News digest 14 January 2014

News digest 14 January 2014

14 January 2014

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

·                Benefits Street: TV hate merchants facer mass protest – Morning Star

·                No name and no shame over firms not paying minimum wage – Daily Mirror

·                Only Labour can rebuild our middle class – Ed Miliband - Telegraph

·                Taxpayers spend £250K on portraits of MPs – Daily Mirror

Today’s digest opens with coverage of the ongoing furore over the Benefits Street programme with coverage of Unite’s protest in papers ranging from the front of the Morning Star (headline TV hate merchants…) to the Telegraph (Tory MP attacks ‘luxury spending’ of claimants). With 20 per cent of viewers – or some 5.1 million people - tuning in to watch the second episode, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith waded in saying that the show proves the ‘cuts had to come’, so much for basing policy on facts. In response Unite staged a protest outside the company’s London offices accusing Love Productions of cynically exploiting residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green, Birmingham. Unite community coordinator Pilgrim Tucker said: “Benefits Street is the latest in a long line of exploitative television shows that misrepresent communities … Love Productions and Channel 4 have served up yet another exploitative, heavily edited, hatchet job of a show. Rather than shine a spotlight on the millions of families that are really struggling, as a result of the recession and government austerity, they have sought out vulnerable desperate people and served them up for entertainment.” Unite is calling on the production team to come and meet the communities impacted by the show to better understand their concerns and discuss how the company can help repair the damage that has been caused by the programme.

And while the government looks to profit on the backs of demonising ordinary people, the Mirror shows how it continues to fail the poorest paid with a report on the fact that three months after the Con-Dem coalition promised to name and shame employers failing to pay the minimum wage, not one firm has been identified. That’s correct, not one single firm. Do we really believe that there are no rogue employers out there? No, there are 300,000 people estimated to be illegally paid, as ever, it is the government failing the working classes…

And from the working to the middle classes and Labour leader Ed Miliband writing in the Telegraph argues that the assault on well-paid parents and their children’s prospects must be urgently addressed claiming that Labour plans to introduce a string of policies to “rebuild our middle class”. This comes ahead of a flagship speech later this week where Miliband will set out his stall on housing, education, finance, social security and more. There’s quite a bit of advice for Miliband across the press, but Rachel Sylvester in the Times zeroes in one supposed Achilles’ heel, citing Ed Balls as an issue, let’s see what the speech brings…

And finally many of the papers report on portraits of parliamentarians and the fact that some £250,000 has been spent on pictures of them to hang on the walls of Westminster, so much for we’re all in this together, surely they could have just invested in a pinboard, a photocopier and some darts…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Sun poll on right to die (p1)
  • Axe EU red tape call on Cameron (p2)
  • Fracking windfalls (p6) [puff piece for government policy]
  • £250K bill as MPs order paintings of themselves (p14)
  • Lidl bans chocs at checkout (p27)
  • Greene King on the up (p38)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Army wastes billions on botched IT system (p1)
  • I can save middle classes, Miliband to tell voters (p2)
  • £26K welfare cap could be slashed (p4)
  • A&E costs for stand-in doctors increase by millions (p8)
  • Miliband needs an Achilles’ heel operation – Rachel Sylvester [on Ed Balls] (p23)
  • Sports Direct makes play for weakened Debenhams (p35)
  • Homeserve hit by fine (p38)
  • Royal mail reveals shake up (p39)
  • Mini sales prove a drag for BMW (p41)
  • Heathrow is full (p41)
  • Airbus sales soar (p41)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Ashley in punt on struggling Debenhams (p1)
  • Mandelson adds BP to his group’s client list Lobbyists to reveal political meetings (p3)
  • Heathrow numbers on the up (p4)
  • Cameron’s referendum gamble has failed – Janan Ganesh (p11)
  • Investment banks hail victories in Basel battle (p16)
  • Fiat-Chrysler heads for US listing (p19)

Comment on this story