News digest 6 January 2015

News digest 6 January 2015

06 January 2015

The digest opens with coverage of the first day of the month long strike action at luxury clothes brand Barbour. Unite’s Fazia Hussein-Brown said: “Our members have an ultimatum to sign a new contract by 30 January or be sacked. There’s a real sense of urgency and members have made a bold, brave decision to take part in strike action. January is not only the hardest, coldest month of the year but after Christmas many members are left with costs and bills to pay. They are striking for the whole month of January to make a stand and to show that they do not accept these detrimental changes to their terms and conditions.” Yet another example of a callous company saying one thing in public but damned by the reality of its actions, time for better regulation and an end to the lackadaisical ‘boss knows best’ approach which really just means the boss gets the money and the workers get exploited, all the more galling as today is ‘Fat Cat Tuesday’ when the earnings of the bosses of Britain’s top firms so far this year exceeds that of the average worker for the whole of 2015, time for a pay cap perhaps…

That could be a manifesto pledge, and while there are still 120 days to go to the election the starting gun has well and truly been fired as yesterday both Labour and the Tories staged [separate] press conferences to outline their plans [or lack of in the Tory case]. As Labour leader Ed Miliband stood up in Salford and outlined his vision for the country citing that his party “puts working people first” [see the full text of Miliband’s speech here], chancellor George Osborne and other Conservative cabinet ministers lined up to castigate the opposition and used [possibly dodgy] Treasury data to attack Labour’s spending plans. Overall Labour rubbished the Tories’ ‘dodgy dossier riddled with untruths’ and claims of £21 billion of extra spending [the Tories were challenged to explain the £7 billion of unfunded pledges from the chancellor’s autumn statement], while Miliband opened his campaign by pledging to campaign door-to-door on issues of living standards, the future of the NHS and a new economy that works for everyday people. Nick Clegg also made some pledges on the NHS but as usual no one cares about him or his party anymore… the reality is that the NHS is under major pressure, with many papers reporting on the A&E crisis and the Mirror even reporting that health secretary Jeremy Hunt has sent a panicked note to try and sort out the issue which apparently is not a crisis [yeah right], you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Rivals begin race to No 10 (p2)
  • Petrol to drop below £1 (p26)
  • Ryanair hits high (p44)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Mansion tax to fund nursing in Scotland (p1)
  • Turmoil in markets (p1)
  • Hospitals overrun by non-urgent A&E patients (p4)
  • Labour forced to defend black hole against Tory ambush (p6-7)
  • Backlog in pothole repairs will cost councils £100m (p20)
  • Voters want more than two nasty parties (p25)
  • Euro falls (p39)
  • Ryanair hits heights with more aircraft (p42)
  • Construction growth slows (p45)
  • Barbour staff walk out (p48) – Unite cited




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Oil dips below $50 (p1)
  • Lloyds pressed for exception on ring fencing (p1)
  • Construction sector growth slows (p2)
  • Osborne picks hole in Labour spending plans (p3)
  • BMW pays Chinese dealers rebate (p13)
  • Heineken makes up with Wetherspoon (p13)

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