Migration and Cameron

The Telegraph leads on Police checks for migrants

European Union migrants may be required to sign in at police stations as part of the reforms announced by David Cameron to limit the number of foreigners coming to Britain, The Telegraph understands.

The controversial measures could make it easier for a Conservative government to carry out the Prime Minister’s pledge to deport migrants if they do not find work within six months of arrival.

Mr Cameron announced the plans to send EU migrants home if they are unable to find work in a speech on immigration in which he also set out proposals to prevent foreigners receiving welfare or council houses for four years after they arrive.

As most cynics suspected, Angela Merkel forces David Cameron to retreat from EU migrant cap, the Guardian reports.

David Cameron has stepped back from a radical plan to cap directly the number of EU migrants entering Britain after an intervention from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who warned him she would not tolerate such an incursion into the principle of the free movement of workers.

The decision to row back from the harder rhetoric in a long-awaited speech on immigration on Friday disappointed the prime minister’s more Eurosceptic backbenchers, but delighted business leaders. However he still faces the task of persuading 27 other governments to change EU treaties to enshrine discrimination against European citizens working in Britain.

Downing Street officials said they were confident Cameron’s plan to deny EU migrants access to all in-work benefits for four years is negotiable and would deter tens of thousands from moving to Britain.

Meanwhile, the Mirror reports back from Labour with “We need sensible plans NOT rhetoric to tackle immigration and British unemployment

Too often David Cameron chases short-term headlines but doesn’t have practical plans. Remember his “no ifs, no buts” promise to meet his net migration target? That’s now in tatters. Instead of rhetoric we need sensible plans that will make a difference. So yes, that means changing benefit rules so people have to contribute first.

Rachel Reeves last week set out Labour plans for a longer waiting period for benefits. And two years ago we called for an end to benefit for children who live abroad. There’s two big problems with David Cameron’s speech.

First, he won’t take seriously recruitment agencies and employers who exploit immigration to undercut local jobs and wages. That’s unfair on local workers, unfair on people being exploited and unfair on other businesses trying to pay a fair wage.

Plebgate

The Telegraph understands that Andrew Mitchell will stand for re-election to Parliament to rekindle ministerial career

A defiant Andrew Mitchell is planning to stand for re-election as a Conservative MP and wants to resume his ministerial career, The Telegraph can disclose. The former Government chief whip will stand for re-election as MP for Sutton Coldfield in May’s general election in a bid to “wipe the slate clean”. (Editor: One of the safer Tory constituencies in the country)

Mr Mitchell is also considering selling one of his homes to pay off his legal bills and damages from the plebgate libel trial. One friend said that he would “always meet his debts”. Mr Justice Mitting ruled on Thursday that Mr Mitchell probably did use the “politically toxic” word “pleb” in a heated exchange with Pc Toby Rowland at the gates of Downing Street.

The Express has the inside track on how he is going to fund himself: Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell nets fee of £18,000 a day as adviser to super-rich

The former investment banker – who faces a legal bill of up to £3million over the Plebgate affair – is hiring himself out to firms offering services such as offshore banking to an array of wealthy clients. Figures show he never charges less than £3,000-a-day – and often rakes in considerably more.

Since last November, the ex-Army officer has made £150,716 for just 28 days’ work – dwarfing his “basic” £67,060 MP’s salary. Mr Mitchell, who lives in a £2million Islington home with his GP wife, this week lost a High Court libel fight after a ruling that he called a Downing Street policeman a “pleb” during a foul-mouthed rant. But he could pay off that by working at his top rate for just 167 days.

(Editor: All while drawing his MP’s salary?)

Nigeria

The Telegraph tells us of yet another foreign adventure for our troops: Britain plans more army trainers to help Nigeria fight Boko Haram

Britain is considering sending dozens of military trainers to Nigeria after a request from the troubled African state for help to battle Boko Haram Islamist extremists. Defence sources said plans were being drawn up to bolster a small existing UK training mission in the Nigerian capital as the extremists continue to seize territory and wage a bloody campaign of attacks.

