News digest 11 October 2012

News digest 11 October 2012

11 October 2012

Nine days to march for a future that works – join us on #oct20

The digest opens with coverage of prime minister David Cameron’s closing speech to the Conservative party conference. Most of the right-wing papers welcome the speech with the Mail saying Cameron defended his 'posh' upbringing with a promise to help all Britons make a better life for themselves while the Sun notes that he gave his starkest warning on the economy saying it is “sink or swim” time. The Telegraph also focuses on the promise to ‘spread privilege’ of the kind Cameron enjoyed when he was growing up, although looking at Con-Dem Britain that will be increasingly difficult without the backing of wealthy funds. The Guardian said that Cameron's speech showed Ed Miliband has got under the prime minister’s skin. Good.

Overall the speech lacked the jokes and laughter of previous years, but was still warmly applauded by the Tory audience, out in the country it was different with the Tories continuing to be seen as out of touch. On benefits one of Cameron’s key phrases was a strong threat: "You have to seek work, you have to take work or you WILL lose your benefit." Cameron also challenged union leaders that condemned workfare as wrong saying any job is better than none, does that mean hello to 15 hour days at the coalface for kids again?

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said that the prime minister used the spectre of an aggressive global market to mask the failings of his austerity-obsessed government: “David Cameron says that we must ‘sink or swim’ as a country – yet, he has cut the life belt for the millions of Britons struggling to find work and juggling to make ends meet with squeezed household incomes ... this was a speech devoid of hope aimed at frightening people into submission, and accepting the coalition’s unfair and divisive policies.” The Mirror’s Kevin Maguire summed up the speech as a mid-term, medium effort destined to be forgotten. The sooner we’re shot of this Con-Dem shambles the better…

The other main story of the day was the collapse of the BAE-EADS merger deal as plans were hit by deadlock between the UK, French and German governments regarding political objections to the deal. The UK wanted France and Germany to agree to limit their influence in the merged firm in order to maintain BAE's strong working relations with the US Pentagon, but Germany [for that read chancellor Angela Merkel] stood in the way. BAE shares fell two per cent in London trading as the news broke, while EADS shares jumped three per cent leading Unite to call for the government to take a more active role in the company to safeguard British jobs [potentially under threat with defence cuts on both sides of the Atlantic] and boost British manufacturing. Unite’s Ian Waddell said: “BAE is a great British company. The government needs to follow the example of Germany and France where they pursue an active industrial policy and adopt an approach that safeguards the highly skilled jobs which are critical to our country’s defence.” Protecting privilege or protecting jobs? We all know the priorities of the Con-Dem government. Nuff said.

Elsewhere there is more pressure for workers, the Guardian says civil servants will be made to work longer and the Mail issues a warning over pensions while the Express front page highlights rising food prices. And talking of food the Telegraph reports that more graduates have become shelf stackers as the economy slides, while a separate piece the paper reports that teenagers are the happiest generation, just wait until they leave school. And just in case you don’t think we’re all in this together a number of papers report on the tax affairs of Facebook’s UK operations. The Indie calls the company the antisocial network after it is revealed that despite generating some £175 million in sales, Facebook UK has paid just £238,000 in corporation tax by diverting sales via Ireland, when will they close the tax loopholes? Perhaps Facebook could be a new target as the Indie also asks what’s the legacy of Occupy London?

Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Merkel scuppers BAE deal (p1)
  • Cameron: I’m not here to defend privilege, I’m here to spread it (p1)
  • Cameron: Let’s work together (p6-7)
  • Next round of free schools struggling to find sites (p21)
  • Trade unions and Tories march to the same beat – Matthew Parris (p26) – Unite cited
  • Banking’s two speed Europe still far from striking a balance (p38)
  • Toyota returns to bad old days with recall (p45)



·         David Cameron's speech shows Ed Miliband has got under his skin (p1)

·         Angela Merkel blamed for collapse of £28 billion BAE-EADS merger (p1) – Ian Waddell quoted

·         GlaxoSmithKline opens door on data in bid to aid discovery of medicines (p2)

·         Leaked documents reveal plan to lengthen public sector working hours (p5)

·         UN warns of rising food costs after year's extreme weather (p6)

·         Atos calls in public sector to take on outsourced medical assessments (p8)

·         Conservatives are not party of the better off, claims David Cameron (p10)

·         Conservative conference diary: big bazooka denounces Boris (p10)

·         Five things that were left out of David Cameron's speech (p10)

·         Ten things we've learned from the Conservative party conference (p10)

·         David Cameron's strange world of opportunity (p11)

·         Controversial 'zombie roads' scheme to be resuscitated (p15)

·         Six arrested over alleged mistreatment of elderly care home residents (p18)

·         Downing Street backed Andrew Mitchell over Rwandan aid (p21)

·         Angela Merkel blocks BAE/EADS merger over small German share (p26)

·         BAE chief executive faces battle to restore reputation after deal collapse (p26)

·         BAE/EADS: timeline of the deal that never was (p26)

·         Aerospace merger: fine old mess leaves both managements damaged (p27)

·         Facebook accused of taking UK for a ride over taxes (p28)

·         Providence predicts Irish oil boom as field reserves upgraded (p28)

·         RBS hopes for £2.5 billion in Direct Line flotation (p28)

·         Vauxhall moves to four-day week at Ellesmere Port factory (p29) – Unite cited

·         MPs launch quantitative easing inquiry (p29)

·         Toyota recalls seven million cars worldwide over window fault (p29)

·         Why I fell out with Andrew Lansley over the NHS – David Kerr (p32)

·         These push-button policies may sound bold. Far from it – Zoe Williams (p32)

·         David Cameron's Conservatives are living a lie and he can't speak up – Martin Kettle (p33)

·         Boris Johnson: brilliant, warm, funny – and totally unfit to be PM – Max Hastings (p34)

·         G2: The return of the nasty party (p6-9)


 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • EADS/BAE deal collapses (p1
  • Cameron aspires to ‘global’ race’ (p2)
  • Premier has big hopes for small businesses (p3)
  • Barclays to stop rewarding staff for volume of sales (p4)
  • Franchising plans derailed (p4)
  • Workers warned over high pension charges (p4)
  • IMF sounds alarm over Japanese banks (p17)
  • BAE left to take care of deal fallout (p18)
  • BAE: Questions raised over UK approach (p19)
  • Siemens chief to outline cost savings strategy (p20)
  • Toyota hit by single biggest recall (p21)
  • Peugeot and Fiat suffer fresh ratings cut (p21)
  • Unilever hunts for help with its green products (p22)

 Yesterday’s Unite releases

·         Cameron resorts to ‘the politics of fear’ to hide failings, says Unite

·         UK government urged to strengthen its ‘golden share’ in BAE as merger collapses

 Edited by Mik Sabiers