The final news digest of 2012 sees a wide variety of stories vying for the front pages. Many of the papers report on the chaos at the BBC over Jimmy Savile and the pay off of former director general George Entwistle, suffice to say much of the coverage is scathing and there are calls for Lord Patten to go.
An exit is also on the cards for 4,000 troops as the government slowly extricates itself from Afghanistan, sadly the Britain they are coming back to is very different from the one they left. The latest cut pushed out by the Con-Dem coalition sees local councils squeezed yet further – communities secretary Eric Pickles announced a further 1.7 per cent cut to council budgets, expect pressure on council tax to build or services to suffer.
Also suffering is the coalition, but only in the polls as the Sun shows Cameron’s Conservatives have dropped to just 30 per cent support, the paper also highlights that 63 per cent of people polled in a survey over benefit changes backed the government’s planned changes to benefits. However that poll was commissioned by the Tories, another Independent poll says that the public is evenly divided on the change with 49 per cent backing the change, but 43 per cent disagreeing. Expect that figure to increase as the real impact of the pernicious changes hits just as the top tax rate is cut next April; Labour leader Ed Miliband noted the benefits millionaires will get from that cut at yesterday’s PMQs although sketch writers focused on the actual pantomime mentions, this is the so-called Mother of Parliaments?
And from a mother to Andrew Mitchell and the plebgate row. The Mirror reports that prime minister David Cameron is working on a way to get him back into the cabinet, perhaps forgetting he still swore at serving police officers. Then again the pool of Tories for the front bench is not exactly stellar, even the Telegraph’s Peter Oborne bemoans the ghastly backbenchers on the Tory side.
From backbenchers to banking and as UBS is hit with a £1 billion fine over the Libor fix it emerges that chancellor George Osborne has set up a rather nice welcome for incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney. On top of a salary of £624,000 – more than double of his predecessor Mervyn king – he is due to receive £250,000 a year towards his housing costs, yes, £250,000. I thought the government was capping housing benefit, but that’s a lot of lolly so perhaps he’s renting a room in Buckingham palace.
And finally a bit of Christmas cheer for the families of the Hillsborough 96 as the inquest verdict of accidental death was quashed. 23 years of myths and police lies have now been blown away; the ruling clears the way for a new inquest next year, it’s taken a long time but hopefully this marks the beginning of the end in the fight for justice and peace for and there’s still time to buy the single backing the 96. And on that note seasons greetings and a happy new year to all, the news digest will return in 2013…
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- 2013 ‘make or break’ for Greece in euro (p1)
- UBS pays price for ‘epic’ scandal (p1)
- BBC was in chaos (p2)
- Carney gets £250K housing allowance (p2)
- Pressure grows on police over plebgate (p3)
- Pickles lays out extent of funding cuts councils (p3)
- Cameron is wrong to take on soul of Tory party – Tessa Keswick (p9)
- GM to spend $5.5 billion buying back 40 per cent of US Treasury’s stake (p13)
- Former Porsche executives charged (p13)
- Libor scandal (p14-15)
- Thales names former Vivendi chief as new head (p16)
- Sportingbet optimistic (p18)
- Banks to act on packaged accounts (p18)
Edited by Mik Sabiers