A decent mix from the papers tonight, with the Times probably having the closest to a genuine investigative story but falling a little flat in the execution. The Mail and the Telegraph are complaining about “apartheid” Britain, while the Guardian has Mervyn King’s latest embarrassment and the Indy has Elton John as editor.
The Times – “Carry on claiming” The problem for all the papers with MPs expenses in the next few years is that the story is now so synonymous with the Telegraph that it feels like you are treading on a rival’s turf by reporting on it. The Times has a list of MPs claims that have been turned down, including duplicate claims. But there is nothing here that will catch the imagination like duck house, and the story feels a little flat.
The Telegraph – “Higher tuition fees, but only if you are English” – leads with the Welsh Assembly’s decision to exempt Welsh students from the tuition fee rise. There is an anti-Welsh undertone throughout the piece – pointing out rather irrelevantly that Welsh citizens receive more state funding than English ones. The story is essentially over by about paragraph 5, from which point on it just summarises the national government’s policy and mentions the student protests in London.
The Guardian – “Out of their depth: Bank chief’s doubts about PM and Osborne.” For the establishment this Wikileaks story is a little bit like the flu. Just when they think you are getting over it another symptom hits and they are forced back into a snivelling wreck. Tonight the Guardian leads with the admission, revealed by Wikileaks, that the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King was worried before the election that David Cameron and George Osborne were too inexperienced and too political to be good for the country. This will be damaging to the government, but King will be the biggest loser. In recent weeks he has been criticised for being too political and this candid comment made to the US ambassador appears to have got him in some more hot water.
The Daily Mail – “Punished for being English” I mentioned above that the Telegraph article was moderately anti-Welsh. No need for such ambiguities in the Mail who proudly proclaim a “tuition fees apartheid.” It alleges that the “devolved administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff giving their citizens better access to medicine as well as cheaper education thanks to far higher public spending.” Their evidence for this, unfortunately, comes from the right-wing nutbags at the TaxPayers’ Alliance – the self-styled “British Tea Party.” And we all trust the Tea Party to provide us with balanced evidence don’t we?
The Independent – Elton John is guest editor tonight. Wahoo! What exciting story does he choose to highlight? What cause that doesn’t get enough attention? None. The front page is literally just a picture of some flowers. No words except along the bottom where it says “All proceeds from today go to the Elton John Aids Foundation.” On the basis of this cover, those proceeds will be pretty slim…
If you only read one: The Indy, with Elton as editor how could you read anything else?