Caron’s Sunday Selection: Must-read articles from the Sunday papers

sundaypapsHere’s my pick of the Sunday papers this week. Please put your choice of must-read articles in the comments.

There are many harrowing, difficult to read accounts of the reality of being on the receiving end of the Israeli bombardment in Gaza. The Independent talks to a man who has lost two children and his 8 months’ pregnant wife:

“We didn’t know anything about this ceasefire. Just a few hours later they stopped bombing, just a few hours and we would have been all right. We don’t know why they decided to bomb our house with so many women and children. We are just poor people, we have nothing to do with politics. We did not receive any warning, why did they do it?” he asked. “Some of the family had come from another place, there was a lot of killings where they were. They thought they were safe here.

The Observer’s report finds a common refrain:

It is the phrase we hear throughout a long day: “Nothing left.” And it is true. Whole areas that were once inhabited have been reduced to a landscape of earth and dust and broken shapes.

This has got to stop. It has to be responsibility of every global organisation that cares about human rights to find a long term solution.

The Sunday Times is replete with stories about the Liberal Democrats. First of all, Nick Clegg talks (£) to the paper about why Russia should not host the next football World Cup and should face much more serious sanctions.

We’ve got to take tougher sanctions, but also we’ve got to make it quite clear that he cannot expect to get the privileges of being at the top table of world affairs if he’s not prepared to play by the basic rules of world affairs. If he carries on with this belligerent behaviour . . . it’s unthinkable that he should have the privilege of hosting the World Cup in 2018.

You can’t have the beautiful game marred by the ugly aggression of Russia on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

There’s also a story, which doesn’t seem to be so new to me, about Liberal Democrats, led by Danny Alexander, launching a major initiative to try and ensure we get some of the credit for the economic recovery.

Conservatives say Osborne is responsible for the tax cut. But Alexander and sources close to Nick Clegg say they had to “fight tooth and nail” to get their way. “We have battled hard within the coalition to make sure our priority on income tax has been delivered ahead of other things,” Alexander said.

“Cutting income tax is only in the coalition agreement because of the Liberal Democrats. It has only been delivered because Nick Clegg and I have battled every step of the way to make that happen.”

They cite a new Pythonesque “What have the Liberal Democrats ever done for us” initiative, but that’s been going on for a good couple of years now – and it’s not a party thing, it’s all Mark Pack.  Hope he gets the credit for coming up with the idea in the first place.

The Sunday Times also has Clegg, Cameron, Miliband and Farage choosing five books they plan to read over the Summer. Paddy Ashdown’s latest book, The Cruel Victory (which I reviewed here), and Isabel Woolff’s novel Ghostwritten which seems to reflect his own mother’s experience in the Second World War.

I was quite annoyed with all party leaders’ lists in that there were very few books by female authors. only one each.

However, forget all that. The most interesting thing to many Liberal Democrats will be the world exclusive first interview with Pater Capaldi, ahead of his debut as The Doctor. Here’s a snippet:

We still blow a lot of shit up,” he says. “That’s very important, but it’s going to be a bit different from what we’ve seen over recent years. A bit more gravity. Some situations are more sombre and I think there are more rooted dramatic scenes. Over the past two or three years, which I’ve loved, there has often been a breathless vigour; we still have that attack, but we have another level of drama, another tone. And the scenes are longer.

I know this has been a bit paywall-heavy so far, but I thought you should at least be aware of these stories.

Elsewhere, though, Danny Alexander has been talking to Tom Gordon, of the Sunday Herald. The interview makes uncomfortable reading as it’s fairly clear that Gordon doesn’t really like him. However, Danny does get some stuff in about the Liberal Democrats’ push for more powers for the Scottish Parliament in there:

I want to see as radical a package of further devolution as possible,” he says.

The delivery of the Scottish Parliament was something my party worked very hard to achieve.

The Calman Commission, I was only Secretary of State for Scotland for 17 days but I made sure it was in the first Queen’s Speech [as the new Scotland Act].

At every stage, Liberal Democrats have been one of the catalysts of more power for Scotland. “We’ve used our position in government to that effect, and we will be at the forefront of making sure more powers are delivered.

The thing is, this isn’t the first time Danny has not come across well in print. An interview with Decca Aitkenhead in the Guardian in April was a particularly low point. Given that we know that Vince Cable is capable of wiping the floor with George Osborne in any debate on the economy, and he’s been on cracking form recently, it would be a massive risk for Nick Clegg to make Danny our economic spokesman for the General Election.

Scotland on Sunday reports that John Barrowman’s giving a new meaning to the phrase Glasgow Kiss in the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony has gone down well with LGBT groups.

On the Andrew Marr Show, Olly Grender mentioned this Mirror story about TOWIE star Lauren Goodger being victim of revenge porn to highlight the Liberal Democrats Lords’ attempts to make the practice illegal.

The Independent reports that the UK’s only female Supreme Court judge calls for greater diversity in the legal profession:

Pointedly, the judge said that “male Supreme Court justices mostly fit the stereotypical pattern of boys’ boarding school, Oxbridge college and the Inns of Court”, and criticised Parliament for failing to implement fairer appointment within the judiciary. “The Joint Committee on Human Rights actually proposed that there should be a duty to appoint a judiciary reflective of the community it serves. But many in Parliament thought that merit and diversity are competing rather than complementary values.

The Observer suggests that an NHS tax may feature in the Liberal Democrat manifesto, quoting Paul Burstow

We need to revisit an old Liberal Democrat policy: hypothecation. A health and care contribution paid for by earmarking national insurance deserves serious study. A progressive, predictable, buoyant source of revenues from national insurance ticks a lot of boxes.

And, finally, Victoria Coren Mitchell on the struggles facing female comedians.
That’s it for this week but I can’t use everything. What did you enjoy in today’s papers?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Gordon Lishman 27th Jul '14 - 5:52pm

    Who decides on who is spokesperson for anything in the General Election? Is it a Party position, a Parliamentary Party one or a Shadow Cabinet appointment?

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 27th Jul '14 - 6:04pm

    It’s in the leader’s gift, Gordon.

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