News digest 2 October 2012

News digest 2 October 2012

02 October 2012

The Labour conference continues to dominate the political headlines with strong interventions from union leaders and many attacking the party for backing the Con-Dem's public sector pay freeze. Unite's Len McCluskey told conference that asking the poorest to make further sacrifices is the road to political ruin with his speech getting the biggest cheer of conference so far. Len said: “A public squeeze while the City continues to let rip is simply not acceptable. Asking the poorest for further sacrifices for a crisis they did not cause is the road to political ruin and defeat at the next election. It is time for Labour to once and for all turn its back on the neoliberalism of the past." Len laid out that the challenge was not a false ‘jobs versus wages’ argument and was backed by Unison’s Dave Prentis who added to the call for “an agenda for growth.” Miliband and Balls are standing firm in the backing for the ongoing pay freeze of public sector pay on the grounds that protecting jobs is a higher priority, but McCluskey countered that: “Labour must give hope to people in the country who are struggling, and be bold and determined.”

There was applause for Balls – in the keynote speech of the day - as he proposed spending the money from the sale of the 4G mobile spectrum - estimated at £3 billion - to build over 100,000 new ‘affordable’ homes as well as the call for a stamp duty holiday for first time buyers purchasing homes up to £250,000. Balls argued Labour must give young people hope and rebuild Britain for the future: "That is our challenge. That is our mission. Let us rise to it together." Speaking at a fringe after Balls speech, Len said the public sector pay freeze doesn't make economic sense, but he praised Balls' speech as "very, very good."

Today there is however mixed news for Ed Miliband – who makes his keynote address this afternoon where he is due to focus on the 'forgotten 50 per cent'. A poll in the Indie shows that just one in five voters think he has what it takes to be prime minister, and more crucially Labour is still not ahead of the Tories in terms of trust on the economy, perhaps Miliband needs to go back to his cerebral roots? Well he could perhaps do with taking on board the thoughts of Eric Hobsbawn who died yesterday, one quote springs to mind: "We have no clear perspective on how the crisis can lead to a socialist transformation and, to be honest, no real expectation that it will." Hobsbawn wrote that in 1978; almost 35 years on and that message is still true and still to be acted upon. There has to be another way…

Elsewhere on the business front the BAE-EADS merger remains in the headlines with an argument that the merger is for business reasons and not about job losses, let’s hope Enders is true to his word. The on-off-on again Glencore-Xstrata merger runs in to trouble and looks like it may be off again, while in France Arcelor-Mittal threatens a French furnace with closure, creating more headaches for French president Francois Hollande who is facing pressure after his austerity focused budget last Friday.

Over on the other side of the Atlantic and US president Barack Obama and his Republican challenger the gaffe prone Mitt Romney are swotting up ahead of the first presidential debate tomorrow night, at least neither will have to agree with Nick, and finally back in Britain there’s one piece of good news for fans of Cadbury’s chocolate as a few of the papers report that nearly a century after the first Dairy Milk bar rolled off the production line in a purple wrapper the company has won the legal right to stop other chocolate makers using the distinctive colour, from now on Nestle is not allowed to use the signature shade, let’s hope Cadbury also makes no changes to Cadbury’s chocolate recipes…


Morning Star


Daily Mirror








Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Miliband in £1 billion apprentices pledge (p1)
  • Soap-opera battles ruining chances of recovery, says Balls (p6) – Len McCluskey quoted
  • NHS cuts funding to specialist charities (p15)
  • Labour must shake off its defeat deniers – Rachel Sylvester (p19)
  • As a bona fide geek, Ed, your time has come – Hugo Rifkind (p21)
  • French put spanner in work of BAE merger plans (p31)
  • RBS ‘out of the mire’ (p37)
  • Xstrata risks investors’ anger over merger (p39)
  • Europe sick man of global airline industry (p39)





·         Labour conference: Ed Miliband's education vow – end elitism (p1)

·         Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan could be speeded up, says Rasmussen (p1)

·         'Conversion therapy' for gay patients unethical, says professional body (p4)

·         Counter-terrorism officer charged with breaching Official Secrets Act (p4)

·         Ed Balls cheers delegates with attack on David Cameron (p6)

·         Labour conference diary: Campbell considers running for MP (p6)

·         Ed Balls vows to 'rebuild Britain anew' (p6)

·         Olympics: Lord Coe to address Labour conference over London 2012 success (p7)

·         Union leaders attack Labour for backing public sector pay freeze (p7) – Len McCluskey quoted

·         Why Ed Balls' Labour conference speech was classic Gordon Brown (p7)

·         Labour conference: what must Ed Miliband do to win power? (p8)

·         New school building designs hit by curve ban (p11)

·         Spam text senders face fines of up to £500,000 (p14)

·         Ministers' private text and email accounts may be subject to FoI scrutiny (p14)

·         Eric Hobsbawm death: Miliband leads tributes to 'extraordinary' historian (p15)

·         Eric Hobsbawm brought to life lost voices and placed reality centre stage (p15)

·         JJB goes into administration – with 133 shop closures and 2,200 job losses (p23)

·         Greek debt talks deadlocked as lenders demand new wage cuts (p24)

·         Bank of England reports lending to house buyers fell by £400million in August (p24)

·         BAE merger 'not about job cuts' says EADS chief (p25)

·         Xstrata's merger with Glencore under threat again (p25)

·         ArcelorMittal to shut French furnaces if Paris finds no buyer (p28)

·         Aldi to create 4,500 jobs amid sales boom (p28)

·         Royal Bank of Scotland aligns bonuses to quality of customer service (p28)

·         Miliband and Balls do have a plan, but they needn't reveal all yet – Polly Toynbee (p30)

·         A rightwing insurrection is usurping our democracy – George Monbiot (p31)




FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Banks reap profits on mortgages after QE3 (p1)
  • Bankers’ bonuses should be paid in debt, says Brussels chief (p1)
  • Google’s stock value overtakes Microsoft for first time (p1)
  • Miliband to set out vocational shake-up (p2)
  • Unions bristle at warning of cuts (p2) – Len McCluskey quoted
  • Industry bumping along the bottom (p3)
  • Obituary: Eric Hobsbawn (p4)
  • Miliband must shock labour out of its complacency – Janan Ganesh (p13)
  • Investors warm to Xstrata’s latest move (p17/19)
  • ArcelorMittal to shed 600 [French] jobs (p18)
  • Iata raises loss outlook for Europe’s airlines (p21)
  • EADS investors eye deal changes (p22)
  • William Hill’s gamble may pay off (p23)


Edited by Mik Sabiers