News digest 3 April 2014

News digest 3 April 2014

03 April 2014

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

·                Visteon workers: Deal agreed on pensions compensation – BBC

·                Cable urged to come clean over Royal Mail sale – Indie

·                Farage wins debate with Clegg - Mirror

·                Make wealthy pay to see GP, says report - Indie

·                Four things you should know about new NHS England chief Simon Stevens – Left Foot Forward

Today’s digest opens with good news for the Visteon pensioners after Ford caved in following a five year fight over a commitment to pensions when the car parts manufacturer went bust. Previously owned by Ford, the then Visteon employees saw the cash they had saved for decades vanish, but rather than accept the situation they fought a five year battle to get what was rightfully theirs. Parent firm Ford has offered a multi-million pound settlement for the 1,200 ex-Visteon workers, with full details to be disclosed if workers agree to accept the deal. And Visteon even came up in the Commons with prime minister David Cameron asked to praise the work of Unite in delivering the proposed deal, he swerved the point by saying he didn’t hear the question.

Then again Cameron had a bad day in the Commons after prime minister’s questions plunged headfirst into pure Punch & Judy politics. Challenged by leader of the opposition Ed Miliband over the privatisation of the Royal Mail, the PM fell to pieces. After Miliband labelled Cameron the “Dunce from Downing Street” for selling off the Royal Mail on the cheap, the PM retorted by calling the Labour leader a “Muppet” and argued that the Labour manifesto had a pledge to privatise the service. He was wrong on both cases as the Labour leader hit home on not only selling off the service on the cheap, but also the seemingly special deal – or “mate’s rates” for Cameron’s investor chums in the City, the PM’s response Cameron went ‘pillar box red’. As more evidence of the shambles of the sale is uncovered, the only thing is for business secretary Vince Cable to get the sack, although he’s probably flogged that off on the cheap as well…

And the other big clash reported in many of the papers was the second debate on Europe between Ukip leader Nigel Farage and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. As ever Nick Clegg came off worst, but then he is denial about what he has done in backing not just the coalition’s worst aspects but almost everything.

After all Lib Dem president Tim Fallon said that the Lib Dems were making a U-turn and could no longer support the hated bedroom tax. Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The so-called ‘bedroom tax’ is obscene – it brought nothing, but hardship and suffering to the already vulnerable and should be scrapped immediately. Labour should call for an immediate vote in the House following the Lib Dems’ hypocritical, but welcome U-turn on a failed, sick policy and get this obscene tax repealed now.” So even if the U-turn is welcome it is nearly a year after the bedroom tax was implemented, everyone knew from the start that it would fail, well apart from the Lib Dems obviously...

And yet another example of a need for an immediate U-turn is the worry over the NHS. There’s a good blog on Left Foot Forward arguing: “Four things you should know about new NHS England chief Simon Stevens”, none of them are good, and the fact that many headlines in the papers say NHS fees are only way to save the service, no they are not, the simple fact is that health secretary Jeremy Hunt must be kicked out and the Health & Social care Act must be repealed, that is the only way to stem the push to full-on privatisation under the Con-Dem coalition…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Visteon victory (p1) – Unite cited
  • Tax threshold rise does nothing for 1 in 4 women (p2)
  • Mail sale turns PM as red as a postbox (p2)
  • Student loan sell off ‘sunk’ (p3)
  • Wave of bedroom tax rallies to mark first anniversary (p4) – Unite/Steve Turner cited
  • Divided we’ll fall – Paul Donovan (p10)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Smog alert (p1/4-5)
  • Nigel wins on points (p2)
  • PMQs: Muppets vs Dunces (p2)
  • Fracking in Wales (p22-23)
  • Pits jobs face axe (p39)
  • House price bubble warning (p39)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

( Indie



  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Farage and Clegg lock horns (p2)
  • Miliband faces manifesto moment of reckoning (p3)
  • London house price gap widens (p4)
  • GM chief hears cover up allegations (p17)
  • Vodafone to open 150 new stores (p18)
  • Factories power eurozone change of fortune (p19) 

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