The Times has the failure of the Big Society, The Indy has a good investigation from Robert Fisk, The Telegraph has Eric Pickles ranting on about waste, The Daily Mail has the end of the ASBO.
The Times – “Britain’s volunteer army ‘destroyed’ by cutbacks”
Dame Elizabeth Hoodless, dubbed the ‘mother of the big society’ (though it is not clear by whom, has said that the idea is not being properly implemented and that “massive cuts” are undermining the government’s agenda. “Does one hand know what the other hand is doing?” she asks. This comes only days after Philip Blond, one of the ideologues of the ‘Big Society’ admitted the idea was in trouble and that Phil Redmond, Liverpool’s ‘Big Society Tsar’ said that his job had been subsumed by the cuts. Problematic for the Tories, this one.
The Daily Mail – “Behave or we take your Ipod”
Sometimes you feel like the Daily Mail writes a headline and then bothers with the story. The only way this could have been better is if it had been about immigrants and it said “Behave or you won’t have an Ipod to listen to when you are getting deported.” The story is that ministers are to abandon ASBOs, a large change in the way in which policing and sentencing are done in the UK. Instead a new system will be brought in under which, get this, “troublemakers will face the same asset seizure powers as major criminals. They would be likely to lose personal items such as stereo systems and electronic gadgets.” Hardly the direct Ipod-crime ultimatum the headline suggests.
The Independent – “Revealed: US envoy’s business link to Egypt”
Great piece of investigation from Robert Fisk here, who has uncovered that the US envoy to Egypt (who encouraged Mubarak to remain in power this week) has business links to the Egyptian government.
The Telegraph – “Council staff paid £58,000 to be named in war on waste”
Sounds like Eric Pickles has got a fight on his hands. He is to announce that all council staff paid over £58,000 a year are going to be named, a policy that will put him in direct collision course with the unions. Previously councils have not revealed the names of senior staff as a matter of course. I am pretty sure that there is a strong legal case against this on the basis of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (Right to a private life) so it will be interesting to see whether this actually happens.