British newspaper front pages review at midnight: Monday 1 November 2010

Tonight’s front pages  are quite varied, but most focus on the plot to blow up planes headed towards the US. All the writers are scrabbling around to find a unique angle, but none really nail it.

The Telegraph – “Al-Qaeda bombers planned ‘another Lockerbie’” – is the paper leading with a story that basically hasn’t changed since it broke two days ago. The use of Lockerbie enables readers to identify with one of the UK’s greatest tragedies, but there is little new in the story. The article claims that the “The Daily Telegraph has learnt” that the bomb had left Yemen on a passenger aircraft and that is the news, but its not massively exciting to read.

The Financial Times – “Bomb fears shift to passenger aircraft” – is a better attempt to make the story feel new and look at the future implications of the scare. It ties the story together well with the comments made by BA chairman Martin Broughton in which he criticised security checks on passenger airlines (he does seem a little stupid now), and quotes John Brennan, the White House’s senior counter-terrorism official.

The Guardian – “Alcohol ‘more harmful than heroin or crack’” – has the return of David Nutt, the government’s drugs advisor who was sacked when he criticised the government for recategorising cannabis a class C drug, and a report by his breakaway “Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs” which claims that alcohol should be classified a Class A because of the affect it has on the individual. The story is basically a summary of the study’s finding and is pretty lifeless to read, a bit too much like a press release for me.

The Independent – “A campaign in the shadow of terror” – is an interesting attempt to marry the terror threat and the US mid-term elections but it appears to be more of a ramble by David Usborne. On the front page it has only three paragraphs of the article (more than most Indy front pages) but it basically summarises the two stories. There is a reason why papers don’t lead with comment.

I haven’t previously covered The Daily Mail – “Drug victory for patients” – but someone asked me why not and I couldn’t think of a good reason. The paper leads with a self-congratulatory article about the ending of NICE’s regulation of the list of drugs available on the NHS. The paper notes that – “following a campaign by the Daily Mail” – the limits on the cost of new drugs will end.

If you only read one: The Financial Times tonight


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