The digest opens with the Durham Miners’ Gala with some 150,000 trade unionists gathering on Saturday to hear speeches, bands and more. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey called on Labour to renew its connection to working people by delivering a genuine alternative to the government’s ruinous austerity programme. The Morning Star quotes Len slamming the Tories: “In David Cameron’s Britain the message is 'If you come from privilege, if you have money, we’ll look after you'. Look at the hypocrisy of a government which scrapped the independent pay review body that protected some of the poorest for a hundred years, the Agricultural Wages Board, yet founds an independent pay review body to give MPs a £6,500 pay rise and dishes out tax givebacks to billionaires." Len argued Labour must offer a real alternative: “Ed Miliband is at his best when he is boldest, when he challenges the media tycoons like Rupert Murdoch, the corporate giants not paying fair taxes and those who protect privilege yet cause inequality and poverty ...
I say to Ed. The future is in your hands. Make Labour the party we all want.”
One of the other speakers at Durham – Bob Crow – argued for a new party for workers to be founded, however he may not be happy with the one suggested in the Sun which says that the Tory party is going to attempt to rebrand itself as the party for workers. A new Tory party group - called Renewal - will try to argue for prime minister David Cameron to deal with issues that hit ordinary working people, like low pay, high fuel bills and building more homes. However, this comes from the same party that has cut the top rate of tax and insisted on insidious cuts to benefits, the Sun after all is one of the many papers that reports the £26,000 a year benefit cap is launched nationwide today.
And if you want to see the reality on the ground look no further than the latest TUC report into pay which shows that the country is facing a surge in low-paid jobs. Of the 587,000 rise in employment since June 2010, almost four in five jobs were low paid, many being around the £7-an-hour mark in the low paid retail sector. The TUC’s Frances O’Grady argued: “Well paid, highly skilled jobs need to be the heart of our recovery, but this won’t happen with government intervention.” Don’t hold your breath.
And finally, talking of intervention there is another rack of negative press about the NHS in many of the papers. In the same way that the government has cynically helped to demonise anyone on benefits to the extent that many agree the cuts are justified when asked in opinion polls, the same trick is being applied to the NHS. The front page of the Telegraph talks about health secretary Jeremy Hunt sending in ‘hit squads’ to failing hospitals and the Mail runs with the headline: ‘Labour’s NHS denial machine’ while the Guardian goes with ‘NHS braces for onslaught from Jeremy Hunt in run-up to report on care failure’, as ever the reality is that all services have problems, but creating a massive top down reorganisation and closing A&Es and other services is hardly going to make things better, the NHS is still a great institution and the Con-Dems seem determined to dismantle it, get ready to defend the NHS and join the day of action to #SaveOurNHS on Sunday 29 September…
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- Cameron’s wife turns up pressure over Syria (p1)
to be forced to reveal lobbying clients (p2)
- Data on needless hospital deaths may stay secret (p14)
- Buy out Heathrow for £15 billion, urges Boris (p17)
- Anglo-French [rail] regulator ‘should be replaced’ (p36)
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- Cable plans crackdown on negligent directors (p1)
- Rail regulator urges network’s part privatisation (p2)
- Private companies can provide a public service – DeAnne Julius (p9)
- Dreamliner fire not linked to batteries (p15)
- G20 sharpens attack on tax avoidance (p15)
- AG Barr weights £1 billion Lucozade/Ribena bid (p16)
Edited by Mik Sabiers