Published:

Screen shot 2013-08-18 at 18.23.066.30pm International: " 'In two-party terms, the Coalition enjoys a 54-46 per cent lead and, if
repeated across the board on election day, Labor would lose 14 seats,' Voice of Australia reports."
Abbott's Liberals "on track comfortably" to win Australia's election

3.15pm Julian Mann on Comment: Is there a link between the NHS crisis and the decline of Christianity?

12.15pm Peter Cuthbertson on Comment: "Yes, it's simple and yes it's tediously intuitive and commonsensical …
but having more criminals in prison rather than outside prison really
does cut crime."
Slashing prisoner numbers would inflict misery on millions

ToryDiary: Will the Lobbying Bill give Cameron the power to close down ConservativeHome?

Dominic Raab MP on Comment: Miliband's cost of living gamble shows that he's out of ideas

It's a Black Sunday for Labour's leader

Welfff…Welllfff…Werrrffffff…Wwwuuufff: Miliband bans the W-word

Miliband ball and chain"Ed Miliband has banned the word “welfare” — in a bid to shake off Labour’s tag as the spongers’ party. He has ordered his MPs to use terms such as “social security” for state handouts. The Labour leader has been stung by taunts from David Cameron branding his outfit the Welfare Party. The PM’s jibes started after Labour opposed £83billion of benefit cuts — and the label stuck. Mr Miliband has told his troops to avoid “welfare” at all costs in speeches, TV interviews or Commons debates." – Sun on Sunday

Attack on Miliband 1) Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott: Labour has "massively failed" to get its case across this summer

Screen shot 2013-08-18 at 08.49.20"Radical change is now required to shape up the policy of organisation and delivery alongside a clear set of policies and principles so people know what we stand for. There are millions of people looking to us as the only alternative to this heartless Coalition. So my message to Ed is this: You’re our Alex Ferguson. If Shadow Cabinet members aren’t pulling their weight, give them the hairdryer treatment and kick ’em out…Time is running out. We can still turn it around and win in the second half. But we need the very best team, week in, week out." – Sunday Mirror

  • Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint defends Miliband – The Observer

Attack on Miliband 2) Lord Glasman: he must show that he's a grown up

"At the very time when Labour should be showing the way ahead, it gives the impression of not knowing which way to turn. When the Labour battle bus should be revving up, it is parked in a lay-by of introspection. It is a time for Ed Miliband to show he is a grown-up politician big enough to lead this country. There is an open goal here for Labour. But if we are going to start scoring and winning, then Labour must learn to be a partner and friend to the good once more." – Mail on Sunday

And Attack Dog Grayling sinks his teeth in

Screen shot 2013-08-18 at 08.50.20"This week the Conservative Party will be making the case clearer than ever that they’re still the same old Labour. If you have a mortgage, you will be worse off under Labour…If you pay an energy bill, you will be worse off under Labour…All told, Labour’s borrowing would add an extra £2,960 in debt to every working family in Britain. The more you dig, the more their rhetoric on the cost of living rings hollow." – Sunday Telegraph

David Goodhart and the Netherlands' Labour Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher: So much migration puts Europe's dykes in danger of bursting

Screen shot 2013-08-18 at 08.52.08"In
the Netherlands, an "orange alert" is issued when the country's rivers
rise to alarming levels. The time has come to issue another kind of
orange alert – one that warns about some of the negative consequences of
the free movement of workers within the European Union. We need to
watch out: in some places the dykes are in danger of bursting. There is a
lack of urgency in Brussels on this question, which is why we strongly
urge our European colleagues to put the downsides of the free movement
of workers high on the agenda and tackle this issue together." –
Independent on Sunday

Douglas Carswell: Our buddying up to the Egyptian generals is a disgrace

"The election of the Brotherhood set the legitimacy of the ballot box over and above that of any cleric. That, tragically, is what Egypt’s military coup overturned last month. Why were so many in London and Washington too blind to see it?…In Britain, foreign policy-makers – perhaps too deferential to Washington – have failed because they still seem to believe that diplomacy is a conversation between the world’s elites. In the age of Twitter, there are millions of others involved." – Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday: Zehra Zaidi on Comment – Amidst Egypt's turmoil and killings, the plight of the Copts is a sign of its endangered future

