Newslinks for Thursday 11th August 2011
6.15pm Tim Montgomerie on Comment: Downing Street declines to provide a minister for tonight's special edition of BBC Question Time
5.30pm WATCH: Boris Johnson: 'We cannot be complacent over riots'
5pm Local government: Money from DCLG to help shops hit by riots get back in business
2.30pm WATCH: David Cameron's riot statement to Parliament
1.30pm Parliament: Labour MP Rob Flello speaks in the Commons without a jacket
Noon Parliament: Full text of Cameron's statement to Commons on riots
11.30am ConHomeUSA: Today's American political news
11am Nick de Bois MP on Comment: A response to Tom Brake MP - Now is the time for our party to reclaim its heritage on law and order
10am Andrew Lilico on Comment: There's less to learn from the riots than you might think
David Davis MP on Comment: We need real and drastic change in the leadership of Britain's police forces
On Local government: Cllr Jonathan Glanz, the Cabinet Member for Housing on Westminster City Council, says Council tenants guilty of rioting must lose their homes
Also on the Local government blog: "Cllr Brian Silvester, a Conserative councillor in Cheshire East, is calling on the BBC to hand over unbroadcast footage of the recent riots to the Police if it can be used to identify the culprits responsible for the looting and destruction and lead to their prosecution."
The same image of a grieving father dominates the frontpages today.
"David Cameron will today set out plans to combat ‘sick’ elements in British society after backing the use of water cannon and rubber bullets against rioters. Vowing to fight the moral decline which has led to the widespread looting by teenagers, the Prime Minister will spell out plans for a nationwide ‘fightback’ by decent people." - Daily Mail
- The Guardian's Michael White rates performance of leading politicians during riots, concluding with tough judgments on Boris Johnson and Theresa May.
- "Alex Salmond was yesterday accused of making political capital out of the riots in England after he insisted that the outbreaks of violence should be described as “English” rather than “UK” riots." - Times (£)
- Youth worker and Army recruit among those in court - Telegraph
- EDL and BNP singled out as extremist groups who may try to inflame racial tension - Daily Mail
The Daily Mail urges Cameron to call an election if the Liberal Democrats stop him mending "sick" Britain
"David Cameron, in a robust performance yesterday, finally indicated that he understands the crisis facing Britain, parts of which he correctly identified as being ‘sick’, rife with family breakdown and in need of urgent social repair. The bitter irony, after the mayhem of the past few days, is that if he were to boldly seize the opportunity to fix Britain’s broken welfare state, law and order system, immigration controls and parlous family structures, he would find an electorate — devastated by what it has witnessed — fully behind him. And, if the Liberal Democrats do not have the stomach for the fight, the Prime Minister should not rule out going to the country." - Daily Mail leader
> Tim Montgomerie on ToryDiary yesterday: "Readers will know I'm often been a critic of Cameron. This is the best I've ever seen him. He's angry. He's determined. He's found his mission."
Cameron under renewed pressure to reverse the Government's police cuts in the wake of riots - Express
"Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "It is staggering and utterly shameful if it has taken these appalling events for ministers to start waking up to what everyone else has known all along," she said. "Cutting 16,000 officers - the equivalent of every officer on the streets of London last night - at a time like this is deeply irresponsible."" - Quoted by the BBC
The Independent urges caution on police budgets: "It may be that planned cuts in spending on the police should be reviewed in the light of recent events. Good policing, though, depends not just on raw numbers, but on visibility, organisation and tactics. Successive reviews have identified ways in which money could be used much more effectively than it is. Ministers should not be panicked into commitments to new resources before they are satisfied that the most is being made of the old."
David Davis blames Labour for undermining police capability - Yorkshire Post
David Cameron vs Boris Johnson - The Independent reviews the differences between the PM and Mayor.
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Is Theresa May or Boris Johnson right about police budgets?
LibDems want elected police chief plans scrapped; Tory calls for foreign aid budget to be trimmed and given to police
- "Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, said the “additional pressure” that would be placed on police forces as a result of the riots, as well as the added cost of overtime and heightened staffing, meant that the plan should be reconsidered. “Although elected police commissioners are in the coalition programme, with the police under severe pressure nationally, now is not the time to spend £150 million on elections when the money is needed on the front line,” he said."
