News digest 28 February 2014

News digest 28 February 2014

28 February 2014

Today’s top reads: Stories to keep an eye out for:

·                Voters need to be heard – Ed Miliband - Mirror

·                Unite chief says Labour in panic over possible £1.5m cut to funding – Guardian

·                RBS has already lost every penny of its £46 billion bailout – Mail

·                Bank flops fill their boots - Mirror

·                Left MPs stand up for sick and disabled in parliament – Morning Star

·                Tory ‘sorry’ over Atos’ coma call - Mirror

The top story in today’s digest is talk ahead of the special Labour party conference in London tomorrow which will look at redefining the link between unions and the Labour party as well as what Labour leader Ed Miliband says will open the party to people from all walks of life. Writing in the Mirror Miliband says he wants the party reforms passed so that ‘voters can have their voices heard’ and “a chance to change British politics forever.” The Guardian however reports on the confirmation from Unite general secretary Len McCluskey that the Executive Council of Britain’s biggest union will consider the issue of party funding next week. The headline is a cheeky: ‘Union chief says Labour in panic over funding cut’ although the article quotes Len as saying: “Even if we reduce our affiliations we can still give direct donations to the Labour party.”

The reality is that Labour needs to build a mass party driven by policies that will deliver real change to what can only be defined as ‘Broken Britain’. A headline in the Mail sums up how ordinary workers have fared, “Typical wage up £1 a week since 2002”. So finding the right polices won’t be too hard as you just have to look at the return of excess to the City, summed up most simply by yesterday’s results for state-backed bank RBS. The Mail has the most revealing headline of ‘RBS has already lost every penny of its £46 billion bailout’ and what is the thanks that taxpayers get? The bank awards bonuses of over £500 million to its top team. Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: “This is a state sponsored grab by greedy senior bankers. Taxpayers suffering a cost of living crisis have been betrayed and fleeced by the Tory-led government. George Osborne has given RBS the green light to indulge in grotesque levels of corporate greed in the midst of historic losses. In allowing this behaviour he is proving he has learned nothing and is treating ordinary bank workers and working people with utter contempt.” Nuff said.

And this comes at the same time that those that are truly suffering are hit even harder. The Mirror reports that government minister Esther McVey yesterday apologised after a women in a coma was pestered by government assessor Atos to find work. The Mirror is one of the few papers to cover the War on Welfare petition which was debated in parliament yesterday, shocking to see that the actions of 100,000 people saw so few on the government side turn out, but then the Tories and their Lib Dem lickspittles are not just out of touch with what is happening in the country, but increasingly out of their depth too…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Hewitt apologises (p1/4-5)
  • EU migrant influx doubles (p2)
  • £8.2 billion loss but RBS pays bonus (p6)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Tories will stick with Nick to stop Labour (p2) – Unite cited
  • Teen pregnancy is falling – Philip Collins (p23) – Unite cited
  • Three more years of pain for RBS shareholders (p35)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Standard Life warns on Scots poll (p1)
  • (p)RBS warns of five more years of pain (p1)
  • Immigration data deal PM blow (p4)
  • Legal aid plans to go ahead (p4)
  • BAT looks to e-cigarettes (p18)
  • Qantas flies in to tough competition (p21)
  • RBS still struggling (p22) 

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