News digest 18 November 2014

News digest 18 November 2014

18 November 2014

Health dominates the headlines, and not in a good way, as the front page of the Mail – one of many papers to cover the story – splashes on a survey that shows 1 in 6 GP surgeries is supposedly failing. A total of 1,200 practices have been categorised as ‘not providing safe care’ while 864 have been listed as being of ‘highest concern’ due to staff shortages and poor leadership, expect lots of spot checks to try and improve performance [not new funds], but then the Tory plan to encourage people to visit their GPs rather than hospitals is under the microscope once again.

And talking of being under the microscope the Mirror splashes with another NHS story highlighting Unite’s ‘dossier of disgrace’ which shows that one in five coalition MPs has links to private firms that could profit from the government’s NHS reforms. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This dossier of disgrace exposes the corruption at the heart of our government’s sinister health reforms. The government’s real plan is the complete and irreversible privatisation of our NHS.” Len called on all MPs to back Clive Efford’s private member’s bill this Friday which will look to scrap key sections of the Act and reverse the threat of wholescale privatisation of our NHS. Get your MP to back the bill now…

Elsewhere the government’s economic plan is gradually falling to pieces as ever more data comes out. Labour leader Ed Miliband accused prime minister David Cameron of “getting in his excuses early” after the PM reported back on the G20 summit in Brisbane saying that the poor state of the global economy could see growth slow in the UK [Miliband’s right there], while the Morning Star notes the PM’s plan to deal with the lack of growth is to factor in more austerity [like that has worked so far]. As ever the devil is in the detail, and the detail shows that chancellor George Osborne’s cuts have almost been cancelled out by the rising benefits bill. But before everyone starts yelling about ‘scroungers’ the reality is that Osborne has been spending an extra £500 on every pensioner plus more on housing benefit [all of which goes to landlords], and many papers also note that HMRC has been castigated for not cracking down on tax avoiders [something to do with staff cuts], and if we look at the level of corporate tax avoidance we have a clue of how to deal with the deficit, can we expect Cameron to crack down on his City chums? Believe it when you see it [namely never]…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Mitchell in ‘series of police clashes’ (p1/7)
  • Serco chair leaves (p43)
  • Supermarket share alert (p43)
  • Carney in pay clawback call (p44)(



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Scandal of failing family surgeries (p1)
  • Rising welfare bill has almost cancelled out Osborne’s cuts (p4)
  • Taxman to slow, say MPs (p4)
  • I certainly sweat, says Mitchell (p11)
  • Rochester: Ministers take sides in Tory culture clash – Rachel Sylvester (p27)
  • Supermarket chains ‘must shut up shop’ (p39)
  • Carney issues threat to claw back bankers past salaries (p43)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Carney wants rulebreakers to forfeit salary (p2)
  • Revenue too slow in tackling tax avoiders (p3)
  • Tories should call off the search for an anti-Ukip strategy – Janan Ganesh (p13)
  • Serco’s Lyons quits (p17)
  • RBS braces for fines (p23)

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