Conservative Home

« Newslinks for Tuesday 27th August 2013 | Main | Newslinks for Thursday 29th August 2013 »

Newslinks for Wednesday 28th August 2013

Midnight ToryDiary: Cameron hasn't solved his Party problems this summer - and his Syrian humiliation proves it

5.45pm Two posts on Syria:

3pm Local Government: Bristol Council covers up its history of backing colour bar on buses

Wiltingrose1.15pm LeftWatch: Tower Hamlets council give £64,000 and a recruiting base to Unite

12.45pm Local Government: Five Respect councillors quit

11.15am ToryDiary: The number of households without work is at the lowest since records began - how can we drive it down further?

ToryDiary: Should we intervene in Syria? Should CCHQ release party membership figures? What should Cameron's red lines for a second Coalition be?

ToryDiary: "His constituents don't want Britain to be entangled in Syria. Support could offer opportunities to an unscrupulous opponent.  But memories of the vote may have faded by 2015.  And besides, there is a reshuffle coming, and Prufrock has not abandoned all hope of promotion." J Alfred Prufrock, MP for Grummidge West, considers British military intervention in Syria

Henry Hill's Red, White and Blue column: Separatists warn against ‘flag raising exercise’ as Armed Forces Day returns to Scotland

Garvan Walshe's Foreign Affairs column: National interest requires more than a symbolic Syria strike

Paul Maynard MP on Comment: "HS2 is a mark of our commitment to being a national party. Of course we cannot write a blank cheque, of course we should not tolerate ever escalating costs, but HS2 is about our vision for the future of this country, and just occasionally, it is right to be ambitious." Turn your back on HS2 and you turn your back on the North of England

On Local Government, Cllr John Moss argues that nationalisation of the planning system has failed

The Deep End: It’s time to start worrying about Japan again

Syria 1) West set for missile strike as David Cameron recalls MPs

“Britain cannot stand idly by in the face of the morally indefensible use of chemical weapons, David Cameron said yesterday, as he laid out the case for a missile strike against Syria. The White House is preparing intelligence material, including intercepted communications, which it says will prove that the Assad regime was responsible for last Wednesday’s attack. Mr Cameron spoke to President Obama again last night, but the publication of evidence by Washington may not come in time to help him to win parliamentary approval tomorrow for Britain’s participation” – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary - Should we intervene in Syria? Should CCHQ release party membership figures? What should Cameron's red lines for a second Coalition be?

>Yesterday: Two Parliamentary updates:

Syria 2) The case against intervention: Brits oppose strikes

“Brits are against missile strikes on Syria by a big majority of two to one, the first poll on the new crisis has found. An exclusive YouGov survey for the Sun has revealed there is still strong opposition to all types of UK involvement in the bitter two year long civil war despite last week's chemical weapons atrocity. A total of 50 per cent oppose attacking Assad's forces with long range missiles from ships – which is the Western allies' current plan. And just 25 per cent are in favour of it” – Sun (£)

  • Ed Miliband sends mixed messages - Daily Mail
  • Stephen Glover: do not listen to Blair the warmonger - Daily Mail
  • Robert Fisk: Obama will be siding with al-Qa’ida - Independent

>Today: ToryDiary - J Alfred Prufrock, MP for Grummidge West, considers British military intervention in Syria

Syria 3) The case for intervention: Democracies must live up to their values

Hague“This actual, repeated use of chemical weapons in Syria is a moral outrage, a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a challenge to our common security…This is a moment of grave danger for the people of Syria, a moment of truth for democratic nations to live up to their values, and a weighty test of the international community” – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Robert Halfon MP on Comment - We must intervene in Syria - the arguments against doing so do not stack up

Councils have to provide affordable homes, says Nick Boles

“Councils will be forced to allow the building of new houses under an affordable homes revolution from today. New planning guidelines will impose a duty on town halls to keep close tabs on local house prices and rents. If they soar too high, they must then act to ease demand — by allowing the construction of new homes ordinary people can afford. Last night planning minister Nick Boles told the Sun ahead of today’s shake-up: ‘Just as there is a legal obligation for authorities to provide school places and health care to everyone who needs it, so too they must now provide affordable homes’” – Sun (£)