Once again, a newspaper carries the claim that Paterson wants to kill off HS2

Screen shot 2013-08-18 at 08.53.16"But this newspaper has established that several Cabinet Ministers – including, crucially, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – have doubts about HS2.  A well-placed source said: ‘Owen’s view is that he will subject it to such tough environmental tests that he will kill off the whole thing.’ The CPRE analysis – published in the form of maps available online from today – will reinforce those who agree with Mr Paterson. And the doubts have spread to senior figures in other parties." – Mail on Sunday

Plan to sell heath records to medical firms

"Phil Booth, of campaign group medConfidential, said: ‘They are presenting this as some anodyne thing that’s only going to be used for health research. But this is a massive re-engineering of how everybody’s medical records are going to be used. It is an unprecedented threat to our medical confidentiality.’ Mr Hunt believes that allowing universities and private groups access health information easier will attract pharmaceutical companies and life sciences firms to the UK." – Mail on Sunday

  • Midwife crisis will 'let down' a whole generation of new mothers – The Observer

Charities in revolt over curbs on election cash

Maude Francis V Neck"A new lobbying law, championed by Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, has provoked an angry reaction from charities because it cuts by more than half the amount they can spend to promote their causes during elections. The bill, which ministers argue will be a “benefit to society as it curbs undue influence”, places voluntary organisations under the same restrictions as trade unions. Organisations including Oxfam and the campaigning group 38 Degrees met last week at the headquarters of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association union to discuss how to fight the plans." – Sunday Times (£)

Lord Lamont warning over buy-to-let market

"Lord Lamont, chancellor during the last recession in the 1990s, has warned ministers to be wary of the sudden growth in the buy-to-let property market which he fears could collapse, causing wider economic catastrophe. The rapid boom in the market should not be a cause of unqualified celebration, he warns, speaking to the Observer, because of the impact that an inevitable rise in interest rates will have on lenders and buyers." – The Observer

David Willetts: In the race for scientific prowess we mustn't leave the arts behind

Willetts D DP"It is not just a matter of designing a low-carbon vehicle – you have to understand what makes people choose to drive it, or not.As soon as you are dealing with human behaviour you need the humanities. And above all, the arts and humanities are worthwhile in their own right. We should never lose the study of subjects such as medieval philosophy or ancient languages from our universities, because they enrich our understanding." – The Observer

Dominic Lawson gives Sunday Times readers details of the dottiness of the anti-fracking nutters

"After writing an earlier article on this topic I received an email from one anti-fracker telling me I should do a “bit more research” and revealing that “Balcombe residents’ water is already contaminated — coming out of the taps black — and they are being provided with bottled water”. When I asked him to provide further particulars of this astonishing “fact”, answer came there none, thus indicating that this “research” came from a source close to its propagator’s imagination." – Sunday Times (£)

  • Fracking in UK’s interest, says Cuadrilla’s Browne – Sunday Telegraph
  • 50-year-old fracking site next to a nature reserve which has
    provided enough gas and oil to power 21,000 homes every day…with no
    complaints from locals – Mail on Sunday

News in Brief

  • Screen shot 2013-08-18 at 08.57.13Nicholas Soames protests at "absurd" Commons egg ban – Mail on Sunday
  • Million pound Lords refit – Sun on Sunday
  • Incinerators threatening recycling – The Observer
  • Scottish civil servants' tax perk – Independent on Sunday
  • Prince Charles puts "moles" in Whitehall – Independent on Sunday
  • Scotland Yard examines new evidence on Diana's death – Sunday Telegraph
  • Mark Pritchard divorce Wikipedia claims – Mail on Sunday
  • Cars destroyed by fire after being left on Spanish side of Gibraltar frontier – Sunday Express
  • Galloway to make 600 per cent profit on London house with five double-bedrooms, three bathrooms and 70ft garden "filled with expensive antique furniture, plush rugs, chandeliers and four poster beds"  – Mail on Sunday

And finally…News in Brief Cameron Summer Season Special Extra:

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