News digest 3 February 2014

News digest 3 February 2014

03 February 2014

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

·                Union reform is music to my ears, says red Len - Mail

·                Unions should use their Eds and leave – Kevin Maguire - Mirror

·                Ofsted sacking is part of Tory cull of women - Indie

·                Benefits blitz on scroungers - Express

·                Struggling families caring for disabled relatives face £1 billion cuts - Indie

·                The perfect time to up the ante on the NHS – John Lister – Morning Star

“Music to my ears...” is the key quote from Unite general secretary Len McCluskey as many of the papers report on the coverage of the proposed reforms to links between the Labour party and trade unions. Under the reforms drawn up by Lord Ray Collins individual union members will be asked if they want to pay £3 to become affiliated members of the party gaining the right to vote in leadership elections and attend local meetings. Backing the reforms Len continued: “It wasn’t a question of gaining or losing power. Miliband was talking about giving an opportunity to ordinary trade unionists to play a more active role in the Labour party.”

The other main story in the press is summed up neatly by the FT headline: ‘Coalition cronyism dispute deepens’ touching on what looks like the coalition’s troubles with women and anyone having a counter view. It’s the story of the ‘effective’ removal of Labour peer Sally Morgan from her job as chair of Ofsted, to probably be replaced by a certain Theodore Agnew, who happens to be a Tory donor. The Lib Dem education minister David Laws is up in arms, but as ever don’t expect that to make a difference. Overall it seems the bonfire of the quangos has now mutated in to ‘jobs for the [Tory] boys’…

Benefits also feature on the front page of the Express, doing it best to appear unbiased the headline screams: ‘Benefits blitz on scroungers’ as it puffs up a programme on proprietor Richards Desmond’s Channel 5 tonight which effectively shows how the whole benefit debate has been twisted. Matt Ridley in the Times argues we are living in times of plenty, think he must just be referring to his rich buddies, while the indie brings us back to reality with its piece on benefits, namely: “     Struggling families caring for disabled relatives face £1 billion cuts.” Demonise the poor, attack the most vulnerable, sack those that disagree with you, welcome to Con-Dem Britain, unless you from abroad obviously in which case the line is go home...

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Flood helpline charges 41p a minute (p1)
  • Labour’s union slip on votes (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited (p)
  • Economy joy spells despair for Red Ed – Trevor Kavanagh (p8)
  • Heating ills (p12)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Plan packs breach our rights, say tobacco giants (p2)
  • NHS held back by doctors and bosses fighting (p3)
  • Forces ‘bullying’ up a quarter (p6)
  • Labour reforms are music to my ears, says union leader (p16) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • The evidence is that these are times of plenty – Matt Ridley (p25)
  • Energy giants lash out at Ofgem (p37)
  • House prices hit highs in ‘London bubble’ (p39)
  • McVities ad campaign to launch (p40)
  • Lloyds vows to restore feel good factor (p41)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Coalition cronyism dispute deepens (p1)
  • Scotland independence coverage (p2)
  • MoD seeks big savings on contracts (p3)
  • Osborne rebuked on minimum wage (p3)
  • Lib Dems set to block pension triple lock (p4)
  • Stop kicking our bright foreigners, or put jobs at risk – James Dyson (p13)
  • RBS to shake up management (p19)
  • BT’s pension shortfall jumps (p23)

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