After the excitement of last night, tonight’s front pages are pretty dull. A bit depressingly, three papers have chosen to put Emma Watson on their front page and The Times and the Telegraph both lead with a dull stories from their letters pages. There is variety, however, as the Independent leads with a foreign news story, the first time that I have seen one of those on the front pages in weeks.
The Times – “Pension fury of Forces families” – comes from their letters page, with the Vice-Admiral Sir Michael Moore in which he claims the coalition are not protecting widows and injured soldiers. In the letter Moore alleges that new rules thought up by the coalition will mean that widows miss out on over £100,000 each. Basically George Osborne’s decision to link public sector pensions to the consumer price index (CPI) instead of the retail price index (RPI) means that widows will be short-changed. A little tedious as a story, and basically just appealing to their core readership.
The Guardian – “Hardship payments to be scrapped” – is a typical Guardian story in so many ways. It reports in a very critical way on a story that actually broke on the weekend – about Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms and the white paper that came out on Thursday. The primary source of the discontent seems to be “welfare groups” and Labour’s Douglas Alexander. It really just summarises the proposed reforms – which will combine out-of-work benefits and in-work support – from a critical angle. Not very exciting in all honesty.
The Telegraph – “Emergency patients let down by targets, say surgeons.” Like The Times, the Telegraph leads with a letter from its letter pages. The head of Royal Colleges complain that they are “deeply frustrated” at the low priority given to Accident and Emergency. From there the story trundles on a bit – “studies have shown that elderly people with fractures hips who do not undergo surgery within 48 hours are less likely to regain full mobility” etc. Later on it carries an interview with the president of the Royal College of Surgeons. Not thrilling, to be honest.
The Independent -“A date with destiny”. The paper claims that the Burmese political leader Aung San Suu Kyi “could be just hours from freedom” (a rather X-factor style countdown) after seven years in jail. This is a rare foreign news story on the front pages, and it is potentially a great call as a lead. In paragraph three, however, the story is slightly weakened as it reveals that the military authorities have given “no formal indication” that she will be freed after her current term ends tomorrow, so it may prove to be a bit of a non-starter.
The FT – “Merkel resists bond turbulence” – is about German chancellor Angela Merkel’s conflict with the bond market in the wake of the Irish troubles.
If you only read one: The Indy tonight!