News digest 3 February 2015

News digest 3 February 2015

03 February 2015

Today’s digest opens with coverage of yesterday’s address by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey to officers and organisers in Birmingham. The speech is picked up in the Morning Star, Mirror, Sun, Mail, Times, Guardian and Telegraph. In his speech Len called on Blairite 'grandees' to stop stabbing Labour in the back, but the main message was that this general election is the 'fight of our lives' and there is a need to fight for a Labour victory, a victory for all in society who have suffered from the Tory programme of austerity. You can watch a video of some excerpts here: As ever links to stories below.

Elsewhere the rumbling over comments from the boss of Boots sees a series of business chiefs come out to challenge Labour leader Ed Miliband, The Mirror helpfully outlines why they are doing it, citing a long list of Tory tycoons bankrolling the Tory machine, Ben Chu in the Indie is more on the ball using the outburst from Boots boss Stefano Pessina to highlight the lack of taxes paid by the self-same chair of Boots who lives in Monaco and moved the firm’s tax base to Switzerland. All listed in the Unite/War on Want report in the case for corporate tax reform. Put simply if Boots paid its taxes it could have paid the salaries for 78,000 nurses as one example. It’s time to Pay up Boots and also other companies need to look at their practices after the Indie also highlights that the Big Six energy firms have overcharged customers to the tune of £2.9 billion.

And still on energy and there’s more demands for tax breaks from the oil industry, as Shell starts decommissioning its North Sea Brent oilfield [with that shockingly named ship]. Unite’s Tommy Campbell writes of the pressures in the industry in the Morning Star with Unite’s John Taylor slamming firms for the “disgraceful” treatment of workers during the crisis. And from oil to coal and today there is a seminar in parliament covering coal in the 21st century. Unite’s Kevin Coyne said: “This is a major conference, to be held in the House of Commons where the attendance indicates a massive interest from MPs in the future use of coal as an important energy resource, but also a major hedge in international insecurity.” The conference starts at 15:00 and on the agenda is the simple fact that coal as an indigenous UK fuel with huge reserves, the question is how they could be put to good use…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Pizza guru bosses war on Ed (p2) - Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Scots MPs to keep power over English laws (p4)
  • Marxist biker [Greek finance minister] meets Osborne (p8-9)
  • £600K HS2 ‘non-jobs’ (p24)
  • Customer service pays off for Ryanair (p41)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Labour asset to lose 30 seats in Scotland (p1)
  • Civil servants to get cheap loans to help with the rent (p2)
  • Energy firms overcharging by £145 a year (p2)
  • Labour presses ahead with plans to cut fees to £6,000 (p6)
  • Tories unveil veto over Scots MPs influence (p12)(p)
  • Miliband on life experience? (p13) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Dave and Ed are playing the generation game – Rachel Sylvester (p25)
  • Oil prices rebound (p37)
  • Co-op gives Leighton chair’s job (p39)
  • Ryanair fears price war (p40)
  • Aer Lingus slots safe with us, says BA owner (p41)
  • Greek minister holds out for ECB lifeline (p43)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Greek finance minister unveils bid to end stand-off with creditors (p1)
  • Blow for Cameron over waiting lists (p2)
  • Miliband accuses Boots chief (p2)
  • Odds shorten on hung parliament (p3)
  • SSE pours energy into boast of paying all its bills (p4)
  • Power brokers role in shifting electoral landscape – Nic Pearce (p11)
  • IAG to ease Aer Lingus fears (p15)
  • Mega ship to aid North Sea retreat (p15)
  • Santander head stirs business plans  (p18)

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