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Afghanistan 1) We might not get everyone out of Afghanistan, admits Biden

“Joe Biden admitted on Friday night that the US may not be able to rescue everyone it wants to from Afghanistan and said he could not guarantee the outcome of the “most difficult and dangerous airlift in history”. The US president said there was “risk of loss” in the evacuation amid warnings that 100,000 Afghans who had helped the Americans could be left to face Taliban reprisals. Nato officials begged the US to extend the Aug 31 deadline for getting people out of Kabul, the Afghan capital, as women were trampled in a crush outside the airport and it emerged that some evacuation flights were leaving part empty.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Afghanistan fiasco: ‘We look like a deer caught in headlights’ – Financial Times
  • I broke out of Afghanistan jail and fled Taliban in my flip-flops, says former British soldier – The Sun
  • Biden’s denial of reality shows his head is still firmly wedged in the sand – Leader, The Sun
  • U-turn on Afghan embassy guards. All of the 125-member security team will now be given the right to enter the UK – The Guardian
  • Britain presses US to extend Afghan deadline – The Times
  • Revenge executions despite Taliban militants’ claims of reform – The Times
  • Biden was always unfit to be president but his Left-wing media cheerleaders didn’t dare admit it – Douglas Murray, Daily Telegraph
  • Osama bin Laden “banned  al Qaeda from trying to assassinate Biden” because he believed he would be an incompetent president – Daily Mail
  • Betrayal is breathtaking – Richard Madeley, Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: Ex-servicemen enrich the Commons, but we should beware giving their views special status on matters of war

Afghanistan 2) Johnson “absolutely” has full confidence in Raab

“Boris Johnson says he “absolutely” has full confidence in his foreign secretary amid criticism of Dominic Raab’s decision not to call Afghan ministers over evacuating translators. Mr Raab said he instead prioritised “security” at Kabul airport and “delegated” the call to a junior minister. But that call did not happen due to the “deteriorating situation”, he added. The foreign secretary has rejected demands from the opposition to resign.” – BBC

  • Tory MPs praise ‘workaholic’ Foreign Secretary – Daily Telegraph
  • He holds officials to account and they don’t like it – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory MPs turn on the Foreign Secretary after a week of chaos and carnage – The Times
  • Leadership is knowing when to vacate the sunlounger – Leader, Financial Times
  • Senior mandarins at the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence and Home Office have also been on leave – Daily Mail

Afghanistan 3) Moore: We need a new Atlantic alliance

“The Soviet Union was technologically clunky and poor. Modern China is electronically accomplished, smoothly insidious and well understands how easily Western elites can be bought. It and Russia, though frequently at odds, can find common cause in our current weakness. Surely western allies, and eastern ones too, now need to combine to make a net assessment of what the New Atlantic Charter calls “the full spectrum of modern threats”. It would be appropriate for Boris, leader of the second-biggest Nato power, to invoke his new agreement with the President and suggest a visit to Washington to discuss it. As our alliance has declined, so the need for it has increased.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Afghanistan 4) Parris: The sad truth is they died in vain

“This shambles of an exit is not an argument against, but for the underlying wisdom of leaving, and we should salute Joe Biden for holding to his course. Contrary to the bellowing of some of our military top brass, courage can lie in acknowledging failure, and it is not always brave to double down on wasted lives. “We owe it to the fallen” is a terrible argument and would make backing down by either side impossible. We owe to the living not the dead, and to cut your losses takes more nerve than to compound them. Sane alliances call time on their mistakes.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

GPs still ignoring orders to allow patients face-to-face appointments

“GPs are ignoring orders to allow patients face-to-face appointments despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, The Telegraph can reveal. In May, health officials ordered all surgeries to abandon a system of “total triage” introduced during the pandemic, which meant those seeking to see a GP were told to have an online or phone discussion first. The NHS guidance promised patients the right to see a GP in person, with doctors told to respect their preferences. But official figures show that since then – despite the easing of lockdown restrictions –  access to practices has remained unchanged.” – Daily Telegraph

