UK

Newspaper review: Syria developments dominate papers

  • 1 September 2013
  • From the section UK
Sunday newspapers

Developments over the conflict in Syria dominate the Sunday papers.

The Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph believe US President Barack Obama's decision to seek the approval of Congress for military action there is a huge gamble - coming two days after David Cameron's defeat over the issue in Parliament.

Both point out that the House of Representatives is controlled by the Republicans, who may be less disposed to back the president.

Elsewhere, the Observer describes the "dramatic turnaround" by the White House.

It sees the move as a sign that the Obama administration feels exposed over Syria amid waning international support, minimal public backing and a growing chorus of concern on Capitol Hill.

In a play on the Obama campaign slogan "yes we can", the Sunday People carries the caption "no we can't".

The Mail on Sunday thinks that by following the prime minister's lead the president has thrown Mr Cameron a political lifeline.

Hostile relations

It says the prime minister's supporters regard the decision as a "huge compliment" which could allow him to "turn the tables" on Labour leader Ed Miliband.

The Independent on Sunday claims relations between the two men are at their most hostile ever, with each blaming the other for Britain not being part of any military intervention.

The Sunday Mirror reports that David Cameron accused Mr Miliband of betraying Britain and siding with Russia over the Syria crisis.

The paper accuses the prime minister of arrogance and suggests that the result of his "headstrong rush to battle" and defeat in the Commons is that the people of Syria are even worse off.

The Daily Star Sunday weighs in by suggesting that Mr Cameron's failure to get a majority of MPs to support military action shows that he "couldn't even organise a few pints in a brewery".

And the Sunday Telegraph's Matt cartoon mocks the British position following the vote. It shows an RAF fighter pilot receiving his orders with a caption reading: "We want you to fly low over Syria, wag your finger at Assad and then come back."

Knitting needle

Away from Syria, the Observer publishes new research suggesting Britain's nascent economic recovery shows no sign of halting a slide towards a "two-tier" workforce, in which millions of people are stuck in low-paid, part-time jobs.

It says the study, by the independent Resolution Foundation, will highlight fears that a return to higher employment is masking an ever-wider divide between people in low-skilled work and those in an upper tier of more stable, skilled, managerial and professional jobs.

The Sun is among several papers to report that the EU is consulting on plans which would force motorists to have what the paper calls "big brother anti-speeding systems" fitted in all new cars.

It says the devices can cut the throttle when the driver breaks the speed limit but it condemns the idea as "barmy", saying it would add at least £250 to the cost of a new vehicle.

Finally, for the six members of a charity knitting group in Marlborough, Wiltshire, the town library seemed the ideal venue to host their get-togethers.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, they met there twice a month to make items to sell in a charity shop.

But now, the paper says, Wiltshire council has told them to leave because the clicking of their needles, and accompanying chatter, is too noisy.

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