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Coronavirus victims ‘will be paid to go into quarantine’

“Coronavirus sufferers and their contacts will be paid to quarantine themselves amid signs that increasing numbers are refusing to self-isolate because of financial worries. People on low incomes who test positive for Covid-19 will be paid £132 for their 10-day isolation period, while people who have come into contact with them will receive £182 for 14 days of isolation. The scheme will, for now, only apply to people living in areas with local lockdown restrictions, and will be trialled in the North West before an expected rollout to other high-risk areas. The announcement comes ahead of a meeting on Thursday to decide whether more areas of the country will be put into lockdown after Birmingham was placed on the Government’s watch list.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Scheme targeted towards those on lower salaries – Daily Mail

More:

  • NHS data shows 15m on ‘hidden waiting list’ – The Times

>Yesterday: Frederick Shepherd in Comment: The Covid-19 mental health crisis has arrived, and the Government must act

Downing Street ‘forces out top schools mandarin’ after exams fiasco

“Boris Johnson has been accused of throwing the Department for Education’s most senior civil servant “under a bus” after ousting him amid the exams fiasco and the change of mind on masks in schools. Jonathan Slater was told yesterday to leave his post by Monday as the prime minister said there was a need for “fresh leadership” at the department. Sally Collier quit as head of Ofqual, the exams regulator, on Tuesday. Mr Slater, who had been due to step down next May, is expected to receive a six-figure payoff. Susan Acland-Hood, who became an interim second permanent secretary at the weekend, has been moved into his role temporarily. A government source said that the decision to remove Mr Slater was taken last month. Mr Johnson “sees education as the key to unlocking equal opportunity”, the source said. “He concluded a while ago that he was not confident in Slater.”” – The Times

  • Top DfE official’s exit ‘proof that ministerial accountability is dead’ – The Guardian
  • Johnson pins the blame on ‘mutant’ exam algorithm – The Times

More:

  • Prime Minister tells kids biggest threat they face is being out of school – The Sun
  • ‘Supreme trolling from the school librarian’ – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • The unsackable class who truly govern us – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • A flaw in the government’s plan for masks in schools: children – Katherine Birbalsingh, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Darren Grimes’ column: Out of office but in power. How the Left keeps losing elections, yet gets its way nonetheless.

Senior Tories ‘express anger’ over Johnson policy U-turns…

“Senior members of Boris Johnson’s government have expressed their concern at the recent string of policy U-turns, questioning the prime minister’s approach, the make-up of the cabinet and the civil service’s ability to handle the pandemic. The government has changed course 12 times in major policy areas since coronavirus hit in March. The latest reversal came on Tuesday evening when education secretary Gavin Williamson announced that face masks would be mandatory in communal parts of English schools in areas under stricter lockdown. A dozen senior Tories have privately told the Financial Times about their growing disquiet, with one cabinet minister expressing unhappiness with both the substance and form of the latest announcement on face coverings.” – FT

  • MPs have told ministers to ‘get a grip’ – The Sun
  • Johnson stands firm on ‘sensible’ face masks decision in schools despite fury – Daily Express

Editorial:

  • A hasty decision, but the right one – The Times

…as Conservative critics force ministers to review planning formula

“Ministers are reviewing an algorithm at the centre of planning reforms after a backlash from Tory MPs. Under the changes to planning laws, local discretion over the rate of housebuilding will be removed and central government will “distribute” an annual target, at present 337,000 a year, between local councils that will be required to designate enough land to meet the target. Analysis by Lichfields, a planning consultancy, has suggested that outside London much of the new housing will be concentrated in Conservative local authority areas in the suburbs and the shires, rather than in town centres. The Spectator reported that the algorithm, which is under consultation, was likely to be changed. “At the top of the housing ministry there is an acceptance that a more refined formula is needed,” it said.” – The Times

  • Sunak and archbishop ‘drawn into Yorkshire dales housing row’ – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Ian Lewis in Local Government: Housing associations lack transparency. They should face more competition.

Scotland’s Union dividend rises to £2,000 per person

“The “dividend” Scotland receives for being part of the United Kingdom has increased to almost £2,000 per person, according to official figures that unionists said crippled the economic case for independence. The annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures show that £15.1 billion more was spent on public services north of the border than was raised in taxes last year. The public spending deficit is £2 billion higher than the previous year and represents 8.6 per cent of Scotland’s gross domestic product (GDP). Scottish Conservatives described the figures as a “hammer blow to the SNP” and its case for independence. Those figures do not reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic because they cover the financial year to April 5. The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), the economic research unit, said the effects of the virus would more than double the deficit.” – The Times

  • Unionists boosted as Scotland’s notional fiscal deficit widens – FT
  • Tory MPs urge Johnson not to keep following Scotland’s lead – Daily Mail

Analysis:

  • Can Scottish independence backers win economic argument? – FT

Anti-submarine warships ‘could be cut down to single figures’

“Anti-submarine warships could be cut down to single figures following the Integrated Defence and Security Review, naval sources have warned, in an act that has been deemed a “national embarrassment” for a maritime nation. The Telegraph understands that the UK’s existing fleet of frigates could be reduced from 13 to just eight ahead of the highly anticipated review, as replacing them with newer models has proven costly. “The UK could fall into single number frigrates,” a naval source warned. “We could have less than 10 warships because new build stuff is in the firing line.” The Ministry of Defence has currently requested three Type 26 frigates and five of the Type 31s – in order to replace the aging Type 23s (which have been functioning since the early 1990s and are likely to retire by 2025).” – Daily Telegraph

