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

It’s almost September, and, let’s face it, now that the X Factor’s back, tithe countdown to Christmas has begun, so I should probably forget all these leisurely Sunday morning lie-ins and actually start having a look at what’s in the papers again.




When terror threats are raised, for me the first question is not “Is something awful going to happen on our streets?” It’s “Which of our precious freedoms are the Government planning to take from us?” With Liberal Democrats in Government that anxiety is considerably less than it would be if there were none, but it is still there. Scotland on Sunday tells us how David Cameron and Nick Clegg are having talks today to finalise the Government’s response. The Observer reports that Paddy Ashdown warns against knee jerk reactions, which is a good sign. We’ll cover that separately.

In the Observer, Catherine Bennett cites the recent dire Better Together commercial and Austin Mitchell’s comments to argue that it really is time for All Women Shortlists:

Without Labour’s all-women lists, parliament would resound, indefinitely, to the grunts of its Mitchells, Soameses and Fabricants. Unrecorded in the YouGov poll are people who dislike all-women shortlists but dislike yet more the reason for their continued existence: the very culture that just created the execrable, the relentlessly mocked Woman Who Made up Her Mind.

The Sunday Times (£) has a very disturbing article suggesting that 400,000 young women’s career prospects are being blighted because they are pushed towards over-subscribed jobs in he health and social care sector:

The report, Scarred for Life?, to be published this week by the Young Women’s Trust, reveals that young women face much tougher competition for jobs because female apprentices work in a much narrower range of sectors than men.

While only two men compete for each job as a qualified construction worker, five women compete for a job in hair and beauty. More than a fifth of all female apprentices train in one single sector, health and social care.

Deborah Mattinson, who chairs the Young Women’s Trust and was pollster to former prime minister Gordon Brown, said: “Once you’ve taken a wrong turn, there often isn’t a second chance. If a young woman has been Neet, her chance of remaining that way is much higher than for men.”

Scotland On Sunday’s Drumlanrig column finds David Cameron quipping about Chris Huhne.

The difference between Liberal Democrats and Tories on green energy is highlighted in the Sunday Times (£). Tim Shipman reports that the Tories plan to cut energy bills by doing away with green subsidies but the Liberal Democrats plan to cut people’s Council Tax by £100 a year if they improve their home’s energy efficiency:

Under the Lib Dem plans, people will qualify for the council tax rebate if they raise the rating of their home’s energy efficiency by two bands on the Energy Performance Certificate scale, the measure displayed on documents when people move house.

The policy will cost taxpayers more than £300m a year and will be unveiled on Wednesday as part of the Lib Dems’ “pre-manifesto”.

The Independent on Sunday reports on a move to have improving mental health as one of the new Sustainable Development Goals which replace Millennium Goals next year.

Scottish Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Alison McInnes has been challenging the SNP Government and its Justice Secretary “Clear Desk” Kenny MacAskill about the overuse of unregulated stop and search. Almost £10 million has been spent on non-statutory searches, new figures reported by the Sunday Herald reveal.

The Head of Sky News tells Observer readers about an initiative the channel is taking to get young voters to register and turn out to vote in the general election. He acknowledges the self interest (attracting a new generation of subscribers) but concludes:

Our overarching goal, however, is to amplify the voices of a generation that is in danger of being sidelined, and to show them that having a voice can be a catalyst for change. History confirms that young people can find ways of making themselves heard and seen: it is striking that after 1968, a year of revolt, when youthful protesters rocked governments around the world, only a year later the voting age in Britain was lowered from 21 to 18.

Should this be being left to these companies?

In the Independent, Katy Guest tells us how Mary Beard has been engaging with internet trolls who abused here with the result that they see the error of their ways.  She’s braver than me. I’m not sure I’d want to go to lunch with the UKIP troll who said I was a 1 tonne Fresian cow who should have a ring put through my nose and be sold at market. Please feel free to laugh at that. My family think it’s hilarious.

What’s caught your eye from today’s papers? Let us know in the comments.


* 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.


  • What about the Survation poll on Clacton, we aare at 1%, I do not think it is worth standing.

  • Eddie Sammon 31st Aug '14 - 11:30am

    Thanks for this. Banning men from applying for certain jobs might work to boost the number of women in those areas (of course), but it doesn’t mean it works in producing the best outcomes all around.

    It is a tired debate, but one that needs fighting regularly, like all political debates. I think it would be good to announce a woman as president, so I’m not too fussed about the implicit all women short-list for the presidency, but I and others would have problems if men were regularly discouraged or explicitly banned from applying for top jobs. We are not working so women can win, it is so we all can and for that to happen we need free and fair open selections.

    It is a debate that I should leave to Lib Dems, along with others, but I see myself as a power dispersing liberal and am not just trolling the site with my views.

    I’ll try to take a bit more of a back seat. Best of luck anyway.

