News digest 13 January 2014

News digest 13 January 2014

13 January 2014

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

·         FEATURE: Revealed: The heat or eat generation – Daily Mirror

·         COMMENT: The plight of the young unemployed is terrifying – David Blanchflower – The Indie

·         COMMENT: Benefits Street and the real problems of breadline Britain – Larry Elliott – The Guardian

·         Benefits Street – poverty porn, or just the latest target for pent-up British fury? – Charlie Brooker – G2

  Today’s digest opens with good news for the car industry with many of the papers reporting that Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s largest car manufacturer, has reported record global sales for 2013 with even prime minister David Cameron tweeting his praise for the company’s production levels. Sadly he didn’t follow that one up with one praising the workers and the unions that have helped deliver the success, although a number of the papers look at how the work with unions has made a difference. Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: "Jaguar Land Rover is a remarkable manufacturing success story. The company faced serious problems prior to 2008, but our members in Unite and the company worked together to turn JLR's fortunes around. The manufacturer's fantastic performance is testament to the workforce." The Times sums it up best with the headline: ‘They shared the pain, now workers share the profits.’ That’s only fair.

And from praising the workforce to paying the workforce and the Times also reports that the outgoing head of Acas, Ed Sweeney, has warned that a wave of catch up demands after five years of pay freezes or below inflation pay rises could spell trouble, his best line calls for companies to react to the calls, simply saying: “You cannot keep putting pay brakes on the wage poor.” Too right.

And speaking of the right, the other main story of the day is the continued attack on ‘benefits Britain’, however, it seems the tide is turning. Although the Tories are focused on attacking EU benefit migrants, some of the wind in the sails of those attacking the working poor has been countered by activists taking on the company that made the Channel 4 programme ‘Benefits Street’ which has picked on and demonised those least able to defend themselves. Not only were the participants seemingly ‘duped’ by being told they were appearing on a show called ‘Community Spirit and not Benefits Street, as ever spin editing has made a mockery of the reality. There’s a good piece by the ever visceral Charlie Brooker in the Guardian, while Larry Elliott argues the show will help to highlight the real problems facing breadline Britain. The company behind the show is also involved in the Great Sport Relief Bake Off – although there’s no news that it will be renamed ‘C-list celebrities using charity to puff up their profiles’, I doubt that very much and do donate to Sport Relief, but also demonstrate against the demonisation of the poorest that have been penalised by a firm – the not so aptly monikered Love Productions. Join activists today from 15:00 for a demonstration against ‘Love Productions'.

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star (website not updated yet)

  • Rising costs stop parents working (p2)
  • Hospital closure law must be stopped (p2) – Unite cited
  • Unite hails crucial worker role in JLR success (p3) – Unite/Tony Burke cited
  • More army cuts announced (p4)
  • [Legal] Loan sharks slapping fines on vulnerable (p5)
  • Don’t let the Tories divided and rule – Jackson Cullinane (p9)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • EU migrants told: No benefits for two years (p2)
  • Brussels/Strasbourg fail of two cities (p8-9) [EU attack job]
  • Jags boom (p19)


  • Councils waste £51 million by ‘overpaying’ staff (p2)
  • EU fury at UK plans for migrant benefit ban (p7)
  • Disgraced former Co-op boss home to answer bail (p15)
  • JLR tops sales records (p46)
  • Gores raises hope for Hovis (p46)


  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Britain’s obesity crisis (p1)
  • Tories at war over demands for veto on EU laws (p2)
  • Pay day loan fees are a sin, says bishop (p12)
  • ‘Catch-up’ pay demands spell trouble, warns Acas boss (p35)
  • Watchdog seeks private hospitals sell-off (p38)
  • Big three car sales accelerate and workers share the profit (p41)




FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Treasury acts to avert debt fears on Scotland (p1)
  • Clarke rejects Cameron’s immigration claims (p1)
  • Johnson fights to keep estuary hub alive (p2)
  • Carmakers break R&D record (p15)
  • Chinese growth drives JLR sales (p16)
  • Steel industry set for recovery (p17)
  • Ford turns corner (p18)

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