The Mail continues its government waste season with a scoop about the UK Trade and Investment, The Times congratulates itself on last night’ good story, The Telegraph reports on limited numbers of flu vaccinations and the Indy focuses on the UN Index of Food prices.
Daily Mail – “So much for austerity” The head of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), which is publically funded to help British companies succeed in global markets, has been caught sending an email in which he says that the company has a surplus of £1m that it needed to spend, or else the government would want it back. This email, leaked presumably by someone in the company, is another example of the dangers of emails being used instead of private conversation. It is actually fairly standard, if rather bizarre, procedure, that if a public body has a surplus they spend it so that they don’t have their funding cut in future. The difference is that UKTI made the mistake of making it explicit in an email.
The Telegraph – “Doctors running out of flu vaccine” There is a serious shortage in numbers of flu vaccines available as suppliers are running low. In what is a great use of a quote, a random GP from Derbyshire is rocketed to fame after saying “there’s enough vaccine for pregnant women who need it, and that’s it.” This has the potential to develop into a really big story, and I think the Telegraph is banking on getting in there first.
The Times – “Call for action on ‘grotesque’ sex gangs” Andrew Norfolk follows his splash last night about predominantly Pakistani sex gangs in the Midlands with a follow-up piece about the reaction to the story. I am not a huge fan of this self-congratulatory style of journalism (the first line is “An investigation by The Times into the sexual exploitation of hundreds of young girls sparked calls yesterday for a national police inquiry….”) but it is very common in Fleet Street. The paper is obviously seeking to start some form of campaign but the only new information from last night is Keith Vaz MP and Nick Clegg condemning the actions so the story is a little weak.
The Guardian -”Tabloid suspends top editor over phone hacking claims”
As I predicted earlier tonight the Guardian splashes with the News of the World’s assistant editor being suspended. This paper has championed the anti-phone hacking campaign for years now, with Nick Davies leading the charge, and tonight proves to be some vindication for the hard work. The really interesting thing is how little the other papers are covering the story, it does suggest that the methods were much more widely used than just the NOTW.
A great colourful opening line from Sean O’Grady, painting a dystopian world caused by higher food prices. “Food riots, geopolitical tensions, global inflation and increasing hunger among the planet’s poorest people are the likely effects of a new surge in world food prices, which have hit an all-time high according to the United Nations,” he writes. And this is a really important story, particularly for those with an interest in foreign news. Food prices are now as high as they were in 2008, before the economic crisis, and this has the potential to cause humanitarian crises all over the world.
The Financial Times – “US pins blame for oil spill”
The US government has written a chapter in the National Commission in which it blames “systematic failures” in the BP management for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year.
If you only read one: The Independent