News digest 12 September 2013

News digest 12 September 2013

12 September 2013

With the TUC over its back to the Westminster battle and yesterday saw the latest unemployment data which showed a welcome dip of 24,000 to 7.7 per cent, but behind the figures the reality is a divided Britain. Unite said rises in the long-term unemployed; youth unemployment; and those working part-time but seeking full-time positions, were ‘stubbornly high and highlighted the deep flaws in the government’s economic policies. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “While we welcome the fall in the jobless total this month, these headline figures show serious and alarming trends in the long-term jobless and youth unemployment. It masks the reality of two economic nations in a divided Britain. These are issues that George Osborne doggedly refuses to address  … we are living in a divided Britain scarred by a zero hours contract culture; falling living standards in real terms; the longest wage squeeze since the 1870s; and people in part-time work wanting full time jobs. David Cameron and his smug chancellor have created two economic nations, where the rich get richer on the backs of millions of working people who face an insecure employment future – or no future at all.”

And from a smug chancellor to a smug and rather angry Tory party chairman. Grant Shapps has come out all guns blazing against the findings of the UN special rapporteur Raquel Rolnik after she attacked the ‘bedroom tax’. Shapps has written to the UN secretary general to complain about the report rather than look at the reality of what it means for the country. Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith also waded in saying Rolnik had undermined the impartiality of the UN but then you can’t really trust him as the Indie reports he blamed his civil servants for the welfare fiasco which the Telegraph notes could have cost the government some £200 million.

And talking of rising costs, the government has announced that it will privatise the Royal Mail in the coming weeks, with shares offered to employees, institutions and the public. Share in Lloyds could also be up for sale. From previous privatisations we can see that this will lead to higher costs, poorer service, probably efficiency gains (job cuts to you and me) and more fact cat profits for those at the top. I would say same old Tories but this being driven by so called left leaning Lib Dem Vince Cable, perhaps trying to raise his profile ahead of the conference season.

Talking of driving and there’s some good news for taxi drivers as a number of the papers report that the black can production line in Coventry has restarted, 66 new jobs have been created and some 2,000 cabs are expected to be produced in the first year.

And finally from taxis to buses and its congratulations to Mohammed Taj, a Unite member and bus driver from Bradford, who has been voted in as the next TUC president. Said Mohammed: Commenting on his election as TUC President: “I am proud to have come from lay membership level and be the first Muslim and the first Asian President of the TUC. 'During my year as president I'm keen to reach out to trade unionists in the Arab world - in places like Tunisia, Egypt and Iraq - where people are living and working in extremely dangerous and unstable situations, and help them build, strong, independent and democratic unions. Protecting the NHS and campaigning against government policies - which have seen the increasing involvement of the private sector, and where more and more profit is being put before patient care - will also be one of my priorities. “

 Morning Star

  • Lucas: Shut down illegal arms fair (p2)
  • ‘Solid’ strike hits drinks delivery across Britain (p2) – Unite/Rhys McCarthy cited
  • Puma probe welcomed (p3)
  • Cuts could put 1.5 million more in poverty (p3)
  • Rattled PM fires broadside at ‘damaging’ trade unions (p3) - Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • HS” could make £15 billion (p4)
  • NUM calls for Orgreave probe (p5) – Unite cited
  • Cuts to blame for Mid Staffs tragedy (p5) – Unite cited

 Daily Mirror

 Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • PM: Miliband a U-turn chicken (p1)
  • Hollande in jibe at Cameron (p2)
  • Lloyds share sale to start (p12)
  • Unemployment divide (p23) - Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Sports Direct to join FTSE100 (p46)
  • Mail set for float (p46)



 Times (no links all stories behind paywall) – not delivered


  • Hillsborough investigation going nowhere (p1)
  • BBC pledges reforms (p2)
  • Syrian crisis continues as US and Russia drift apart (p6-7)
  • Top civil servant blamed by MPs for welfare fiasco (p12)
  • Cameron hits out at Unite strike guide (p13) - Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Party leaders should be lovers not fighters – Steve Richards (p17) – Unite cited
  • Tories go for UN after bedroom tax attack (p24)
  • Union dinosaurs bite back (p25) – Unite cited
  • What aren’t women on the board? (p52)
  • Most UK firms back membership of EU (p53)
  • Sports Direct makes £260 million profit (p53)
  • Lloyds told to pump more into TSB (p54)



  • Hollande attacks Cameron (p1)
  • BBC ordered to open up its accounts (p8)
  • Miliband’s popularity sinks to lowest level for three years (p8)
  • £200 million may have been wasted on ‘welfare plan’, MPs told (p11)
  • Unison pays £50,000 over race slur (p15)
  • UN attack on bedroom tax is disgrace, says Shapps (p18)
  • Syria divisions remains (p22-23)
  • Clegg has served his split party well and deserves to survive – Peter Oborne (p28)
  • Britain making black cabs again (b1)
  • Royal Mail in last ditch to win union support (b1)
  • Unemployment rate falls (b1)
  • Apple slumps (b3)

 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Coalition to launch Royal Mail sell off (p1)
  • Civil service reform shakes Whitehall (p2)
  • Cable’s warning on help to buy (p2)
  • Unemployment falls (p3)
  • Pensions gap wider than feared (p4)
  • UN attack on ‘bedroom tax’ enrages Tory chairman (p4)
  • Leader: Relearn old lessons to renew Labour (p12) – Unite cited
  • Mondelez taps Twitter (p17)
  • Apple seeks leap forward (p19)
  • Geely restarts black cab production (p22)
  • Sports Direct back on track (p23)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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