News digest 9 October 2013

News digest 9 October 2013

09 October 2013

There’s no single story dominating the papers today. A number of the broadsheets lead with an alarm being sounded by MI5 over the threat to UK security from leaks of classified information with Edward Snowden and the Guardian singled out for gifting intelligence techniques to terrorists. Then again if the question is who do you trust - the spooks or the press? Then it sounds a bit like a frying pan vs. fire option.

A few of the papers focus on what they consider is good news for George Osborne after the IMF raised UK growth forecasts for this year to 1.4 per cent and partly dropped its criticism of his austerity agenda although still noted the UK has still not made up the ground it lost in the 2008/09 recession.

One area that seems to have made up its losses is the UK housing sector, although the danger of another bubble is looming with the planned Help to Buy scheme. The Telegraph notes the chancellor is perhaps  eyeing the £1 billion in stamp duty the boom could bring.

And talking of a boom, the Royal Mail share sale features in many of the papers with the government accused of selling the shares on the cheap. Even if the price is placed at the highest end of the scale it looks like the government could have achieved much more, and the Mail also notes that senior executives at the Mail have also asked for extra shares. So from being owned by the taxpayer the sale will result in being owned by an elite, yet another false economy from the Con-Dem coalition.

And it is not just the Royal Mail being sold off cheap, Directly Operated Railways – the company set up by government to run the London to Scotland rail line – is now expected to hand back some £200 million a year in profits to the taxpayer. With a five year franchise that could see another £1 billion in government coffers, but as usual that means no profits for greedy fat cats so expect the Treasury to target a sale in 2015.

And from rail to roads and another failed Con-Dem strategy, although this was more con. Many papers report that the ‘Go home’ van adverts rolled out in July have been banned for being misleading, sadly not for being offensive, but here’s yet another example of the government playing fast and loose with the facts.

And another person whose words need to be taken not so much with a pinch of salt but more a mountain is Tommy Robinson. Ahead of Saturday’s march and rally against hate – being held in Liverpool from noon - English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson and its co-founder Kevin Carroll yesterday announced they were leaving the far right group. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The rejection of violence by the EDL’s co-leaders doesn’t mean that the creed of division and racism of the far right haters has disappeared. The EDL may have lost its leaders, but don’t be fooled, the violent thuggery of the fascist far right still stalks our communities … I urge people to join us on Saturday to send a message of unity and that we will not allow the politics of fear and division to destroy our communities.” Find out more on the #Unite1210 rally details.

  Morning Star

  • East Coast sell off ridiculed (p1)
  • EDL Robinson’s ‘reformed ways’ draw scepticism (p2)
  • Abbott booted off Labour front bench (p3)
  • ‘Help to Buy’ will go bust, warns MP (p3)
  • Mail workers to protest at parliament (p4)

  Daily Mirror (not delivered)

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • EDL boss and No2 quit (p2)
  • MI5: Whistleblower is terrorist threat (p4)
  • Power failure (p12)
  • Nobel prize for Higgs (p21)
  • Facebook pays zero tax in UK (p42)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Spy leaks put Britain in danger, says MI5 chief (p1)
  • Cable ‘selling Royal mail on cheap’ (p2)
  • Van posters cleared of racial hatred (p4)
  • TMS diary: Miliband asked to defend records (p13) – Unite cited
  • Newspaper charter rejected (p17)
  • Rail fares to be capped at 2 per cent above inflation (p20)
  • EDL chief quits (p24)
  • IMF upgrades UK growth figures (p41)
  • Nissan warns against referendum vote (p43)
  • East Coast gives £200 million profit to Treasury (p47)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Osborne to claim victory over IMF growth plans (p1)
  • Huge demand for Royal mail sale (p1)
  • Tucker eases fears on Vickers bank rules (p2)
  • MI5: Leaks cause enormous damage (p2)
  • Cameron tries to calm Help to Buy anxieties (p3)
  • New press deal sought (p4)

  Edited by Mik Sabiers

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