Tonight’s papers are a little dull (though The Times is missing and will be added tomorrow). The FT and the Indy take different approaches to the Irish economic bailout, while the Telegraph and the Guardian try and heat up some political news that really should remain cold. The Mail, however, has a strong story that comes from BBC Panorama’s show to be broadcast on Monday night.
The Guardian – “Miliband sets out ‘profound’ party changes.”
The Labour press office has obviously leaked the contents of Ed Miliband’s proposed reforms to the structure of the party. These changes include a commission on party organisation to be launched on the weekend, a review on low pay and a plan to stand up for the “squeezed middle classes.” Miliband is obviously trying to make this a “Clause Four moment” (when Tony Blair abandoned Labour’s commitment to renationalisation in 1994) but these changes do not amount to anything like that. He may take on the unions a bit, but this looks a little bit like the Guardian are trying to make something out of nothing.
The FT – “Eurozone agrees Ireland rescue.” Oddly enough the FT’s review of the Irish breakdown is more accessible to a non-economist than the Indy’s (see below). It gives you all the facts and figures relatively early on, and I am sure the comment pages will be the place to go if you want to understand the story properly.
The Independent – “Will Irish bailout spark contagion?”
Of all the words that sell newspapers, I think contagion has got to be pretty far down there. Trying to tell the story of the Irish government’s decision to accept a bailout from Europe is difficult, but the Indy has made it unnecessarily complicated. The language is pretty impenetrable at times. Consider paragraph 2: The Irish government “finally abandoned days of prevarication – characterised by the opposition as a vain pretence – that it had no need of any major aid package from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank.” Using long words does not make it a good story.
The Daily Mail – “Sharia lessons for pupils, six” – has a scary story about the prevalence of radical Islamic weekend schools in the UK. The story is actually Panorama’s (in a program to be shown on Monday night) but it tells of children as young as six being taught to list the ‘reprehensible’ qualities of Jews. The schools are predominantly Saudi, and are not subject to Ofsted examinations as they are run on the weekends. As with any time the Daily Mail covers Islam, I am a little sceptical to say the least. I think watching the Panorama will present a fairer picture, but it is still a scary story.
The Telegraph – “Cut tax burden for middle classes.” The paper leads with something from its letters page again, with Lib Dem David Laws writing that taxes for the middle classes must go down within the lifetime of this parliament. For someone who really doesn’t have that much to write about, Laws has been getting a hell of a lot of coverage in the last week (his new book is available now). While he was in government for a few weeks, he is not any more. I understand that he may well be in time but the paper is basically leading with the line “Backbench Lib Dem MP calls for lower taxes.”
If you only read one: The Mail