  • ‘When terror threats are raised, for me the first question is not “Is something awful going to happen on our streets?” It’s “Which of our precious freedoms are the Government planning to take from us?”’

    Given the current dangers regarding terrorism I find this comment staggering. Unbelievable.

  • Gwyn Williams 31st Aug '14 - 1:16pm

    Silly UKIP troll cannot get his (assume it is a he) insult factually accurate. In this country we only put rings through the noses of bulls.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 31st Aug '14 - 4:20pm

    Thomas, 5000 people die every year from accidents in the home. We’ve had one person killed in a terrorist atrocity in the streets of this country in many years.

    I don’t think that the security services need as much power as they will request and politicians have to balance it up with whether it is worth restricting people’s liberties. My view would be that most of the time it isn’t.

    My instinct is to oppose every restriction of liberty on principle unless there is a very clear evidence based reason for it – and sometimes I’d say it’s best to err on the side of liberty.

  • Richard Dean 31st Aug '14 - 5:07pm

    52 people were killed in the 2005 London bombings, and around 3000 in the 9/11 attack in 2001 in the US. The 2004 Madrid bombings killed 191 and injured almost 2000.

    But it’s not what happened previously, it’s what could potentially happen in future. And the fact that one person died in Woolwich, apparently chosen more or less at random, means that it could have been any of us.

    All our airports are very vulnerable. All are trains are too. All of our cities and towns are very crowded places. It’s sensible to take precautions.

  • stuart moran 31st Aug '14 - 6:04pm

    Richard Dean

    If you look at it like that you can draw an emotional response. The fact still is that the risk of being killed in a terrorist attack is less than winning the National Lottery – it could be any one of us but there are things to be much, much more worried about – using an electrical device, getting in a car, going out in hot weather or even falling over..

    It is sensible to take precautions but let us please keep a sense of perspective – it is this lack of perspective and over-reaction that helps the terrorists win

    I suggest you buy a book on risk and see what it says about terrorism – even if you were in the Twin Towers on 9/11 you were more likely to survive than died. The ones that were at high risk that day were the fire fighters who went in to the buildings……

  • Richard Dean 31st Aug '14 - 6:37pm

    @Stuart Moran
    Oh, I get it. If someone needs help, it won’t be the LibDems who come to the rescue, they’d be too afraid of the Twin Towers firefighter phenomenon.

  • Richard implies Liberal Democratic cowardice in the face of terrorism. Ridiculous, of course, because to hold to a system of liberty in the face of danger requires courage.

    And in his hypothetical situation, well, at least we’d be inclined to help everyone involved without favour, instead of checking everyone’s passport and leave-to-remain status before deciding if we wanted to help them or not.

  • stuart moran 31st Aug '14 - 7:05pm

    Richard Dean

    No, what I am saying is that being physically affected by a terrorist attack is incredibly unlikely

    You see the phrase ‘it could have been any of us’ – what I am saying is that the likelihood of that is very close to 0 – closer to 0 than lots of other possibilities that we would not dream of thinking would need excessive precautions

    If you want to spend money, time and effort worrying about terrorist activities then you are free to do so but I would ask that you do not let your paranoia for that to affect my civil liberties. de Menezes may have felt the same……

    If you are so worried then I suggest you focus on trying to stop Governments supporting interfering in other countries affairs or tolerating allies funding/supporting terrorists

    Do you know the risk of dying from a terrorist attack in the UK?

    The point about the WTC is that the risk to people in the Towers was less than that to the people who were sent in to try and save them

  • Richard Dean 31st Aug '14 - 9:01pm

    This is rapidly becoming the Thread of Crazy Responses. Or Maybe the Thread of The Reason Why LibDems are Unpopular.

    The point about the WTC is that wanting to assist is one of our human characteristics, so an attack on the towers was also an attack on the people who went to assist.

    Almost everyone who hears of one is affected by a terrorist attack.

    The right to life? The right to live without fear? Are LibDems are aware of these things?

  • stuart moran 31st Aug '14 - 9:36pm

    Richard Dean

    I am not a LD member so I think you are being unfair to the party in your last post. I have never pretended to be a member either. I am just a voter

    The point of big terrorist attacks like the WTC is that they elicit a response of fear. This is an emotional response and is based on the fact that a lot of people have lost their lives

    Of course we should be disgusted and condemn these acts – just like we should condemn any act of violence targeted at innocent people but at the same time we should not allow the emotional brain react to these. I am also affected by the deaths of people from Ebola, bombing in Gaza and many other things, I want to react but not over-react.

    If that nurse in London dies from Ebola – are you going to call for the banning of all immigration from the affected zone, even UK citizens just like Trump called for in the US? – of course not, that would not be proportionate to the risk.

