Wednesday, 29 August 2007

The Poliblogs 29th August 2007

Could Prescott’s resignation signal an autumn election?

Feel free to pay tribute here to John Prescott who has announced he will not be standing at the next general election. He provided us with many hilarious headlines and politics would be dull without a few characters like him. He certainly had the gift of the gaffe.

Ellee Seymour

Birth of a counter-factual

What if Jim Callaghan had gone to the country in 1978? What if John Kennedy had lived? What if Tony Benn had become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party? What if John Smith had lived? They're all fun - because endlessly debatable - and all, ultimately, pointless. And we're about to live through our very own counter-factual. What if Gordon Brown had gone to the country in Autumn 2007?

Conservative Party Reptile

Is the worst over for Cameron?

The last few months have been pretty torrid for David Cameron. It all began with the grammars school row and its lowest point was probably two weeks ago when an opinion poll gave Gordon Brown a 10% lead. Along the way we have had the museums charging row and unexpectedly big defeats in two parliamentary by-elections. A majority of Tory members no longer expect Mr Cameron to be Prime Minister after the next General Election.

But is the worst over for Mr Cameron? There are reasons for hope.

Conservative Home

Ramping up the Campaign for an EU Treaty Referendum

It's good to see David Cameron keeping up the pressure on Gordon Brown for a referndum on the EU Constitution Treaty. The Telegraph reports that 120 Labour MPs are belling on this and Cameron has a well argued article in The Sun this morning. However, the campaign launched by the Tories today for a referendum is less than snappy.

Iain Dale

Independence meeting? Not quite

And so the opposition parties meet at Holyrood this afternoon. The agenda? How to review the powers and functions of the Scottish Parliament - short, well short, of independence. Here’s what I think they’ll come up with. A formal parliamentary mechanism to consider and consult.

Blether with Brian

Fighting back Tories announce multi-dimensional programme to tackle crime

I've just returned from a press conference given by David Davis, David Cameron and Nick Herbert. At the event they launched a booklet summarising 'How a Conservative Government will tackle Britain's crime crisis'. Here are the main measures included in the booklet:

Conservative Home

Cameron enjoys best ever headlines but row over green taxation looms

Communications director Andy Coulson has helped the leadership to finally craft a message that resonates with the Conservative Party's natural supporters whilst still speaking to the wider nation's anxieties about crime and social breakdown.

Conservative Home

Carbon Offsetting - Use your Heads...

An interesting piece in The Times argues that carbon offsetting isn't all it's cracked up to be. What it shows to me is how much of a grey and undeveloped area the 'green conscience' market really is.

Chris K

I Think it was Gummer who ate the Burger - Not His Daughter

John Gummer should have been pensioned off years ago. Indeed, I thought he had been. Remember the picture of feeding his daughter Cordelia a burger to prove that they were safe from Mad Cow Disease? Hers may have been CJD free, but if press reports are correct, his policy proposals on taxing airlines out of the country make me wonder if the burger he was eating wasn't somehow contaminated.

Iain Dale

Gummer and Goldsmith: 'sandal-wearing green crusaders'

Roger Helmer MEP has written a stinging attack on his blog about the leaked details of the Quality of Life report from John Gummer and Zac Goldsmith. In his response he calls Gummer and Goldsmith "sandal-wearing green crusaders" which made me chuckle. He's also given a response to Tory Radio, and I see that Iain is not best impressed either.

Dizzy Thinks

Weird Science

In their pathetic, failed attempt to stem the tide of crime that is, to the despair of its citizens, now engulfing this country, Labour have increasingly put their faith in the science of genetics. As a consequence, this country now maintains the largest DNA database in the world – much of it taken from innocent people who would rather it were destroyed.

David Jones MP

Peter Franklin: Is our society really broken?

Is our society broken, as David Cameron says it is? The Independent thinks not, fretting only that “repression and authoritarianism will further demonise disaffected young people and drive them away from a life of purpose.”

Conservative Home

Are the public more liberal than you’d think on crime?

There is a widespread perception that the public are very draconian on law and order: hang ‘em, flog ‘em, lock ‘em up and throw away the key. In one sense they certainly are. Asked in this month’s ICM poll if sentences passed by the courts are too soft, too harsh or about right people overwhelmingly think the courts are not handing down harsh enough sentences. 77% think too soft, 18% about right and only 2% too harsh.

Political Report

The collapse of public trust in the police

In my Mail on Sunday column on August 19th, I made some strong criticisms of the modern British police. I asked if anyone would notice if they were all abducted by aliens. (The excellent 'Policeman's Blog' responded by asking if the police would notice if all the criminals in Britain were abducted by aliens).

Peter Hitchens

A few empty soundbites

Peter Riddell in The Times this morning seems to agree with Tory Diary that the worst is over for Cameron. This is not least because of his Party's stance on the EU referendum, where Labour ministers, "have appeared to be reacting, rather than setting the agenda."

EU Referendum

Ratifying reform

The proposed EU reform treaty is a good basis for championing social values in Europe and should be wholeheartedly supported.

Richard Corbett

A carbon neutral Britain

The Liberal Democrats have launched new proposals to make Britain zero carbon by 2050. With these policies we will be the first major British party to map out the route to a carbon neutral Britain.

Richard Baum

Jam The Fuel of Tomorrow, say Lib Dems

THE Liberal Democrats have unveiled radical plans to reduce Britain's carbon emissions, including a new generation of cars that unleash the remarkable power of jam. The party, popular with academics and mental patients, has declared war on petrol and vowed to hunt down and destroy the last drop of the world's favourite fuel by 2020.

The Daily Mash

Has Cameron finally reverted to a core votes strategy?

These are the front pages of the Telegraph and Mail this morning and show support for the Tory leadership that hasn’t come from these papers in a long long time.

The Mail reports the moves in glowing terms and notes that “the focus on crime will delight Tory MPs who have been desperate for their leader to unveil concrete policy proposals on what they see as the leading concern for many voters.” Its main leader appears under the headline - “At last, Mr. Cameron is talking like a Tory”.

Political Betting

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