News digest 20 November 2013

News digest 20 November 2013

20 November 2013

Today’s digest opens with a double parliamentary lobby. Construction workers from across the country will descend on the House of Commons later today as they challenge the scourge of blacklisting in the industry. For over 20 years construction companies used secret files to vet new recruits and keep out trade union and health and safety activists, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who will be at parliament, said: “Over the last 25 years, over 2,800 workers have lost their lives on construction sites, with countless others suffering from serious work-related health problems. Too many construction workers went to work but did not come home again … there is now a moral urgency for justice. Blacklisting is a scandal on the scale of phone hacking except it was ordinary working people whose lives have been torn apart by a conspiracy hatched by a greedy elite who were prepared to go to any length to attack decent hardworking men and women. It is time they owned up, cleaned up and paid up.”

And from construction workers to emergency workers as paramedics from Yorkshire will also be in London to lobby their local MPs over patient safety and large scale funding cuts at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The lobby is designed to highlight the very real concerns that we have about patient safety in Yorkshire as what the trust proposes means the removal of a number of skilled technician staff from ambulances. Yorkshire’s plans accelerate the service in the opposite direction of expert clinical advice.”

And the health service remains on the agenda with many of the papers covering the government’s response to the Mid Staffs scandal and health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s assertion that “cruelty became normal in the NHS, no one noticed.” However, while Hunt pledged to transform the culture of the health service, his plans could be hit by the worsening staff situation with the shortage of nurses impacting care. Commenting, Rachel Maskell said: “While the NHS descends into the mire of privatisation, the health environment has become unsafe, as Hunt continues to fiddle and dither. He has yet to get to grip with how the so-called ‘health reforms’ are contributing to the patient safety scandal. The toxic meltdown of the NHS is caused by cuts and privatisation, and therefore Hunt’s response can’t be used as a sticking plaster to obscure the real nature of the crisis.” The cuts don’t work, the only way to save the NHS is to get rid of the Con-Dem coalition and elect a government that will stop top down reorganisation and creeping privatisation…

And bad news for the Tories after planning minister Nick Boles let the cat out of the bag after he admitted that the “heartless” Tories will not win the 2015 general election as they continue to be associated as the “party of the rich” and he then goes on to bemoan his Lib Dem coalition partners “doing everything in their power to paint us [the Tories] as heartless extremists.” In reality they are both as bad as each other. When in a hole stop digging. Speaking of which that takes us to the Indie’s parliamentary sketch by Donal Macintyre which shows the coalition is singing from the same hymn sheet, having a bad day in the chamber, Clegg went for a kneejerk reaction, the headline sums it up: Old dog Clegg reaches for the Len McCluskey defence.

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Gove schools crusade goes into freefall (p1)
  • Failing forms named and shamed (p2)
  • Blacklist staff head to court for justice (p3)
  • Hutt pushes for [blacklisting] boycott (p3)
  • Mail chiefs blame workers for impasse (p4)
  • Co-op chief resigns (p4)
  • Hunt NHS crisis a ‘sticking plaster’ (p4) – Unite/Rachael Maskell cited
  • Government offered £24 million pay off by G4S (p5)
  • Upping the ante in the fight for blacklist justice (p9) – Unite pictured

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Ed Co-op cash quiz (p2)
  • Ed never took Balls for a pint (p12)
  • Shamed Co-op boss (p21)
  • Easy money (p42) [easyJet profits jump]
  • Paddy Power profits drop (p42)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Labour under fire over Co-op (p1)
  • Doctors must report near misses says Hunt (p4)
  • Coalition rift threatens shared maternity leave (p18)
  • It is not right that non-doms pay as they like – Alice Thomson (p35)
  • easyJet sitting pretty with record profits (p49)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Labour and Tories clash over Co-op scandal (p1)
  • Ministers urge Tories to liberalise image (p2)
  • Military outsourcing hits bidder obstacle (p4)
  • Audit proves tagging overcharge by rivals G4S and Serco (p4)
  • easyJet to pay special dividend on profit rise (p19)
  • VW poised to rein in costs (p22)

Comment on this story