Published:

6pm LeftWatch: "If Scotland was to become independent, the words "newly independent" are all it would have in common with the post-Soviet republics…The First Minister is living up to his nickname in the Scottish press: Alex in Wonderland." The SNP claim an independent Scotland would be like a post-Soviet republic

12.30pm Martin Parsons on Comment: "Liberalism not only lacks the capacity to counter Islamism, but is seen by many Islamists as part of
the back door by which they can take over and impose Islamic law and
government on western society."
Liberalism cannot defeat Islamism

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 10.57.2411am WATCH: Osborne – I've settled with seven departments over spending

10.45am Harriet Baldwin MP on Comment: Why we must help to end malnutrition

ToryDiary: Grayling "plans to privatise the courts" (or make money and find savings from them, at any rate)

Garvan Walshe's Foreign Affairs Column: The Dutch ban Hizbullah in its entirety. It’s time the UK did the same

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP on Comment: To give older people the care they deserve, we must restore the role of the family doctor

Local Government: Labour implode in Brent

The Deep End: Does the rise of artificial intelligence threaten mankind – or is the real problem a lack of the natural sort?

Hunt to outline plans for more GPs

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 08.17.33"The steps are designed to
ensure more elderly people can be looked after in their homes and in
their local surgeries. The initiative could also ease the pressure on
accident and emergency departments. Mr Hunt wants to raise the
proportion of newly qualified doctors who become GPs from 40 per cent to
50 per cent, equivalent to 400 a year or 2,000 over five years. His
instruction is contained in a “mandate” being issued to Health Education
England, which is in charge of medics’ training." – The Independent

  • Dementia care given priority in new NHS training guidelines – The Guardian

> Today: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP on Comment – To give older people the care they deserve, we must restore the role of the family doctor

Grayling "plans the privatisation of courts"

"The idea would establish the courts service as a commercial enterprise, paying its way and freed from Treasury control, with court buildings and thousands of staff put in the hands of private companies. It would save the Ministry of Justice £1 billion a year…To counter judges’ fears that privatisation would erode independence, the courts could be placed under a Royal Charter — as proposed for regulating the press. Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, instructed officials this year to explore plans for reform to ensure that the Courts and Tribunal Service provides value for money." – The Times (£)

  • MOJ denies "wholesale" privatisation plans – The Guardian

> Today: ToryDiary – Grayling "plans to privatise the courts" (or make money and find savings from them, at any rate)

> Yesterday: Columnist Jesse Norman on the wisdom of Michael Sandel – There are some things that money just can't buy

IDS in private talks with May and Hammond to cut welfare to fund police and armed forces

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 05.10.03"Mr Duncan Smith is understood to have offered to restrict housing benefit for the under-25s, and to limit state payments to families with more than two children. Both proposed cuts were publicly floated by the Prime Minister last year, but were thought to be off the agenda during this Parliament. The discussions over further welfare cuts took place before last Wednesday’s suspected terror attack in Woolwich, which is expected to lead to renewed pressure on the Treasury to protect security spending." – Daily Telegraph

Shock news: Boles says that people are happier living in houses than looking at fields full of oil seed rape

"In
an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Boles acknowledged that
rural rights campaigners and Conservative supporters were ‘very worried’
when greenfield land was replaced by ‘the sheer ugliness and
soullessness of housing estates’. But he insisted that current planning
laws were sending Britain ‘back to the 19th century’ when only the
wealthy could afford their own home. He said: ‘The sum of human
happiness that is created by the houses that are being built is vastly
greater than the economic, social and environmental value of a field
that was growing wheat or rape.’ " – Daily Mail

Whittingdale questions extremist broadcast and web ban

Whittingdale“A broadcast ban doesn’t seem the right answer, it won’t prevent the material and it raises several questions about freedom of speech,” said Mr Whittingdale. “Access to hate preachers is just incredibly difficult to control, the days when you just ban the IRA from television are over." Mr Whittingdale said trying to stamp out extremist content on the internet “requires political will right across the industry. Even if internet service providers agree to cut off access to a website it doesn’t take a complete genius to find ways around via proxy servers.” – Financial Times

  • Grimsby mosque firebombed. "Islam" sprayed on war memorials. 200 attacks on Muslims. Help for Heroes rejects EDL money – Daily Mail
  • Prison officer attacked after Imam calls on prisoners to pray for Lee Rigby – The Times (£)
  • York mosque counters EDL protest with tea, biscuits and football – The Guardian
  • Google cashes in on hate videos – Daily Mail
  • Stella Rimington says: spy on your neighbours – Daily Telegraph
  • Sea of flowers for Lee Rigby – Daily Express

