News digest 3 July 2014

News digest 3 July 2014

03 July 2014

The Unite policy conference in Liverpool continues today, and as ever there is detailed coverage in the Morning Star, although almost all papers cover the Unite conference today. The top story out of conference yesterday was the debate on Europe which urged Labour to re-consider its current position of not holding a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey told delegates: “Unite believes that the advantages of EU membership, particularly in terms of social protections and supporting manufacturing investment, outweigh the disadvantages for our members. [But] we know what the consequences are of silence on the matter of the European Union. It leaves the field open for Ukip and others to exploit people’s real concerns in order to win votes for their right-wing agenda. So let’s give the British people a say on the EU, and when they get their say, Unite will be there arguing for the benefits of internationalism and a real social Europe.” There’s widespread coverage of Len’s comments, but perhaps most surprisingly there’s support from an unexpected corner, namely the Sun which claims – and this is a direct quote – “Len McCluskey is right.” Who’d have thought that!

Conference also saw a heartfelt call from Ailis Deans, the daughter of Stevie Deans, the victimised ex-convenor at Grangemouth. Ailis argued that her father had been hounded out of his job by Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe and led the calls for the nationalisation of the plant to stop privateers creaming off the profits while demanding ever higher pubic subsidies to keep the plant running. Conference unanimously backed the call.

Away from Liverpool and back in Westminster more pressure was being piled on the party leaders over funding. The Mail has a detailed piece on the Tory party’s party for billionaires, but also does its usual attack job on the union link with Labour, there’s still a storm swirling over Labour leader Ed Miliband with comments from policy head Jon Cruddas not helped by others from policy guru Maurice Glasman, then again who ever cared for ‘blue’ Labour, the Sun tries to use that to go for the jugular saying the polls are poor for Miliband, it does however ignore the fact that Labour retains its poll lead, albeit with just two points, but a lead is a lead.

The one area where there does seem to be some traction is on the NHS which has its 66th birthday this Saturday. The Guardian warns about how cancer care may be contracted out to the private sector, the Sun says there is a £4 billion care crisis while the Indie follows up on Unite’s call for the EU-US trade deal to exclude the NHS. Len McCluskey is quoted in the Indie arguing “David Cameron has shown that he’s willing to go to Europe to defend bankers’ bonuses and use his veto, now he must use his powers to defend our cherished NHS.” The Times reports on PMQs where prime minister David Cameron was taken to task over NHS figures, as ever Cameron squirmed and avoided the issue, much like how he treats the public sector. Then again it is just a week to go to the mass day of action when two million workers are expected to come out against further austerity and the paltry pay rises seen since the election of the Con-Dem coalition. All power to their elbow, and the sooner we mobilise to eject the Con-Dem coalition the better…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Latest polls (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • NHS £4bn care crisis (p2)
  • Leader: Leftie’s right (p6) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Private schools pay off: Kids earn extra £200K (p39=0)
  • Pound soars (p47)
  • Boom in building boost brickies (p47)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Merkel help for Cameron in benefits battle (p1)
  • Google wipes attack on banker (p1)
  • London house prices rise 26% in one year (p4)
  • Match Tory EU referendum promise, Unite tells Miliband (p8) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Private education brings £200K career bonus (p12)
  • Miliband goes on offensive on NHS (p16)
  • Spending cuts: You haven’t seen the half of it – Tim Montgomerie (p23)
  • Builders skills shortage (p36)
  • Sports Direct investors accept plans for Ashley’s bonus (p39)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Visa curbs hit UK talent pool (p1)
  • Miliband to change tone on big business (p2) – Unite cited
  • EEF warns of EU exit (p2)
  • NHS faces £4bn hole (p3)
  • Navy carriers in uncharted waters (p4)
  • Firefighters to join strike action on 10 July (p4)

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