09/09/2013 04:29 BST | Updated 09/09/2013 04:31 BST

Mehdi's Morning Memo: US Syria Vote Looms

Foreign Secretary William Hague and US Secretary of State John Kerry during a joint news conference, following their meeting in central London.
Foreign Secretary William Hague and US Secretary of State John Kerry during a joint news conference, following their meeting in central London.

The five things you need to know on Monday 9 September 2013...


John Kerry arrived in London yesterday ahead of a meeting with William Hague today. The US secretary of state will then return to the United States to try and persuade congress to vote in favour of military strikes against the Syrian regime. How is that going? Not that well.

As The Huffington Post reports, Obama's plan faces significant resistance from Republicans and his fellow Democrats in Congress, with many lawmakers worried military strikes in Syria could lead to a prolonged U.S. commitment there and spark broader conflicts in the region. VOTE PREDICTION: 233 Lean No. Just 39 Yes.

David Cameron will also have to report back to MPs this afternoon on how the G20 summit in Russia went - amid accusations the prime minister was sidelined in the discussions after MPs blocked him from joining military action.

Today's Memo is edited by Ned Simons as Mehdi Hasan got left alone on a train by the prime minister.


The UK economy is "turning a corner", George Osborne will declare today in his most upbeat assessment yet about the country's prospects. The Press Association reports that in a bid to capitalise on a slew of positive signals, the chancellor will hail "tentative signs of a balanced, broad based and sustainable recovery". He will stress that it is still "early stages" and that "many risks" remain - perhaps mindful of the controversy attached to predecessor Norman Lamont's 1991 "green shoots" speech.

The Daily Telegraph leads with the story this morning under the headline 'Osborne: We've saved the economy and proved Labour wrong'. According to the paper: "His broadly positive tone reflects a growing belief among senior Government figures that the economic mood of the nation has taken a decisive turn for the better, offering a potential political boost for the Coalition and the Conservatives in particular."


Union leaders are being urged by Labour to unite behind Ed Miliband's plans to reform their historic links with the party or risk opening the door to a Tory general election victory. The party's deputy leader Harriet Harman will issue the plea for unity as hostility to the proposed shake-up and the continued fallout from the Falkirk selection-rigging controversy dominate the annual TUC gathering. "If we don't have unity, there are going to be winners and losers. The winners will be the Tories and the losers will be our constituents and your members," Harman will tell them in Bournemouth.

The Independent reports today Miliband's planned reforms to Labour's relationship with the unions enjoys strong support among ordinary union members. A YouGov survey for Labour Uncut showed his plan to make trade unionists "opt in" to giving money to the party is backed by 60 per cent of members of unions affiliated to Labour.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...: This Dog Is The WORST At Catching Cheerios


Where should you not leave your prime ministerial red box? Unattended. The Daily Mirror gleefully reports this morning that David Cameron left his box (no doubt stuffed full of nuclear launch codes and the few remaining GCHQ secrets) alone on a train while he went to the buffet car. Now that sounds bad. But let's put this in perspective. It's not like he left one of his children in a pub or anything.


Chris Huhne has launched an attack on Rupert Murdoch, claiming it is his "media machine" that corrodes public trust rather than the actions of politicians. Writing in The Guardian about his time in jail for swapping speeding points he writes: "Why was News International prepared to invest so much to tail an opposition Liberal Democrat back in 2009? Maybe it was coincidence, but that summer I was the only frontbencher who, with Nick Clegg's brave backing, called for the Metropolitan police to reopen the voicemail hacking inquiry into Rupert Murdoch's empire."

"The News of the World sparked the end of my marriage, but another Murdoch title, the Sunday Times, then groomed my ex-wife until she told them about the speeding points. The political editor bought dinners, sent flowers, offered breaks at smart hotels, and reassured her that she would not face any unpleasant consequences (such as prison)."

The former cabinet minister has also given an interview to BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Which went well for him...


@MattChorley Well my timeline is giving Chris Huhne a warm welcome back. Or am I reading it wrong?

@tnewtondunn EXCL: Don't whine at me Argie schemer - Cameron snubs Kirchner in front of G20


Chris Huhne in The Guardian: 'People despise politicians but whose fault is that?'

Boris Johnson in The Daily Telegraph: Milisecond (n): the time it takes Ed to do the unions’ bidding

Tom Watson in The Guardian: The Labour party must get ready for the next generation

Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan (mehdi.hasan@huffingtonpost.com) or Ned Simons (ned.simons@huffingtonpost.com). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol