UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

MPs shoot themselves in foot over expenses


The online release of MPs’ expense claims has only served to further dent their already battered reputation.

Forty-two days after the Daily Telegraph began to investigate MPs’ expenses the Houses of Parliament finally got round to publishing official details of them. Or rather it didn’t, as lots of key information was blacked out.

Britain’s newspapers spelt out their condemnation – in black and white – of this supposed exercise in freedom of information.

The Sun labelled MPs “Blankers”, the Daily Mirror led with the headline: “Blackwash”, while the Daily Mail posed the question: “Just how stupid do they think we are?”

from Global Investing:

On Bankers and Busing

Bankers are having a rough time of it lately.  It is not just that their companies are collapsing beneath them and their bonuses are the subject of global hate and derision. They also have to put up with the barbs of journalists (who are very familiar with being at the bottom of the popularity pile).

The latest example comes from Tim Dowling, scribbling away for Britain's Guardian newspaper.  Mr Dowling has penned a useful primer for bankers who suddenly find themselves living in the real world.

Editorials praise Brown’s energy package


brown.jpgUnions and energy watchdogs lashed out at Gordon Brown’s aid package aimed at helping householders cope with soaring energy bills, saying it was ”too little, too late”. Even  pensioners’ charities gave a frosty response.

But newspaper editorials on the whole were supportive, describing it as “bold politics. More importantly, it was good policy”, as The Times said.

Palin – the next Thatcher or Diana?


palin.jpgThe British press, like their American cousins, doesn’t seem to able to get enough of Sarah Palin.

The self-described hunting, shooting and hockey “mom” is the “biggest hot-button political story in the English-speaking world”, says Martin Kettle in The Guardian on Friday.

Wednesday’s front pages


times-wed-may-14.jpgThe papers are nearly all agreed that Chancellor Alistair Darling’s 2.7 billion pound fix for the 10p tax row is the day’s main story.

Darling seeks end to 10p tax backlash” reports the Financial Times, noting that the move will still leave 1.1 million poorer households worse off following the abolition of the lowest tax band in last year’s budget.

Tuesday’s front pages


tel13.JPGThe cost of living and falling house prices, school tests, knife crime and pictures from the Chinese earthquake feature in Tuesday’s headlines. 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Abolish Tests for Pupils at 11 and 14, Urge MPs

MPs who say pupils are being drilled to pass exams to inflate schools’ positions in league tables rather than being encouraged to learn, are calling for some tests to be scrapped, the paper says. Story here

Monday’s front pages


express12.JPGThere were further potentially damaging revelations about Gordon Brown from within the Labour Party, claims about the rising cost of living, as well as coverage of Manchester United’s Premier League title win on Monday’s front pages.

DAILY EXPRESS: Family Tax Up 51 Percent

The tax burden has risen by 51 percent under Labour and the average family now pays a crippling 20,700 pounds a year, the paper says. Story here

Friday’s front pages


indie09.JPGAbortion, Ant and Dec’s award – that wasn’t, and the confessions of the Austrian cellar man dominate the front pages of Friday’s papers.

THE INDEPENDENT: Abortion; the Battle Lines Are Drawn

The paper uses just three lines of text and three pictures for its main story about survival rates of premature babies and its significance in the abortion debate. Story here

Thursday’s front pages: anti-social behaviour


guardian.JPGThe latest initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour and an apparent loophole in airport security feature prominently on Thursday’s front pages, along with the Chelsea gun siege and the Austrian house of horrors.

The Guardian says Home Secretary Jacqui Smith  wants police to harass anti-social youths and make life as unpleasant for them as they do for their victims. Young thugs should be hounded and filmed.  Story here

Tuesday’s front pages


mailfrontpagemay5.JPGThe destruction and loss of life caused by the cyclone in Burma features on many of the broadsheet front pages, while Chelsea’s win, which keeps the title race going until the final day of the football season, is promoted in all the papers.

DAILY MAIL: Abortion: Fight to Save 2,500 Babies Every Year

MPs will begin a fight to cut the number of abortions by limiting a woman’s right to have a termination for social reasons, from the current 24 weeks to 20, the paper says. Story here