News digest 27 October 2014

News digest 27 October 2014

27 October 2014

Today’s digest opens on a sombre note with almost all the papers covering the end of UK forces’ operations in Afghanistan. After 13 years on the ground, 453 soldiers were killed, 2,188 were wounded and it has cost the exchequer £37 billion. The Mirror’s headline sums it up: “Out at last.”

And still on foreign news for the front of the FT deals with the ‘stress tests’ on Europe’s banks with 25 European lenders facing shortfalls in their funding, up from just nine when the tests were last run three years back. The total shortfall of the banks was almost £25 billion, but the positive move – in the words of one analyst – is “the weakest banks are moving from hospital to rehab.” As ever the banks get bailed out and the rest of us suffer, although in this case there’s still coverage of the EU headache for prime minister David Cameron, namely his extra big bill for the increase in GDP which is being demanded by 1 December [despite his protestations expect him to pay up]. And that’s not Cameron’s only EU concern, after defence minister Michael Fallon claimed British towns were being “swamped” by immigrants while at the same time environment secretary Liz Truss said Britain needed migrants to fill unskilled jobs in the agricultural sector. As ever, two different lines, both of them focused on either being nasty of driving down wages, typically Tory.

But the headache does not end there as a couple of the papers report that up to a third of the population is considering voting Ukip, Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun says Cameron is the only real choice for PM [there must be worries at CCHQ] while Kevin Maguire in the Mirror argues the Labour leader Ed Miliband will benefit from the Ukip surge [beware the double edged sword if Ukip surges too far], but there could also be trouble for the Labour leader over the election of the leader of the Scottish Labour party, sadly this all seems focused on the personalities rather than the policies…

Elsewhere on the business front there’s more transport talk with a pledge for HS3 to link Leeds and Manchester [who’s paying?], funds found for a Newquay/Gatwick airport link [the government’s paying], and the FT reports carmakers are chasing customers and the Telegraph says the Phoenix Four look to see more money [what about sharing that with the workers who lost their jobs?]. The high street fares no better with more trouble for Tesco and Morrisons too, while Starbucks is taken to task over broking a special tax deal with the Dutch government, and Vodafone’s takeover of Ono is mired in tax fraud allegations with profits inflated [another Tesco on the cards?], and finally talking of tax a couple of papers do yet another hatchet job on Labour, this time the Times goes over Tony Benn’s will saying he left £5 million, but “nothing to the Labour party or any of the radical causes he supported”, while the Mail asks whether he avoided inheritance tax [he didn’t] as ever it’s a [not very surprising] push from the Mail to abolish inheritance tax which will benefit none but the richest in the country, but the biggest scandal of the day is that sick days are at a record low, and not because we’re all healthier but the reality that those in employment in Con-Dem Britain are too fearful for the jobs, so much for the recovery…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star (not delivered)

  • 13 years on Britain ends its bloody Afghan war (p1)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Out of Afghan (p1)
  • Scot fury over Ed MP ploy (p2)
  • Tories in swampy mess over migrants (p4)
  • Cameron’s the only real choice for PM – Trevor Kavanagh (p10)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Britain ends its Afghan war (p1/8-11)
  • Towns swamped by migrants, says minister (p2)
  • Labour in turmoil after Scots leader reigns (p2)
  • Challenge to union leadership vote rejected (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Ben left £5m will bit nothing to Labour party (p23)
  • Italy heads league on banking shame (p37)
  • Net draws tighter around tax evaders (p40)
  • Morrison’s’ price promise in tatters (p45)
  • New ways to solve the housing crisis (p47)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Italy under pressure as nine banks fail stress text (p1)
  • Towns ‘swamped’ by migrants, says Fallon (p2)
  • Lamont’s bitter exit offers party revival chance (p2)
  • Airport expansion fight (p3)
  • Carmakers chase consumers (p4)
  • Xperia creative chief leaves ailing Sony for Softbank (p26)

Comment on this story