Cyberbullies need to learn respect, says Michael Gove

Gove“Eradicating cyberbullying is as much a question of mending ‘what’s in people’s hearts’ as forcing internet site owners to do more to protect children, Michael Gove said yesterday. Calling for children to be taught respect for other human beings, the Education Secretary said that teachers were not doing enough to stop the ‘viciousness and personal cruelty’ shown by online bullies on websites such as His remarks come after the death of Hannah Smith, 14, who had received a series of messages on the website telling her to ‘drink bleach’ and ‘go die’”– The Times (£)

Thousands dying of thirst on NHS

“Tens of thousands of patients are dying needlessly in hospital every year from kidney failure linked to dehydration, NHS officials have revealed. They calculate that up to 42,000 deaths a year would be avoided if staff ensured patients had enough to drink and carried out simple tests. NICE, the NHS watchdog, is today issuing guidelines to staff to help them prevent deaths from the condition – known as acute kidney injury – which is common in the  elderly and patients with heart disease,  diabetes and blood infections” – Daily Mail

Jamie Oliver calls British youngsters “wet”

Jamie Oliver“The celebrity chef said British youngsters were ‘wet’ in comparison to their European counterparts, who were ‘stronger’ and ‘tougher’...Oliver, who has more than 30 UK branches of Jamie's Italian, as well as three branches of Fifteen, where young unemployed people are taken on as apprentices, said: ‘If we didn’t have any [European immigrants], all of my restaurants would close tomorrow. There wouldn’t be any Brits to replace them’” – Daily Telegraph

Drivers who kill cyclists face tougher penalties

“Motorists who kill cyclists and pedestrians face tougher penalties under a crackdown on dangerous driving…A sentencing review will be launched early next year, the Department for Transport says today in its response to the Get Britain Cycling inquiry. The announcement follows a cross-party parliamentary report urging ministers to ensure that drivers who kill or maim are taken seriously by police, prosecutors and judges” – The Times (£)

Union Jack
Michael Moore: Salmond is stretching the meaning of words in desperation

"The Scottish Secretary will tell an audience in Glasgow that the First Minister is stretching words beyond their proper meanings in order to sell an unpopular policy. He is due to say: “Having looked at the numbers, the SNP leadership has come to fear that independence is a product that too few Scots are willing to buy. So to sell the goods, they are changing the packaging." - The Times (£)

The cull is good news for cows – and badgers

“This cull is actually the most civilised, humane and safe way of looking after both our cows and badgers. Since the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 was introduced — preventing the disruption of setts or killing of these mammals — the badger population has spiralled out of control with 300,000 now rootling around the hills and dales. Many have become disease-ridden” – Alice Thomson, The Times (£)

  • Protesters have yet to find dead badgers - Guardian

Stop HS2

HS2 will damage, not invigorate, the North

"Building HS2 would be like putting the Olympics or the Millennium Dome in London – again. It would be another way of reinforcing London’s pre-eminence. Simply running another railway line, however expensive, and however far into the distant future, between what has been described as the North Province and South Province of the UK is not going to equalise them: it is more likely to suck more life out of the North." - John Rentoul, The Independent

>Today: Paul Maynard MP on Comment - Turn your back on HS2 and you turn your back on the North of England

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - Is there anyone left who still supports HS2? 

Migrants could swing the General Election

"Foreigners from Commonwealth countries could swing the 2015 General Election — despite not being British citizens, a report claims today. The latest Census data from 2011 shows there are an estimated 960,000 Commonwealth citizens — with no British citizenship — aged over 15 living in England and Wales. They will be entitled to vote in the next election. And the figure could rise above one million people by election time, according to Migration Watch UK." - The Sun (£) 

News in brief


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.