News digest 18 April 2013

News digest 18 April 2013

18 April 2013

And yet again the main story in the papers is the funeral of ex-prime minister Margaret Thatcher following the sombre ceremony in central London. Thousands lined the route as the coffin - bedecked with full military honours – bore the body of one of Britain's most divisive politicians to the publicly funded St Paul’s service. A congregation of 2,300 from across the globe paid their respects led by the Queen, but missing US president Barack Obama, chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and French president Francois Hollande. Prime minister David Cameron said the funeral was a ‘fitting tribute’ but there were some flash points as several hundred protesters turned their backs at Ludgate Circus and some mourners complained about placards.

However while the papers remained focused on the funeral back in the real world the reality of the Con-Dem cuts continued to hit home. Late on Tuesday night the IMF finally caught up with the rest of us and downgraded its forecasts for the UK economy calling for chancellor George Osborne to consider a plan B. Yesterday morning the latest unemployment figures showed a 70,000 rise, no wonder prime minister David Cameron was happy that prime minister’s questions didn’t go ahead. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The rise in unemployment is a stark reminder that we have a government led by a party that thinks unemployment is a ‘price worth paying’. As George Osborne resurrects the failed policies of Thatcher and feeds his addiction to austerity, the number of long-term unemployed grows and a generation of young people face a life on the dole ... with the IMF warning he is ‘playing with fire’ and the ranks of unemployed growing, now is the time for Osborne to ditch the failed policies of the past and focus on growing the economy for the many not the few.” Time for George to go…

In other political news the Morning Star reports on how the cuts are costing lives, while the FT reports on campaigners arguing that the NHS is being pump primed for privatisation and the Guardian says former health secretary Andrew Lansley put patient health at risk by scrapping hospital reorganisations in London in 2010, but it looks like they will go ahead anyway, and still put patient health at risk. Typical Tory policy.

On the business front Tesco is the top story recording the worst profits fall in its history due to its failed American expansion plans, easyJet has a new chair, while Apple’s share price is falling, but not as fast as EU car sales, and that may only worsen as BMW has announced its plans to produce Minis in India.

And finally its back to money going up in smoke and literally in this case as the Times and FT report that the illicit cigarette market has increased to some 11.1 per cent of all sales, the industry is arguing that the move to plain packaging will just make matters worse, even now one in four cigarettes were not taxed, meaning some €12.5 billion is being wasted in lost taxes, that would help deal with the deficit…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • The last salute (p1-15)
  • Teaching assistants could lose their jobs under Gove review (p17)
  • We watched a ritual from a foreign country – David Aaronovitch (p27) - Len McCluskey cited
  • CCTV shows moment when suspect placed second bomb (p32-33)
  • Mini to India (p39)
  • Investors fear rot has set in at Apple (p39)
  • Rising jobless count adds to pressure on Osborne (p41)
  • Overseas bidders want East London ticket (p42)
  • Illicit cigarettes burn €12.5 billion in unpaid taxes (p45)




  • Thatcher: Cheered to the end (p1-24/33)
  • Stay at home mothers forced into job queue (p25)
  • Britain after Thatcher is a disunited nation – Iain Martin (p34)
  • I’ve learned huge lesson, says Tesco chief Clarke (b1)
  • Shake up at London airports (b1)
  • Public pay outstrips private sector (b3)

 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • IMF warns on excessive easing (p1)
  • Curious outnumber loyalists at Thatcher’s funeral (p1/3)
  • Tesco pays price for failed US plans (p1)
  • UK recovery stalls (p1/2)
  • Campaigners accuse Hunt of NHS privatisation (p2)
  • Smokers turn to illicit tobacco (p4)
  • King in minority again (p4)
  • Apple suffers triple whammy (p17)
  • German car sales add to EU gloom (p18)
  • Nokia plans move into ‘phablets’ (p19)
  • Succession saga at Dassault takes new turn (p21)
  • easyJet names new chairman (p23)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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