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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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."
The proposed EU reform treaty is a good basis for championing social values in
A carbon neutral Britain
The Liberal Democrats have launched new proposals to make
Jam The Fuel of Tomorrow, say Lib Dems
THE Liberal Democrats have unveiled radical plans to reduce
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”.