Cameron on ISIS: Our generational struggle against a poisonous ideology…

Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 09.11.15“The creation of an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and extending into Syria is not a problem miles away from home. Nor is it a problem that should be defined by a war 10 years ago. It is our concern here and now. Because if we do not act to stem the onslaught of this exceptionally dangerous terrorist movement, it will only grow stronger until it can target us on the streets of Britain. We already know that it has the murderous intent. Indeed, the first Isil-inspired terrorist acts on the continent of Europe have already taken place.” – Sunday Telegraph

…And our columnist Nadhim Zahawi takes up the theme…

“The message I bring back from Kurdistan is that this problem is not going away. Iraq is in for a long, hard battle with IS, and it’s our problem too. There are an estimated 500 to 700 British citizens fighting with IS.  A senior Kurdish leader reported to me that one dead jihadi was found with a Liverpool FC membership card in his wallet, another body was recovered with membership card for a gym in Ealing.” – Mail on Sunday

…But a Church of England bishop, reportedly with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s approval, accuses the Prime Minister of turning his back on the suffering of Christians

Church shield“The criticisms are made in an extraordinary letter to the prime minister signed by the bishop of Leeds, Nicholas Baines, and written with the support of the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby…Cameron is taken to task for failing to develop an effective plan to tackle the spread of violent Islamist extremism from Iraq to Nigeria, where the militant group Boko Haram has terrorised the north of the country. “We do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic extremism as it is developing across the globe,” the bishop writes.” – Observer

Iraq and other foreign affairs news and comment:

> Today:

Crosby “aims to scupper TV election debates”

lynton-crosby“A source said: “The public think Ed Miliband is weird so why give him a chance to dissuade them of that opinion through the debates. Miliband might even be quite good at them – surely much better to have weeks of pictures of Cameron on industrial sites and factories talking about economic growth. There may be a few blokes dressed in chickens chasing him around but no one votes on whether a TV debate has been staged or not. That’s Crosby’s position.” – The Observer

Two Boris polls yesterday.  Lord Ashcroft’s showing he’d be a winner in Uxbridge.  And a ComRes survey showing that voters would give him…Theresa May’s job

“Asked which Cabinet job David Cameron should give Mr Johnson, Mrs May’s Home Secretary role is the top choice in one of two polls that will boost the growing ‘Boris mania’ in the Conservative Party. A second survey suggests he will double the Conservative majority if he stands in Uxbridge, Middlesex, where the party is seeking a candidate for next year’s General Election.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Cameron is ‘frustrating’, Miliband is ‘confusing’…and Clegg ‘disgusting’, survey finds – Mail on Sunday
  • The countryside hates Cameron – Rachel Johnson, Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment – Uxbridge backs Boris – but local voters divided on being both MP and Mayor

Grayling Sunday 1) He attacks ex-Labour SpAd charity links…

Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 09.23.37“Britain’s professional campaigners are growing in number…An extraordinary number, moreover, are drawn from the ranks of the Labour Party. If you read through the CVs of its candidates in 2015, a substantial proportion have worked for pressure groups and as trade union campaigners. It’s now the career route of choice: they can use that platform to attack this Government and make their name, lining up alongside former special advisers, MPs and councillors to argue for more spending, or to spread scare stories that are often exaggerated or wholly untrue.” – Sunday Telegraph

Grayling Sunday 2) …He sends foreign inmates in open jails back behind bars…

“Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has now imposed a ban on foreign convicts who are subject to deportation orders being placed in open jail. They will also be barred from taking part in Release on Temporary Licence, whereby inmates can leave a jail in the daytime to find work or undergo rehabilitation because a string of prisoners have failed to return. The move will affect hundreds of foreign prisoners. There are some 800 awaiting deportation.” – Mail on Sunday

Grayling Sunday 3) …He blocks killers’ road loophole…

Prison bars“Disqualifications start on the first day of an offender’s sentence, rather than on their release — meaning many can get back behind the wheel as soon as they leave jail. Labour changed the law in 2009, but the relevant rules under the Coroners and Justice Act have yet to come into force. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling will announce the move within weeks. Courts must set a longer driving ban for an offender to make sure it is still in place when they leave prison.” – Sun on Sunday

Grayling Sunday 4) …But he’s advised that we can only escape the Charter of Fundamental Rights by leaving the EU

“The admission appears to undermine plans by ministers to claw back human rights powers from Brussels, Tory MPS and legal experts said this weekend. It also suggests Grayling was wrong when he appeared to say last year that the EU charter did not apply to the UK. The embarrassing disclosure appears in a lengthy and complex constitutional consultation document written by lawyers in the Ministry of Justice.” – Sunday Times (£)

Nicky Morgan says that the Gove’s education reforms are working…

MORGAN Nicky headshot“After years of falling standards and low expectations for young people, Thursday’s results showed pupils are now returning to the tough traditional subjects that employers and universities demand and which will help them get jobs. This year, maths was the most popular subject studied at A level, with more pupils also choosing to take chemistry, physics and computing. I was also pleased to see how increasing numbers of women are seizing the opportunity to study traditionally male-dominated subjects such as physics.” – Sun on Sunday

…But Matthew D’Ancona poses the question: Is she really his heir?