Call to boost self build housing sector

“Councils could be forced to allocate land for custom and self-build homes under plans for an overhaul of housing set out in a review commissioned by Boris Johnson. Richard Bacon, the Conservative MP appointed to lead the review, warned that England is blighted with “houses designed by accountants” and said people need more choice over the design and layout of new-build homes. If the country fails to start building more homes that people want, it is in danger of becoming divided into “one nation in which a whole generation struggles to find somewhere to live at all, while the other adds to its buy-to-let-portfolio,” he said.” – The Times

Sunak’s Stamp Duty cut “did not cause house price boom”

“Rishi Sunak’s temporary cut to stamp duty did not cause the house price boom over the past year, according to the Resolution Foundation, raising questions about whether the strategy was a waste of taxpayers money. As official data showed house prices rose 13.2 per cent in the year to June, the fastest rate since 2004, the think-tank’s study published on Saturday found that the largest increases in prices had happened in areas that least benefited from the tax cuts.” – Financial Times

Treasury resists funding Gove’s single government login project

“Michael Gove’s shake-up of Whitehall IT to give every adult a single login when interacting with the Government online could be slowed due to a spending row with the Treasury. The overhaul would see people logging into just one online interface to do everything from ordering new passports and driving licences, to accessing birth certificates and pension information. The Cabinet Office is seeking new money to drive forward the project, dubbed “one login for Government”, and launch it in 2022, believing the changes would vastly increase efficiency.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Government borrowing fell in July – BBC

SNP and Scottish Green publish power-sharing deal

“The SNP and Scottish Greens have published details of their new power sharing arrangement. The deal will take the Greens into government for the first time anywhere in the UK. It includes a commitment to hold a referendum on Scottish independence within the next five years, and preferably by the end of 2023. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave details at a briefing alongside the two Scottish Greens co-leaders. Opposition parties have described the arrangement as a “nationalist coalition of chaos” that will be a “disaster” for Scotland.” – BBC

  • It will do little to further the interests of Scotland – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Extinction Rebellon policing costs £50 million

“Extinction Rebellion protests have cost the taxpayer more than £50 million, with the figure expected to rise significantly as further demonstrations take place in the next few weeks. Rachel Williams, the Metropolitan Police’s gold commander for the expected demonstrations, said the figure covered the response to protests in which activists camped in the streets in April and October 2019 and September last year. The climate action group plans to return to London from Monday, at up to eight sites. Most will be in the City to disrupt financial institutions but there are likely to be other demonstrations at sites that would cause significant disruption to the public.” – The Times

  • Cressida Dick faces another inquiry – Daily Mail

Starmer “should stop blaming Corbyn for Labour’s woes”

“With Labour still trailing the Tories in the polls, some leftwing MPs believe attempts to keep blaming Corbyn for Starmer’s problems are wearing thin. They acidly observe that Neil Kinnock made a name for routing the Left, but still didn’t win a general election because the public didn’t connect with him. MPs including John McDonnell and Richard Burgon formed a supportive ‘doughnut’ around Corbyn for his speech in the Commons on Afghanistan this week. But some argue the real problem is the Starmer-shaped hole of what the party stands for. Aides accept more work is needed to stop the public’s collective shrug when they hear his name. And no matter what happens to his predecessor, as Starmer this summer ponders the political challenges ahead, he knows that it won’t be enough to be “not Corbyn”.” – Paul Waugh, The i

  • Labour’s equality secretary Marsha de Cordova snubs trans event – The Times
  • McCluskey boasts of plotting to paralyse the UK with a general strike – Daily Mail

>Today: Book Review: Ashcroft goes in search of the real Starmer

News in brief

  • Is Theresa May in any position to criticise the PM? – Patrick O’Flynn, The Spectator
  • We must do more than take in 20,000 refugees – Matthew Lesh, CapX
  • The Fed carries on printing dollars – John Redwood
  • The armchair generals of the Hindu Kush – Ian Oakley, The Article