee on Local Government: The battle for Suffolk

The Deep End: Britain needs to build its way to recovery

It's UKIP under fire as Thursday approaches. Ken Clarke dismisses UKIP “clowns”…

CLARKE HAPPY“Voters who back the UK Independence Party are racists and its
politicians are clowns, Ken Clarke claimed yesterday.The veteran Tory Cabinet minister led attacks by all three main parties
as he said UKIP is merely a protest party and those attracted to it are ‘waifs
and strays’ who are simply ‘against’ foreigners and immigrants. Mr Clarke’s
astonishing onslaught came as polls showed that Nigel Farage’s Eurosceptic
party has overtaken the Liberal Democrats and is set for its best local
election results ever on Thursday, when 35 county councils and unitary
authorities in England and one in Wales go to the polls” – Daily

…And Farage hits back: Clarke "holds voters in contempt"

Farage Nigel March 2012"UKIP are attracting supporters
from all three main parties and, significantly, those who have either
not voted for over 10 years or have never voted before in their lives. "Instead of slagging them off, maybe he should try to wrap his head
around the idea that Ukip are appealing to people due to the failure of
the bloated, self-satisfied political machine of which he is such a
typical member." – Daily Express

Fraud, racism and
homophobia claims dog the election drive of Farage's party

“A Ukip candidate is being investigated by police over allegations of
electoral fraud. The latest blow for the party comes days after a slew of
would-be councillors were accused of making racist or homophobic
comments.Northumbria Police said officers were investigating a report of
alleged electoral fraud in the Cowpen area of Blyth” – Daily

Boris Johnson claims that the rise of UKIP is good news for the Conservatives…

“Rather than bashing Ukip, I reckon Tories should be
comforted by their rise – because the real story is surely that these voters
are not turning to the one party that is meant to be providing the official
opposition. The rise of Ukip confirms a) that a Tory approach is broadly
popular and b) that in the middle of a parliament, after long years of
recession, and with growth more or less flat, the Labour Party is going
precisely nowhere” – Daily

…but Trevor
Kavanagh says that the UKIP joke is now on the Tories

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.13.20“They all laughed when Nigel Farage set out to
transform “the Kippers” from a joke party into a mainstream political force. Well, as the great Bob Monkhouse said, they’re not laughing now. The UKIP leader is good company, with a permanent grin on his
cheeky-chappie face, a fag in one hand and a large glass of red wine in the
other…He rivals Boris Johnson as the most instantly recognisable
politician in the land and now he is poised for a breakthrough in Thursday’s
local elections. Thousands of
disaffected voters are flocking to join — and half of them are ex-Tories” – The

  •  Nigel Farage
    is an adept populist leading a party that is not credible – The
    Times (£)

> Yesterday: Tory Diary: UKIP should not be compared to the BNP

It's the first day of Universal Credit

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.14.59
"Universal credit will merge several benefits and tax credits into one monthly payout. It begins with a very small number of new claimants in
Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, but will eventually affect
nearly six million people. The system relies on a complex computer system, with claims made online." – BBC

  • Wealthy OAPs can
    ring hotline to hand back benefits – The
  • IDS's campaign to persuade better-off pensioners to give back benefits is misconceived – Daily Express Editorial
  • Hand back our bus passes and TV licences?! You must be joking, Iain
    Duncan Smith – Janet Street-Porter, Daily

Hammond bids for health and schools cash

“Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, is in
talks with the Treasury about transferring money earmarked for the Department
of Health and the Department for Education and using it to ease the impact of
cuts on the Ministry of Defence…the plan could see as much as £500  million
from the two protected departments’ budgets reallocated to defence” – Daily

Once again, Wollaston scoops the Lynton Crosby On Message Backbencher Of The Day Award. She says here are too many Old Etonians in government

Wollaston Sarah"Her comments came after Jo Johnson and Jesse Norman, both Old Etonians, were
promoted by the Prime Minister. Mr Johnson, the brother of London Mayor Boris Johnson, been appointed as David
Cameron’s new head of policy while Mr Norman has become a member of the
Prime Minister’s new policy advisory board." – Daily Telegraph

