News digest 26 April 2013

News digest 26 April 2013

26 April 2013

The main focus in the papers remains on the UK economy which narrowly avoided a triple dip recession when yesterday’s growth figures advanced by a higher than expected 0.3 per cent. A relieved chancellor argued that the triple-dip escape was evidence of a ‘healing economy’, but despite the paltry 0.3 per cent rise the economy still remains below the levels before the recession in 2008. Under Osborne’s austerity – three years next month - the total growth of the UK economy has been a pathetic 1.8 per cent. Looking more closely at the figures and the rise was solely driven by the advance in services – up 0.6 per cent, manufacturing is in recession and now represents just 10.5 per cent of total GDP. The Con-Dem plan to rebalance the economy is very much in reverse. Unite’s Len McCluskey said: “The economy is in a coma as Osborne propels us into a ‘lost decade’. Despite the misery of three years of cuts and falling living standards, this government has brought us back to where we were six months ago. Osborne is creating a lopsided economy that relies on us being a nation that consumes rather than makes. Construction and manufacturing are taking a hammering while austerity kills confidence and the banks continue to refuse to lend. Growth cannot be powered by the service sector alone. We desperately need a plan B that jolts the economy out its comatose state and delivers prosperity.”

The other major focus in the right wing press seems to be attacks on unions. Comments by education secretary Michael Gove about unions being out of touch with their members are rather like a pot calling the kettle black as the problems plaguing the education department under his watch have multiplied. It is more the case of a fear that the unions are increasingly articulating their lack of confidence in Gove. The Mail joins in on the union attack arguing that a number of would-be MPs have union backing or are actually members of a union, with millions of us in the country that is hardly news, but again a symptom of a fearful right worried about the consistent and focused attack on the failures of the Con-Dem coalition.

And there is a focus on the changes at the top of the Tory party, there’s more analysis on the appointment of Jo Johnson to head prime minister David Cameron’s policy unit, and there’s also news that blue sky thinker Steve Hilton - the man who wanted to abolish maternity pay, all workplace rights and more - is due back in Downing Street (although the Sun says he has snubbed the PM). Could this presage a reshuffle, whatever happens, Cameron’s team is looking increasingly tired and out of ideas – the Telegraph front page reports that Defra minister Richard Benyon has a solution to families living on the breadline – he says they should cut food waste, not very easy if you haven’t got any food to waste, the sooner the Con-Dems are gone the better…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror



  • Economy grows (p2)
  • Thatcher’s £3.6 million funeral (p2)
  • More proof Miliband a puppet of unions (p19) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Rise in GDP gives sterling a huge boost (p62)
  • Bitter pills for AstraZeneca (p62)


 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Newspapers off rival version of charter (p4)
  • Jo Johnson backs Boris’ estuary airport (p11)
  • Shun unions, says Gove (p11)
  • Miliband believes the age of Ed began in 2008 – Philip Collins (p21)
  • Services ride to rescue as Britain avoids triple dip (p41)
  • Aer Lingus to cut jobs (p44)
  • Santander predicts the worst is over (p45)
  • Laiki redundancy terms agreed (p49) – High Roberts quoted




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Bailed out UK banks in limbo (p1)
  • Osborne sees sign economy is healing (p2)
  • MPs plan to jail reckless bankers (p3)
  • Departure of O’Neil revives questions over UKFI future (p3)
  • Snoopers charter axed (p4)
  • Industry wart of MoD procurement reforms (p4)
  • Barclays investors vent anger over pay (p16)
  • AstraZeneca hit by launch of generics (p16)
  • Volvo sales fall (p18)
  • Spirit chief attacks pub code plan (p20)
  • Unilever suffers as sales fall (p20)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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