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Conservative child benefit cuts

What a wonderful picture of David and Samantha Cameron with their new baby daughter. And families, of course, was the hot topic at this week’s Conservative Party Conference. I am also confused at government plans that from 2013, will remove child benefit from families with at least one parent earning more than about £44,000 a year, but it will not affect families where two parents earn...
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Conservative Health Minister pledges boost to Alzheimer’s funding

Shadow Health  Minister Stephen O’Brien’s words were music to the ears of Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, when he pledged increased proportional funding for dementia research. He disclosed to the packed audience at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference that his mother-in-law suffered from the degenerative disease, and described...
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The huge challenges for Alzheimer’s research

Alzheimer’s research is a subject very close to my heart, so I was pleased to see it was included as a topic at one of the fringe meetings at the Conservative Party conferences. Prof Clive Ballard, Director of Research for the Alzheimer’s Society, describes in this video the huge challenges faced in securing future research funding, and bureaucracy in the UK which hinders progress....
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The Tories and The Times

Perhaps the editor of The Times had further damaging revelations about MPs expenses in mind when he refused to back the Tories in the same way as The Sun. There were whisperings all week at the Conservative conference about another expenses scandal which was going to break. During a fringe meeting which Times editor James Harding chaired, he was asked when his paper would do the “decent...
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Fixing our broken society

I was totally bowled over by this powerful video at the opening of the Conservative Party conference. What a great build up for Eric Pickles to walk on stage and address his “chums”. It encapsulates everything that is wrong with our society today and why change is desperately needed. And just watch – and enjoy – the terrific, creative graphics when Gordon Brown’s...
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Did Manchester like us?

I was keen to know if holding the Conservative conference in Manchester had influenced local voters at all, whether they were more likely to support us. I very much doubt it. I asked a group of commuters at the tram station about this and it was impossible to gain any eye contact, but they made it clear they were loyal Labour voters. Despite being very friendly (and I single out the taxi drivers...
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My YouTube of Guido on Cameron’s speech

I spotted Guido Fawkes – the man who claimed the scalps of Derek Draper and Damien McBride in the Smeargate scandal – as he left the Conservative conference  and asked his views about David Cameron’s speech. I finished by asking whether he would vote Conservative. You will have to play the video to find out his reply …..
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Happy birthday David Cameron

I hope David Cameron treats himself to a well earned glass of champagne today to celebrate his 43rd birthday, well out of the sight of the paparazzo’s prying telephoto lenses, of course. That makes him a Libran, and I have it on good authority that his rising sign is in Virgo, which means he pays close attention to detail. A Conservative supporter at Manchester was telling me this as we...
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“We are all in this together”

Trying to convince a nation that “we are all in this together” – the catch prase of George Osborne’s key conference speech today – is going to be hard work as countless people who were faultless find their lives ruined by today’s economic downturn due to the actions of our banks and government. The conference hall was packed, so I watched the announcememnt in...
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The Times and Tory support

A hiss could be heard when The Editor of The Times, James Harding, refused to pledge his paper’s support to the Conservative Party for the next election. He was asked today at a fringe meeting whether he would follow the lead of The Sun, but he made it clear that he was not yet convinced. In fairness, neither did he pledge his support for New Labour as in the previous two elections. He...
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A dramatic conference eve

I am one of 12,100 Conservatives here in Manchester for the party conference which promises to be packed with policy announcements and optimism. And there have been a couple of dramatic events before I even stepped foot in the heavily policed secure zone. As I arrivedd at my hotel last night, David Cameron walked down the steps and into a waiting car; maybe he had popped his head into the...
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Preparing for the Conservative conference

I bumped into a very relaxed Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in a Cambridge car park today. We talked about next week’s Conservative conference in Manchester and he told me an extra 2,000 people were going. Talk about positive vibes! This will be the first time I have attended the Conservative conference. I am swamped with a choice of fantastic events to attend, and impressed by the vast...
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Successful networking at the Conservative conference

I agree with Heather White that networking at next month’s Conservative Party conference will be the most important as we edge closer to the next general election. I thought her advice for budding political candidates which was recently highlighted on ConservativeHome expressed good common sense, so I have repeated them here in the links below. Developing a networking strategy Making a good...
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Europe and the Conservative Party conference

I guess most people know as much about the Lisbon Treaty as they do the offside rule in football. And care just as little. However, the implications of the vote in Ireland on 2 October are crucial as they would establish a president and foreign minister for the EU, as well as transferring a swathe of powers to Brussels. The Irish rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum last year and, in true...
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