News digest 16 April 2013

News digest 16 April 2013

16 April 2013

It’s a sombre start to today’s digest with almost all the front pages featuring the terrorist attack on the Boston marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon. The US is on terror alert after two bombs exploded at the finishing line killing three people and wounding over 130. No one has yet claimed responsibility. The London marathon, due to take place this Sunday, will go ahead with organisers saying extra security will be in place as will the funeral of ex-prime minister Margaret Thatcher due to start at 11:00 tomorrow.

And talking of Thatcher the Guardian reports that Cameron has yet to benefit from what it terms a polling ‘dividend’ from her death although the Labour lead has dipped back two points to just six per cent. That could be due to the attempts by another ex-prime minister, Tony Blair, to try and take a more prominent role which in reality just looks like backseat driving, that was something that Thatcher herself excelled at while Major was in power, and it did not help. The Mail reports that Miliband is due to meet Blair for ‘truce talks’, perhaps would be better if it was more of a telling off.

And talking of dividends, pay is again in the headlines after the government agreed to the Low Pay Commission’s suggestion to increase the national minimum wage by a whopping 12p an hour. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey - quoted in the Mirror and Mail - called for an immediate £1-an-hour rise in the minimum wage: “The 12p increase announced is derisory - and does nothing to help those already struggling with soaring household bills. The government urgently needs to pump demand and confidence into the economy - and a significant boost to the national minimum wage would be one way of doing that.”

But in reality it is just rewards for those at the top. Business secretary Vince Cable has come under fire after he seemed to agree with Institute of Directors’ boss Simon Walker in comparing the size of City salaries with pay for boy bands and in particular One Direction. Walker said the £5 million pay packets were ‘mad’ while Cable said some pay packets were “insensitive” and “grossly immoral”, this from the man who voted through the top rate tax cut.

But probably the biggest scandal is the continued reward for failure - as Ian Birrell in the Indie slates the companies that keep our workers in poverty in a piece saying we subsidise bad firms - it has come to light that the boss of G4S, Nick Buckles, has received a little windfall, namely a 16 per cent rise in his salary to £1.19 million. This is the company that allegedly forced people to change under the arches of a railway, pays low wages and that lost £88 million in the Olympics debacle, if ever there was an example of rewards for failure this is it, will shareholders let the package through on 6 June? Time for some shareholder activism methinks…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror



  • Massacre at the marathon (p1/4)
  • New crisis at scandal hit NHS trust (p2)
  • Thatcher funeral (p5)
  • Companies face £100 billion pension gap (p7)
  • Gold price drops (p50)
  • Ladbrokes hit by bad luck (p51)


  • Bloodbath at the marathon (p1/4-5)
  • White House snub to Thatcher (p8-9)
  • Blair and Miliband to meet for ‘truce talks’ (p19)
  • Pop fatcats! (p20) [wage rates] - Len McCluskey quoted
  • Commodities hot by slow China growth (p65)
  • Summer of discontent over excess exec pay (p65)
  • Axa to axe 450 (p65)
  • Ladbrokes sin losing streak (p67)

 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Bombs bring carnage to Boston marathon (p1/3)
  • Cronyism row as police chief gives Labour colleague job as his deputy (p4)
  • Cable gets [1] Direction wrong with attack on band’s £25 million earnings (p5)
  • Thatcher funeral preparations (p6-9)
  • Single parents lose as benefit cap savings miss forecasts by 50 per cent (p20)
  • Ed Miliband should be pitching a bigger tent – Rachel Sylvester (p25)
  • Chavez heir wins by a whisker (p31)
  • Gold bubble bursts (p39)


  • Terror at finishing line (p1-3)
  • ‘Guerrilla’ protests expected at funeral march (p6)
  • Miliband launches counter attack on Blair (p10)
  • Free school meals could go in next wave of cuts (p11)
  • We subsidise firms that keep workers in poverty – Ian Birrell (p17)
  • Minimum wage to rise 12p (p26)
  • Chavez heir could face recount (p28)
  • Barclays most complained about bank (p44)
  • G4S boss in double digit pay rise (p44)
  • Chinese slowdown rocks global markets (p45)



  • Carnage at marathon (p1/15)
  • Miliband hits back at former ministers’ attacks (p2)
  • Thatcher funeral (p4-5)
  • NHS chief says patients face more charges (p6)
  • Regulator hints at tougher sanctions for bank failures (b1)
  • Minimum wage rise of 12p is bad for business (b3)
  • Ladbrokes profit warning (b5)

 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Investors in rush to dump gold (p1)
  • MPs battle over workplace injuries law (p2)
  • Cable in wrong direction on boy band pay (p2)
  • Finance chiefs upbeat despite flat economy (p3)
  • Axa UK cuts 450 (p18)
  • VW to appoint new chief at Seat (p18)
  • Vestas hit by early exit of finance chief (p21)
  • G4S chief’s bonus poised to rise
  • Ladbrokes warns (p23)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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