Monday News Review

Real politics returns

Ed Miliband will today accuse the ­Government of resorting to “gimmicks” as David Cameron pledges a “social fightback” against the rioters. The PM will promise to reverse the “slow motion moral collapse” that has taken place in parts of Britain. In a speech, Mr Cameron will also accuse some parts of Government of being de-moralised and will blame the breakdown on a ­bureaucratic society that twists human rights laws. Meanwhile, Work and Pensions ­Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has vowed to make “life hell” for those responsible for the violence. He wants a war on gangs and says that their leaders must be “harassed” by tough policing. As part of the zero-­tolerance policy, boot camp-style academies could be introduced for young offenders. Other plans would see police work with the Driving Standards Agency and TV Licensing to check gang members have paid taxes and motoring fines. But in a sign the political truce on the riots is over, Labour leader Mr Miliband will warn against knee-jerk reactions. – Daily Mirror

The prime minister will go head to head with the leader of the opposition as the two make speeches setting out their competing analyses of the riots and looting. The pair make similarly emphatic condemnations of the rioters, but in a speech at his old school in Camden, Ed Miliband, theLabour leader, will denounce Cameron’s ideas to deal with rioters, put forward over the weekend, as “gimmicks”. Miliband will also link the behaviour of the looters and bankers, phone hacking and MPs’ expenses scandals, saying: “It’s not the first time we’ve seen this kind of me-first, take-what-you-can attitude. The bankers who took millions while destroying people’s savings: greedy, selfish, immoral. The MPs who fiddled their expenses: greedy, selfish, immoral. The people who hacked phones to get stories and make money for themselves: greedy, selfish and immoral. Let’s talk about what this does to our culture.” Today, Cameron will push his long-held opinion that parts of Britain are broken, despite opinion polls that show the public believes he has not handled events well. He will say today that government ministers from both parties will audit their portfolios for policies aimed at mending the “broken society”. – the Guardian

Named and shamed

The Crown Prosecution Service is to order prosecutors to apply for anonymity to be lifted in any youth case they think it is in the public interest. The law currently protects the identity of any suspect under the age of 18, even if they are convicted, but it also allows for an application to have such restrictions lifted, if deemed appropriate. Theresa May has revealed that she wants as many of the young criminals identifying as possible. She said: “When I was in Manchester last week, the issue was raised to me about the anonymity of juveniles who are found guilty of crimes of this sort. What I’ve asked is that CPS guidance should go to prosecutors to say that where possible, they should be asking for the anonymity of juveniles who are found guilty of criminal activity to be lifted.” – Daily Telegraph

Theresa May said guidance should be given to prosecutors that juveniles found guilty of criminal activity may lose their legal anonymity. She was firing the starting gun for the “zero tolerance” approach advocated by David Cameron to make life impossible for gang members. The Home Secretary also backed up actions by some councils who have threatened to evict the families of those found guilty of being involved in rioting. Wandsworth council became the first to serve an eviction notice after an 18-year-old man appeared in court following rioting near Clapham Junction, south London. – Daily Express

Bratton widens the rift

In a new low for relations between the police and politicians, senior officers ridiculed the Prime Minister’s decision to appoint American ‘supercop’ Bill Bratton to advise the Government on gang warfare. And in a new broadside about plans for 20 per cent budget cuts to the police, the Mayor of London insisted that crime will come down only if there are more police on the streets. Senior policemen angrily denounced Home Secretary Theresa May for suggesting that it was politicians who turned around the initially sluggish police response to last week’s riots. Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, complained that commanders had their hands tied by human rights laws. The increasingly acrimonious relationship between politicians and police gained new impetus yesterday when Mr Cameron signalled his support for Mr Bratton’s zero tolerance approach to cleaning up crime when he ran the police departments in New York and Los Angeles. Mr Bratton was initially mooted as the next Metropolitan Police Commissioner – a positions in which he said he was ‘seriously interested – but the idea was blocked by Mrs May. Instead, Mr Bratton will join a taskforce on gangs. – Daily Mail

Osbourne shows his true blue colours

George Osborne has confirmed he wants to scrap the 50p top rate of tax because it is not raising significant amounts of money for the Treasury. The Chancellor branded the 50p rate “uncompetitive” and said there was “not much point” in having taxes that brought in little revenue. “I have said with the 50p rate I don’t see that as a lasting tax rate for Britain because it’s very uncompetitive internationally, and people frankly can move. What is it actually raising? It’s only been in operation for a year this tax.” The Chancellor’s intervention will cheer Conservative backbenchers but puts him on a collision course with senior Liberal Democrats, who have said cutting taxes for the poor should be a priority. – the Independent

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