News digest 1 July 2014

News digest 1 July 2014

01 July 2014

The main story in almost all the papers is the guilty verdict of entertainer Rolf Harris who is due to be sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of 12 indecent assaults. There’s comprehensive coverage with the Telegraph best summing up the story as: “Harris, entertainer, artist and sex abuser, could die in jail”.

And Andy Coulson was also back in the headlines with news that he will face a retrial over police bribery allegations, separately he will be sentenced on Friday after he was last week convicted of plotting to hack phones. remember it was prime minister David Cameron who brought him in to the heart of Downing Street.

And that takes us to the top story, which is getting Cameron out of Downing street. There’s widespread coverage of Unite general secretary Len McCluskey’s keynote address to the Unite policy conference being held in Liverpool this week with the focus on backing for Labour and a full on challenge to austerity. Unite will stand with Labour to challenge the Con-Dem coalition and see off Cameron, Clegg and all their cronies. Said Len: “We will not let Labour fight with one hand tied behind its back. We will be up against the party of the rich, bought and paid for by the rich, with its coffers overflowing with cash from hedge funds, the City and those doing very nicely out of health privatisation. Unite will do its bit to make sure that the next election is not financially lop-sided because democracy demands a fair fight.”

Len also highlighted how Unite has been under the most sustained attack any union has had to endure for a generation or more: Added Len: “The Tories, their media allies and the rest of the establishment  … are afraid of us. We challenge their privileged position in society and they don’t like it one little bit. These attacks form part of a dangerous agenda … if the Tories win we will face a government determined to put many of the normal functions of free trade unions outside the law, but we will be ready. And we will not be cowed. It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of our society, and the future of the labour movement, will be in the balance over the next twelve months. Let there be no doubt – we’re now facing the fight of our lives.” We fight on and we fight to win.

And that is exactly what 70,000 local government workers will do as Len also announced the result of the ballot for strike action by the workers to conference. The strike vote was cheered by the thousand strong delegation and the mobilisation towards a day of mass action on 10 July continues; up to two million workers represented by Unite, Unison, the GMB and NUT are set to take action. Unite national officer Fiona Farmer said: “For too long the council workers have been targeted to bear the brunt of the austerity measures that have been imposed by millionaire cabinet ministers since 2010. Our members have endured four years of pay cuts in real terms and they have now voted overwhelmingly to strike on 10 July to drive home the message to ministers that ‘poverty pay’ in local government must end.” Too right.

But the Tories do have a little spring in their step according to some papers, after Cameron was praised by his MPs for the catastrophic handling of the appointment of Jean Claude Juncker as EU Commission president, a poll has shown that the Tories are back in the lead, by a whopping two per cent, that won’t deliver a Cameron majority, instead he’ll have to rely on an economic recovery, the trouble is we’re just not feeling it, and even though the FT notes that recession was not as deep as believed (based on ONS figures - hmmm), the recovery looks rather wobbly as many papers report on the drop in mortgage approvals, the fact that pay rises are non-existent and that the expected pick up in capital expenditure by companies has failed to appear. It looks like the Help to Buy bubble may be about to pop leaving chancellor George Osborne and Cameron little left to show for four years of austerity and stealth privatisation, sadly there’s still 10 months to the election and based on the evidence they can still do a lot of damage in so little time…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror (not delivered)

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Rolf Harris guilty (p1/4-7)
  • Lender Len’s struck again (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • IDS: Axe dole for under 25s (p20
  • easyJet crashes (p41)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Slump in support for Scottish independence (p1/10-11)
  • Rolf Harris’ 40 years of depravity (p1/6-7)
  • MPs endorse nuclear deterrent (p2)
  • Labour pledges £30 billion for councils (p14) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Coulson faces retrial (p16)
  • Ed lacks character, not policies – Rachel Sylvester (p21) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Cost of supermarket war (p36)
  • Deputy’s loyalty rewarded with seat on Ryanair board (p38)
  • Heseltine on why Britain lags behind (p41)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • BNP faces £8.9bn fine (p1)
  • Heathrow eyes jump in landing charges (p1)
  • Labour unveils larger councils plan (p2)
  • Mortgage approvals drop (p2)
  • Recession shallower than thought (p3)
  • Cameron’s EU strategy under scrutiny (p30
  • Capex data casts recovery doubts (p18)
  • Ineos buys BASF styrene stake (p20)
  • BAE shakes up Saudi operations (p20)

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