News digest 11 February 2014

News digest 11 February 2014

11 February 2014

Today’s top reads: Stories to keep an eye out for:

·                Scientists attack government’s kneejerk reaction to floods - Indie

·                The people who run Britain have never been so out of touch – or inept – Mail

·                Bosses turn upbeat as retail sales soar - Express

·                Don’t send recovery off course, warns CBI - Telegraph

·                Bank chiefs will get their pay outs, despite the gestures– Indie

·                Disposable incomes 'will not rise for average family until 2015' – Guardian

Today’s digest opens with a torrent of coverage of the floods across the country. It finally looks like the government has woken up to sense the level of anger – and despair – but it still seems unsure what to do. One suggestion to deal with the floods is take food from the mouths of the starving poor, the Mail today launches a campaign to slash the foreign aid budget to deal with flood damage and the hurt caused to flood hit Britons. Yes really. The Express says ‘thousands more face flood misery’, the Times has a stark ‘Water World’ while the Guardian runs with the headline of prime minister David Cameron calling on ministers to ‘stop the flooding blame game’. Most interestingly the FT probably finds the cause of the problem, its headline: “Smith says he warned ministers that ‘massive’ cuts would hit flood defences.” After a couple of days of trying to lay the blame on others – primarily the aforementioned head of the Environment Agency Chris Smith – the government looks to be floundering in its response. As the political pressure rises it may be worth remembering the response to flooding rescued one government from electoral defeat, namely Gerhard Schröder’s SPD in Germany. Schröder knew what he was doing, sadly the Con-Dems look to enjoy all the trappings of power, but have no clue in how to exercise it for the common good…

One group isolated from the impact of floods are the bankers at the top of their ivory towers in the depths of the City. As the latest round of bonuses area warded to senior bankers at Barclays, the bank also outlines it plans to cut a further 12,000 jobs, this is on top of some 7,650 jobs last year. Looks like ordinary bank staff are bearing the brunt of the restructuring while the bosses get away with a bonus bonanza.

Talking of bonuses – or the lack of them – there are two contrasting surveys out today. The CBI says the economy is finally recovering arguing Britain is back in business, however they may be feeling the benefit in the boardrooms but for ordinary workers any joy will be a long way off, in fact the Resolution Foundation report says the recession has caused an “unparalleled collapse in real wages” with some salaries not expected to recover pre-recession levels until 2022, yes another eight years before wages get back to the levels they were at before the financial meltdown, put simply why not cut the boardroom bonuses and spread the profits by delivering a proper pay rise…

In London tonight? Join the public rally in Camden: Hands off our Unions, defend our right to resist austerity. Unite’s Steve Turner will be joined by Mark Serwotka of PCS, Francesca Martinez and John Hendy as they come together to challenge the government’s announcement of an inquiry into trade union tactics and its determination to undermine the right to protest against austerity [register here].

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun  (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • I will rule like Mrs. T, says Ed (p2)
  • Wages to rise, but not much (p2)
  • Car fag brake (p4)
  • Stormageddon (p6-7)
  • British gas break up call (p40)
  • CBI:. Workers’ joy as UK on the up (p41)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Water world (p1-7)
  • MPs vote to ban smoking in cars carrying children (p9)
  • Cameron must stop and search his conscience – Rachel Sylvester (p23)
  • Cost of Sellafield clean up to exceed £70 billion (p35) – Unite/ Kevin Coyne cited
  • Barclays publishes profits early (p37)
  • Election doubts put brakes on bosses return to spending (p38)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Smith says he warned ministers that ‘massive’ cuts would hit flood defences (p1/2)
  • Miliband offers prospect of power to the people (p2)
  • Experts cast doubts on forced sale of British Gas (p3)
  • Universities to face £125 million cut (p4)
  • Clegg criticises Osborne ‘assault’ on working poor (p4)
  • Without women Cameron is fighting a lost cause – Helen Lewis (p11)
  • Serco nets first UK contract since ban (p16)
  • Barclays suffers blow after blow (p20)

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