News digest 21 August 2013

News digest 21 August 2013

21 August 2013

Today’s digest opens with a focus on young people. As the front page of the Telegraph highlights minister for civil society Nick Hurd saying that young people lack the ‘grit’ to get a job, and the front page of the Indie reports on the 21-year old City intern Moritz Erhardt who collapsed at home and died after working until 06:00 for three days in a row, many of the right wing papers instead decide to focus on a video that teaches young people to speak up for themselves and to work together. The video is labelled “North Korean propaganda” by Tory MP Nigel Adams but Unite’s Elaine Dougall speaking on BBC Radio Scotland argued it was a response to young people being done down by government and the need to empower them to speak up. Remember there are almost one million unemployed young people across the country, put simply at a time when lots of young people feel forgotten by the Con-Dem government it is important that they know they can shape and change the world.

And the better informed you are the more you can challenged bad employers. The Morning Star covers Labour’s summit on zero hours. As leader Ed Miliband continues to face pressure to outline more policies shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna argued a future Labour government would not ban zero hours contracts but was exploring ways of reducing their use. Unite director of executive policy Steve Turner said: “The zero hours plague has mutated out-of-control under the Tories' policy of cuts and contracting out. This is the seventh richest nation on the planet, yet it has more than a million people not knowing what or if they will earn from week to week. This means misery for them … zero hours leads to debt, anxiety and insecurity and this practice is on the rise. Labour needs to act fast to formulate its policy and put secure working at the heart of our communities to make them stronger, more secure and better off.” Time to end the exploitation…

And talking of ending exploitation Unite yesterday launched a new credit union network in a bid to encourage members to save, to take on payday lenders and offer finance without fear. Open to all Unite members who will be able to open instant access savings accounts, the credit union will offer low cost loans, including payday loans, at low interest rates. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Unite members have told us that they need someone on their side during this relentless downturn. So we are determined to ensure the new credit union network meets their needs and is a clear embodiment of Unite members’ values. Disreputable lenders are taking advantage of people in desperate situations and compounding their problems with high cost loans. We are determined to take on these legal loan sharks by offering finance without fear for Unite members. The credit union network will put the needs of members and the community first, rather than the interest of shareholders or City bankers.”

And greedy bankers also feature in many of the papers. After yesterday’s news that women lose out in the bonus stakes, today it looks like bankers have enjoyed an £85 million bonus windfall as the estimates for the total tax legally avoided by changing when bonuses were paid, namely to after the cut in the top tax rate. Time for the Treasury to look again, anyone for a windfall tax on deferred bonuses?

And finally if you want to see the full result of greedy capitalism than look no further than page 67 of the Daily Mail which splashes how the takeover of Cadbury has ended the moral vision that made the company a byword for responsible capitalism. At the height of summer the company has announced that it plans to axe a key Christmas benefit - namely it will stop delivering free chocolate parcels to its 14,400 former workers – ending a 20 year tradition. Unite’s Rhys McCarthy said: “Cadbury under Mondelez must not become some hardhearted, global corporate because that will backfire in the UK which always admired its values.” So from Cadbury built on looking after its staff to Kraft cancelling Christmas, you heard it here first…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror

 Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Insurance call centres set up in prisons (p1)
  • We don’t need no reducation (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Ukip boss quit in Farage row (p2)
  • Sun says: Class struggle (p8) – Len McCluskey cited
  • Boris: Ed is like Stalin for knifing brother (p14)
  • Average banking bonus is £11,900 (p42)400,000 moan to Barclays (p42)



 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Fracking will cut energy bills, says poverty chief (p1)
  • Mortgage lending rises (p2)
  • Petrol set to soar by 5p (p2)
  • Downing Street knew about Miranda detention plans (p4)
  • Bank intern died after 72 hour shift (p5)
  • Speech to TUC will end Miliband’s silence (p9)
  • Feminists ridiculed by ‘bongo bongo’ Ukip man (p11)
  • Ed Miliband is a pale shadow of Tony Blair – Paul Goodman (p23)
  • Nissan’s big hitter in Sunderland about to get bigger (p32)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • HS2 battle escalates (p1)
  • City review urged after intern’s death (p1)
  • May defends Miranda detention (p2)
  • Finance workers delayed bonuses to avoid tax (p2)
  • Grayling calls for revamp of Serco and G4S (p30
  • BAE’s US chief to retire (p14)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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