British values

Several of the papers report on the Prime Minister’s proposal to order schools to teach British values as they were enshrined in the Magna Carta, especially in the wake of the ‘Trojan Horse’ problems in some Birmingham schools.

The Mail on Sunday points out that the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta next year is a good time to press the importance of the document.

Muslim clerics in the UK who inflame terrorism by denouncing free speech, equality and democracy will be opposed in a ‘muscular’ new defence of ‘British values’, David Cameron has pledged.
In a powerful intervention clearly aimed mainly at ‘preachers of hate’, the Prime Minister says the failure to stand up to such firebrands has ‘allowed extremism – both the violent and non-violent kind – to flourish’.
He plans to use the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta – 12 months from today – to reassert British values in a ‘Magna Carta for Modern Britain.’
It is time to stop being ‘squeamish about Britishness’ and tell everyone who lives here that refusing to accept British laws and the British way of life is ‘not an option’

The Sunday Times has a similar story.

David Cameron has ordered that every pupil be taught about the “British values” enshrined in Magna Carta.

The prime minister said children from all backgrounds should be taught about the document credited with establishing the rule of law and paving the way for parliamentary democracy.
The announcement is the first indication of how the government intends to make schools promote British values in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, in which some schools in Birmingham were subject to an alleged Islamist takeover.

The Mirror adds:

David Cameron has pledged that British values will be taught to every child in Britain following the outcry over the so-called Trojan Horse schools scandal.

The Prime Minister said these values – including tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility and respecting the law – should be taught in all British schools.
His pledge follows claims that five schools in Birmingham had been taken over by governors trying to push a hardline Islamic doctrine.

 

 South Africa

The Daily Express’s Crossbencher reports the prospect of veteran Labour MP Peter Hain being appointed to the role of High Comissioner to South Africa in the event that Labour wins next year’s General Election.

New roles could include High Commissioner to South Africa, a good fit for 73-year old Hain, who was raised in Pretoria and is famed for his role in the anti-apartheid campaign, and good sense if the UK is to firm up its trade links. If true, it reveals a confident Miliband positioning mental dominos should he win power next year.

 

Planning

The Sunday Telegraph reports that Communities Secretary is to insist that brown-field sites will be developed ahead of green-field land in a set of new planning rules

Former warehouses and factories will soon be converted into new homes under plans to be unveiled by Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary
Officials estimate that 90 per cent of brownfield sites should be covered by fast-track planning rules by 2020.
Britain must remain a “green and pleasant land”, with new housing development instead concentrated on brownfield sites, a Cabinet minister says today.
Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, says the Government’s push to increase housebuilding must be focused on land that has already been built on in and around towns, “preserving the best of our countryside”.
To encourage more urban living, the minister will soon unveil new proposals for converting former warehouses and factories into new homes for families
Mr Pickles’ comments, in a Telegraph article, come after George Osborne announced a fresh Government drive to build hundreds of thousands of new homes to help bring balance to the UK property market.

 

Energy

And in Independent, the Coalition is accused of ‘sleepwalking into an energy crisis’

The Coalition has been “sleepwalking into an energy crisis” and must adopt a £65bn plan to insulate Britain’s homes, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has claimed.
Unison, which has 1.3 million mainly public sector members, will launch a report at its energy conference tomorrow that outlines the benefits of making every home in Britain reach a minimum energy efficiency standard over 15 years.
Nearly 7 million homes in England are currently rated in the lowest three bands of E,F and G for energy efficiency, but Unison claims that bill payers could save £300-600 a year if their dwellings were insulated to at least a C rating.

 

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