News digest 27 March 2014

News digest 27 March 2014

27 March 2014

Today’s stories to keep an eye out for:

·                Striking teachers give Gove grief – Mirror

·                Millions paying too much for energy – Telegraph

·                Welfare cap will push children in to poverty - Indie

·                Farage comes out on top in Clegg debate - Mirror

·                Caring too much. That's the curse of the working classes – David Graeber – Guardian

Today’s digest opens with a simple tribute to Tony Benn who is laid to rest in Westminster at 11:00 today. A giant of the Labour movement and the struggle for peace and socialism, Tony was a great and decent man, a voice for progress and equality and he will be missed. RIP comrade.

And also fighting for progress and standing up for all of our futures were teachers who yesterday took strike action over plans to not only make them work longer, but also to attack their pay, pensions and professional standards. From veteran teachers to trainees, teachers across the country came out to challenge education secretary Michael Gove‘s plans. The NUT leader is expected to hold talks with schools minister David Laws after Gove said he had no intention of changing his plans whatsoever, no U-turn there then.

Then again for U-turns its best to turn to prime minister David Cameron who was yesterday forced to concede that he will not roll back on changing the hunting laws, how this could be considered a priority in the first place is beyond most people, but then he is generally governing for his friends whether in the City or the country.

And Cameron was also forced to concede that Labour leader Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze could actually be workable – rather than his previously quoted ‘Communist plot’ – after SSE announced it would be freezing energy prices until 2016. The Mirror headline sums it up as: ‘Miliband jubilant over SSE freeze vow’, but perhaps more worrying for the Tories is the Telegraph front page: ‘Millions paying too much for energy’, looks like there is a lot more work for Cameron to do…

And from work to welfare and chancellor George Osborne’s trap for Labour over the welfare cap has been sprung, although shadow chancellor Ed Balls has decided not to jump in to it. Sadly the proposed welfare cap was passed, sad especially as it is directed at those who need support the most, although that’s par for the course with the Con-Dem coalition, look behind the façade and the nasty party is still there.

And that could sum up the approach to the Clegg/Farage debate last night, which shows the Lib Dem leader as the loser as he discussed Europe with Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Farage was estimated to have won the debate, but when you start to dwell on candidates, Ukip policy and the other members of his party, there is a  real ragbag of ideas that are more to the right of Genghis Khan and tickle the tummies of the rich foremost.

And finally when dealing with façades and the rich, there are two other stories touching on chancellor Osborne’s touch. After hailing the sale of Lloyds shares yesterday, the Times reports that the sale price has cost the taxpayer some £455 million, meaning the overall loss on the bailout is now some £2.1 billion, as ever the sale was too soon and any good value went to the City rather than taxpayers. Even more concerning is an analysis by Chris Giles in the FT who highlights that while the rise in pay may soon overtake prices, the reality is that the coat of living crisis continues for many who will be poorer in 2015 than in 2010. The Con-Dems don’t see this as they don’t really care about the plight of ordinary people just the rich elite, that’s the difference between the two sides; as David Graeber writes in the Guardian: “Caring too much. That's the curse of the working classes.” Carry on caring…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Teachers stand up to Gove (p1)
  • Santander fined for bad advice (p2)
  • Labour backs Con-Dems welfare cap (p3)
  • SSE to freeze bills and cut jobs (p4)
  • Thousands pay tribute to Benn (p5)
  • A man so much bigger than his time – Alan Simpson [on Tony Benn] (p8-9)
  • Tony Benn obituary
  • Unite to hit priciest homes on 5 April demo  (p14)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Teacher strike (p2)
  • Benefits cap ‘yes’ (p2)
  • Nigel fried Clegg for breakfast (p8)
  • Big freeze on electricity bills (p17)
  • We pay to teach NHS staff English (p30)
  • Santander in £12.4 million slap (p48)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Pressure on Cameron to expel jobless EU migrants (p1)
  • Big six supplier freezes prices (p5)
  • Farage winner of round one in tussle with Clegg (p8-9)
  • Aloof Miliband is alienating his own support – Jenni Russell (p33)
  • Taxpayer loss takes gloss off Lloyds share sale (p43)
  • Recovery set to slow (p45)
  • Caroline Murphy interviewed/profile (p45) – Unite cited
  • Santander fined (p47)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Lachlan back in pole position (p1)
  • Tories eye visa sleight of hand to flatter immigration numbers (p1)
  • Energy price freeze by SSE sparks political row (p3)
  • Balls joins Osborne to vote for welfare cap (p3)
  • Clegg and Farage claim victory (p4)
  • Pensions shake-up takes effect (p4)
  • Caution is the byword for Britain’s squeezed families – Chris Giles (p15)
  • Hyundai steps up a gear with new plant in China (p21)
  • Fizz missing from latest Lloyds stake sale (p22)

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