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Newslinks for Sunday 1st September 2013

6pm WATCH: The late Sir David Frost interviews Baroness Thatcher, 1995 

5.15pm Benedict Rogers on Comment: David Cameron walks tall, but was failed by pygmies

2.30pm ToryDiary: Gove's passion: for schools, Syria - and democracy everywhere

12.15pm MPsETC: Reshuffle speculation, what reshuffle speculation?

CommonsToryDiary: "If MPs have the power to make such important decisions, they will have to grow up. No, Parliament didn't cover itself in glory in the way it behaved on the first occasion it got to use its new powers. But that is often the way in life - maturity takes a while to catch up with new responsibilities." This is democracy - it's good for all of us, so get used to it

Lord Ashcroft discusses the findings of his new immigration poll on Comment: "Public opinion on immigration, then, is more varied, and certainly more nuanced, than is sometimes supposed. Those who take the most favourable view often regard opponents as backward-looking and fearful of change. Those who are most concerned think supporters of immigration are insulated from its more challenging consequences. In the immigration debate, opinions are a good deal more abundant than facts." Conservative policies to cut immigration are popular - but people don't believe they are happening

Washington follows Westminster on Syria: Congress to vote

"Barack Obama last night threw David Cameron a political lifeline by following his lead in giving US politicians the chance to veto air strikes on Syria. In an unprecedented move, the President said he was determined to bomb Syria – but not until Congress voted on the matter.  In theory, as Commander-in-Chief of US forces, he could ignore any Congress vote against military action, but having invited them to do so it is considered highly unlikely." - Mail on Sunday 

>Today: ToryDiary - This is democracy - it's good for all of us, so get used to it

>Yesterday: Graeme Archer on Comment - Our hearts are moved by Syria. But not, yet, our consciences

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - Obama seeks Congress to approve military action on Syria

Cameron Dark
Syrian civil war spreads to Wesminster - reshuffles, backlashes and arguments

"Chief Whip Sir George Young’s position is again coming under pressure. One insider says: ‘He is an awfully nice chap and all that, but can he really stay as Chief Whip after this?’ There is a growing body of opinion that a more energetic figure is needed – perhaps John Hayes, the PM’s liaison with the parliamentary party. But I understand Cameron is inclined to keep Young in post, and this autumn’s reshuffle is still expected to be limited to the lower ranks of Government." - James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday 

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - A majority of Tory members backed missile strikes on Syria - but most of them wanted Commons approval first

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - Downing Street's Corporal Jones moment?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What would Thatcher have done about Syria?

Syria Editorials: How our national confidence was pummelled by Iraq

"Thursday’s vote showed the legacy of Iraq has irreparably damaged public and parliamentary confidence in the process. And so, public scepticism about the evidence trumped public revulsion at the act. That means there will be no British military participation in any response against Assad by our allies. But these events present us with new questions that are even more important and strategic: what kind of a country do we want to be? How do we ensure the decision made by Parliament on Thursday, for understandable reasons, does not become a slide into a more general, and deeply damaging, isolationism." - Philip Hammond, Mail on Sunday 

>Yesterday: LeftWatch - The strange death of liberal interventionist Labour

Patrick McLoughlin battles Brussels over Big Brother car rules

EU Exit"Drivers face having their cars  fitted with devices that slam on the brakes if they go over the speed limit, under draconian new road safety measures being drawn up by officials in Brussels. All new cars would have to include camera systems that ‘read’ the limits displayed on road signs and automatically apply the brakes. And vehicles already on the road could even be sent back to garages to be fitted with the ‘Big Brother’ technology, meaning that no car in the UK would be allowed to travel faster than 70mph. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is said to have ‘erupted’ when the proposals landed on his desk and has told his officials to block the moves." - Mail on Sunday 

Only 17 per cent think immigration is good for the UK

"Just one in six Britons believes immigration has benefited the country, according to one of the biggest studies conducted on the subject. The poll of more than 20,000 people, commissioned by Lord Ashcroft, the former Conservative party deputy chairman, found that 60% of people thought immigration, on balance, had brought more disadvantages than advantages to Britain, with just 17% believing the opposite." - Sunday Times (£) 

  • Migrants without good English place strain on public services - Mail on Sunday
  • EU immigration leaves 3,000 children without primary places - Mail on Sunday
  • 4,000 babies dubbed 'at risk' before they're even born - Mail on Sunday

>Today: Lord Ashcroft on Comment - Conservative policies to cut immigration are popular - but people don't believe they are happening

>Yesterday: Comment - Dominic Raab MP says More benefits tourists arrive, while more strivers leave - twin trends we must reverse

Growth and welfare reform combine to cut the dole queue

Growth ConHome"A thousand job hunters are escaping the dole queue EVERY DAY as the economy bursts back to life. The total claiming out-of-work benefits is falling at record levels. This has slashed £500million off the welfare bill over the past year. The claimant count has been falling for eight months as private companies create more jobs. The plunge has been helped by tough new rules which are forcing the unemployed to do everything they can to find work." - The Sun on Sunday (£) 

Britain's worst benefit fraudster excuses

"A claimant from Folkestone in Kent failed to declare her partner. ‘He doesn’t live here, he just comes every morning to collect his sandwiches,’ she said. And a man who was pretending to be single said: ‘It’s not my partner, it’s my sister.’ When the investigator held up their wedding certificate, he replied: ‘It was a drunken mistake.’ A night watchman in Folkestone who was claiming out-of-work benefit explained: ‘I only claim benefits during the day – what I do at night is my own business,’ he said." - Mail on Sunday 

Meet the badger cull saboteurs, who know nothing about badgers

"Slightly built and in her 40s, with jam-jar spectacles and a ponytail, her manner was diffident, her accent soft and middle-class. Even her uniform of combat fatigues and sturdy boots didn’t seem out of place in this rural West Country town, busy with summer hikers. In the ranks of the undercover animal rights brigade, the ability to appear ordinary is an essential art, and this woman — who called herself ‘Lynne’ and, I later discovered, holds down a responsible job in one of the caring professions — was clearly well-practised." - Mail on Sunday

Fred Goodwin, the tyrant  

Rbs-logo"There were plenty of opportunities to stop Fred Goodwin. And yet hardly anyone at RBS really tried. Why? Had he terrified some of his staff into submission, as it is claimed? Yes, some. “Fill in the complaints book on your way out of the door,” he told one executive who had been eviscerated in his office. “He had what he called Fred’s black book for executives who had displeased him,” a colleague says. “He liked to say that if your name was written in the book in pencil you were on the borderline. If it was written in ink you were well and truly f*****.”" - Iain Martin, Sunday Times (£) 

Welcome back, Andrew Marr

"While he is keen to return to the role, Marr has admitted that he is “slightly nervous” and trying to get over a cold before he returns to live television. The presenter said that he is lucky to be alive after the stoke in January which left him hospitalised for two months. Just days before he returns to the BBC1 show he said that he was on good form." - Sunday Telegraph 

News in brief


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