Grayling denies reneging on burglar pledge

"Official guidance to courts and police says the law would not cover people using force to protect property rather than people – or if force was used in the garden or other outside locations. Conservative Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The new law does exactly what it says on the tin. It was never intended to allow you to shoot dead someone stealing the lawnmower from your garden shed.” – Daily Express

Tim Montgomerie: The Prime Minister needs a tiger in his tank

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.19.01"Nearly everyone who has worked with the Tory leader likes him, but few have a
sense that he has a great mission or purpose. Meetings are held but do not
conclude. Memos are written but aren’t read. Strategies are launched but not
pursued. In so far as this Government acts, it is because individual
ministers such as Michael Gove, Eric Pickles and Iain Duncan Smith provide
their own independent centres of activity and energy. If something needs to
be done the wisest ministers don’t go to the Government’s chairman, Mr
Cameron, but to its chief executive — the Chancellor and all-round fixer,
George Osborne." – The

> Today: ToryDiary – Five snapshots of Cameron on tour

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – David Cameron (eventually) tells the Sunday Times he is not a Thatcherite

Fallon says each Royal Mail staff member will get £1,500 share windfall when company floats on stock exchange

"It will be the largest employee share scheme for 25 years with around 140,000 workers from postmen to local delivery office managers expected to scoop a windfall. In his first speech on the controversial privatisation of the country’s postal service, Michael Fallon will today pledge to make the share handout ‘as attractive as possible.’ " – Daily Mail

Fracking 1) Ministers mull offering sweeteners to opponents

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.22.52
“The government is proposing to bribe communities with cheaper energy
bills in exchange for dropping opposition to local fracking projects as part of
plans to push ahead with shale-gas extraction. Several options to cajole rural England to accept the contentious
drilling schemes are being discussed as ministers prepare to announce that the
UK’s shale-gas reserves are much larger than previously estimated” – Financial

Fracking 2) West Sussex village tells firm to Frack Off

“The pretty West Sussex village of Balcombe, nestled in Britain’s
stockbroker belt, is not a place you associate with protest. But that was
before the frackers showed up. Local people have been incensed since Cuadrilla
Resources, the shale gas explorer, acquired an exploration licence for Balcombe
in 2010. Cuadrilla has yet to frack a single well, but anger runs so high that
getting to that stage will be a fraught process. ‘If Cuadrilla tries to drill
here, they’ll soon find they haven’t reckoned on the opposition,’ says Vanessa
Vine, a member of campaign group Frack Free Sussex. ‘People will take direct
action’” – Financial

Two-thirds of Scottish voters give thumbs down to independence

“The campaign for an independent Scotland had a fresh setback
yesterday when a poll showed that 60 per cent of Scots think that neither Alex
Salmond, the First Minister, nor the Scottish National Party has made a
convincing case so far. The YouGov poll for the pro-Union Better Together group
revealed that 62 per cent of the 1,000-plus sample of Scots voters said the
SNP’s case was either ‘not very convincing’ or ‘not convincing at all’. More
than a fifth of those respondents were people who claimed to have voted for the
Nationalists in the Scottish and UK parliamentary elections” – The Times

News in brief

  • Hodge attacks
    Treasury infrastructure plan – Daily
  • Care homes on brink as bailiffs move in – The Independent
  • Welsh care home investigation: Police findings published today – Wales Online
  • Taxpayer helps
    fund Blair’s lucrative foreign tours – Daily
  • Cigarette display ban comes into force – Scotsman
  • Police hunt for new Stephen Lawrence witnesses – Daily Telegraph
  • Hemmings attacks
    Court of Protection – Daily
  • Video of Obama delivering comedy
    speech – The

And finally…Hair Is No Alternative

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 08.36.42"Since Baroness Thatcher’s death earlier this month, scores of women have been paying tribute to her in a rather unexpected way – by adopting her hairstyle. One hairdresser, in Chelsea said he had been inundated by requests for ‘The Thatcher’, as the iconic style has become known. Celebrity stylist Maximiliano Centini says his salon has been inundated with demands for the style and bookings are full ‘I have not known anything like this for many years,’ said Mr Centini. ‘We have now done the style for over 100 women, it is a surge. I experienced something similar when the Jennifer Aniston style became popular but that surge built slowly – this has come completely out of the blue.’." – Daily


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