The much awaited Wikileaks war docs are out today, and The Guardian has them and so is probably be the best place to start.
The Guardian – “See no evil: secret files show how US ignored Iraq torture” – has the undoubted scoop of the day, even though we all knew it was coming. They have, through Wikileaks, published the Iraq war documents (they published the Afghan war ones several months ago in amid controversy). These documents appear to tell us little we didn’t already know (that Americans abused prisoners has been widely documented) but the scale is scary. Normally I am critical of papers if they don’t add anything to the primary source (the document) but in this case it is so powerful and it’s a scoop so they should push it. Nick Davies, the man behind the NOTW case, writes the story well. P.s. Have a look at this Iraq war video on their website
The Times – “Crisis in the courts” – has an interview with the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer and runs with how he has ordered reforms to the legal system in this country. He argues that they need to cut the 50,000 cases a year that are aborted the day before they begin their trial. Now while this is interesting to people interested in the law, the title is a little misleading, but then “Moderate reform to the legal process” isn’t very catchy. A poor lead, all in all.
The Daily Telegraph – “NHS faces bed-blocking crisis” – is, rather unusually, a story coming from a letter to the paper. Nigel Edwards, head of the NHS Confederation, writes that the cuts in government funding for council services will mean that patients will lose hospital beds to former council tenants. The story is pretty weak, and sourced only be the one letter with no critical analysis. It also trails an interview on page 12 which is so obviously so dull the best tag line is “Yes, for a lot of people it is going to be very difficult.” This, so says The Telegraph, is the “most explicit admission yet from a Cabinet minister that the Coalition’s cuts in public spending will cause genuine distress.” Sometimes papers should just stop advertising themselves.
The Financial Times – “Skyscrapers to rise from the rubble” – is interesting only if you are a Londoner. In fact it is interesting only if you are a Londoner who works in the city. In fact it is interesting only if you are a Londoner who works in the City and cares about the creation of new skyscrapers. Luckily most FT readers are all those things. Two new skyscrapers are possibly going to be built in London. Need I bother to say more?
The Independent – “Wayne’s world… the real world” – if your budget is half of every other paper you sometimes have to be creative. This time The Indy has done a decent, albeit tenuous, job of linking the two big stories of the week – Wayne Rooney and the Spending Review. The plot, and plot is the right word to use with the Indy, is that big, bad Wayne is making up to £200,000 a week playing football while in Manchester alone 40,000 will lose their jobs in the next four years. If you say so Kelner…
If you only read one: Only the Guardian looks worth picking up