News digest 13 February 2014

News digest 13 February 2014

13 February 2014

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

·                Bedroom tax: How much the Tories care – Mirror

·                Hurricane-force winds wreak chaos as floods continue across the UK – Guardian

·                The floods are awful, but we must keep a sense of proportion – Peter Oborne - Telegraph

·                Interest rates on hold as Bank says recovery 'unsustainable' - Guardian

·                Morally bankrupt – Alex Brummer [on Barclays] - Mail

·                Remember what unions have done for this country – Owen Jones - Indie

Today’s digest opens with some good news after parliament yesterday backed Labour MP Ian Lavery’s 10 minute rule bill on axing the hated bedroom tax with MPs voting by 226 votes to just one – Bury North Tory MP David Nuttal - opposed. The Mirror and Morning Star have the main coverage with a stark picture in the Mirror on the lack of government MPs even turning up to listen to the debate, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "This government has turned a blind eye to the suffering of tens of thousands of people today. The hated bedroom tax is driving thousands of families into poverty and forcing people out of their homes, through no fault of their own. Today Ian Lavery MP’s 10 Minute Rule bill gave the government the chance to face up to its grave mistake, yet it continues to press ahead callously.” The bill will be back on the 28 February, that’s when to bin the hated bedroom tax…

Elsewhere the storms and floods feature in every paper, with more warnings of an “unparalleled crisis” as havoc hits vast swathes of the country with people literally being blown off their feet – The Telegraph prints a poor woman actually being blown over on its front page - forecasters predict even worse weather this weekend and the fears are that the chaos could derail the economy, some even talking of a £15 billion hit. Could that be why prime minister David Cameron has backtracked on his pledge that the cost of the clean up was no object, Defra has now issued a statement saying there is no ‘blank cheque’, so who’s in charge then Mr Cameron? Perhaps nobody as the Morning Star sums it up simply: “Too little, too late.” Too right.

And the impact of interest rate rises on the economy has resulted in Bank of England governor Mark Carney ruling out any rises until the second half of next year. The argument in many papers is that the recovery is currently ‘unsustainable’, although that is more likely to refer to the government’s polling figures as any rise would be conveniently held back until after the 2015 general election. Remember there are still some 60 per cent of the cuts to come, just look at Birmingham yesterday, the Indie and Morning Star report that the council has been forced to make another 1,000 redundancies as its budgets gets sliced ever lower…

Talking of job cuts and Barclays still features in many of the papers, if there was ever an example of a bank that needed to change its culture it is this one. The Mail reports that shareholders are furious at the bonus payouts, while Alex Brummer in the same paper says the bank is ‘morally bankrupt’, even the FT gets in on the subject with a comment piece by John Gapper calling for professional exams to rebuild and regulate behaviour arguing: “There is no such thing as a banking profession.” However he concludes by saying any culture change will be a tall order, looking at bonuses for senior bankers this week it is not so much all change as no change, unless you count the bonuses (for failure) in the boardroom, can we expect lots of lolly for those at the top of Lloyds next, you bet …

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Too little, too late (p1) [floods]
  • Lavery leads stand against bedroom tax (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Unite will fight attack on union rights (p3) – Unite/Steve turner cited
  • Legal aid cuts will hit poor (p3)
  • Tory squeeze costs [Birmingham] 1,000 more jobs (p4) – Unite/Lynne Shakespeare cited
  • Industrial vandals threaten to write off power station (p5) – Unite/Kevin Coyne cited
  • Rebuilding trade union principles in the community – Peter Lazenby (p9) – Unite cited

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Hurricane batters UK (p1/4-6)
  • White Dee [from Benefits Street] ‘to be MP’ (p16)
  • Carney’s leap of little faith (p40)
  • Prius woe (p40)






  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Rate rise unlikely before election (p1)
  • Extreme weather an unparalleled disaster (p2)
  • State aid rules threaten green energy projects (p4)
  • There is no such things as the banking profession – John Gapper (p11)
  • Two held in Rolls-Royce probe (p15)
  • Banks face fresh forex claims (p18)

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