The papers: A home rule headache for Ed and David

Flag of St George on a car Image copyright PA

Reading Monday's papers, it seems like the Independent's cartoon - showing Alex Salmond with a tin-opener walking away from a can of worms marked Constitutional Reforms - might have hit the nail on the head.

Ed Miliband, busy unveiling policy ideas at Labour's party conference in Manchester, has the biggest problem it seems to the press.

"Ed refuses to back English home rule 13 times!" is the Daily Mail's banner headline, detailing the 13 times Mr Miliband refused to endorse David Cameron's "English votes for English laws" plan, in an interrogation by the BBC's Andrew Marr .

The Mail says instead of endorsing Mr Cameron's plan - which the paper says is less about fairness, than "setting a trap" for Labour - Mr Miliband offered, "some lame blather about English MPs getting greater rights of 'scrutiny' - which... will rightly go down very badly indeed on the doorstep next May."

Image caption Frank Field

The issue is not entirely party political.

Also in the Mail, Labour veteran Frank Field uses a column to urge his leader to consider an English assembly plan.

"The great danger now for Labour is to be seen gazing backwards in bewilderment to a lost world where Scottish MPs enjoying unique privileges could help elect Labour governments," he asserts.

The Independent says Mr Field's line is backed by former sports minister Kate Hoey, and "some members of the shadow cabinet".

The Daily Telegraph says Labour's potential reliance on Scottish MPs to deliver it a parliamentary majority has left Mr Miliband "backed into a corner".

"Mr Miliband was left furious by the announcement, with Labour sources accusing the prime minister of 'political trickery'," the paper adds.

But Mr Cameron faces his own difficulties.

The Guardian says Lib Dem cabinet colleagues have "said that the plans for devolution in England should not proceed without attempting a consensus with Labour.

"Labour and the Lib Dems are likely to agree on the need for caution in addressing the status of Scottish MPs at Westminster.

"They say that, unlike the Scottish question , there has been little debate on England-only matters," it reports.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The prime minister is hoping his Chequers meeting will quell any Conservative rebellion over devolution

The Times says Mr Cameron is hoping for a parliamentary vote on the English devolution issue before next year's election.

"Mr Cameron will today gather senior Tory MPs at Chequers, his private residence in Buckinghamshire, to commit his party to supporting extra powers for Holyrood even if there is no matching settlement for England.

"However, to see off a backbench rebellion, he will also offer the opportunity for a Commons vote on banning Scottish MPs from voting on English-only matters," the paper continues.

But it argues that the PM's attempts to quell the nascent backbench rebellion might be fruitless with a Chequers guest-list which "might have been drawn up with an eye to promoting disunity rather than a common voice.

"Some will demand full English devolution immediately - others worry that an overly partisan approach risks confirming voters' worst suspicions about Westminster cynicism."

The Guardian's comment reckons "Mr Cameron chose to use the no vote to embarrass Labour, to humour his right wing, and to steal a march on Ukip.

"He has responded to the no vote not as the prime minister of the United Kingdom, but as the leader of the Conservative party - and not a particularly distinguished example of that, either."

'Red lines'

With the devolution debate overshadowing its conference, Labour is still using the event to roll out some new policy ideas.

The Independent highlights Ed Balls pending announcement that child benefit rises will be capped at 1% for the first two years of a Labour government.


"The shadow chancellor will risk a backlash from women voters by arguing that all sections of society will have to make sacrifices so Labour could clear the deficit by 2020," it says.

The Daily Mirror opinion column is cautious about the proposal.

"The party must avoid shooting itself in the foot by failing to pledge the change that people want.

"Labour will win next May's general election if it draws clear red lines between the party and the Conservatives, championing working people, the unemployed, low paid, middle earners and the retired- who yearn to be heeded rather than told they must make sacrifices when wealthy bankers wrecked the economy."

The Sun headlines another pledge from Mr Balls - to cut the wages of the prime minister and cabinet ministers.

But the paper notes, "the move would save just over £600,000 — that's 0.003 per cent of the £75bn annual deficit — in a nation battling a £1.3tn debt."

