Murray, McClusky and Abu Qatada: the weekend news in briefby Prospect Team / July 8, 2013 / Leave a comment
This weekend saw chaos in Labour, more violence in Egypt and an education overhaul.
In Cairo, the gathering place for supporters of outsed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi came under attack this morning. Fifteen were killed in the attack on a sit-in at the Presidential Guard Club, where Morsi is thought to be held. The Egyptian army have blamed the attack on “an armed terrorist group.”
The transition to a technocratic government in Egypt has become increasingly fraught. The appointment of Mohamed ElBaradei as the country’s prime minister, which had been scheduled for Saturday, was delayed following resistance from the Salafi al-Nour party, angering some protestors. Meanwhile, Morsi supporters are still angling for his reinstatement.
Washington, which has been criticised for “appearing too close to Morsi,” has distanced itself from the conflict. But on Sunday, Tony Blair put out a warning to Western powers: “Disengagement is not an option,” the Middle East envoy wrote in the Observer.
The radical cleric Abu Qatada has been deported from Britain and charged with acts of terrorism upon arrival in Jordan. Prime minister David Cameron is “absolutely delighted.” The radical Islamist cleric has denied all charges against him as he sits in “the comfortable, airy cells” of Muwaqqer prison. The ordeal, which took almost decade to conclude and cost £1.7 billion, is being leveraged by the Tories as they advocate “wholesale changes to human rights law” ahead of the 2015 election.
The final draft of a new national curriculum comes out today, introducing fractions at age five, 3D printing and app building. To be introduced as soon as 2014, Michael Gove’s curriculum reforms will be typically fast-moving. The adjustments are part Gove’s campaign to make English schools more competitive on the global stage—but they will not apply to academies, which set their own curriculum.
On Friday, the Falkirk investigation was handed over to the police, but that didn’t stop Unite and Labour from going on the defensive this weekend.
Harriet Harman has conceded that the events would lead to a “significant change” in the way Labour deals with unions, starting with the capping of campaign spending. Speaking on “The Andrew Marr Show,” Labour’s deputy did her best to squash speculation that bad practices were more widespread than Falkirk.
Len McCluskey hit back against Labour in The Mirror on Saturday, denying any criminal activity within the union:
“Unite was working completely within the rules to secure the selection of a working-class woman as Labour candidate, someone with 30 years membership of the Party. That has upset those who are more used to parachuting favoured candidates into safe Labour seats on a you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch yours basis.”
But as Boris Becker put it last night during the championship point at Wimbledon: “It’s all eyes on Murray. Obviously.” The long-suffering darling of British tennis finally claimed his Wimbledon title yesterday, making him the first British champion in 77 years. The 26 year old was clearly overwhelmed by the win, dropping the trophy’s lid on the ground and forgetting to kiss his mum as he swept through the crowd.