6pm WATCH: Bradley Manning says that he is female and wants to lives as a woman named Chelsea

1pm Two Education articles on Comment:

Two posts on the Middle East lead ConservativeHome:

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 06.41.55
With rumours of a reshuffle in the air, Andrew Gimson profiles Karen Braldey MP and Nicky Morgan MP: Two women whips who will help define Cameron's next reshuffle

Max Chambers on Comment: Give PCCs power to hire and fire prison governors

Local Government: How Rochdale's council housing has been taken over by a mutual

The Deep End: Inside every terrorist there’s a petty bureaucrat trying to get out

Terror 1) Hague condemns chemical weapons
attack in Syria

“Hundreds of Syrians have been killed or injured
in what appears to be the worst chemical weapons attack on civilians since
Saddam Hussein gassed Kurds in Iraq 25 years ago…William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said that
if confirmed, the attacks would prove to be a ‘shocking escalation in the use
of chemical weapons in Syria’. He added: ‘I hope this will wake up some who
have supported the Assad regime to realise its murderous and barbaric nature’”
Times (£)

  • The evidence seems compelling, but remember there’s a propaganda war
    on – Patrick Cockburn, Independent
  • The innocents caught in the crossfire of Syria's dirty war – Michael Burleigh, Daily Mail
  • Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to
    be released from jail – Guardian
  • "Footage shows victims of chemical attacks in Syria. It is plausible that the regime has descended further into barbarity" – The Times (£)

Terror 2) Coalition battle looms over
anti-terror laws

Clegg Unhappy“Nick
Clegg and Theresa May are heading for a confrontation over the
future of Britain's anti-terror laws in the aftermath of the controversy over
the detention of the partner of the Guardian
journalist Glenn Greenwald. As Europe's human rights watchdog warned that the
treatment of David Miranda could have a ‘chilling effect’ on press freedom,
senior Liberal Democrat sources indicated they were prepared to press for major
revisions to the Terrorism Act 2000. The Lib Dem move was flatly rejected by
the Home Secretary” – Guardian

  • Miranda’s detention was
    unlawful – Charles Faulkner, Guardian
  • What about some respect for the
    UK’s security? – Leo McKinstry, Daily
  • Bradley Manning sentenced to 35
    years in jail – Guardian

Matt Ridley: Why I'm torn between liberty and security

"The case of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda versus the
British and US governments has me swinging like a weathervane in a squall
between liberty and security. I can persuade myself one minute that a
despicable tyranny is being gradually visited upon us by a self-serving
nomenclatura and the next that proportionate measures were taken by the
authorities to protect British citizens from irresponsible crimes
perpetrated by self-appointed publicity seekers." – The Times (£)

A blast of the trumpet from Iain Martin: David Cameron should stop planning for

MARTIN IAIN“Mr Cameron’s team…have already started to plan for a second
coalition with the Liberal Democrats after the next election…This plotting by
the Tory leadership is a terrible mistake, and another classic example of the
worst aspects of Cameroonism, which sometimes involves seeing problems through
the wrong end of the telescope. Rather than drawing up plans now for what
happens when they fail to win an overall majority, the emphasis should be
relentlessly on developing bold policies” – Iain Martin, Daily

Amidst rumours of Treasury unhappiness with HS2's costs, the Times is briefed that Osborne is ready to campaign for it

"The Chancellor’s aides insist he is unmoved by internal worries or the
increasing number of business and political figures coming out in opposition
following an admission that costs
had soared to £8 billion
. However, they said that a concerted effort to sell the benefits of the project
was being planned to coincide with the publication of an updated analysis of
its costs and benefits due before the end of the year." – The Times (£)

Ben Wallace MP: Local residents should be better rewarded for fracking

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 08.34.42“Ben Wallace, the Conservative MP for Lancaster and Wyre, has
written to the Prime Minister asking that the Treasury decrease its tax rate on
shale income and increase the percentage that is siphoned off for local
communities. That way the energy companies would still pay out the same
proportion of money, but with a better balance between local communities and
the Treasury. Wallace says that ‘if there is to be any hope of persuading my
constituents to back shale gas, we in Lancashire need to feel some direct
ownership of it. One per cent is risible’ – Isabel Hardman, Daily