Janan Ganesh: Liberals provide the knee-jerks in today’s terror debate

Ganesh Janan"It does not take a hawk to worry that, over the past decade, the civil liberties lobby has become dogmatic and sensationalist. Liberals who show more fervour than rigour can be found in parliament, the judiciary and pressure groups such as Liberty, an outfit that proves you can get away with any claim, however silly, if you belong to the “third sector” of campaign organisations and charities…the real knee-jerks in the immemorial struggle between liberty and security now come from the liberal side." – Financial Times

  • New curbs on broadcasters and internet service providers are likely to prove ineffective against extremist propaganda – Times Editorial (£)
  • What we can learn from Woolwich – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • Was Woolwich a crime or an act of terror? – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Ministers warn of radicalisation on campus. But what's their position on FOSIS?

Hague wins battle over Syria arms embargo

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 08.21.56"THE EU dramatically
scrapped its arms embargo on Syria last night after a frantic day of
talks in Brussels. The decision came after William Hague warned EU
foreign ministers that violent jihadists would tighten their grip unless
weapons were sent to moderate rebel fighters. The Foreign Secretary
stressed Britain was prepared to let existing sanctions against Bashar
al-Assad’s government lapse at the end of this month unless a deal was
reached." – The Sun

  • Blair to be in charge of £3billion plan to revitalise Palestine's economy – Daily Mail
  • We've got enough problems at home without charging into yet another foreign bloodbath – Max Hastings, Daily Mail

Davis wants refuge for all Afghan interpreters

"Mr Davis is among a group of politicians, former soldiers and campaigners who demand a change to proposals unveiled last week, after it emerged that they would only be applied to interpreters who were still in British military service after January 1, 2013. Critics said that the decision would exclude hundreds of former Afghan interpreters who remain under threat from the Taleban for the work they carried out." – The Times (£)

Trident review "will suggest reducing the number of submarines from four to three"

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 08.26.55
"One person close to the review says moving to two ships would save up to £5bn in immediate capital costs, and another £1bn a year through employing fewer crew and having to carry out less maintenance work. But more importantly, say Lib Dems, it would also provide a tangible sign that Britain remains committed to nuclear disarmament. It would however put the Lib Dems in line for a showdown with military chiefs, most of whom insist the UK must remain committed to full like-for-like replacement." – Financial Times

Obama's officials warn: No U.S – U.K trade deal if Britain leaves the E.U

"US officials have told their British counterparts that a vote to leave would exclude the UK from a transatlantic free trade deal which leaders hope to thrash out later this year. American diplomats believe it will be very difficult to get the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – which could generate hundreds of billions of pounds worth of trade – through the US Senate." – Daily Mail

  • Students unmoved by UKIP (but turn backs on coalition) – The Times (£)

Ross Clark: Osborne is putting politics before prudence through Help to Buy

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 08.28.49"No matter how the Chancellor attempts to play down the danger, the taxpayer will be taking risks that the banks are no longer prepared to take. While the scheme will help some on to the housing ladder it will be at the cost of pushing prices beyond the reach of many others. Mr Osborne’s adoption of house price inflation as a cure-all for the economy has horrible echoes of Mr Brown, who presided over the housing boom that caused the problem in the first place." – The Times (£)

  • You can't blame big firms for avoiding tax – Matthew Sinclair, Daily Telegraph

Dominic Lawson defends Cameron's holiday

"Cameron can doubtless keep in touch with events in London via  satellite technology, if he needs to, or he can come back early if he really feels it is beyond the combined wits of the Home Secretary, MI5, MI6 and the Metropolitan Police to handle the matter in his absence. In fact, if he does rush back, then we really should start to worry. It would mean he worries more about factitious front pages than any Prime Minister should." – The Independent

News in Brief

  • Vaz backs Hancock on paternity leave – The Times (£)
  • Bercow's nanny has taxpayer-funded flat – The Sun
  • Scottish Conservatives deny Denis Healey's 1970s oil claims – Scotsman
  • Boris faces ire on London-Kent rail plans – Financial Times (£)
  • Stamp duty is 'choking' housing market claim – Daily Mail
  • Whitehall behavioural unit says that ‘nudge’ could generate £4bn annual bequest to charities – The Independent
  • Phillips penalty puts Crystal Palace in Premier League – Daily Telegraph
  • Bank holiday ends with a washout – Daily Express

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