At least 64 people died and twice as many were wounded on Friday when three bombs tore through prayers at the mosque of an Islamic leader who had issued a call to arms against the militants. The Nigerian government has called for more help as its demoralised military has failed to push back recent offensives, a senior Whitehall source said.

The Guardian reports on this bombing as well: Dozens killed in series of bombs at Nigeria mosque

There were scenes of chaos in the centre of northern Nigeria’s main city, Kano, on Friday after three bombs exploded and armed gunmen rampaged through the central mosque. The attack, which bore the hallmarks of Islamists Boko Haram, left dozens of worshippers dead and 126 injured, rescue officials told AFP.

A bomb exploded in the Grand Mosque, one of the country’s biggest, at the close of the crowded Friday sermon. Two others detonated at the gates of the adjoining palace, the home of the emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who recently spoke out against Boko Haram at a sermon in the Grand Mosque.

Fracking Scare Story

According to The Independent Fracking could be as damaging as thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, government’s Chief Scientific Adviser warns in new report

Fracking has the potential to be as controversial and as damaging as thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, a report from the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser warns. The technology has been developed to help oil companies extract gas trapped in shale rock but, the report fears, it could prove to be another innovation that takes society in the wrong direction.

Drawing a direct comparison with fracking technology chief scientist Mark Walport’s annual report said: “History presents plenty of examples of innovation trajectories that later proved to be problematic — for instance involving asbestos, benzene, thalidomide, dioxins, lead in petrol, tobacco, many pesticides, mercury, chlorine and endocrine-disrupting compounds, as well as CFCs, high-sulphur fuels and fossil fuels in general. In all these and many other cases, delayed recognition of adverse effects incurred not only serious environmental or health impacts, but massive expense and reductions in competitiveness for firms and economies persisting in the wrong path.”

(Editor: There appears to be no actual science in the report, just risk aversion)

Weather

The Independent asks An Arctic freeze? Snowstorms? The worst winter in years? Probably not, says Met Office after cold weather warnings

It has been billed by some as potentially one of the worst winters we have seen in years, with record low temperatures and widespread snow throughout December.

Yet while some forecasters predict “a very severe winter ahead”, the Met Office has said temperatures throughout much of next month are expected to remain “around average for the time of year”, with a “chance of some overnight and morning frost and fog in places.”

Temperatures over the weekend could rise to the teens in some places, and while the beginning of December could be colder than usual, this should level out throughout the rest of the month, the Met Office has predicted.

Black Friday

The Independent reports that Bargain hunting turns violent as American phenomenon comes to UK

The Black Friday sales have been criticised by police after violence broke out among crowds vying for bargains. Chaos was reported in many UK stores as several major supermarkets, clothing  and electrical retailers offered reduced prices both online and on the high street.

As a result, retail analysts have warned that the surge in online shopping could create delivery problems ahead of the Christmas season. According to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) online sales are expected to increase by 18 per cent, as new phone apps have made shopping quicker and more accessible.

Emily Thornberry

The Guardian rises to her defence with Emily Thornberry a snob? Don’t be daft, says van driver brother

When Emily Thornberry posted that picture on Twitter of the house in the Rochester and Strood constituency with the England flags and white van, it was assumed that the Islington barrister was sneering. But one van-driving builder claims to know for certain that she wasn’t. And how can be be sure? Because he is her brother.

A week after Thornberry was effectively sacked as shadow attorney general for her tweet, which was deemed disrespectful by Ed Miliband, her brother Ben hit back, saying that the rightwing press had been “gunning for her for years” and that he could not understand why her tweet was considered offensive. “I couldn’t see that perception that she was looking down her nose at anybody. I just didn’t understand it,” he told the Islington Tribune…

…Ben Thornberry returned to the UK recently after spending 26 years in the US employed as a builder and photojournalist. He now works for a charity that helps disadvantaged young people find work in the construction industry.