  • Anti-fracking protesters give up and leave Balcombe – Daily Mail

Blairite ex-Minister calls on Ed Miliband to quit to
save Labour…

“Ed Miliband
should consider resigning for the sake of the Labour Party, a senior Blairite
warned yesterday. Brian Wilson, who served as energy minister under Tony Blair,
said the Labour leader had a duty to 'look in the mirror and honestly answer
the question: 'Will the electorate ever assent to me being Prime Minister?' Mr
Wilson, who held a number of other senior roles, said opinion poll findings on
Mr Miliband's personal popularity were 'somewhere between dire and
disappointing'” – Daily

…while Miliband
plans to link benefits to good behaviour

Miliband Red“Plans to reward good citizenship with better
access to housing, and to tie benefits to prior tax contributions, will form a
significant part of Ed Miliband’s autumn campaign. The Labour leader has been widely criticised in
recent weeks for failing to spell out his prospectus for government and
allowing the Conservatives to shape the political weather. After a series of attacks from Blairite figures,
Mr Miliband was attacked from the left yesterday when Diane Abbott accused him
of failing to counter what she described as the Government’s anti-immigration
message” – The Times

Nigel Farage vows to get a grip on UKIP

“Following criticism from Will Gilpin, UKIP’s former chief
executive, Mr Farage said that he will now do ‘less politics’ in a bid to ‘professionalise’
the organisation…’I will have to do less politics, fewer interviews, fewer
public meetings, fewer appearances and I will have to spend more time directly
overseeing the jobs being done, because the problem we have had is one of
non-delivery’” – Daily

  • Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP, says
    firms should be allowed to sack pregnant women – Daily
  • UKIP official says that Churchill admired Hitler – The Times (£)

GCSE results: top grades expected to fall

Gove Michael June 2011“The number of test papers awarded A* to C grades is expected to
drop for the second year in a row following an overhaul of exams for
16-year-olds. As around 600,000 children prepare to receive their results, it
was anticipated that around 22 per cent of test papers will be marked A*/A and
just over two-thirds will be awarded at least a C grade. The fall comes despite
more than two decades of rising grades in the run up to 2012” – Daily

TV licence offences account for over one in ten
court cases

“More than 180,000 people – almost 3,500 a week – appeared
before the Magistrates Courts, accused of watching television without a valid
£145.50 licence. The figure has been steadily rising as TV Licensing, which is
responsible for catching and prosecuting non payers, improves its ability to
identify those responsible and becomes more determined in its approach. But
with Magistrates handling a total of 1.48 million cases last year, it means
that around 12 per cent of their workload is now being made up of TV licensing
offences” – Daily

suffers its first July deficit since 2010

Osborne Penknife“The
recent run of good news on the UK economy came to an unexpected end on
Wednesday after data on the public finances showed Treasury coffers were
drained last month for the first July in three years. July is usually the month
when the government collects the second-highest tax receipts, owing to the
timing of corporation tax and self-assessment payments. However, despite the
early signs of economic recovery seen since the spring, official data showed the
government had to borrow for the first July since 2010” – Financial

Hedge fund manager told to dig deep for luxury

council has demanded a fee of more than £800,000 from a hedge fund manager seeking
to build a vast subterranean extension underneath two adjacent west London
properties…The new basement, at about 900 square metres, is equivalent to eight
average-sized new-build family houses, and is a symbol of the trend for
London’s most wealthy homeowners to extend downwards” – Financial

News in brief

  • Grayling defends prisoner sales scheme – Daily Mail
  • Race bias of stop and search charges – The Guardian
  • Trial of Bo Xilai opens in
    China – Daily
  • Soldiers who join up aged 16 'twice as likely to die in Afghanistan' – Daily Express
  • British “drug mules” refused
    bail in Peru – Daily
  • Boris Johnson’s transport chief
    paid me for sex – Sun
  • Comedian Jim Davidson will not
    face sex assault charges – Daily
  • Skegness named most deprived seaside town – The Independent
  • Australians have a good day at
    the Oval – Daily Telegraph

And finally…Churchill failed to inspire Britain? Never, never, never

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 08.38.23
“In The Roar of the Lion, Richard Toye claims that Winston Churchill’s famous wartime speeches did little to inspire the British people. His source is Mass Observation…Throughout the war, Gallup’s polls supplied the reliable numbers that Mass Observation couldn’t…His figures remained stratospheric throughout the war, despite the devastation of the Blitz, the loss of Greece and Crete, Japan’s capture of Malaya and Singapore, Rommel’s sweep through North Africa. Only once did Churchill’s rating slip below 80 per cent” – Peter Kellner, The Times (£)


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