Free Speech

The Telegraph reports that “Politically correct universities ‘are killing free speech” (which most UKIP supporters knew already)

British universities have become too politically correct and are stifling free speech by banning anything that causes the least offence to anyone, a group of leading academics warns on Saturday. A whole generation of students is being denied the “intellectual challenge of debating conflicting views” because self-censorship is turning campuses into over-sanitised “safe spaces”, they say.

Their intervention comes as an Oxford college considers removing a historic statue of Cecil Rhodes, one of its alumni and benefactors, because he is regarded as the founding father of apartheid in South Africa. Oriel College says the statue of Rhodes, on a building he paid for, jars with the values of a modern university. It is facing a battle with Historic England, which has listed the statue as an object of historical interest.

Writing in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph, the academics, led by Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Canterbury, say it is part of a “long and growing” list of people and objects banned from British campuses, including pop songs, sombreros and atheists.

The Express has a different take on the Unis: “PC gone mad? Students SLAM ‘disrespectful’ university for serving FRIED CHICKEN and SUSHI

POLITICALLY correct students have blasted their hyper-liberal university for selling fried chicken, sushi and Vietnamese sandwiches, claiming the food is “disrespectful” and “culturally appropriative”.

University students have been flooding their school paper with complaints about the food, complaining dishes on offer in the campus cafeteria are “insensitive”. One student, Tomoyo Joshi, said the rice used in campus sushi was undercooked in a way that made it “disrespectful” of her culture. She added: “If people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic’, it is appropriative”.

Meanwhile Diep Nguyen, a first year student from Vietnam complained about a poorly made recreation of the traditional Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich, saying :”“It was ridiculous, how could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country’s traditional food?”  Oberlin College in Ohio is renowned for its social justice, and has been called “the most liberal of liberal arts colleges”. Officials in charge of the food on campus later folded to pressure, and agreed to name food based on its contents when it does not follow traditional recipes.

BBC, Osborne and Murdoch

The Guardian reports that “George Osborne met Rupert Murdoch twice before imposing BBC cuts

George Osborne met Rupert Murdoch twice in June, days before the Treasury foisted a controversial funding deal on the BBC in which the broadcaster was told it would have to pay the £700m cost of funding TV licences for the over-75s. The chancellor also met senior News Corp executives and editors four more times after the general election on 7 May before informing the BBC about the proposed funding settlement officially on 3 July. It was publicly announced three days later.

The records published by the Treasury do not give a precise date for the Murdoch meetings other than to say they were in June, and their purpose is described as “general discussion”. Details about the funding settlement first emerged in the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times on 5 July in an article headlined “Osborne hits BBC to pay welfare bill”. It quoted senior government sources saying a deal was close following meetings over the previous week between Osborne, the BBC director general, Tony Hall, and representatives from the Departments for Work and Pensions and Culture, Media and Sport.

Immigration

The Mail asks “Why are Syrian refugees being foisted on a remote Scottish island with high unemployment and poverty – then given perks some locals don’t enjoy?

Wobbling on new red bicycles, three excited Syrian boys pedal the wrong direction along a one-way street in this very wet outpost of the British Isles. They are unaware they’re breaking the law because they can’t speak a word of English and certainly don’t know of the existence of the Highway Code. Local motorists, shaking their heads in surprise, are forced to swerve to let them pass safely by.

The young refugees — aged between eight and 13 — come from some of the 15 families who are newly resident on this island off the West of Scotland (population 6,500). They are here as part of the Government’s policy of resettling 20,000 people from the Syrian civil war in Britain over the next five years.

This week, three more charter flights arrived in the UK to help fulfil David Cameron’s promise to help refugees, which he has described as ‘our moral duty’. This latest batch means the Government has met its target of resettling 1,000 Syrians in Britain by Christmas.

Boris

The Mail reports that “Boris Johnson could become foreign secretary when his term as Mayor of London ends, sources claim

Boris Johnson could be made foreign secretary when his term as Mayor of London ends, it was claimed last night. David Cameron has told allies he is considering a number of senior jobs for Mr Johnson – but the one held by Philip Hammond is said to be top of the list. This role would give Mr Cameron’s one-time rival close involvement with the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union which is expected to take place next summer.

Success in that role would give Mr Johnson, whose Mayoral term ends in May, a chance to position himself for the leadership when Mr Cameron stands down at the end of this Parliament. The London Mayor has been flirting with the Out campaign in recent weeks in case Mr Cameron’s negotiation efforts fail, and has called for the Prime Minister to make tough demands from Europe. Sources close to Mr Cameron told the Daily Telegraph he was considering giving Mr Johnson the job of foreign secretary, which would give him major exposure on the world stage often in sensitive situations.

EU Referendum

In the Telegraph, Charles Moore reckons that “Unless something changes, the Outers are still more likely to lose

To the reasonable observer, David Cameron’s position after that dinner in Brussels on Thursday night might not look too good. He won nothing definite, and it is clear that we will not get his most popular demand back home – the freedom to deny in-work benefits to EU immigrants for four years.

But, as so often with European affairs, the reasonable observer would be wrong. Mr Cameron is moving much nearer to where he wants to be. He said it himself: “There was enormous support in the room for finding changes to keep the UK in the EU.” Mrs Merkel spoke of “compromise”. President Hollande said he stood ready to “facilitate some adjustments which [Mr Cameron] could present to the British”.

