TOPIC OF THE WEEK… smoking. Parliament passed a total ban on smoking in public places. The fact that the ban covered private clubs outraged many… including Robert Halfon, who wrote about his concerns for ConservativeHome.
A GOOD WEEK FOR… Tony Blair. The week began with David Cameron attacking the PM’s ‘ineffective authoritarianism‘ but after recent embarrassments on religious freedom and the 90 days vote Mr Blair won Commons support for his ID cards plan (despite an excellent speech by David Davis demolishing his case) and for the ‘glorification’ of terrorism. Mr Brown also accelerated announcing his own non-economic policy agenda.
A BAD WEEK FOR… George W Bush. The Guantanamo Bay and prisoner abuse controversies got new legs with a critical UN report, new photo scandals plus some finger-wagging from William Hague (who delighted Tories with his PMQs performance)… and then there was that little matter of Dick Cheney’s shooting accident. This blog did its own little bit to point out that – on Darfur, tax relief and support for marriage – there remains much to commend America’s 43rd president but one is beginning to feel that defending Bush is a lost cause within BBC-land.
TORY POLITICIAN OF THE WEEK… Liam Fox. Dr Fox’s speech on keeping the military options open on Iran to the Heritage Foundation was much the most relevant of the speeches delivered in Washington by the Tory delegation. Its focus on Iran was the right, pressing, national security issue for a British Conservative to highlight.
PLAY OF THE WEEK… Iain Duncan Smith. I am biased, of course, but his campaign
to give a state funeral to the last WWI survivor is not only the right
thing to do… it is also the sort of non-political thing that captures
the public imagination.
CONSERVATIVEHOME POST(S) OF THE WEEK… All those regular visitors who have written personal profiles for the new community blog. firstname.lastname@example.org is waiting for all you other regulars to submit your own pen portraits…
EXTERNAL BLOG POST OF THE WEEK… The Taxpayers’ Alliance on Tories using tax against Gordon Brown:
"The need for lower taxes goes to the heart of the competitiveness
debate and it is an area where Gordon Brown is vulnerable – having
raised taxes significantly and even having provoked the normally-placid
CBI into criticising him. Gordon Brown will not be able to establish
ownership of the competitiveness debate if tax is a key factor in that
THE POST THAT RECEIVED THE MOST COMMENTS…
THE POST THAT RECEIVED THE FEWEST COMMENTS…
CELEBRITY COMMENT OF THE WEEK…
Stewart Jackson MP defending David Cameron from Fraser Nelson:
"In my opinion, Mr Nelson’s article draws inferences from the thinnest
evidential basis. He was obviously tasked with doing a
counter-intuitive "Things are going wrong with Cameron" piece. Just one
fact: At the equivalent point post-2001 General Election, the
Conservatives trailed Labour by 14 points in the ICM poll – we are now
1% ahead, giving an indicative swing of 7% since early 2002. This is
enough to garner large seat gains in the local elections and I expect
this to happen and Mr Nelson to eat humble pie."
BEST COMMENT OF THE WEEK…
William Norton on possible names for the Cameron baby…
""David" would be the safe option: but surely the Camerons need to take risks at this stage in the baptismal cycle?
"Tony" builds on the Heir To Blair theme, but can they afford to alienate traditionalists?
"Norman" would be a gracious olive branch, but would it raise fears of a reversion to a core vote strategy?
"Winston" plays to the anti-EPP Eurosceptics but won’t win friends in Curtisland.
"Kylie" is probably a shade too aggressive in its courting of metrosexual metropolitan liberal support."