Maligning Malala

One blogger writes that Malala hates Pakistan’s military. I believe it is the other way around.

I would so like to see the day when Malala is welcomed back in Pakistan, with the whole country cheering.

Ever since Malala Yousafzai — winner this month of the Nobel Peace Prize — came on the scene in October 2012 in a shocking way, after being shot in the face by the Taliban at the age of 15, I have been watching the conspiracy theories unfold.


Turkey’s Love Affair with Hamas

It was the Islamists who, since they came to power in the 2000s, have reaped the biggest political gains from the “Palestine-fetish.”

But the Turkish rhetoric on “solidarity” with our Palestinian brothers often seems askew to how solidarity should be.


Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning. The European Union has handed Britain a £1.7 billion bill after a recalculation of members states’ fortunes. “EU makes Britain pay for recovery” is our splash. “EU orders Britain to pay £1.7bn surcharge” says the Times. “Brussels Asks UK For More Cash” rages the Mail. “Brussels demands €2bn from UK after economy outpaces EU rivals” is the scrupulously exact angle taken by the FT.

The figures are calculated from 1995, which means that crisis-hit Greece is among the nations handed a bigger bill from the EU while Germany will receive a €0.78bn rebate. As you can imagine, Downing Street are absolutely thrilled. Similarly cheesed off is Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, also handed a bigger bill at the eleventh hour, who is considering legal action. The PM will seek to build an alliance against the charge.

It’s only darkened the mood around an already acrimonious summit. Also on the agenda: getting the 18 European nations who have given less to the fight against Ebola than Ikea and the overall hike in the European budget for 2015. (Matt Holehouse has the details) But with clashes already to come over the European Arrest Warrant, probable defeat in Rochester & Strood, the last thing the PM needs is another Brussels-induced headache.


Closer to home, European discomfort is also available in a tasteful shade of red. Ed Miliband has pledged a five-point plan to tackle immigration on the campaign trail in Rochester & Strood. Border checks on arrival and departure, tougher regulation of the labour market to prevent abuse and a requirement that all public sector workers are among the plans. “Immigration, immigration, immigration” is the Indy’s splash. None of the announcements are new, but there’s a perception, fairly or unfairly, that when the Shadow Cabinet talks tough Ed Miliband doesn’t mean it – hence the anguish over the Labour leader’s reiteration of policies already laid out by Yvette Cooper.

It’s re-opened the Opposition’s internal divisions over immigration. “From thinking the unthinkable to reannouncing the unworkable,” a Shadow Cabinet source tells me, while Diane Abbot tweets that Labour will fighting the election “on Ukip’s turf”.


Nick Clegg backed Fiona Woolf’s ability to head the child abuse inquiry on his LBC phone-in yesterday. Ms Woolf could use some more friends. With the inevitability of an unloved season, Keith Vaz has entered the scene. His select committee is writing to Ms Woolf to “about how much time she has to do this very important job,” he told the World at One. “If she feels that she doesn’t have the confidence of the victims and others, then I’m sure she will make her decision in her own way.”


Parents should be able to take their children on holiday during school terms without being threatened with fines or arrest, the Local Government Association said yesterday. The body, which represents councilors and other officials, says that while it agrees with the Government’s conviction that every child should be in school ever day, there were occasions when parents’ requests should be considered: such as religious festivals, weddings, funerals or a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”. Chris Hope and Peter Dominiczak have the story.


A chorus of anger is growing at the release of police killer Harry Roberts, who was jailed for life in 1966 after murdering three police officers and has now been granted parole. Theresa May, Boris Johnson and the head of the Met, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe are among those calling for “life to mean life” in this case and for the parole board to think again. But the DPM has defended the process to release the 78-year-old. “It’s not about my feelings, it’s about how the justice system works,” Mr Clegg said, “If you want to run the system according to the latest emotion you feel, fine, but that would be a disaster.”


Kelly Tollhurst, a local councilor, has been selected as the Conservative candidate in the open primary to pick a standard-bearer in the battle against Mark Reckless in Rochester & Strood, winning by just 50 vote, Laura Pitel reports in the Times. The party will be disappointed by the fact that just 5,668 voters participated in the contest between Ms Tollhurst and Anna Firth, a former barrister, suggesting a lack of enthusiasm locally for the campaign.


Another celebrity endorsement for the Chancellor. Hot on the heels of Sol Campbell, who is now considering a permanent transfer to the Conservative Party to oppose Labour’s plans for the mansion tax, Russell Brand has come out for the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G8. “With a 20% profit tax on Tesco per quarter, you could build a hospital in Leeds,” Mr Brand told the Guardian’s Owen Jones.

Internet chiefs told to curb Islamists online

Internet providers have been warned that the Government will force them to remove extremist material, as it emerged that a British hate preacher had influenced the man behind the attack on the Canadian parliament.

Senior British executives from Twitter, Google and Facebook were summoned to Downing Street on Thursday and told to do more to take action to curb the online activities of extremists.

The Daily Telegraph can disclose that the Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service are in talks about using court orders to ensure that internet providers such as BT and Virgin immediately remove extremist propaganda.


EU makes Britain pay for recovery

David Cameron is fighting to stop Britain being forced to pay an extra £1.7 billion to the European Union due to the success of the British economy.

The Prime Minister was ambushed with a demand from the European Commission for the extra cash because Britain’s economy has performed better than other economies in Europe since 1995.

The bill is due on December 1 and Mr Cameron is particularly enraged because Brussels accountants are also preparing to give France back £790 million as its economy performed less well than Britain’s.


Lord Tebbit: Unemployed youngsters should pull up roadside weeds for benefits

Unemployed youngsters should pull roadside weeds in exchange for benefits, a former Conservative cabinet minister has said.

Lord Tebbit said East Anglian landowners were plagued by ragwort and suggested Neets – people not in education, employment, or training – should help tackle the problem.

The controversial proposal came in a letter to Buglife, an environmental charity which has raised concerns about ragwort, and has been branded “Victorian” by one Labour MP.


UK: Political Earthquake Next May?

The United Kingdom Independence Party [UKIP] not only managed to halve the Conservative vote, but also the Labour Vote and the Liberal Democrat vote.

UKIP stands for small government, low taxes, and preservation of Britain’s identity and sovereignty, values that appeal to Conservative voters; and it wants to pull the United Kingdom out of the European Union. UKIP also stands for strong policies on law and order and immigration, which appeal to the traditional old Labour heartlands.

Strategically, to pick up Labour votes, UKIP would need to move to the left, but examples in France, Switzerland, Denmark and Geert Wilders’s PVV in the Netherlands, show that it is possible to attract voters from both the left and the right.