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Newslinks for Saturday 20th July 2013

6pm WATCH: "Trayvon Martin could have been me." Barack Obama's statement on race relations

12.45pm ToryDiary: Crosby - will Cameron adopt the ConservativeHome solution?

ToryDiary: That question crops up again, when should the Tories split from the Lib Dems?

Ruth Davis on Comment: How the police can use social technology and new media to cut crime

Cameron's "delight" at OECD plans to tackle tax avoidance

DC"The 'once-in-a-century' move to patch up holes in international tax rules was unveiled in Moscow by George Osborne and fellow finance ministers from France and Germany, who have together been the driving force behind calls for reform." - The Guardian

"Prime Minister David Cameron was 'delighted'. He said: 'Taxpayers, governments and businesses all suffer when some companies manipulate the tax system.'" - The Sun

Crosby under attack again, this time over fracking

LC"David Cameron was accused on Friday of giving evasive answers about the Tories' chief election strategist as the Labour party highlighted Lynton Crosby's role in promoting shale gas companies in his native Australia. ... Labour warned of a 'lobbying scandal' in Downing Street after George Osborne unveiled tax breaks for the fracking industry championed by Crosby." - The Guardian

The Lynton Crosby row is a "storm in a teacup", says Boris - Daily Telegraph

  • "[Cameron] may find solace in the news that hardly anyone knows who Mr Crosby is. But he shouldn't imagine it's only conspiracy theorists who suspect a possible link between a) employing an adviser who also represents Philip Morris and b) making an unexpected policy change about cigarette packaging." - Guardian editorial
  • "Frack, baby, frack" - Times editorial (£)

Government borrowing rises by £500 million in June

Upturn"George Osborne's debt-busting plans were dealt a blow on Friday when figures showed underlying government borrowing rose by £500m in June. ... Including a £3.9bn transfer of QE cash from the Bank of England's asset-buying drive, June's deficit fell by £3.4bn year-on-year to £8.5bn." - The Guardian

  • "...the hole in the public accounts remains cavernous – meaning that the temptation to increase taxes, either directly or indirectly, will be difficult to resist."  Daily Telegraph editorial

> Yesterday, by Sir Andrew Green on Comment: What does immigration mean for public debt?

The Bishop of Oxford accuses Gove of marginalising religious education

"A bishop has accused the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, of marginalising religious education and called for a new national structure to agree how the subject is taught in schools. ... The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, backed a curriculum centrally determined by churches, faith groups and the Government to replace locally agreed syllabuses." - The Times (£)

Home Office defends police action against Romanian beggars...

Police"Cops rounded up 63 Romanian beggars yesterday — and handed out free flights home. ... Last night the Home Office said: 'The flights are being paid for by the Home Office. ... It is much cheaper than detaining someone.'" - The Sun MPs question the power of police commissioners to sack chief constables...

"Elected police commissioners are showing a 'worrying' ability to evade rules when sacking chief constables, MPs have warned. ... Protections in place that allow police chiefs to fight their corner if they are being forced out appear to be being side-stepped, according to the Home Affairs committee." - Daily Mail

  • MPs brand Gwent police and crime commissioner "disdainful" over tweet - The Guardian

> Today, by Ruth Davis on Comment: How the police can use social technology and new media to cut crime

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Falling crime statistics are an essential proof of concept for the Coalition - and a triumph for Theresa May

...and criticise the police who are keeping schtum over hacking

"MPs slammed Britain’s FBI yesterday after it claimed publishing a list of law firms, insurance companies and big businesses involved in hacking would breach human rights. ... senior MPs insisted the public had a right to know if big companies were breaking the law." - The Sun

May makes Litvinenko admission


"Britain’s home secretary has admitted 'international relations' were a factor in the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the 2006 death of murdered Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko. ... but they were not a 'decisive factor'." - Financial Times

> Yesterday, by Richard Royal on International: Putin's Navalny misjudgement may have created a monster

Hopes of a posthumous pardon for Alan Turing

At"Alan Turing, the Enigma codebreaker who took his own life after being convicted of gross indecency under anti-homosexuality legislation, is to be given a posthumous pardon. ... The government signalled on Friday that it is prepared to support a backbench bill that would pardon Turing, who died from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41 in 1954 after he was subjected to 'chemical castration'. - The Guardian

  • "Those divided over gay marriage have a dangerous common enemy" - Graeme Archer, Daily Telegraph

After the Government's attacks, Max Hastings stands up for male-only clubs

"No political, commercial or professional body or enterprise should discriminate against women. But members of social institutions, including golf clubs, should be free to choose their own company. Nobody questions the right of women and gays to form clubs, to consort with each other. Why should not men do likewise, if it pleases them?" - Max Hastings, Financial Times

The victims of sex attacks are being failed by the justice system, says Priti Patel

PP"Out of 64,484 sickos on the Violent Sex Offender Register just 15,065 — a paltry 23.4 per cent — are currently in jail. ... Those let off jail total a terrifying 17,758 — more than one in four. ... Last night Tory MP Priti Patel, who exposed the scandal through a series of Parliamentary questions, said: 'The public will be horrified. ... Victims of these shocking crimes are being failed by the justice system.'" - The Sun

The Independent warns the Tories against attacking too hard on the NHS

"The danger for the Conservatives of this week’s bitterly partisan exchanges on the failings of the NHS is that it will undermine confidence, which might cause voters to revert to stereotypes, namely that the health service is not safe in Tory hands. By the time Labour has been out of power for five years, it will be hard to lay the blame for poorly performing hospitals." - Independent editorial

