Press Roundup Monday 26 April 2010

By Press Office
April 26, 2010

A selection of stories from today's press and other media that relate to Ekklesia's work, produced daily by James Vincent and covering papers such as The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, and the tabloids.

Economy & Politics

Hung parliament still likely, says latest poll
Britain is still heading for a hung parliament, with Labour trailing in third place in the popular vote, an opinion poll suggested tonight.

Nick Clegg goes public on coalition – and looks to the Conservatives
Nick Clegg today signalled that he would speak to the Conservatives first about the formation of a minority government if Labour came third by share of the vote on 6 May, rejecting the constitutional convention that the prime minister should be allowed to try to form a government first.

Nick Clegg raises the stakes
Nick Clegg raised the stakes in the election campaign yesterday by appearing to indicate that he would insist on being Prime Minister in a government where power was split between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Comment: A Conservative-Lib Dem coalition is most likely, but it's not sustainable
Labour voters switching to Clegg will probably put Cameron into No 10. But there will be huge strains on the new government.

Comment: A three-horse race, but Britain has to be the winner
In this week’s final debate the leaders will get to grips with the economy. The issue is: who best understands the scale of the disaster and how far our current economic model has failed?

Comment: Only two can play – which leaves no room in the game for Labour
Peter Mandelson's leg-up to Nick Clegg may prove costly in what is essentially a two-party system, says Boris Johnson.

Comment: MP numbers should not be cut
David Cameron's idea for fewer honourable members might win some cheers, but it shrinks democracy.

Comment: This is more than revolt against the big two
Voters want to loosen the arthritic grip of political parties on the windpipe of democracy.

Comment: People want change — but they also fear it
We mustn’t underestimate the importance of immigration, even down here in the West Country.

Comment: The strange death of the election interview
Election Watch: Charles Moore charts the decline in the power of the big interviewer - as politicians become more skilled at avoiding saying anything interesting.

Religion & Society

Vatican fury at 'dark forces' in Britain: Aides warn offensive Foreign Office memo threatens Pope's historic visit
The Pope's visit to Britain has been plunged into jeopardy by 'dark forces' within the Foreign Office, Vatican officials declared yesterday.

Two former priests claim they told the church about bishop's abuse years ago
Two former priests have claimed they told church authorities years ago that Roger Vangheluwe abused a young boy.

Comment: Infantile and horribly offensive - the FO's insult to the Pope is a dismal reflection of what Britain's become
What on earth has got into the normally bland-to-a-fault Foreign and Commonwealth Office?

Comment: It’s sad that the papal gag is notable only for a lack of wit
This Foreign Office memo reflects something of the mood of embarrassment in political circles about the Pope’s visit, writes Melanie McDonagh.

Comment: Villains in the Vatican
From Foreign Office memo writers to prescient novelists, the pope and Catholicism have become the evil force of choice.

Comment: At least make use of the Papal visit
The Pope, as you may have noticed, is going to pay a state visit to Britain later this year. The last time a Pope visited, in 1982, it was technically a pastoral visit, paid for by church funds.

Comment: A saint for the desperate
In the Middle East, St George is regarded as a saint of asylum, a protector of the desperate.

Race & Identity

UK home to 1m illegal immigrants
A study for MigrationWatch warns figures are double government estimates and proposed amnesty could add a total of 2.2m to the population.

Nick Clegg struggles to defend immigration policies
Nick Clegg yesterday conceded that loopholes in his party's plan to introduce regional visas for economic migrants would allow foreign workers to live anywhere in Britain.

Driver fined for wearing burka behind the wheel
A woman has been fined for driving while wearing a burka because of 'road safety' rules.

Comment: At last! It's cool to be mixed race (which is handy because I'm African, American, Jewish, Geordie, Irish, Scottish and Hungarian)
Now it seems that mixed race genes are being hailed as the latest Darwinian 'must-have' accessory. If you spent your childhood being called a 'mongrel' in the playground, the recent research, which seems to show that mixed-race people are more attractive and more successful, may bring a wry smile to your face.

Peace & War

Impose solution for Middle East, Abbas asks Obama
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas made a blunt appeal to the US at the weekend, asking US President Barack Obama to "impose" a solution to the Middle East conflict. The call comes amid deepening frustration at Israel's refusal to suspend the construction of Jewish homes in Arab-dominated East Jerusalem.

Comment: Rape as a weapon of war
In armed conflicts rape is often used to dominate and terrorise other groups – and it is rarely punished.

Ecology & Environment

Tories 'could put climate change agreement at risk'
A historic climate change deal would be put at risk by a Conservative government because of the "injustice" of the way they would fund the battle against global warming in developing nations, David Cameron is warned today.

Education & Culture

Social mobility in England 'lags behind other countries'
Parental background has a bigger impact on children’s education achievement in England than in many other developed nations, according to a major report.

Life & Death

Conviction quashed for death sentence Briton
A former British soldier facing execution in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has had his conviction quashed with a retrial ordered, his legal team said today.

Sex & Gender

Comment: Why women will remain outnumbered
Bidisha is right to complain that women are vastly under-represented, but fixing the problem is far from simple.

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