Migration 1): Mayor of Calais condemns “soft touch” UK

Screen shot 2014-10-29 at 08.31.57“Britain’s welfare system is so generous that migrants are willing to risk death to benefit from it, the mayor of Calais said yesterday. David Cameron’s reputation on immigration was dealt a serious blow after Natacha Bouchart declared Britain to be a soft touch because of previous amnesties and the ease with which people could find illegal work. She told MPs that thousands of migrants were drawn to the French port because of the £36-a-week benefits that Britain handed out to asylum seekers” – The Times (£)

  • UK politicians should have no role to play in Calais – Daily Express editorial
  • Britain’s refusal to save drowning migrants is an act of inhumanity – Ian Birrell, Guardian

>Today: Immigration policy. How restrictive? An amnesty for illegals or not? Defy the EU? Take our monthly survey

Migration 2): Asylum queue at Home Office reaches 45,000

“A backlog of 45,000 asylum cases has built up in the Home Office, according to a Commons report today that discloses that the department has written off almost £1 billion on failed IT projects that were intended to help to get a grip on immigration. While some asylum seekers have been waiting seven years for their cases to be resolved, 27,000 have not even received an initial decision on their application” – The Times (£)

Migration 3): Boles says restrictions harm competitiveness

BOLES Nick“Nick Boles has become the first Conservative minister to suggest the government’s approach to immigration is damaging Britain’s global competitiveness. The skills and equalities minister said many people were not applying to work in the UK because they believed it would be ‘impossibly hard’ to get in. ‘There is a worry that the impression had gone out that you’re never going to get into the UK, and no doubt some of our competitor nations are using that,’ the skills and equalities minister said in an interview with Total Politics” – Financial Times

Migration 4): Green says the business case is weak

“At MigrationWatch, it has always been our belief that the only way to navigate the choppy seas of the immigration debate is to stick to the facts. That is how we have reached our current position at the forefront of the debate, despite being a small and largely voluntary organisation. Some facts are, of course, disputed. But the broad picture is fairly clear. Although the business lobby and academia focus on the economic benefits of immigration, the reality is that their case is surprisingly weak, particularly at the current massive levels” – Andrew Green, Daily Telegraph

Migration 5): Parris “swamped by racist bilge” while working for Thatcher

parris“I know a bit about ‘swamping’. I was the clerk handling Margaret Thatcher’s general correspondence in 1978 when she was opposition leader. We had been averaging 500-700 letters a week when, discussing immigration in a TV interview, Mrs Thatcher used the word ‘swamped’. In the following week she received about 5,000 letters, almost all in support, almost all reacting to that interview. I had to read them. We were swamped indeed: swamped by racist bilge” – Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

  • The folly of pandering to ignorant fears about immigration – John Kay, Financial Times

Tories accuse Lib Dems of killing off EU Referendum Bill

“David Cameron’s bid to legislate for a referendum on Britain leaving the European Union has been blocked by the Lib Dems…Tory MP Bob Neill, who was taking the Bill through Parliament, told MailOnline: ‘The Lib Dems have killed off our chances of putting into law, this side of an election, an in out EU referendum by 2017. They didn’t have the guts to vote against an EU referendum in the House of Commons. Instead they have used Westminster tricks to try to deny the British people a say on their membership of the EU’” – Daily Mail

  • Denmark says Britain should pay EU budget bill – Guardian
  • New Zealand to hold referendum on scrapping Union Jack – Guardian


ToryDiary – Tim Montgomerie: The Conservative Party becomes a broad coalition again – or it dies

Columnists – Stephan Shakespeare: Voters may now like what Cameron is saying about the EU, but they may also not believe it

Pickles: we are succeeding in helping problem families

PICKLES Eric 2009“Some sceptics said it was an impossible job, that there were certain families who wouldn’t accept help…Today we have published the figures which prove our critics wrong…We are now working with 99 per cent of those families, as we pledged in 2012. It’s tough stuff but the truth is these families needed to be given a chance and offered a hand off the sofa of despair…And now more than three out of every five of them are on track” – Eric Pickles, The Sun (£)

Norman: how to reduce misuse of the NHS

“We have to make people think twice before they make wasteful demands on the country’s health service.In a paper published on Wednesday through the Centre for Policy Studies, Museji Ahmed Takolia and I propose a way of doing just that. The idea is simple. Everyone who uses NHS services would receive a statement every year, showing which services they had received and how much they cost” – Jesse Norman MP, Financial Times

>Today: UKIPWatch – Pinning Down Farage: What is UKIP’s policy on the NHS and health?

Morgan changes her mind on gay marriage

MORGAN Nicky headshot“Government-funded advisers are to be sent into schools to educate teachers and children about the harm caused to gay and lesbian children by bullying. Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, is expected to unveil a £2 million fund to pay for charities and voluntary groups to run training projects aimed at stamping out homophobic bullying in schools. The announcement comes as Mrs Morgan, who voted against the introduction of same-sex marriage last year, signalled that she had changed her mind on the issue” – Daily Telegraph

Labour peer denounces Miliband

“Labour support has dropped 4% over the last month since Ed Miliband’s disastrous party conference speech, while Ukip’s rating has surged to close to 20%, and the Tories have remained steady. One furious Labour peer…told The Sun: ‘We are facing an unmitigated disaster. Instead of offering a broad appeal, Miliband has shrunken our support to just a thin coalition of public sector unions, Socialist intellectuals and the Muslim vote. Of course the voters are finally seeing this and abandoning us’” – The Sun (£)

  • A Tory nightmare: what if ‘Red Ed’ is right on wages? Rafael Behr, Guardian
  • Voters want conviction: Labour has given them European fudge – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph

Finally, someone admits they want to run Scottish Labour

Scottish flag“At last! We have someone prepared to admit that she’s prepared to stand for the post as leader of the Scottish Labour Party. Now, I’d be the first to admit that it’s not something that, ordinarily, you’d boast about to the neighbours — certainly not in the more polite parts of this realm. But Sarah Boyack has stood up to be counted” – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

  • Davidson accuses Murphy of staging coup against Lamont – Herald
  • Sturgeon promises to work for unity as First Minister – Scotsman

>Today: Columnists – Henry Hill: Scottish Labour faces a clear but painful choice

News in brief

  • Liam Fox launches One Minute Fox campaign – Spectator
  • Argentina calls on Britain to close Falklands base – The Times (£)
  • Digital divide exacerbates US inequality – Financial Times
  • Sir Nicholas Winton honoured by Czechs for saving children from Nazis – BBC
  • Zambian President Michael Sata dies in hospital in London – Financial Times
  • Specialist police officers explain why they failed to tackle Rotherham sex abuse – The Times (£)
  • American cargo rocket blows up six seconds after take-off – Daily Mail
  • Veterans urge boycott of motorway services after poppy ban – Daily Express
  • MPs forced out over expenses to stand in 2015 – Daily Telegraph
  • Drinking over three glasses of milk a day could increase risk of death – Daily Mail
  • Sex with over 20 women reduces risk of prostate cancer – Independent
  • Naked rambler loses his case – Independent
  • Boris Johnson gives boxing display in shirt and tie – Daily Mail

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