News digest 16 December 2013

News digest 16 December 2013

16 December 2013

Today’s digest starts with the usual outpouring of malice from the Daily Mail which continues with its attack on Unite aspiring to help ordinary working people of whatever background. There are two snarky diary pieces, but then what do you expect from the paper known for the ‘sidebar of shame’, the first follows up on the Priti Patel attack about Unite having membership forms in foreign languages, she must think there’s no exploitation of foreign workers, perhaps she should look at the government wires as the Modern Slavery bill is published today. The second follows up on Andrew Rosenfeld and his donations to the Labour party and tries to map in the Grangemouth campaign, perhaps the Mail’s Andrew Pierce should read the Morning Star piece about the facts at Grangemouth and the actions of CEO Jim Ratcliffe and senior management, although the Mail and facts are probably alien to one another judging from the last few months’ worth of coverage.

Sadly the Mail has ignored the real stories of unions fighting back for workers and the wider economy. Over the weekend hundreds marched to help save shipbuilding in Portsmouth, there is some coverage of the challenge to Jeremey Hunt who the Indie notes is trying to force through changes which will allow him to make changes to hospitals without consideration of patient needs. Typical Tory. Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “What Jeremy Hunt is attempting to do is to achieve by a parliamentary sleight of hand what he failed to do through the courts. It is clear that the health secretary is hijacking the Care bill by tacking on this clause which has no relevance to the rest of the bill. “It shows scant respect to parliamentary traditions and this country’s judicial process built up over many centuries. Parliament should be in tune with judicial decisions, not trying to overturn them.” There’s a demonstration outside the Department of health at 13:00 today ahead of the Care Bill being debated in the House of Commons today. Urge your MP to oppose Clause 118.

Also currently on their way to London the Shrewsbury 24 campaigners will hand in a 100,000 strong petition to Downing Street demanding their 40-year old convictions be overturned. Good luck to them, let’s hope the government listens...

Although in reality it won’t the main story for government is not yet another U-turn – expected on the third runaway at Heathrow – but the government’s latest attempt to crack down on benefit payments, this time government minister Nadhim Zahawi - most recently in the news for claiming thousands in expenses to heat his riding school at his country pile – has called for child tax credits and benefits to stop after two children. Prime minister David Cameron has backtracked saying it is not his policy, but the paws of chancellor George Osborne look like they are all over this one …

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • MoD nuclear guards caught snoozing (p1)
  • Shrewsbury pickets hand in petition to Downing Street (p2)
  • Shipbuilders rally in Portsmouth (p2) – Unite/Ian Waddell cited
  • Top MPs visit bedroom tax communities (p4)
  • Tory think tank calls for renewed assault on workers’ rights (p5)
  • Getting the facts straight on Grangemouth – Grahame Smith (p9)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Doctors to work seven days (p1)
  • Runway 3 back on (p2)
  • PM: No to child benefit cuts (p2)
  • Voters have rumbled Labour are no hopers – Trevor Kavanagh (p8)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Small shops sign up for 5p bag charge (p1)
  • How Lloyds linked pay cuts to low sales (p2)
  • 500,000 old and vulnerable hit by loss of homecare (p6)
  • Heathrow noise curb could be relaxed (p8)
  • No 10 disowns MP’s plan to limit child benefit (p10)
  • Recession fuels rise in abuse and neglect of young (p19)
  • Retailers cut prices by half after sharp drop in footfall (p37)




  • Tax cut for families hit by airport expansion (p1)
  • Pensioners face £150,000 care bill (p1)
  • NHS consultants to work weekends (p2)
  • Miliband to outline pans to tackle housing shortages (p2)
  • Coalition policy ‘strangling’ Big Society (p8)
  • Police mission to Romania to deter migrants (p10)
  • To survive the Tories must throw the kitchen sink at Ed – Iain Martin (p21)
  • Regulators strip bank finance chief of key role (b1)
  • No Christmas cheer for retailers yet (b1)
  • M&A at lowest level for eight years (b4)
  • Birds Eye owner Iglo seeks debt readjustment (b5)

  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • RSA in urgent talks with rat8ing agencies (p1)
  • Lawyers warn on bank reform bill (p2)
  • Drive for electric cars fails to pay off (p2)
  • Protesters gear up to renew Heathrow fight (p3)
  • India deals blow t JCB results (p17)
  • Bric car markets stalls (p19)
  • Legal threat to RBS trade finance (p22) 

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