News digest 17 December 2013

News digest 17 December 2013

17 December 2013

The top story in today’s digest is the splash on a number of front pages that says the future is not bright and future generations will be worse off than their parents. The Sun, Mail and Guardian are united in saying people born in the 1960s and 70s will be: “poorer than your parents” while the Telegraph sums it up as a: “bleak future for forty-somethings” as they all cover a report from the IFS which says people born in those decades will be less likely to own a property, will suffer from smaller pensions and a smaller state less able – or prepared – to offer support. On top of this any possible inheritance is likely to be eaten up by care costs as the older generations live longer. Sadly the mantra as a result seems to be work longer and save more, there’s no mention of the rising inequality in society with billionaires paying almost no taxes and companies abrogating their responsibilities to give workers a decent pat rises or a proper pension, sadly it seems only board members roll in it...

And also abrogating responsibility was Downing Street as the Shrewsbury 24 descended on Number 10 to hand over a 100,00 strong petition calling on the government to release all the official documents related to the prosecution of the Shrewsbury pickets and clear their names.

Still in Westminster and there was action in both the House of Commons and House of Lords yesterday. The so-called gagging bill and its associated data grab continued its passage through the Lords, if you haven’t signed the ‘anonymous petition’ against it then do so now. However the main activity was the debate on the Care bill where health secretary Jeremy Hunt had cheekily tacked on a clause that could see him given free rein to close local hospitals on a whim and without recourse to patients or staff. Sadly the coalition’s majority held and the bill and clause 118 continues its passage. It’s summed up simply in the words of Unite head of health Rachel Maskell: “The Care bill is being used to drastically reduce the rights of the public to have ‘a say’ in decisions affecting their local hospitals. 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 … and 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.”

But one MP was notably absent, prime minister David Cameron had jetted off yet again, this time to Afghanistan to the traditional troop visit at Christmas. Even though 446 UK soldiers have died in Afghanistan, the Taliban are resurgent and the poppy trade is booming, Cameron deemed to declare: “Mission accomplished” echoing the triumphalist words of former US president George W. Bush over the Iraq war, Then again looking at Cameron’s legacy the only mission accomplished looks to be the wholesale destruction of the UK, with cuts to central government and local councils, the end of the NHS as we know it and the demonisation of the very fabric of the welfare state that made the country great…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Shrewsbury 24 hand petition to Downing Street (p1) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited/pictured
  • Ineos chief courts Tories (p2)
  • Firefighters set new strikes (p2)
  • Nationalised East Coast sets pace on fares (p3)
  • Christmas ruined as Sharp fires 600 (p3) – Unite/Peter Hughes cited
  • Creating a people’s railway – Paul Salveson (p9)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Mission accomplished, says Cameron (p2)
  • Poorer than parents (p6)
  • Banks not lending (p38)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Cameron attacks EU over threat to fracking (p1)
  • Migrant checks illegal, says Clegg (p4)
  • Cameron ‘like Bush’ in declaring mission accomplished (p10)
  • Power is seeping from party leaders – Rachel Sylvester (p25) – Unite cited
  • RSA downgraded (p37)
  • Auto-enrol pensions attract 2.2 million workers (p40)


  • Syria emergency (p1)
  • Children of 70s worse off than parents (p6)
  • Steve Richards on the need for house building (p13)
  • Half of UK firms expect to create jobs in 2014 (p51)
  • RBS cancels buffer deal with government (p51)



  • Bleak future for 40-somethings (p1)
  • Boris island sunk (p1)
  • Cameron hails Afghan triumph (p4)
  • Fire strikes over Christmas (p8)
  • Clegg attacks May’s cap (p16)
  • RBS ditches key part of bail out deal (b1)
  • Business tells MPs to back airport expansion plans (b1)
  • Miliband accuses developers of land hoarding (b4)

  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Heathrow shortlisted for extra runways (p1)
  • House builders attack Miliband over ‘hoarding’ (p2)
  • Retirement alert for Thatcher’s children (p2)
  • Banking bill update (p3)
  • GSK to lift Indian exposure (p20)  

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