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Newslinks for Saturday 6th July 2013

6.30pm Paul Goodman on ToryDiary: "The best case against keeping out of Syria begins with turning the argument about that Sunni extremist arc on its head.  A million refugees have fled Syria for Jordan; another million have done so for Lebanon.  The longer the Syrian civil war continues, the larger the flow of refugees will be." I've written the case against intervening in Syria. Here's a case for doing so.

11.45am LeftWatch: Miliband will want you to think that he’s broken from the unions – and Ken Livingstone to think that he hasn’t

ToryDiary: Well done, Wharton – now the rest of the eurosceptic movement needs to fire up the engines

Calum Crichton on Comment: The flaws and faults in the SNP's argument about equality

304-0: Britain has moved "one step closer" to an EU Referendum, says Cameron...

Tweet"In a landmark parliamentary 304 MPs voted in favour of a referendum, with none voting against as almost all Labour and Lib Dems MPs boycotted Westminster. ... There was loud cheering on the Commons' green benches as a backbench Bill, spearheaded by Tory MP James Wharton, cleared the first hurdle in its difficult battle to become law." - Daily Mail

  • "For now, [Cameron] has achieved something distinctly unusual in the modern Tory party – unity on Europe." - Daily Telegraph editorial

> Today on ToryDiary: Well done, Wharton – now the rest of the eurosceptic movement needs to fire up the engines

> Yesterday:

...but not all Tories are happy

"But [Cameron's pre-vote] attempt to woo his MPs has not won everyone over. One said: ‘In 2011 I was threatened with death for voting for an EU referendum, now I’m whipped and invited to a ****ing BBQ.’" - Daily Mail

Now Labour have called in the police over Falkirk and Unite...

Ed Miliband"Police last night launched a probe into vote-rigging within the Labour Party. ... As the gravest crisis of his leadership intensified, Ed Miliband promised to hand over an internal report on the scandal which he is accused of having known about for months. ... Last night Mr Miliband was also alleged to have ignored complaints that Unite had fixed other elections in the South West." - Daily Mail

...as Miliband plans to reform his party's relationship with the unions...

"Ed Miliband is to review the Labour party's historic relationship with the trade union movement amid calls from senior party figures for him to use a bitter row with the Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, to break the formal link. ... senior party aides indicated that Miliband would embark on a bold step of reform in the coming weeks." - The Guardian

...Len McCluskey isn't best pleased...

LM"He said: 'The Labour leadership have shot themselves in the foot and created this media storm over what is a genuinely irrelevant issue to ordinary British workers. ... It is depressing that Labour leaders have got to have a situation where they punch up union leaders. ... Ed doesn’t need to punch up me, I’m his friend, I support him.'" - The Sun

  • "Some party figures are privately speculating that the argument between the former allies [Miliband and McCluskey] will leave at least one suffering fatal political damage." - Daily Telegraph

...Eric Joyce has his say...

"The amateur, hubristic and irresponsible actions of a small number of Unite officials at the top of the organisation will require some rules to be changed to prevent another Falkirk." - Eric Joyce, The Guardian

  • DM"Yesterday, Mr Miliband made much of the fact he has referred Labour’s internal report into Falkirk to the police. ... In reality, however, this was an act of weakness, coming 24 hours after the Tory MP Henry Smith wrote a public letter to the Chief Constable of Scotland calling for a full fraud inquiry." - Daily Mail editorial
  • "Having belatedly involved the police, Mr Miliband must be more combative." - Financial Times editorial
  • "The question facing Labour is not whether it can rediscover the old labour-based culture of the 20th century and become the kind of party it used to be. That is a fantasy." - Guardian editorial
  • "Tom Watson: my part in his downfall" - Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • "Labour's union row is a helpful distraction for warring Tories" - Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian
  • "Mr Miliband can still turn this sorry saga to his advantage. He had some tough words for Unite yesterday but now needs to match them with action." - Andrew Grice, The Independent

...and suspended candidate Karie Murphy denies wrongdoing

"When [Karie Murphy was] asked if she had signed voters up to the Falkirk Labour Party without their consent, she replied: ‘No, absolutely not true.’ ... She added: ‘I don’t know what the allegations are. Until I know what the allegations are it would be inappropriate to try and defend myself. ... ‘I’ll follow the discipline of the union. I’ll comply with what the party needs from me. That’s as much as I can say.’" - Daily Mail

More deficit woe for George Osborne?

