News digest 11 November 2013

News digest 11 November 2013

11 November 2013

The top international story in many of the broadsheets focuses on the typhoon sweeping through South east Asia. Typhoon Haiyan - one of the most powerful storms on record to make landfall - swept through six central Philippine islands on Friday and the impact has seen than 10,000 people killed and a humanitarian disaster in its wake. Donations can be made to the Red Cross Appeal –

On the domestic front there are a range of stories from yesterday’s remembrance day services across the country to former prime minister Sir John Major hitting out at the elite in the corridors of power. As the whole scale attack on ordinary people continues, the Mirror notes 375,000 children have been hit by the bedroom tax and even chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander’s father slams the hated tax. A number of papers also focus on how the state makes a killing out of premium phone lines which are hitting the most vulnerable hardest and all this while MPs are still up to their old tricks as supposedly rising Tory star Nadhim Zahawi MP has been embroiled in an expenses scandal after it not only emerges that he was charging expenses for heating his stables but also 31p for paperclips and 53p for a hole punch. As ever no understanding of the real world for yet another millionaire Tory MP.

And that brings us back to John Major’s comments on the impact of private schools on British life, although he has the gall to blame the Labour party for the collapse in social mobility, like Labour set up the elite education system. In fact under assault is one of Labour’s greatest achievements, namely the NHS. As the front pages of the Times focuses on doctors deserting A&E, the FT reports that prime minister David Cameron is personally overseeing contingency plans in order to avoid a winter crisis, his solution is to turn to the private sector with four big private hospital groups providing details of capacity. So if there’s another winter crisis, you know who to blame.

And finally, amidst the most vicious attacks on the union movement since the 1970s, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has vowed `no retreat’ from protesting against abusive employers. McCluskey warned the government is using the cover of the slump to lay siege to workers’ wages and rights, and the Tories’ deployment of the services of Lynton Crosby is a reminder that attacks on workers and their unions will only become more vicious ahead of the 2015 election. Writing in the Morning Star ahead of this week’s Unite sector conferences, Len McCluskey said: “Today, we meet in the middle of a vast media witch-hunt against our union, reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s.  We are facing unscrupulous smears from both media and politicians.  Every day we read statements and press articles about Unite which do not come within hailing distance of the truth.” And Len will warn that Daily Mail `lies’ about protest are walking the country into a Tory assault on basic freedoms: “The protests which the Daily Mail has targeted are something different. They are as old as democracy – free speech and the right to peacefully demonstrate. For that, our members have been described as ‘thugs’.  We will see what the law makes of that phrase. It is, at any event, a lie. These protests were peaceful, mostly silent, and of course had nothing to do with intimidating families, children, or anyone … let me send one clear message to the Daily Mail: This union is not retreating from leverage, or from the right to peaceful protest. And we are not taking lessons in proper conduct from a paper which, from its support for fascism before the war to its smearing of Ralph Miliband today, represents a stream of poison in British society.” That poison needs an antidote, and people are turning to policies that speak up for the many, not the elite casino capitalists and fat cat energy bosses that troop in to Tory central office…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

 Morning Star (website updated later)

  • McCluskey slams witch hunt of union (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Toasty stable MP sorry for claiming cash (p2)
  • Workers swoop on blacklister Laing (p3) - Unite/Gail Cartmail cited
  • Co-op members call for chair to go (p4)
  • Poverty pay unis slammed by staff and students (p5)
  • Solidarity is our strength - Len McCluskey (p8-9)
  • Uniting for transport – Diana Holland (p9)
  • STUC women’s conference (p11)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Typhoon Haiyan (p1/12-13)
  • 2,000 get homes with help to buy (p2)
  • Scandal of government helpline charges (p5)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Doctors deserting A&E (p1)
  • Typhoon Haiyan (p1/32)
  • Labour warned about Unite vote tactics 10 months ago (p4) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Energy giants to repay hoarded cash (p15)
  • Bombardier bounces back (p41)
  • Employment and orders on rise (p45)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Tories put private hospitals on standby (p1/3)
  • Jobs outlook healthiest in five years (p2)
  • BP raises issue of Deepwater causation (p18)
  • Serco sparks prospect of profit warning (p18)
  • Co-op plans structural revamp (p22)
  • Jaguar helps drive universities tie-up (p23)