In other words, Mr Cameron has now chatted to enough European leaders to convince them not of his actual points, but that they must help him. In the early stages of the British referendum saga, they were angry with him for dumping what they saw as a petty problem of his own party’s management on them when they had bigger questions (the euro, Muslim refugees) to consider. Now, in his frequent conversations, he has persuaded them that his domestic political difficulty is real and that he is absolutely committed to keeping Britain in the EU.

The Guardian meanwhile reports that “David Cameron hints vote could be held next summer

David Cameron has signalled that the UK will stage its referendum on membership of the European Union in 2016 and made clear his view that continued membership is vital not just to economic security but to the fight against international terrorism. His remarks, at the close of a two-day EU summit in Brussels, suggest that the prime minister knows he is not going to achieve all his negotiating demands and has decided to press ahead with the vote as soon as a final deal is struck at another summit in February.

The referendum is most likely to be staged in July as there are fears in No 10 that the migration crisis may have worsened by next autumn. Cameron knows he has a party management problem now, with the possibility of high-profile cabinet resignations by those who are convinced the package does not change the fundamental contours of the UK relationship with Europe.

The Mirror nails its colours to the mast in “Britain is better of (sic) in Europe but without David Cameron

Britain remaining in Europe is fundamental to our country’s prosperity and security – so David Cameron’s incompetence is utterly unforgivable. A PR PM who chases instant headlines and is obsessed with short-term tactics at the expense of long-term strategy is jeopardising our continued membership of the world’s most successful family of nations with his inept behaviour.

Read more: David Cameron’s EU blunder

Promising what he cannot and will not deliver was stupid and the step forward he claimed at the latest summit was the stumble of a drunk who pretends all is fine – when an on­looker with cataracts can see he is in deep trouble. Rescuing Britain from the mess he has created with false expectations will not be easy but a vibrant campaign to save our membership is vital or we will suffer terribly from his mistakes. Britain is better off In and he has reminded us why we would be better off without him.

The Elite

The Independent reports that “Richest one per cent ‘have as much wealth as the poorest 57 per cent combined’

The economic disparities of modern Britain have been put on stark display, as official statistics revealed that the nation’s already-yawning wealth gap has widened still further over the past two years.

The richest 1 per cent of the population have as much wealth as the poorest 57 per cent combined, according to Office for National Statistics figures. The agency also found overall wealth inequality has increased since 2012, mainly thanks to the soaring price of housing in the South-east of England and London.

The news came just 24 hours after the head of the Government’s Child Poverty watchdog, Alan Milburn, warned that Britain is in danger of becoming an “ever-more divided” society, making a mockery of David Cameron’s “One Nation” rhetoric.

The Mail also reports on this.

ISIS

The Independent reports that “Former German militant claims group is planning co-ordinated terror attacks in Europe

A German jihadist who fled Isis after witnessing beheadings and executions in Syria has claimed the group is trying to plan a Europe-wide terror attack. The 27-year-old former militant, named as Harry S, said he and other foreign fighters had been asked if they would “bring jihad to their homeland”. “They want something that happens everywhere at the same time,” he said.

Harry S was speaking to Der Spiegel from prison, where he is still being questioned by police and the intelligence services after being arrested at Bremen airport on his return in July. He claimed he fled Isis because he could not stand its brutality after three months with the group in Syria and is now telling German authorities all he knows.

The former extremist appeared in a propaganda video filmed shortly after Isis seized the city of Palmyra in May. Wearing camouflage, he carried the flag of the so-called Islamic State across the screen before German-speaking militants called on supporters across the world to kill “infidels” before shooting two prisoners dead. “All you need is to take a big knife, and go down to the streets and slaughter every infidel you encounter,” they urged.

The Express also reports on this too.

Meanwhile, The Express shows their brutality to women: “WATCH: Harrowing moment ISIS fighters drag SCREAMING girls away to make them SEX SLAVES

THIS is the chilling moment barbaric Islamic State jihadis drag terrified wives and daughters from their families to make them their sex slaves. Blood-curdling screams can be heard from the petrified Yazidis as they are separated one by one by the depraved fanatics armed with AK-47s.  The evil militants chant before reaching into the huddled crowd and force the girls away from their families.

Horrified girls desperately try to cling to their parents but are savagely ripped away – some by their hair – and hurled into another group at gunpoint.  An ISIS fighter can be seen hanging the notorious flag from a balcony besides more jihadi militants – one of whom appears to be holding a rocket launcher.

Syria

The Telegraph reports: “UN Security Council agrees roadmap for Syria talks

The United States and Russia agreed to accept a roadmap for political transition in Syria on Friday night, marking the first time that the two deeply divided sides have been able to find common ground on the country’s political future. The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a plan which will see representatives meet for formal peace talks in January 2016, leading to eventual elections.

Within six months, the process should establish “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance,” with UN-supervised “free and fair elections” to be held within 18 months. The agreement describes the transition as Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, stressing that the “Syrian people will decide the future of Syria.”

Cease-fire efforts should move forward in parallel with the talks, but the cease-fire will not apply to actions against groups considered terrorist organisations – meaning that airstrikes by Russia, France and the US-led coalition would not be affected. But the resolution makes no mention of the most contentious issue: whether or not President Bashar al-Assad would be able to run for office in new elections.

The Guardian also reports on this.

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