Daily catch-up: legality of strikes against Isis, a bet on Ukip, and a socialist reading list

Observations and curios from around what Gordon Brown, titan of our times, calls the websphere

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The Independent Online

1. As MPs return to Westminster today to debate whether UK forces should take part in air strikes against Isis in Iraq, Carl Gardner has a thorough assessment of the legality of military action, and concludes, unlike Philippe Sands, that strikes would be legal in Syria as well as in Iraq.

Mark Urban, meanwhile, commented wisely: "Not sure British journos learnt much from Iraq 2003, to judge from hyping of UK role, use of dubious intelligence and talk of limited air action as 'war'."

2. Jonathan Simons, of Policy Exchange, the think tank, said last week that someone ought to write an article about going in search of Nicky Morgan, the new Education Secretary. "Call it Finding NiMo."

3. Also last week, Miss Mossley told Jonathan Reynolds, the Labour MP for Stalybridge and Hyde:

"My son met you at school today. I told him you were Shadow Energy Minister and he briefly thought you were a necromancer."

(I did not know that necromantia, in late Latin, became nigromantia in medieval Latin, by association with niger, black, and nigromancie in Middle English, before reverting in the 16th century to necromancy, "to conform with the late Latin form".)

4. A bet on the UKIP vote at the general election: Sunder Katwala recorded a £100 bet as the party started its annual conference in Doncaster. David Goodhart, author of The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-war Immigration, said that UKIP would win 8.5 per cent or less of the vote. Matthew Goodwin, co-author of Revolt on the Right, said it would win more than 8.5 per cent.

5. In 1906 the Review of Reviews asked 45 Labour MPs what book had most influenced them. Here are their answers, via Dan Jackson:

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6. Finally, thanks to Mark O'Neill for this:

"Looking after a chocolate bar for someone. Yes, I am a Guardian of the Galaxy."

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