“When she wrote last week to her Labour opposite number, Tristram Hunt, that “academies are just one part of the picture”, she appeared, in a single clause, to strip a flagship policy of its colours. Gove wanted academies (and free schools) to dominate the picture, not just to be “part” of it. This is not pedantry. It is the heart of the matter. An education secretary should always be civil – Gove’s politeness is legendary – but he or she must also be relentless.” – Sunday Telegraph

Brandon Lewis: Britain needs more bungalows

brandon“In his first newspaper interview since his promotion, Mr Lewis said he was concerned that the need for more single storey homes had been “overlooked” by builders. He said: “Representing Great Yarmouth we have got a few areas that have got quite large bungalows and some very, very nice bungalow properties. “I think they are a really really important part of the mix – my inlaws are in their 70s, pretty fit, mentally really with it, they live in a normal house which they both struggle with.” – Sunday Telegraph

How the Conservatives are trying to widen their appeal to ethnic minority voters

“One example picked up by the Tories is health and safety rules linked to turbans in the workplace. On a wider scale, policies on forced marriage and stop and search are part of this drive. Meanwhile, the party has hired full-time staff to engage with specialist ethnic minority media. And that is not just print media such as the Eastern Eye and the Voice, but Asian television channels from which many people get their news.” – Anushka Asthana, Observer

Clegg faces conference revolt over NHS reforms

Curse of Clegg 2“The rebels will pressure the party to outflank Labour on the NHS and further condemn the role of market forces and competition in the health service. They are being supported by senior figures in the sector, including Dr Clare Gerada, former chair of the Royal College of GPs. The row threatens to overshadow Clegg’s final conference before the general election and could distract from his attempts at claiming credit for Britain’s economic recovery.” – Observer

  • LibDem riots heroine denounces the party as racist and withdraws from its Presidential race (blaming it for turning against her over a 1999 drugs conviction) – Mail on Sunday
  • Treat homophobia like racism, say LibDems – Mail on Sunday

Flint: Energy bills “are rising faster than in almost any country in the world”

“In a speech in Reading, Ms Flint is expected to unveil further measures Labour believes is necessary to reform the UK energy market. Focusing on the cost-of-living crisis that Labour believes will characterise the run-up to next year’s general election campaign, she will say: “On David Cameron’s watch, energy bills in Britain have risen faster than almost any other country in the world.” She is expected to repeat Mr Miliband’s promise that a freeze on energy bills would save an average household £120 a year.” – Independent on Sunday

  • Labour doesn’t need Miliband’s ‘apparat-chicks’ – Austin Mitchell, Mail on Sunday
  • Does Prescott really write his own witty tweets? – Sunday Telegraph

John Rentoul: Miliband has dropped his graduate tax plan

Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 09.18.48“The graduate tax was revived by Ed Miliband when he became Labour leader but has not been heard of recently. I can reveal that this is because he, too, has accepted that it cannot be made to work. If Labour wins next year, tuition fees will stay, possibly in slightly reduced form. The problem of switching now is that the Government would have to fund universities until the revenue from a graduate tax started to come in. “We cannot afford a graduate tax,” I am told.” – Independent on Sunday

Ann McElvoy: Farage plumps for Thanet after telling me over a large glass of Verdicchio that he was torn between it and Folkestone

“At least the mystery of Nigel’s prime target  has been resolved. After what Ukip insiders call a lengthy ‘war for Nigel’s ear’ in east Kent, where he lived until recently, Mr Farage has plumped for South Thanet. That includes Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Sandwich, which may have a posh golf course, but the constituency also contains many poor, former mining villages – a promising seam for Ukip.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Former BNP activist once jailed for handling explosives gives Ukip £28k in will – Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – UKIP breaking the mould is possible – but Farage doesn’t want it to

Salmond hits back at Abbott

ABBOTT Tony“Scotland’s first minister has said the Australian prime minister’s comments on Scottish independence were “foolish, hypocritical and offensive”. Alex Salmond was speaking after Tony Abbott told the Times it was “hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland”. Mr Abbott said those who would like to see the UK break up were “not the friends of justice… [or] freedom”. The first minister said this was offensive to the people of Scotland.” – BBC

The plot to oust Bercow gathers pace.  Leaked Downing Street e-mail slams the appointment of Carole Mills.

“The dispute threatened to turn into a major row as it emerged that…Outgoing Commons Clerk Sir  Robert Rogers, allegedly told to ‘f*** off’ by Mr Bercow, kept a sensational secret diary of the Speaker’s outbursts…The Queen risked being dragged into the row amid reports David Cameron is ready to refuse to send the appointment to the Palace for Royal approval… MPs’ calls for a vote to overturn the Speaker’s choice of Ms Mills were backed by ministers…Male officials rejected in favour of Ms Mills may sue Mr Bercow for sex discrimination.” – Mail on Sunday

  • MP complaint hotline has received a call a day since it was launched – Sunday Express

South Yorkshire Police under fire over Cliff Richard raid as it strives to shift blame to the BBC

Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 09.21.00“The police chief responsible for the child sex investigation into Sir Cliff Richard had ignored official guidelines on the naming of suspects, senior MPs and police sources said yesterday…Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said he would be writing to Crompton to ask for “a full explanation of why he appears to have ignored official guidelines. “The police have a duty to act with fairness and integrity. Incalculable damage can be done to the reputation of individuals in circumstances such as this,” Vaz said.” – Sunday Times (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Vaz and Whittingdale should call in South Yorkshire Police over the Cliff Richard raid

News in Brief

  • Welfare 1) Rise of new underclass costs £30 billion – Sunday Times (£)
  • Welfare 2) Listen to cry of poor, says Pope Francis in South Korea – Sunday Express
  • Welfare 3) Will IDS’s welfare revolution happen? – Observer
  • Man dies as 35 people found ‘screaming and banging’ in shipping container at Tilbury Docks – Sunday Telegraph
  • Matthew Hancock Newmarket racing and housing controversy – Independent on Sunday
  • Rain and wind to hit before Bank Holiday – Sun on Sunday (£)
  • Richard III’s alcohol consumption rose by a third after he was crowned as he developed a taste for swans, cranes, herons and egrets, tests reveal – Mail on Sunday