News digest 20 November 2014

News digest 20 November 2014

20 November 2014

As the Guardian reveals that private firms are on course to net some £9 billion worth of NHS contracts, the Indie says an arms firm is trying to muscle in on GP services and the Mirror reports that Tory NHS cuts have put thousands of cancer patients in danger, tonight a symbolic vigil to highlight the plight of the NHS will be held at parliament on the eve of the second reading of Clive Efford’s private member’s bill that would roll-back NHS privatisation. Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “This is a symbolic vigil to drive home to MPs the importance of voting for Clive Efford’s bill as the first step on the journey to next May’s ballot box to restore the NHS to a service free at the point of delivery for all those in need.” Get your MP to back the bill now [and while they’re at it back Andy MacDonald’s bill on zero hours contracts too]…

Elsewhere the top political story is that today is the day of the Rochester and Strood by-election with Ukip looking to gain its second MP in as many months [albeit a second Tory turncoat], the Ukip candidate says two more Tory MPs are expected to defect if Ukip wins [proving Ukip is effectively a turbocharged Tory party], although there’s little coverage of a crisis for the Conservative leadership [the Telegraph does at least challenge prime minister David Cameron and what it calls the ‘shambles’ at the top of the Tory party]. The result is expected in the early hours of the morning…

There are also a few key stories on the economic front. The top line is that we’re not getting richer as many of the papers report on the latest pay figures which show the last time pay fell so consistently was in Victorian times. There was good news on the gender pay gap which closed, but the reality is that was because male workers’ wages fell faster than women, and Chris Giles in the FT argues the next election will be won over living standards and what you get in your pay packet [clue: Britain needs a pay rise]. Talking of packets, the Royal Mail saw its shares fall some eight per cent yesterday as it reported a profits warning [a result of greater competition], the now private firm is now trying to get out of its obligation for six day deliveries [so much for government pledges for safeguarding a universal service], but it’s not all bad news as there’s wide coverage of the parliamentary vote to call time on landlords’ beer ties which could help secure not only your local, but keep down the price of a pint, cue celebrations in countrywide or as Withnail would say: “I demand to have some booze!”…  

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Ukip to land second MP (p2)
  • Blackpool has lowest life expectancy (p28)
  • Royal Mail shares crash (p47)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Wait times halved for latest NHS drugs (p1)
  • Ukip says more Tories ready to defect (p1)
  • What Ukip voters want their party can’t supply: A bygone era (p8-9)
  • Big Society in tatters, say charity leaders (p16)
  • Hinkley Point plan faces secret review (p47)
  • Royal Mail stunned by Amazon deliveries (p49)
  • Execs come out punching in pubs fight (p53)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Pub groups rocked by MP’s vote to call time on landlords’ beer ties (p1)
  • Wages increase nu just £1 in a year (p2)
  • Tories take fright as defeat looms (p2)
  • Outsourcers beat overseas rivals in race for contracts (p4)
  • Uber should not run down the messenger – John Gapper (p13)
  • British living standards will swing the next election – Chris Giles (p13)
  • Tractor makers braced for lean pickings (p19)
  • Uber offers US drivers perks (p21)

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