Proms decision a ghastly error, says former BBC chairman

“The BBC has made a “ghastly mistake” in its handling of the Last Night of the Proms row, according to Lord Grade of Yarmouth, its former chairman. The Conservative peer condemned the decision that Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory would be performed without lyrics at the concert on September 12 after concerns were raised about links with colonialism. He told Today on BBC Radio 4: “This is a ghastly mistake which shows how out of touch they are with their audience. I would defend the BBC’s right to make decisions free of political influence but it is clearly a mistake, it’s just idiotic.” The BBC announced the decision on Monday after The Sunday Times reported on an internal debate about the songs.” – The Times

  • Proms conductor hits back as BBC bosses are blamed for silencing Rule, Britannia! – Daily Telegraph

More:

  • Household tax could replace TV licence fee, suggests Lord Hall – The Times
  • Former news boss compares top of the corporation to the comedy show W1A – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • The BBC’s Proms posturing suggests a corporation with a death wish – Douglas Murray, Daily Telegraph
  • A lesson in how to end the culture wars – David Aaronovitch, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: These BBC Bourbons who have learned nothing and forgotten nothing risk precipitating their own downfall

Germany scraps plans for Brexit talks at EU ambassadors summit

“Germany has scrapped plans to discuss Brexit at a high-level diplomatic meeting next week because there has not been “any tangible progress” in talks, the Guardian has learned, as Brussels laments a “completely wasted” summer. EU officials now believe the UK government is prepared to risk a no-deal exit when the transition period comes to an end on 31 December, and will try to pin the blame on Brussels if talks fail. The German government, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU council, had intended to discuss Brexit during a meeting of EU ambassadors on 2 September but has now dropped the issue. “Since there hasn’t been any tangible progress in EU-UK negotiations, the Brexit item was taken off the agenda,” an EU diplomat said.” – The Guardian

  • Brexiteer sends Johnson ‘urgent warning’ over EU fishing plan – Daily Express

Liberal Democrats set to elect fourth leader in five years

“The Liberal Democrats will elect their fourth leader in five years on Thursday as the party continues to try to rebuild itself after a series of crushing general election defeats and poor poll ratings. The result is due to be announced at midday on Thursday, with senior party sources suggesting it had been an extremely close race. The coronavirus pandemic meant the acting leader and former energy secretary, Ed Davey, and the party’s education spokeswoman, Layla Moran, were forced to conduct the campaign almost entirely online. This is Davey’s second attempt to take on the leadership of the party after he lost to Jo Swinson in her landslide victory last summer. Just six months later, she resigned after losing her seat at the 2019 general election following a highly personalised campaign in which she claimed she could be prime minister.” – The Guardian

  • Moran ‘said 11-year-olds should be allowed to vote’ – The Sun

Allister Heath: Can the Government rescue London from this nightmarish Corbynite death spiral?

“With London facing its most severe crisis since the Eighties, Johnson is going to have to start being a lot more hands-on with his beloved city again if he wants to save it. The Blairite devolution settlement of 2000, as in Scotland, has failed disastrously: London’s finances are bankrupt, and the city is about to shift even further to the cultural Left. Until now, London, like other great metropoles, had defied the logic of the internet revolution. Digitisation detaches economic activity from geography, place and physical structures, and has done so in every industry it has engulfed: we no longer need to go to a physical bank, a physical shop or buy a physical DVD. There was, until now, a glaring exception to this trend towards “the death of distance”: the office carried on almost entirely unaffected.” – Daily Telegraph

  •  Sunak may yet have to revisit his furlough plan – Alex Brummer, Daily Mail

Pence warns voters: ‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America’

“Mike Pence has launched an all-out attack on the man hoping to stop Donald Trump getting re-elected, warning voters: “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” The US vice president named Mr Biden 21 times in his Republican convention speech, casting the Democratic presidential nominee as out of step with American values. In the wide-ranging critique Mr Pence took swipes at everything from Mr Biden’s foreign policy record, stance of anti-racism protests, economic agenda and immigration policies. Many of the comments centred on the claim that Mr Biden would promote a “socialist” agenda if he won the White House – a key part of the Republican attempt to paint him as unelectable. “Joe Biden would set America on a path of socialism and decline,” Mr Pence said, claiming the Democrat would be “nothing more than a Trojan horse for a radical Left” if he reached office.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Vigilante killer revealed – Daily Mail
  • Trump sends National Guard into Kenosha violence – The Times

Comment:

  • Are angry mobs increasing Trump’s election chances? – David Charter, The Times
  • A woman diner is tormented by BLM mob for refusing to raise her fist – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Trump is so cunning he has chosen, in Pence, a dull, loyal, evangelical running mate

>Yesterday: Ben Roback in International: What the Republican and Democratic conventions tell us about the state of the race

News in Brief:

  • A new blow to Scottish independence – but will the English care? – Dr David Jeffery, CapX
  • From school face masks to how to pay for Covid, Tory MPs are getting nervous – Graham Stewart, The Critic
  • Given my time again, I wouldn’t choose journalism – Sarah Ditum, UnHerd
  • How progressive misogyny works – Suzanne Moore, The Spectator
  • Russia has opposition to Putin, but it’s anything but liberal – Gabriel Gavin, Reaction

3 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 27th August 2020

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