News digest 22 May 2013

News digest 22 May 2013

22 May 2013

Today’s digest opens with fears for the NHS with the front page of the Times blaming the country’s accident and emergency crisis on a five o’clock culture on ward availability with many hospitals having given up trying to treat patients within the four hour target because they are overwhelmed by people turning up at casualty. The Mail has an even worse headline – Don’t visit casualty – email your GP instead – that was the view of NHS Confederation boss Mike Farrar, shows how out of touch the elite are these days, not everyone has email and more to the point perhaps if instead of cuts and top down reorganisation a focus was placed on patient care we’d be OK. As ever the staff go the extra mile, while the bosses reap the rewards.

And reaping rewards seems to be the theme of the day. Still with the NHS and all the papers report on the announcement that the chief executive of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson, is to step down. However, rather than go for mishandling the NHS and in particular the Mid Staffs scandal and a culture of failure which contributed to 1,200 deaths, he will instead retire with his knighthood and a £2 million pension pot. Fair, I think not.

But then again that pales into insignificance against another substantial reward for substantial failure as all the papers report on the long awaited shake up at G4S which finally sees the back of bumbling Nick Buckles, the chief executive who almost scuppered the Olympics and brought back scandalous working conditions for ordinary workers. Buckles gets to exit with a £16 million payoff, and with the top rate tax cut that means he will get an extra £72,500 due to the fact that he goes after the Con-Dems’ cut has now come in.

And if we’re continuing with the theme of rewards for failure, it looks like prime minister David Cameron is doing a sterling job. Yesterday he managed to get his gay marriage bill through the Commons, but only thanks to the support of Labour and there seems to be more trouble waiting in the wings as even Clegg is wheeled out to try and calm the situation, it didn’t work. Ex chairman Norman Tebbit has let fly a four lettered tirade over the Tories troubles and in the background Labour leader Ed Miliband is angling himself to gain the good news on the key issues of the day, his latest is that he plans to take Google to task over tax, something the prime minister failed to do earlier this week. Even with the Tories in the headlines, Labour has managed to extend its lead in the polls (mainly due to the rise in Ukip’s standing as Labour seems stubbornly stuck around the 35 per cent mark), it looks like the Miliband long game is bearing fruit, but still two years to go…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • A&E crisis blamed on 5 o’clock culture (p1)
  • Anger as NHS chief quits with £1.9 million pension (p4)
  • Clegg chastises Tories for rocking coalition boat (p6)
  • MPs rebel over gay marriage (p16)
  • MPs pay a high price for getting elected – Alice Thompson (p23)
  • Buckles shown the door at G4S (p33)
  • We will deliver sell-off say Royal mail bosses (p37)
  • Fall in inflation only temporary (p38)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • America’s corporate titans fight back (p1)
  • Inflation falls (p2)
  • Vote tests Cameron (p3)
  • Royal Mail’s chief delivers (p4)
  • NHS chief to retire (p4)
  • Cameron’s big problem is he is not a winner – Tim Bale (p13)
  • Buckles bows out (p17)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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