David Mellor

The Mail digs the dirt with Forget taxi drivers. Look how David Mellor abused those closest to him! We reveal what happened AFTER his notorious affair

After calling his taxi driver a ‘sweaty, stupid little s**t’, David Mellor rattled through the long list of things that make him a superior human being. ‘You’ve been driving a cab for ten years? I have been in the Cabinet!’ he declared. ‘I am an award-winning broadcaster, I’m a Queen’s Counsel. You think your experiences are anything compared to mine? Just shut up!’

Sadly, the former Tory minister neglected to mention, in the now notorious tape-recorded dispute over taxi navigation (which became public this week), his most famous achievement: becoming a national joke. The date he was elevated to this status was July 24, 1992. The location was Thistle Cottage, his parents-in-law’s Sussex home. The occasion? A photo-shoot in which he co-opted them, along with his wife, Judith, and two small children, into a display of family unity.

Five days earlier, the gap-toothed ‘Minister for Fun’ had been splashed across the front pages after it was revealed that he had conducted a three-month extra-marital affair with Antonia de Sancha, a jobbing actress who, at 31, was 12 years his junior. Their liaisons had taken place at a tatty rented flat in London’s Earl’s Court, where Mellor stayed overnight, sleeping on a crumpled mattress surrounded by half-empty champagne and brandy bottles.

Environment

The Daily Mail reports on The real culprits behind the fly-tip one mile long… it’s the green fanatics and meddling EU who have made going to the dump an expensive nightmare for all of us

The scene is like the aftermath of a tsunami: splintered timber, shattered glass, broken sofas, scattered clothes, plastic bags, smashed furniture, fridges and TV sets, all piled up as though tossed ashore by some mighty wave and strewn for over a mile along the water’s edge. But this ugly photograph doesn’t show any far-flung tropical disaster zone and the cause of the mayhem certainly isn’t natural.

It was taken this week at Cory’s Wharf in Purfleet, Essex, on a stretch of council-owned land by the Thames and now ruined by the modern curse of fly-tipping. Once, this would have been a pleasant enough spot to walk your dog, with views across the river and scrubland, dotted with bushes and ponds, to explore. Not any more.

(Editor: Sounds like a little problem for a future Thurrock UKIP MP to sort out)

Benefits

The Daily Mail says Britain’s STILL on Benefits Street: For years the BBC and the Left have howled about spending cuts – the truth is that welfare and public spending have barely been cut at all

The highly respected and non-partisan Institute for Fiscal Studies has just published a report which is the economic equivalent of a nuclear bomb. It demonstrates that since the Coalition took power in 2010, the welfare budget — by far the largest single element of public spending — has scarcely fallen.

In the Right-wing Press this astonishing revelation has received respectful, if fairly terse, coverage. Meanwhile, it has been almost entirely ignored by the BBC and those other organs of Left-wing opinion, the Guardian and the Daily Mirror, which have informed us almost every day over the past four and a half years that welfare has been slashed, lacerated and savaged by a ruthless and mean-spirited Tory-led government.

But it’s not just the Left that has buried its head in the sand. The Treasury simply let it be known that it did not dispute the figures produced by the Institute for Fiscal Studies — and left it at that.

UKIP

The Express reports that Support for Ukip is the most loyal

Seventy-five per cent of Ukip supporters are “very” or “fairly strongly” committed, the British Election Study discovered. It places them higher than Labour supporters on 71 per cent, Tory backers on 68 per cent and Lib Dem followers on 51 per cent.

The findings will cause further panic for Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, who have both seen Ukip eat into their support. Report co-author Professor Matthew Goodwin said the strength of support could see Ukip improve on its two MPs in next year’s General Election. He said: “Ukip is more than just a protest party.”

Retirement, or lack of it

The Express reports that Millions fear ‘working until they drop’

MORE than one in four over-55s say they will never be able to retire for fear of running out of money. Poverty in retirement is the major factor keeping them in work, a study reveals today. One in 10 believe they must work full-time while almost one in five are planning part-time jobs.

Even the three in four hoping for enough pension to retire are uncertain about sustaining themselves in old age. Dean Mirfin of Key Retirement, which conducted the study, said: “Millions are worried about having enough money to survive in retirement.”

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