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Sent at 12/9/2010 23:12

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Posh frocks Victoria Beckham wins over (most of) New York

Skipper’s century Strauss hits a ton as England beat Pakistan

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£1.00 Monday 13.09.10 Published in London and Manchester guardian.co.uk

Call for strikes and protests to oppose cuts

Will she or won’t she? All the signs say Sarah Palin is ready to run Ewen MacAskill Des Moines There are boxes that US presidential hopefuls have to tick early. They have to start building a campaign team, albeit discreetly. They have to set up a fundraising machine. And they have to visit Iowa, the small but politically crucial state that traditionally kicks off a White House run. Sarah Palin has ticked the first two and on Friday will tick the third when she is the main speaker at a $100-a-seat Republican dinner in Des Moines, Iowa. The party’s sole superstar has not yet said whether she will seek the nomination to take on Barack Obama in 2012. But all the indications point to a run, and Friday’s visit is the biggest sign yet. Democrats may detest her, and so does the Republican establishment, for her perceived lack of sophistication and polarising effect on the electorate. But neither will make the choice in the Iowa caucus. The party activists will, and they are shifting behind her. Long before the contest has begun, Palin is on the way to becoming unstoppable. Marilea David, a lifelong Republican, is typical of the fan base, seeing in Palin an alternative to the old-boy network. “I think she is great. She is the only person I am excited about just now,” David said over coffee in west Des Moines. “She is fiscally conservative. She married her husband for love, not money. She does not have perfect kids, which is big for me. She has been totally vetted by the liberal media and they did not come up with anything other than she is a ‘hick’.” David, 52, who runs her own hometutoring business, will not be attending Friday’s dinner. “I am a broke Republican. But if she runs, I will give her my time. I would love to campaign for her.” The dinner is shaping up as a media event, with journalists drawn by the will she/won’t she drama and by the importance of Iowa, the state where once every four years presidential dreams are either destroyed or begin to be realised. Kathie Obradovich, political columnist at the Des Moines Register, sees Palin’s visit as highly significant. It will be her first since a short stop last year to publicise her autobiography, Going Rogue. “Palin is aware that there are flames of speculation over whether she will run for president and coming to Iowa fans that into a wildfire.” Obradovich believes any clues to

Unions plan for co-ordinated action with job loss total already at 150,000 Polly Curtis Hélène Mulholland The government will face co-ordinated industrial action and civil disobedience once the true scale of its budget cuts becomes clear, union leaders warned yesterday as they claimed 150,000 public sector job losses are already in the pipeline. Police forces, councils, courts and hospital trusts are laying off workers even before the bulk of the spending cuts are announced in October’s comprehensive spending review, research by the GMB union suggests. And in a sign that mainstream Labour’s attitude towards the cuts is hardening, Harriet Harman, the deputy leader, said the party felt “militant” against extreme cuts. She defended unions’ right to strike, though she insisted that nobody wanted to see people’s lives disrupted. Union leaders at the TUC conference, which opens today, were last night talking about the inevitability of industrial action after next month’s spending review, when the scale of the coalition’s cuts will become clear. Today, the unions will debate plans that would see them mandated to “support and co-ordinate campaigning and joint union industrial action” to fight the cuts, under pressure from the more radical unions to demonstrate that they will stand up to the government. Union leaders in Manchester had hoped to avoid talk of a winter of discontent in order to gain public support once the cuts begin to bite into people’s services, welfare payments and housing bills in the spring. But last night the TUC was struggling to contain anger over the cuts, with some unions pushing to act sooner to see off job losses and changes to their members’ pensions. Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said industrial action was inevitable , adding that unless unions fought back together the future would be “bleak”. “Over 100,000 civil service jobs have been cut over the past six years and we are now

being hit by closures and cuts even as the sword of chancellor George Osborne hangs in the air. “We ain’t seen nothing yet. People are very worried and demoralised and are just waiting for things to get worse.” Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said a campaign of civil disobedience was needed to fight spending cuts. “Maybe we need Batman climbing up 10 Downing Street, Spider-Man on Buckingham Palace as part of peaceful demonstrations of civil disobedience. This is an opportunity for the entire trade union movement to come together and mobilise support. Unions should also link up together, because we are confronting the same enemy. Otherwise they will be picked off one at a time.” However, Les Bayliss, who is hoping to be general secretary of Unite, said public sector strikes would only deprive vulnerable people of services they needed, and the ones the Tories wanted to cut. Bayliss said: “Strikes will also change the victims – our members – into the villains of the piece. The story will get changed from government savagery to union militancy.” The GMB research, a survey of its officers to document the number of jobs they are defending up and down the country, identified 19,198 jobs under threat in Scotland, 8,680 in the south-east, 8,604 in the West Midlands and 8,176 jobs in the southwest region. NHS trusts are planning 36,000 job losses, the courts 15,000, and individual councils and police forces have also announced waves of redundancies. Yesterday, leaked documents suggesting that the coalition has considered another £2.5bn in benefit cuts drew further fury from charities. But the letters, from June, were played down by the government, which said the plans had moved on. Paul Kenny, the GMB general secretary, said: “Current job losses already announced in the public sector

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Sarah Palin warms up a crowd in Alaska on Saturday. Her appearance in Iowa this week appears to signal a run at the White House Photo: Michael Dinneen/AP Photo

Tributes to Lord Bingham,‘the greatest judge of our time’

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Maev Kennedy Human rights campaigners and lawyers are mourning the former law lord Lord Bingham, regarded as one of the most brilliant and courageous lawyers of his generation. Friends and colleagues remembered an intellectual giant with a twinkle of irreverence. Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC said: “It is no exaggeration to say that Tom Bingham was the greatest judge of our time.” Bingham died of cancer at his family home in Wales on Saturday, aged 76, having continued tirelessly lecturing and writing since his retirement two years ago. Yesterday Professor Robert McCorquodale, director of the British Institute of

International and Comparative Law, said: “He will be remembered as an exceptional man with a brilliant mind.” Philippe Sands QC, professor of international law at University College London, said: “At a time of real challenge and crisis, in the months and years after 9/11, he was a rock of principle, not starry-eyed about the law but conscious that it reflects deep values that we abandon at our peril. Fair, Lord Bingham: ‘the perfect combination of intellect, integrity, humanity and humility’, said Shami Chakrabarti

robust and principled, he was the embodiment of what we imagine the rule of law to be about.” Liberty director, Shami Chakrabarti, who wrote of him as her hero last month in the Guardian, said yesterday: “Today lawyers and human rights defenders the world over will mourn this great loss. Tom Bingham was the perfect combination of intellect, integrity, humanity and humility – a very private man who became such a towering figure in legal and public life. “As long as people anywhere fight torture and slavery, treasure free speech, fair trials, personal privacy and liberty itself, Lord Bingham will be remembered.” The journalist Henry Porter recalled his “wonderfully elegant mind”. “Tom Bingham was a great man whose humanity was

as evident in his good manners and treatment of his opponents as it is in the huge body of important judgments,” he said. Bingham, born in London to an Ulster Irish father, originally studied history, but went on to hold the top law offices, succeeding Lord Donaldson as master of the rolls from 1992 to 1996, and becoming lord chief justice of England and Wales from 1996 to 2000 and senior law lord until 2008. As senior law lord he ruled that detention of foreign terror suspects without charge breached their human rights, and after retiring in 2008 he argued that Britain’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 broke international law. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 2005, the first judge to be so honoured.

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