Upturn"Expectations of a £3bn windfall from secret Swiss bank accounts have been thrown into doubt after the banking industry said that less money was hidden in Switzerland than previously thought. ... The announcement is potentially embarrassing for the government because it increases expectations of a significant revision to the public sector borrowing figures, which were flattered last month by the inclusion of the full £3.2bn estimate" - Financial Times

Next week, Gove will unveil the new history curriculum – Churchill's in it

WC"The document, seen by the Mail, will state clearly that every pupil must ‘know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day’. ... Mr Gove is insisting that pupils learn about leading historical figures such as Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell and Queen Victoria. ... Pupils aged 11 to 14 will also be expected to study ‘the Second World War and the wartime leadership of Winston Churchill’, the only modern politician who is mentioned." - Daily Mail

  • "Michael Gove has abandoned plans to drop climate change from the geography national curriculum." - The Guardian

And the Education Secretary also wants to act against homophobic language

"Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday declared war on the ‘utterly outrageous and medieval’ use of the word ‘gay’ as an insult. .. He will study current laws to ensure they are ‘properly policed’ and could even ‘sharpen’ them in a bid to stamp out offensive homophobic language." - Daily Mail

  • "The Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday warned leaders of the Church of England that they must learn to accept the sexual revolution over gay rights." - Daily Mail

Look out, Hunt: the NHS faces a £30 billion funding gap

Gap

"The chief executive of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson, is expected next week to warn of a funding gap of £30bn by 2020 as he launches a 'national conversation' about the hard choices ahead for the health service. ... The Health Service Journal reported that Tim Kelsey, NHS England director for patients and information, had told an audience of technology entrepreneurs: 'We are about to run out of cash in a very serious fashion.'" - Financial Times

  • The controversial Liverpool Care Pathway can continue under a new set of guidelines, says an impending report - Daily Mail

> Yesterday:

Matthew Parris: Scrap Tory associations and rebuild the party

MP"The national party is evaporating away, and what's left is a miscellany of types: the very old, the very loyal, the absolute bricks, the rather lonely, the slightly embarrassed guest and ... yes, it has to be said, a goodly clutch of ideological obsessives ... It is overwhelmingly these last who take a passionate and sustained interest in politics and this tail can wag the dog." - Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

  • "Falkirk is a farce, but the flaws in selecting political candidates are not Labour's alone" - Graeme Archer, Daily Telegraph

Quentin Letts versus John Bercow

"For the truth is that the Commons Speaker keeps exploding. Repeatedly, and most embarrassingly (to himself but more damagingly to his office), the man who chairs our legislature has lost his grip, big time." - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Anthony King versus the entire British Government

"The blunders committed by British governments in the past 30 years have been monumental. The only reason no one has noticed is that the numerous blunder-beads have never been hung on a single string. Each has typically been seen as a one-off – the fault of this or that administration. Some passed unnoticed – even at the time." - Anthony King, Financial Times

"I just wish [Clegg] would travel the few miles from his home in Putney to my neighbourhood in Bermondsey. He would witness the devastating effect of a society that does not value marriage" - Selena Gray, Daily Mail

Ipsa chief defends higher pay for MPs

PAY RISE"Sir Ian dismissed the argument that this is the wrong time for a salary hike for MPs, saying that there will never be a good time to increase their pay. ... David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have all opposed the idea of a substantial pay increase for MPs, but Sir Ian came close to telling them to mind their own business." - The Independent

  • "The pay rise is a step too far, and MPs would be advised to legislate briefly and quickly to stop it. But the additional payments for children are justified." - Independent editorial
  • "A £10,000 pay rise for MPs? Good – they deserve it" - Andrew Grice, Independent
  • "Greedy MPs unleash my inner Guy Fawkes" - Matthew Norman, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Police to apologise for using the names of dead children in undercover operations - The Times (£)
  • Boris buses criticised as "moving saunas" - Daily Telegraph
  • Inside Mark Carney's £3 million house, paid for by the taxpayer - Daily Mail
  • The BBC's Jeremy Bowen injured as violence tears through Cairo - Daily Mail
  • BeerCouncils to experiment with a "late night levy" on venues selling alcohol after midnight - Financial Times
  • International sports stars could benefit from new fast-track tax exemptions in the UK - Financial Times
  • Britain poised to send more military support to Lebanon, to bolster its border with Syria - Independent
  • Help to Buy scheme fuelling housing market bubble, warns Labour - The Guardian
  • Growing speculation about a Sarkozy comeback - The Guardian

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