News digest 28 January 2014

News digest 28 January 2014

28 January 2014

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

·                5,000 in Ford strike ballot – Daily Mirror

·                Unite needs to start fighting smart – James Moore on Ford - Indie

·                Economy growing at fastest rate since crash, but Cable says it won’t last – Daily Mail

·                The Tories will regret it if they underestimate the Balls/Miliband team – Steve Richards - Indie

·                Queen told to rein in spending - Indie

·                Tories face claim they rigged vote in campaign to oust MP – Daily Mail

·                Jobseeker works at Subway… for nothing – Daily Mirror

  Today’s digest opens with the ballot of Ford’s workforce. The FT sums it up simply as: ‘Unite ballots 5,000 over job security’ reflecting Ford workers in the UK calling for an end to them bearing the brunt of cuts; the dispute follows Ford's cull of some 1,500 jobs over the past year. More than 5,000 workers at six Ford sites across the UK are being balloted to strike about pensions and job security. Unite national officer Roger Maddison said: “Ford workers in the UK are always on the frontline when the company wants to axe staff. After successive rounds of job cuts including the closure of the Southampton [transit van] plant, staff now want Ford to make some commitments to job security going forward ... the company is refusing to give its loyal UK workforce and their families some well-deserved rights in line with their EU counterparts. Workers on the production line feel they have no choice and are balloting for strike action to get the company back around the negotiating table.” The ballot closes on Friday 7 February…

A number of the papers also trail this morning’s GDP figures, the ONS reported that the UK economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013, bringing annual growth to 1.9 per cent. Unite responded by noting that while the recent economic indicators, including the drop in the jobless figures, were welcome, there were dangers of a two-tier recovery that would not be shared by millions of working people. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “There are real dangers that the fruits of an economic recovery – and it is still early days – won’t be shared fairly and equally by everyone in the UK.” And that was even echoed by business secretary Vince Cable as the Sun, Mail, Times and Guardian all report that Cable says the recovery will not last undermining chancellor George Osborne’s claims by saying the UK is seeing the “wrong sort of recovery”. Seems Cable has forgotten that he is part of the problem, after all he is a minister in this calamitous Con-Dem coalition.

There’s also more castigation, predominantly by the right-wing about Ed Balls’ proposals to reintroduce the 50p tax rate. The attack ranges from arguing it will make little difference to the deficit to business bemoaning its impact on enterprise, for that read their big pay packets and astronomical bonuses. But even as many papers report that Labour’s lead has dropped to just one point in a poll for the Independent, Steve Richards in that paper argues:    The Tories will regret it if they underestimate the Balls/Miliband team.”

And let’s hope that the curb on excessive bonuses continues, the latest news in many of the papers is that state backed bank RBS has announced a further provision of some £3 billion to deal with legal costs down to its actions before its collapse. Senior executives have said they will waive their bonuses, but that is nine top bosses only, it seems many others senior bankers will be in line for bumper bonuses that are double the size of their salaries, still think we are all in this together?

Talking of which, there’s an interesting headline in the Mail: “Rent out your palace, ma’am” with a story that is featured in many papers namely it seems the cuts are finally reaching the Royal household – only four years after the rest of us – as it seems the Queen is continuing to overspend. Sadly, while we face cuts the Sovereign Grant will rise from £36.1 million this year to £37.9 million next, one rule for them and one for the rest of us…

And talking of that, after Unite and Stevie Deans were exonerated over any wrongdoing at Falkirk last week – and prime minister David Cameron is still yet to apologise –the Tories have their own Falkirk, it seems that there have been selection shenanigans in Thirsk and Malton after it seems ‘dirty tricks’ could have been employed to deselect the sitting MP, Anne McInitosh, any comment Mr Cameron?

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Ford workers: Fed up of being treated like dirt (p1) – Unite/Roger Maddison cited
  • Shameless PM boasts of cuts to safety rules (p2)
  • Genocide mourned (p3)
  • TSSA joins ticket office strike (p3)
  • University unions hail third walk-out (p4) – Unite/Mick McCartney cited

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Experts slam Labour’s 50p tax rate proposal (p2)
  • Cable in swipe at slashing Osborne (p5)
  • RBS on track to lose £8 billion (p38)
  • Lloyds in a fine mess (p38)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Wrong kind of people in Ukip, Farage says (p1)
  • Housing boom could kill the recovery, Cable warns (p2)
  • Tighten your belt, MPs tell overspending Queen (p11)
  • RBS considers doubling bonuses despite £8 billion loss (p16)
  • Labour data on 50p tax rate is wrong (p18)(p)
  • Dave and Ed need lipstick and high heels – Rachel Sylvester (p25)
  • RBS cancels bosses bonuses (p37)
  • Aerospace adds boost to the economy (p41)
  • Motor city cranks back into gear (p44)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • RBS faces £8 billion loss (p1)
  • Strikes on Tube (p2)
  • Parties’ pitch to small business (p3)
  • Royal reserves at low (p4)
  • Unite ballots 5,000 over job security (p4) Unite/Roger Maddison cited
  • Labour has confirmed its critics’ worst suspicions – Janan Ganesh (p13)
  • Caterpillar blasts ECB (p21)
  • RBS reveals £3 billion more losses (p22)

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