Benji told the Tories what to do

LABOUR insider Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, newly appointed the £110,000 a year head of Downing Street's communications unit, is no stranger to East Anglia – and especially to Tories in the Bury St Edmunds and Suffolk West constituencies.

LABOUR insider Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, newly appointed the £110,000 a year head of Downing Street's communications unit, is no stranger to East Anglia - and especially to Tories in the Bury St Edmunds and Suffolk West constituencies.

A few years ago, young Wegg-Prosser, the former side-kick - special adviser - to Peter Mandelson was invited to Newmarket by MPs David Ruffley and Richard Spring to lecture their party members on the need to modernise in the Blairite style.

He was joined on the platform by media darling Ed Vaizey, who since his election as MP for Wantage this May never seems to be off the airwaves, the BBC seeming to believe he's the only politically correct, forward looking Tory on the planet.

The Newmarket session took place just before the Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth and the "wunderkids" left the assembled Tories contemplating if they had a future under their dynamic leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The answer of course is that they did not. Tory MPs in 2003 decided they'd had enough of the political doldrums and lined up to stab IDS at that year's Blackpool conference, and followed up with a putsch at Westminster which resulted in the unopposed election of Michael Howard to take them into this year's General Election.

If any of those Suffolk Tory members can't see, three years on from Newmarket, which of the eight candidates hoping to succeed Mr Howard is best placed to give them a chance of future power, then perhaps the answer is: there isn't a bright tomorrow.

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A FUN time is promised at Suffolk College this Saturday as Ipswich is urged to celebrate the town's diversity and to encourage respect, tolerance and to challenge all forms of prejudice in the community.

Art and music workshops, a puppet show and five a aide football competition are all on offer from noon onwards in Respect Ipswich, promoted by Arts and Sports Against Prejudice and supported by Suffolk Constabulary.

ADVERTS promoting Hillary Clinton for President in 2008 were broadcast on US television last week. The New York senator has never actually declared her intention to run for the top job but one group of faithful supporters will not let such facts get in the way of their campaign.

Bob Kunst, president of the Hillary Now! Organisation claims: "Hillary is the strongest Democrat. She's the most popular woman in the country."

That may well be so, but the down side is we face the prospect of Bill Clinton once again living in the White House.

HOME Office minister Hazel Blears is to ask representatives of Muslim and other minorities whether they would prefer to be known by US-style hyphenated terms such as Asian-British, Pakistani-British or Indian-British, rather than simply Asians. "If you want a society that is really welded together, there are certain things that unite us because you are British, but you can be a bit different too."

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, remarked "What of the second generations? Why should they be defined as other than British?"

Precisely.

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