The Times highlights concern from "business" at Labour's weekend promise to raise the minimum wage to £8 by the end of the next parliament.

"The minimum wage is set by the Low Pay Commission, a body bringing together businesses and workers, that was set up to determine the highest possible rate that would not cause job losses.

"Business groups said this consensus could be broken by the efforts of both parties to set it artificially high," it explains.

Chocolate and smartphones

With Scotland and domestic politics dominating the news agenda, it would be a mistake to think that concern over Islamic State militants in the Middle East has abated, as Monday's papers show.

The Guardian reports that President Obama "is to press the UN security council to pass a sweeping new resolution that would impose global travel bans on fighters intent on enlisting in overseas wars".

The US leader wants the UN to operate sanctions on states that fail to enforce the plan, aimed at staunching the flow of jihadists into Iraq and Syria.

With the prospect of Western and Arab airstrikes against IS positions, the Daily Telegraph reports that the militants have evacuated command-and-control centres in the major cities it controls and are planning to use captured women from the Yazidi community as "human shields".

The paper, which gained its information from civilians living within IS controlled areas, says the group's behaviour in its Syrian base Raqqa "where they have gloried in mass beheadings of captives, has put off many citizens, some of whom originally welcomed the law and order they brought.

Another reason it is apparently losing support is "the Western comforts the foreign fighters bring with them but do not share with local residents", including a taste for Swiss chocolate and smartphones.

The Times also writes of the activists who "play a deadly game of cat and mouse" with IS in order to send news and images out of the areas controlled by the extremists.

One tells the paper that after, witnessing a public crucifixion, "we decided it was about time we stood against those forces of evil."

The Sun interviews an Iraqi IS volunteer who defected to join Kurdish forces.

He paints a horrifying picture of life in an IS training camp, including the routine rape of captive women and gruesome random executions.

The Independent highlights Western "suspicions" over the way in which Turkey's president Erdogan secured the release of 49 of his countrymen, who were being held by the jihadists.

The paper suggests the release shows that "Ankara has a different and more intimate relationship with [IS] than other countries.

Central to the suspicions is the charge that Turkey has done little to stop "12,000 foreign jihadis entered Syria and Iraq" from its border, and oil from IS areas has flown the other way.

Kurdish groups have also claimed the country "is colluding with IS to destroy the independent enclaves of the Syrian Kurds".

Scaled up

The Independent is always a paper to champion environmental issues, and in the wake of a march by 40,000 people in London calling for action against climate change, it devotes two full pages to the subject.

The paper headlines pledges by "700 financial institutions controlling £30bn of assets" to pull their money out of companies which "exacerbate climate change".

The Indy reports research from the University of East Anglia which finds that carbon emissions caused by burning fossil fuels will top 40bn tons this year.

Image copyright EPA

The paper writes "scientists have calculated that the world's future carbon emissions cannot exceed 1,200bn tons if it is to have a reasonable chance of keeping global warming to 2C - the point beyond which the consequences become increasingly devastating.

"Once in the atmosphere, CO2 can remain there for hundreds of years."

The London demonstration, which featured celebrities Peter Gabriel, Emma Thompson and Vivienne Westwood, comes ahead of a UN climate change summit in New York which David Cameron, Barack Obama and other world leaders will attend.

The paper quotes Archbishop Desmond Tutu who is deeply engaged with the issue as saying: "Over the 25 years that climate change has been on the world's agenda, global emissions have risen unchecked while real-world impacts have taken hold in earnest."

The Daily Telegraph features Prince Charles's thoughts on the subject.

"We are running out of time - how many times have I found myself saying this over recent years?" he will tell the summit in a recorded address.

"He calls for renewable energy - such as wind farms and solar panels - to be 'vastly scaled up'," the paper adds.

The Guardian says Sunday's march through Westminster was one of 2,700 events around the world, which organisers say saw 580,000 people take part in.

"The agenda for tomorrow's gathering in New York is uncertain," the paper adds.

"The UN has said repeatedly that the event is not about negotiations.

"It will be in Lima, in two months' time, that the final stretch of long and difficult negotiations will take place, aiming at an international agreement to cut the greenhouse gases that cause climate change by late 2015 in Paris."

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