    At some point though the head needs to kick in and look at the actual likelihood of us as an individual being affected or the chance of a single terrorist act having a major detrimental impact on society

    The first is virtually 0 as I have explained and the second is also highly unlikely . There are numbers of texts on the subject and why terrorist groups being able to launch such an attack are highly improbable

    The main risk is almost like and autoimmune attack – we overact to a pathogen and cause more harm than good

    You said in your post that the murder of Lee Rigby could happen to any of us – I then asked you to assess the likelihood of being the victim of a terrorist attack…you have not responded to that.

    It is our disproportionate response to these events that causes us a lot of problems; inappropriate intervention, measures against our own population etc etc etc.

    You may not agree but I think you should temper your response and not call the comments crazy – that shoe can fit both feet….

  • Richard Dean 31st Aug '14 - 9:55pm

    @stuart moran
    I apologise to the party in that case. In my heart of hearts I knew that it contained people who could do more than just simple arithmetic.

  • stuart moran 31st Aug '14 - 10:28pm

    Richard Dean

    In the end our responses to any potential hazard have to be based on statistics – it is how all risk assessment is carried out and provides a rational way of assessing risk

    The emotional side has to play a part but it should not dominate

    I ask you a question again about the nurse with Ebola – would you have stopped him coming into the UK like Trump proposed? If he dies would you stop all travellers from West Africa coming to the UK? If not, why not? If Ebola takes hold it can do a lot of damage.

    The actual risk is not that dissimilar – and there is a risk scenario that could lead to a lot of deaths. Again very low likelihood but it is there

    If we do not use a rational way of measuring this risk then what other way is there? Let the media and those who depend on threat to exert power dictate to us?

    I know the chance of me or any other individual you can name, outside high profile ones, is as close to 0 as to not worry me. If it worries you then I respect that but don’t use it as an excuse to allow me to be subjected to what you are happy to accept

  • Richard Dean 31st Aug '14 - 11:06pm

    @stuart moran
    Experience is a good teacher. Have you actually ever done a risk assessment?

  • stuart moran 31st Aug '14 - 11:28pm

    Richard Dean

    A lot of times – why have you?

    Experience tells us there have been 57 deaths due to Islamic terrorism in the UK since 2000 – and most of those were in one attack

    You can do the calculation for a British resident being killed due to terrorism. Even if there was a 7/ 7 each year the likelihood is still >1 in a million

    What other experience should we use?….the emotional effect of terrorism is one aspect but that is something we should manage better as individuals but mostly by the attitude of Government. That is the point I have been making

    I, again ask the question, what numbers should I use if these are not correct. Also there are many more UK deaths in that time from imported infections from Africa – should we put restrictions on people coming from places where there are reservoirs of highly potent diseases in order to prevent a UK epidemic?

  • Richard Dean 31st Aug '14 - 11:52pm

    This is now definitely the Thread of the Big Waste of Time.

  • stuart moran 1st Sep '14 - 5:24am

    Richard Dean

    Perhaps, but you have clearly failed to raise any points of worth, answered any questions and seem to be happy to follow whatever line the Government sells on ‘security’

    The reaction is based on your and Thomas’s posts earlier today – can you not cope with someone not slavishly agreeing with you?

  • peter tyzack 1st Sep '14 - 12:05pm

    going back to ‘the Sunday Papers’, did anyone see an article about Clegg and Davey on a Trade Delegation to India..?
    I thought not, it may just as well never have happened as far as our Media are concerned, Cameron on a Cornish beach but LibDems working.
    Thank you to Mark Pack for letting us know about it, and thank you to the ‘I’ for their one photo on Tuesday of Nick stirring a veg curry at a community kitchen in New Delhi..

  • Stuart Moran – ‘the likelihood is still >1 in a million’. I assume you mean less than.

  • Stephen Campbell 1st Sep '14 - 2:16pm

    Thousands of people die in car accidents every year. We’ve done all we can to make things safer (seat belts, drink driving laws, speed cameras), but sadly people keep dying. Even worse, cars have often been lethal weapons when in the hands of terrorists. Yet we haven’t banned cars or done everything in our power to make sure it is difficult as possible to get a license/car. I don’t drive or own a car myself, yet through the pollution cars give off, I am most definitely in danger. What about my right, Richard, to live my life without breathing in harmful fumes? Based on your arguments in this thread, certainly my right to be free from harm (exhaust fumes, dangerous drivers) trumps the civil liberties of people to use their cars?

    Also, Richard, why don’t we put CCTV in all houses? It sounds like something you’d be in favour of. We know that most terrorist threats have been hatched by people discussing them in houses. Installing CCTV in every person’s residence would not only help stop terror attacks, but it would help stop other crime as well. Not to mention the boom in jobs this would create with all these new positions for people to monitor us 24/7. After all, Richard, it’ll make us all safer. Things like civil liberties and privacy are only for wooly-minded idealists anyway.

  • stuart moran 1st Sep '14 - 5:49pm


    Indeed I do – thank you for correcting my ‘deliberate’ mistake

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