News digest 22 January 2015

News digest 22 January 2015

22 January 2015

While the Westminster bubble remained fixated on the long delayed Chilcot report into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war – which has had its publication date pushed back beyond the election – the real focus should have been on the economy. And while prime minister David Cameron and his cronies are slammed for skewing statistics in the Morning Star, if you look behind the figures the scene is not so rosy. The Sun says that even unions have said the UK is on the mend – it features the TUC head of economics Nic Smith who yesterday welcomed a rise in wages of 1.8 per cent – but the reality is that real wages have seen a double digit drop in the last five years and it will need many months of above-inflation rises to get back to square one.

And even then don’t hold your horses as the Indie reports that the Bank of England actually fears that there will be a pay slowdown, so the 1.8 per cent rise may have been the highpoint. Even with good news on more jobs being created, the majority seem to be low paid, and the future for youth is less than rosy as youth unemployment jumped 30,000 to reach 746,000. What is more worrying is a piece in the Mirror that says one in three of all workers fear they will lose their jobs in the next year, the reality is the recovery is still shaky.

And while work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith may crow about the jobs figures, apparently he has another cunning plan to boost the Tories with the Telegraph reporting on the latest round of a council house giveaway, or more precisely a new right to buy housing association homes. As ever, the devil will be in the detail [and no, that is not a reference to IDS], but the reality is we have a housing crisis driven by the ongoing impact of right to buy which is seeing vast swathes of the capital and other areas being cleared to make way for rich residents. This afternoon Unite Community will be joining about 200 families that face eviction in West Hendon. Said Unite community coordinator Pilgrim Tucker: “We are here to help shine a light on Our West Hendon and to link it in with the wider network of housing campaigns across London also fighting to save their homes and communities. … We know from what happened at New Era that people can take on councils and the private landlords and win.” Want to get involved, see more details on the West Hendon protest here…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Unions: UK on the mend (p2)
  • Farage deal with Tories ‘to be lord’ (p2)
  • Plain cigarette law before election (p8)
  • Pub pressure over taxes (p45)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • SNP to vote on English laws (p1)
  • Plain packs for cogs (p2)
  • Pickles discriminated against gypsies (p2)
  • Gove’s ringtone gaffe revealed (p3)
  • Wages surge (p4)
  • NHS crisis spreads as operations cancelled (p6-7)
  • Standing up to bully bosses works (p9)
  • Chilcot to face MPs over delays (p18)
  • Half of councils to raise tax (p24)
  • Balfour stunned as losses hit £250m (p43)
  • Ryanair U-turn over feeder flights (p45)
  • 900 Gallaher jobs go as plant closes (p55)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • ECB stimulus package to be announced (p1)
  • Cable ally funds Labour marginal seats (p2)
  • Top Tories vie to hitch wagon to Johnson’s star (p2)
  • Growth in wages fastest for two years (p3)
  • Swindon rides out Honda job cuts (p5) – Unite/Peter Hughes cited (p4)
  • Pharma chiefs raise prospect of more takeovers (p20)
  • Toyota’s sales reign under threat (p22)

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