Wednesday News Review

Blackburn: cuts

Grim up North

Labour Party councillors in Blackburn have failed to overturn plans to cut £4m from the council budget.Blackburn-with-Darwen Council is trying to save about £40m in the next four years as it prepares for a reduction in grants given to local government. – BBC NEWS.

Jimmy Reid

Tributes were paid this morning to Scots journalist and ex-trade union activist Jimmy Reid, who died on Tuesday night. The 78-year-old, who led the campaign against the closure of Glasgow’s shipyards in the 1970s, passed away in hospital at 9pm. He is believed to have suffered a number of heart attacks and had been in poor health for a number of years.On Wednesday, his former colleagues said they were in mourning for a “great Scot and a true internationalist”. – STV.


Charles Kennedy, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, has separated from his wife Sarah, the couple’s lawyers have confirmed.
The couple said their “amicable” separation would be “an entirely private family matter… Our ongoing and overriding priority will obviously remain our son.” – Sky News.

Conference protest

Anger at the Tories’ assault on public services and the welfare state is fuelling support for the 3 October demonstration outside the Tory Party conference in Birmingham.Sheffield offers a glimpse of the scale of the backing for the protest, initiated by the Right to Work campaign.The South Yorkshire branch of the Fire Brigades Union is the latest group in the city to sign up. – Socialist Worker.


Former Labour ministers are in shock, faced with the demolition of extensions to the state that took 13 years to build. But as the bulldozers approach, the public looks on with equanimity. At home at least, prime minister David Cameron has looked sure-footed – FT.

Greg Knight. That's right, rock star.

MP4 auditions

Since the election, MP4, the world’s only parliamentary rock band, have been a member short – making them a more blandly conventional “MP3”. Singer and bassist Ian Cawsey, formerly the Labour MP for Brigg and Goole, lost his seat, leaving Pete Wishart (Scottish National Party, keyboards), Kevin Brennan (Labour, guitar) and Greg Knight (Conservative, drums) without a frontman. But the band, which has released an LP and raised more than £500,000 for charity, plans to play on. If it’s good enough for Genesis… “When Parliament returns we’ll hold auditions,” Wishart told The Sunday Post. Taking a leaf out of Harriet Harman’s book, he also revealed his hopes of finding a female bandmate among the new intake. “We may expand the band to become MP5 or even MP6 if we discover lots of talent.”  – Independent.

Lib Dems

Support for the Liberal Democrats has been damaged by their decision to form a coalition government, with most voters no longer knowing what the party stands for, a new poll has found. – New Statesman.

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