If you ever wanted to know what being slapped with a dead fish by Alan Johnson whilst he simultaneously leaks a key document was like, then tonight’s front pages are for you.
The Times – “Miliband faces new clamour for change.” This is an interesting story for us political geeks but one which I can’t imagine theaverage man on the street will care about. Basically the story is about the internal mechanism used by Labour to elect its leader. People within the party reckon its not the best system of electing a leader and that the unions should lose their block vote. Thrilling eh?
The reason this on the front page? I reckon there are two. Firstly Ed Miliband only won the Labour leadership election by the union vote, so this article implictly undermines his authority. Secondly the Times has conducted interviews with morethan 40 senior Labour figures about the fall of New Labour and the party’s future. That will have cost a lot of money and resources (something papers are desperately short on). They will have felt they have to put it on the front page…
The Guardian – “The John Lewis state starts here.” For me this isn’t really a new story, except that its just a new department applying the government’s principles. Public sector workers are being urged to set up John-Lewis style co-operatives, including SureStart centres, welfare provision and NHS trusts. This really just fits in with the key themes of the first 6 months of this government – localism and rolling back the state. But the Guardian is read by a lot of public sector workers and so the paper is playing to its audience a little.
The Independent – “North Sea Madness.” This story starts out like a really strong, interesting piece about food waste. The kind of issue that most other papers don’t really bother withand exactly what the Independent should be doing. It tells us that almost a million dead anddying fishare discardedevery year in the EU because of size and fishing policies. But then in paragraph three it undermines itself with a terribly written sentence. “Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the food campaigner and celebrity chef, was so appalled at learning of the level of discards, describing it as an “insane waste”, that he has launched a campaign to get the practice banned.” There are two problems here. 1. It is written terribly, with a bizarre use of commas. 2. Fearnley-Whittingstall is a TV chef, not a particularly credible source of a story. The article then goes on to talk about Whittingstall’s campaign to save fish, and by paragraphsix is casually mentioning that he has got a show coming up.
The Daily Telegraph – “New leak exposes MOD fury at defence cutbacks.” This is a good story, with a leaked document from a board of MOD military officers forming the basis of the article. The leaked document declares that the defence review has “badly damaged the confidence and morale of our personnel.” This will only deepen the apparent rift between the defence secretary Liam Fox and David Cameron and George Osborne.
The FT – “Ireland feels the pressure.” The FT understandably continues to focus on the big economic news story of the week – the Irish economy. It claims that the pressure on the Irish government to accept a loan from the EU, IMF or the UK is growing and suggests that it is a question of when not if.
If you only read one: The Telegraph