  • "If the NHS embodies our social conscience, we’re in big trouble" - Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • "Indulging in mud-slinging won’t help with the NHS" - Andrew Grice, The Independent
  • "Despite the mixed nature of Labour’s record, Mr Hunt may live to regret his decision to make the NHS a political issue." - Financial Times

Tory peer faces an investigation after boasting of his "friends at the DVLA"

DVLA"Lord Selsdon said he records the number plates of British cars when abroad if sees litter being dumped on the road before calling up his friends at the DVLA. ... The peer claimed the DVLA would then use the details to find the telephone numbers of offenders before handing them over. ... But with a possible threat to data protection laws, the DVLA said it was trying to contact the hereditary peer before considering launching a full probe." - Daily Mail

Clegg: Let's give bus passes to the young

"Children would be offered free bus travel under plans being drawn up by Nick Clegg to help families. The Deputy Prime Minister is championing the scheme within government to cut costs for families and reduce congestion on the roads. ... The policy is also intended to help encourage older children to become more independent rather than relying on their parents to provide a 'taxi service'." - Daily Telegraph

But when should the Tories decouple from Clegg?


"One influential group wants him to break the Coalition and separate from the Lib Dems after May’s European elections, so as to govern as a minority administration for the last eight or nine months before the next general election. ... However, another group of advisers wants Mr Cameron to remain yoked to Nick Clegg & Co until May 2015. This is not out of any sense of loyalty to the Lib Dems, but because they fear the Tories might need them to form a second Coalition if there is another election that results in no one party winning an outright majority." - Simon Heffer, Daily Mail

  • "Tory members who long for an end to coalition must remember how much voters love rose garden politics" - Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

> Today on ToryDiary: That question crops up again, when should the Tories split from the Lib Dems?

Cable blocks arms sales to Egypt

VC"Five arms export licences to Egypt have been revoked by Britain following continuing violent clashes in the country involving the military in which dozens have been killed. ... Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the move after consultations with the Foreign Office." - The Independent

Former Islamist Maajid Nawaz to fight marginal parliamentary seat for Lib Dems in 2015 election - The Independent

Are Labour and the Lib Dems beginning to unite in opposition to HS2?

"Although Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg remain strongly committed to HS2, senior figures in their parties have begun to air their private doubts in public. This has worried Conservative ministers, who are keen to maintain cross-party backing for the scheme." - The Independent

  • "Vince Cable has warned that the construction of a new high-speed rail line is not a done deal, after admitting that the case is 'still being made' for it." - The Times (£)

Chuka Umunna is profiled in the Financial Times – he's meeting regularly with Blair

CU"But some see him as the potential leader of a mainstream 21st-century Labour party with the kind of crossover appeal of Blair’s New Labour. Despite initial reservations that Umunna might be a bit too leftwing, Blair has started seeing him regularly. 'Chuka strikes Tony as very smart,' says one close ally of the former prime minister.'" - Financial Times

As Blair faces censure over Iraq

"The official inquiry into the Iraq war has indicated that it intends to criticise Tony Blair for secretly plotting with George W. Bush for Britain to join the invasion. ... Politicians, civil servants and military officers facing censure will be contacted in the next two weeks." - The Times (£)

"This summer Labour cannot rest," warns Jonathan Freedland, "or it may lose the battle"

"Both sides want 2015 to be a many v few election. Crosby's Tories want to put Labour on the side of the few, defined as foreigners and skivers. Labour wants to put the Tories on the side of the few, defined as millionaires, hedge fund managers and tax-avoiding corporate giants. ... If that is indeed the coming battle, then the Tories are ahead."  Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

> Yesterday, the Deep End's Heresy of the Week: Labour is still on course to win the next general election

"The unions' claim that Westminster no longer represents ordinary people is depressingly true," writes Dominic Sandbrook

Unite"I cannot help feeling a twinge of sympathy for the Unite boss, even though I do not share McCluskey’s far-Left principles. ... A former docker, he knows rather more about the real world than most of his Blairite critics. And when he laments that our politicians have become socially and culturally remote from the ordinary people they claim to represent, I am entirely on his side." - Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Three positive trade union campaigns for Conservatives

News in brief

  • Five prison officers suspended after one of the two Woolwich murder suspects is injured - BBC
  • Concern that Britain's blood stocks will be placed at risk in deal with US private equity firm - Daily Mail
  • Trayvon Martin could have been me, says Obama in speech on race relations - The Guardian

And finally 1)... Cameron at the cricket

Cameron cricket

"The Prime Minister was lucky enough to be able to catch the second day of the Ashes test match - although he refrained from using his privileges to nab the best seats in the ground, and sat among members of the public to watch the game. ... The Prime Minister's relaxed demeanour was a far cry from his Cabinet yesterday, who were sent into a panic yesterday thinking that the royal baby had arrived during their meeting at Chequers. .. But the piece of paper rushed into a meeting yesterday was not an update from the palace but the latest from Lord's." - Daily Mail

  • Cameron heckled by NHS protester as he visits Olympic park - The Guardian

And finally 2)... Cameron wins a gold medal (in Ann Treneman's end-of-term report) (for wild swimming)

Gold"The Prime Minister has admitted to having something quite close to an obsession with swimming in lakes. At the G8 in Northern Ireland, where neckties were banned to highlight the 'chillax' theme, Dave took the dress-down code one step further, stripping off for an early-morning dip in the freezing Lough Erne. His main competitor, Vlad 'the Bad' Putin, he of the six-pack chest, was left waving." - Ann Treneman, The Times (£)

And finally 3)... Boris on the Tube

"Boris Johnson joins David Cameron on the Tube — after admitting he wears clogs to keep cool. ... Boris said: 'I have some very fine London Underground clogs which I wear.'" - The Sun


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