- David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth and a special constable, criticised the Government for making the cuts while it continued to protect foreign aid. “I totally accept that this country cannot continue to spend money it does not have and we should be balancing the books,” he said. “However, I do not think the public will understand why we are spending millions on aid programmes to India when we are unable to maintain order on our streets back home.”
- Both quotes taken from The Times (£).
Theresa May upsets officers by saying she was ‘too busy’ for a meeting with the Police Federation over the decision to cancel all leave - Metro
APCO Chief Sir Hugh Orde pours cold water on use of water cannon and plastic bullets
"Having authorised the deployment of both water cannon and baton rounds, I remain clear that they have a vital place in our armoury, but only when proportionate and appropriate to the situation we face. In stark terms, without extremely violent and static crowds, they are useless. Baton rounds are discriminate weapons: you fire them at individuals who pose a violent threat where life is at risk. They are not for firing indiscriminately at individuals on the move, however popular such a move would be with the public." - Hugh Orde in The Independent
- The Sun disagrees: "Frontline bobbies, undermined by human rights laws, are terrified to get physical for fear of prosecution."
Harriet Harman issues press release attacking police cuts - Labour Party
The Daily Mail's Stephen Glover is unimpressed with Ms Harman: "Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, has been no less unscrupulous in suggesting the rise in tuition fees (which has not yet come into effect) and the reduction in the education maintenance allowance for schoolchildren over 16 (which in any case was introduced only as recently as 2004) have contributed to the anarchy. Whether she is simply dim, or is merely trying to extract political advantage, or both, it is not easy to say. Naturally, it never occurs to Labour leaders that the social ills underlying the riots grew during their 13 years of power."
Is "smaller government" to blame?
From the New York Times: "Britain’s current crisis should cause us to reflect on the fact that a smaller government can actually increase communal fear and diminish our quality of life."
Tim Montgomerie: "This is a nail that has to be lied. For the third year running the UK state is spending more than 50% of national income. Our problems are problems of a bloated and inefficient state. Taxes are meaning businesses can't afford to employ extra workers and parents need to work extra hours away from the home."
Terry Smith in The Times (£): "In the UK, government debt is at about 75 per cent of GDP. But if public sector pension liabilities are included, the UK’s debt to GDP ratio would rise to 155 per cent. If the private finance initiative is included and the guarantees given to the banking sector were ever called upon, it would rise to more than 240 per cent."
Seamus Milne blames Tory greed, Tory inequality, Tory cuts, Tory bankers and Tory recession for riots - In The Guardian (of course)
In the Daily Mail, Melanie Phillips identifies a very different culprit; Britain's liberal intelligentsia: "All criminal wrongdoing was excused on the basis that the criminal couldn’t help himself, as he was the victim of circumstances such as poverty, unemployment, or as yet illusory cuts in public spending."
John McTernan: All the parties are the SDP
"Cameron, Miliband and Nick Clegg stand on a broadly SDP platform, based on a liberal approach to both social issues and the economy. That makes for far less disruption when government changes hands, but it also means that there is no longer a contest between sharply different views of how society should be run." - John McTernan in The Telegraph
Osborne to address MPs following recent economic turbulence and Bank of England's downgrade of growth forecast - BBC
"George Osborne is to tell MPs on Thursday that he has drawn up contingency plans to deal with the fallout of a new European banking crisis, amid renewed market turmoil and speculation about the health of the French banking sector." - FT (£)
Inflation 'will hit 5% by the end of the year' Bank of England warns - Daily Mail
- Jeremy Warner in The Telegraph is pessimistic about global economic solutions: "There are still things that could be done. America could set out a credible deficit reduction strategy that would allow some further fiscal stimulus to be applied right now. Europe could agree collective responsibility for its sovereign debts and banking sector, thereby ending the single currency’s existential crisis. China could float its currency, helping to bring to an end the calamitous trade imbalances that are the root cause of today’s rolling series of debt crises. And pigs might fly."
Other Coalition and political news in brief:
- The number of people waiting more than six weeks for a key diagnostic test on the NHS has almost quadrupled over the past year - Times (£)
- Tory ‘campaign’ to stop Carlaw becoming Scottish party leader - Times (£)
- "The English bus industry is facing its greatest financial challenge for a generation, a report by MPs said today. Funding changes by the Government have had an adverse impact on local bus services and the level of bus fares, the report by the House of Commons Transport Committee said." - Independent
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